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Embracing Autumn: Ayurvedic Insights for Sharad Season

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Introduction Welcome to the second part of our blog series on Ayurveda and the monsoon. In our previous blog, we explored the Varsha season, characterized by heavy rains and cooler temperatures. Now, as we transition into autumn, also known as Sharad, we will discover how to adapt our diet and lifestyle to maintain balance and well-being. Let's dive into the significance of this season and the Ayurvedic recommendations for thriving during this time. The Lighter Rains and Changing Colors With the arrival of autumn, we bid farewell to the relentless downpours of the previous season. Instead, we witness occasional lighter rains, unveiling a clearer sky and a pleasant green atmosphere. Nature transforms as vibrant colors replace the dark and windy climate, creating a picturesque setting. Understanding the October Heat Despite the lower temperatures in comparison to summer, we may still experience some heat during this season. This can be attributed to our bodies getting exposed to sunrays after a few months of cloudy weather. As the dark clouds dissipate and the air becomes slightly drier, autumn marks the beginning of a healthier time of the year. It presents an opportunity to strengthen our bodies and address any accumulated tasks. The Impact of old Diet in Autumn Continuing to consume lighter, less oily foods meant for the heavy rainy season can leave our bodies undernourished during Autumn. This can result in weakness, fatigue, and low energy levels. Moreover, a diet dominated by light foods can aggravate Pitta Dosha, leading to various ailments such as acidity, skin issues, bleeding through your nostrils / stools and dizziness. Adapting the Diet to the Season As humidity decreases and our digestive fire intensifies, our appetite increases, and Pitta becomes more prominent within us. Therefore, it becomes essential to modify our diet in Autumn. This means incorporating slightly heavier foods that are sweet, bitter, and astringent in taste, as they are more easily digestible during this time. Such food will strengthen you and enable you to work for longer hours. On the other hand, sour, salty, and pungent tastes should be reduced, as they tend to increase Pitta. Recommended Food Choices:

  1. Cereals: Rice remains an excellent choice, being sweet, oily, and cool, which helps pacify Pitta. Adding a little ghee or coconut to rice makes it more satisfying and fulfilling. Millets, particularly Sorghum, which is cooling in nature, are also suitable options. Wheat can be consumed in the form of puri, phulka, or chapati, but heavy preparations like paranthas should be avoided.

  2. Pulses: All pulses have a sweet, slightly bitter, or astringent taste, making them suitable for this season. However, it is important to remember that the quantity of pulses should always be lesser than that of cereals.

  3. Vegetables: Take advantage of the fresh vegetables available during this season. Choose sweet, bitter, and astringent varieties that align with your constitution.

  4. Dairy: (If consumed) Similar to summer, dairy products are beneficial during Autumn, except for curd, yogurt, and buttermilk, which have sour tastes and can increase Pitta. Sweet buttermilk is an exception. Indulging in heavier milk-based sweets like puddings and sweet lassi is now permissible. Ghee, a powerful medicine for pacifying Pitta, should be used generously during this season.

  5. Spices: Avoid or reduce hot spices such as red chilly, green chilly, black pepper, ginger, garlic, clove, and mustard seeds, as they can further aggravate Pitta.

  6. Fruits: Opt for seasonal fruits that are more solid rather than watery or juicy. Avoid sour or unripe fruits, and enjoy options like banana, chikku, guava, pomegranate, and figs. Including coconut generously in vegetables, salads, or sweets can enhance the balance.

  7. Water: Consume water or any other liquid as per your body's demands.

  8. Oils: Use oils in moderation.

Finding Individual Balance While the general guidelines provided above are valuable, it's important to listen to your body's needs and make adjustments accordingly. Individual variations exist, such as overweight individuals needing to be cautious with oil and ghee intake, even though they may still need more compared to summer and the rainy season. Establishing a Daily Routine With increased energy during Autumn, incorporating a moderate amount of daily exercise becomes beneficial. Engaging in regular exercise over the next few months can enhance your body's immunity to seasonal changes and increase its capacity to endure physical stress. Ayurveda provides specific principles for exercise that you can read about in the article - The Daily routine. Additional Tips To stay cool during Autumn, consider activities like swimming in normal / lukewarm water, exposing yourself to the refreshing night breeze, and using cooling powders, just as you would during summer. Additionally, protect yourself from direct sun exposure. In Autumn, it is advisable to avoid sleeping in the afternoon. Instead, a short nap of around half an hour is sufficient. Conclusion As we embark on the Autumn season, let's embrace the change in weather and align our diet and lifestyle accordingly. By nourishing our bodies with the appropriate foods, adjusting our daily routines, and being attentive to individual needs, we can experience a harmonious transition into autumn and enjoy the many benefits it brings. This is a short season and soon we will enter into winter. When the time is right, do prepare yourself to make further changes in your lifestyle to stay healthy in the winter season.

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