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Rtucharya (Ayurvedic Seasonal Routines)

Ayurveda has a whole chapter devoted to seasonal living in it's three main traditional texts (charaka samhita, astanga samgraha and susruta samhita) and many sutras/verses scattered throughout the texts highlighting important notes.

I've always loved the information that our digestion is strong and potent in the Winter months (because the fire is pushed to the core by the cold environment) and the digestion is weaker during very hot months.

There are also notes in the text that our digestion is best during the midday hours and wanes on either side of this, leading to the advice that eating during the hours of daylight is most supportive to our agni and eating our largest and most sustaining meal midday whilst our agni is able to digest such a large meal is best.

So, when the daylight hours are at their shortest (during Winter) our digestive power is strong so that we can eat big meals in a shorter period of time and digest all that is needed to sustain us during the cold.

But during Summer, when there are more daylight hours we are able to make up for the weaker digestive power by eating lighter...but eating for longer! Early in the morning and late at night.

So clever our bodies and Nature!

There is also much advice about day-napping (power naps) in Ayurvedic texts and, particularly, in which season it is helpful and in which season it is harmful but it comes with the additional note that is it always helpful with those suffering from stress and for the elderly (because it helps our nervous system recover and to become strong). So with all the stress that is around these days I tend not to say to clients that power naps are anything but helpful.

As with all bodies of Ayurvedic info, the bulk of the text is showing how Nature works and how our body works in relationship to the natural world and if we learn the rules we can adapt them to fit almost any personality, job, situation, need, passion and so we should. Ayurveda is the framework upon which we can build our own, very individual, at home health practices and change them each season to find and follow our own flow!

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