Ritucharya comprises of two words ritu - season and charya- regime. It is a set of rules suggested by Ayurveda to be followed in particular seasons to prevent seasonal diseases and remain healthy. Seasons keep changing after few months and all living things including human being are greatly influenced by these changes; so it is important for us to adjust and adapt to each season.
According to Ayurveda, one year is divided into two parts or ayan as per the movement of the sun which are uttarayan and dakshinayan. Each consists of 3 ritus and one ritu is comprised of 2 months.
1. Shishir ritu (late winter) - magh and phalgun (mid January to mid March)
2. Vasant ritu (spring) - Chaitra and vaishakh (mid March to mid May)
3. Greeshma ritu (summer) - jyeshta and ashadh (mid May to mid July)
4. Varsha ritu (rainy) -Shravana and bhadrapada (mid July to mid September)
5. Sharad ritu (autumn) - aishwarya and Karthika (mid September to mid November)
6. Hemant ritu (winter)- mrigasira and pushya (mid November to mid January)
Uttarayan (Adan Kala)
Uttarayan is also called adan Kala which means taking away, it is the time of year when sun movement is towards north, sun and winds are strong, sun absorbs strength of people and coolness of earth. Fire is dominant. Uttarayan consists of Shishir, Vasant and grishma ritu ( mid January to mid July).
Dakshinayana (Visarg Kala)
Dakshinayan is also called visarg kala which means giving. Varsha, Sharad and Hemant ritu (mid July to mid January) comprises dakshinayana or visarg kala, during this time of year due to cloud, rain and cold air earth started to cool down again, moon is powerful, strength of people increases during this time.
Dosha and season relation
* Vata Dosha accumulates in summer and aggravated in rainy season.
* Pitta Dosha accumulates in rainy season and aggravated in autumn.
* Kapha Dosha accumulates in winter and aggravated in spring.
Benefits of following ritucharya.
* Foremost aim of Ayurveda is to preserve health of healthy person for which dincharya( daily regime) and ritucharya (seasonal regime) are suggested. They are part of preventive medicine.
* In today's time when lifestyle disorders are increasing day by day following ritucharya is essential.
* Following recommended diet and routine for 6 ritus helps in increasing strength and immunity
* Prevent aggravation of dosha and manifestation of diseases.
* One can benefit from knowing which season favourable or unfavorable for their body type.
* Living in accordance to flow of season helps in staying in healthy.