Transitions are never easy. They represent that unfillable space between what was and what will be: that figurative moment of “float” between letting go of one rope and getting a stable hold on the next.
And although the transition from one season to another tends to be a no-drama affair for most of us, it has impacts on the mind and body that we can definitely notice if we paid enough attention.
In Between Seasons
Ayurveda calls this in between time “Ritu Sandhi”—the period during which we shift from one season to the next. It's a two-week timeframe that straddles the equinox of every season and we're experiencing it now. Did you notice?
Ritu Sandhi is a pretty vulnerable time for most of us, when our bodies and minds are in flux and struggling to adjust to changes in weather, daylight hours, and possibly even activities. This experience of transition, change, and shift is governed by vata, the energy of movement.
Ayurveda recommends that during seasonal shifts, we focus on keeping our vata energy under control to manage or avoid anxiety, memory lapses, dryness, constipation, or any adverse impacts to our digestion that might leave us compromised and vulnerable to colds and flus.
One of the best ways to do this is with the right spices, and one of the easiest ways to take them is in the form of tea! Here are two of my favorite digestive tea recipes for balancing vata during the change of seasons!
Digestive Tea for Balancing Vata
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 black peppercorns
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 3 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 2 quarts/liters water
Lightly crush the seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add spices and ginger. Steep 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten (with honey after it cools), or drink unsweetened. You can also take this tea at room temperature. It's great to sip throughout the day.
Vata Tea II
- 1/4 tsp cardamom pods
- 1/4 tsp ajwan or caraway seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 cup water
Gently crush the pods and seeds using a mortar and pestle. Boil the water and add the spices. Cover, turn off the heat and let sit a few minutes. Sweeten according to taste or drink unsweetened.
To Your Health!
Since qualities of vata include cold, dry, and light, managing it with tea is also a great way to sneak in warmth and hydration which work together during the transition to keep you grounded. So prepare and enjoy it with love as you make the smooth transition to the new season.
Here's to a healthy, happy Ritu Sandhi!