Ritu Charya - An Autumn Routine
With the warm, humid summers almost behind us, cool and crisp Autumn is gently knocking on our doors.
As the weather turns cooler and the air turns crisper, the emerald green of trees slowly changes colors to cast a golden hue on the surroundings, the light cotton clothing is replaced by warmer, softer woolen clothing, and best of all the fragrance of festivities in the air - be it Thanksgiving, Diwali, Halloween makes this a very special season for me. The stores start getting dressed in their best of wares, people start sprucing their houses for the winters and the fragrance of a wood burning fire makes one feel like cuddling up with a loved one with a hot chocolate in hand.
It is also a gentle reminder that with the change of season, there is a need to change my daily routine. This is a therapy prescribed in Ayurveda. The therapy is called "Ritu Charya" which literally translates to "Seasonal Routines". Ayurveda says that with every change of season, we should update our day to day routine. This helps us adapt to the seasonal changes thereby building immunity and providing optimum health.
Autumn is a season, as per Ayurveda, which brings out the cold and dry tendencies in our body. This is because, autumn itself is characterized by cold, crisp weather. This can lead to various health concerns ranging from simple ones like chapped lips and dry skin to more advanced ones like lowered immunity, thereby risking seasonal flues to highly severe ones like increased arthritis attacks. To counteract these seasonal disorders, Ayurveda prescribes various routines that one can adapt to keep heart and healthy and enjoy the season to its fullest.
Here are some of the practices you can bring into your daily routines -
- Start your day with a tea made by boiling Black Pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon. Add a dash of honey once the tea cools down a little.
- Give up on summer salads and light meals. Replace them with warm soups and heartier meals . Salads are cold which further increase the cooling tendency in our body, while soups and hearty meals are warm and moist - a perfect counter to the cold and dry qualities on autumn
- This is also the time to indulge in some warm Apple Pies and Creamy Hot Chocolates. The reason is exactly the same - the warmth and the fats in these foods counter balance the cold, dry qualities of autumn
- Book yourself a massage. Massage therapy (Abhyanga) is a prescribed therapy for this season. If you cannot go for a massage, give yourself 10 minutes every other day or at least once a week and apply sesame oil to your body before you shower. Your skin and body will thank you for this in short term and long term.
- Once a week massage you scalp and hair with a hair oil. Wash it off after 45 minutes. This will moisturize your scalp and hair and won't leave it dry.
- Pack away all your drying summer body and face washes and replace them with gentler, all natural washes instead. Dewy Naturals' Sandalwood Facial Scrub is one such all natural product which will gently wash and exfoliate your skin without drying your skin.
- Switch to All Natural moisturizes especially made for the cooler months of this season. Look for products that will replace the moisture in your skin by getting absorbed in the skin rather than just forming a layer on the top. This would ensure that the moisture in your skin is actually being replaced. Dewy Naturals' Mediterranean Summer Facial Balancing Oil is ideal to protect your skin from the harshness of the season and replenishing the lost moisture
- This is a perfect season to start a well balanced exercise routine.
- Curling up in front of a fire or having warm steam baths are also beneficial in this season.
Incorporate as many practices as possible from the above in your daily routines and your will see that your immunity will go up, you will be less prone to seasonal flues, your skin and hair will remain soft and moist and your will retain optimum health throughout the season.