Ritu sandi – tips and tricks to managing between seasons
Ayurveda pays heed to the transitory time between seasons, ‘Ritu Sandi’, the point where two seasons meet. In essence it is a period of cleansing out any accumulations from one season before welcoming the other.
This period usually goes for about 2 weeks. The thinking here is that in the summer heat, the natural tendency is to build Pitta dosha (heat) in the body. That is the reason that in summer we naturally prefer a more cooling diet and environment. This helps balance Pitta dosha, but at the same time by increasing the coolness combined with the summer dryness gives rise to Vata dosha (erratic, dryness) in the body. These accumulations cause problems like dry skin, constipation, arthritic pain, colds, and inability to focus – heightened in early Autumn, a vata time of year. Then as we approach the end of Autumn and early Winter we enter a time of dampness and heaviness - leading to coughs, colds, mucus-y ailments.
So just before moving into the next season the aim is to clear accumulation of dosha. To do this, follow a gentle seasonal cleanse with a detoxifying diet, and then you can slowly follow the specific season-pacifying foods and lifestyle guidelines.
As a guideline:
Eat lighter foods to facilitate cleansing - avoid red meat, aged cheeses and fried foods
Eat more easily digestible foods such as soup or a kitchari (recipe is here)
Drink more hot water throughout the day to aid cleansing
Take an ayurvedic digestive aid such as triphala at night for the week to ensure a complete cleansing every morning