Our external environment cyclically brings changes to the elements we are made up of regardless of our unique constitutions. Each Ayurvedic dosha has its natural time of accumulation, vitiation (aggravation) and balance.
Kapha (water and earth) accumulates in the winter, is vitiated in the spring and balances in the summer
Pitta (fire and water) accumulates in the summer, is vitiated in the autumn and balances in the winter
Vata (air and ether) accumulates in the autumn, is vitiated in the winter and balances in the spring
When a dosha is in its time of accumulation taking on that dosha’s type of food and lifestyle is necessary to support and nourish it inside. If you don’t, problems may arise in the following seasons.
It would be incorrect to go on an anti-kapha diet during the winter or an anti-vata diet in the fall. By supporting the natural season’s tendency of accumulation, you build upon that dosha so you have a chance of not being too out of whack when the season changes. The time of vitiation would be the appropriate time to take the anti-dosha diet so as not to aggravate it any further. Then one may have a healthy balance of that dosha in the appropriate season. Of course each person must take into account their unique constitution and pay attention to their own needs, however adapting to seasonal shifts applies to us all.
Radhasri (Rhonda Fogel) has been teaching yoga in Canada since 1998 and is the founder of Hatha Yoga Shala currently based in Montreal.