Summer just came in full force here in Buffalo, and thank god. We had such a long, hard winter, this feels amazing!
Elements in our bodies
According to Ayurveda, we all have the five natural elements (air, space, fire, water, earth) manifested in our bodies. We're part of nature, so it makes sense that nature is a part of us! Most of us have a dominant element or two for our whole lives (called a prakriti or constitution); most of us go through times where a certain element gets out of whack and overwhelms everything else (called a vikriti or imbalance). Me for example, I'm a pitta dominant person, which means I have a lot of fire element in my body naturally. I have red hair, my skin is always pink, I don't usually get cold, I sweat a lot, and I'm prone to inflammation pretty much all the time. That's what someone with a lot of pitta looks like.
Elements in nature
At different times of the year in nature, some elements flare up and are more present than others. Summer is a great example - the fire element is in high gear! It's the heat, the sun, the sweat, the melting popsicles, all of it!
We name the seasons in Ayurveda the same way we name the doshas:
Late Spring to Summer (heat and sun) = Pitta season
Fall to Early Winter (dry, windy, hibernation mode) = Vata season
Winter to Early Spring (Heavy, dense, everything getting ready to grow) = Kapha season
This can of course be a little different depending on what part of the world you live in. If you live in Miami, for example, you might not notice as big of a change between seasons. If you live in a place that has four distinct seasons, you might notice this more.
The doshas in the seasons
Given the extra heat and fire in Pitta season, you can imagine how someone like me who already has an overload of fire element can get totally burned out when it comes to summer. If you add even more heat to my equation, I'm going to (quite literally) boil over. So pitta dosha types can be extra sensitive in summer, and we need to take extra care to balance ourselves out in the hot summer months!
Same goes for Kapha in winter-early spring. Natural kapha people are dominant in earth and water - the two heaviest elements. When you add the heaviness and density of winter (all that snow, slush and mud in the early spring, etc.) to someone who's already got plenty of density and sturdiness, they may find themselves being bogged down or feeling like they can't get going.
For Vatas, when all the wind gets going, our breezy friends might feel like they can't get grounded. Air and space are also naturally cold and dry elements. So when the heat and moisture of summer starts dissipating, Vatas might be the first ones to break out the boots, parkas and body lotion.
What's going on in nature influences us
In the summer, pittas like me might notice they're more easily agitated, have more inflammation going on, maybe they get a breakout, etc. That just means we need to take extra care during our dosha's season to not completely overload and to stay in balance.
However we can all be imbalanced in a particular dosha at any time due to a whole host of factors. For example, I have very little Vata in my natural constitution. But sometimes my go-go-go lifestyle kicks up a whole lot of wind energy and I find my Vata flaring up.
Stay in balance year round
Thankfully you don't need to worry about your whole life getting out of whack at every change of season because Ayurveda has you covered! Find my blog posts about each individual dosha about ways to stay balanced and feeling good throughout the year.