Fall Ritucharya

Shri Wellness Fall Ritucharya.jpg

There is one constant in life and that is change. It is inevitable. So, the question is: how do we find more grace and acceptance in the face of change?

When the seasons change, the weather shifts and certain crops are ripe for planting and some don't stand a chance. As a developed species, we have created technologies that disrupt our natural rhythms. It is important more now than ever that we tune in to the innate desires that environmental change creates. We must greet the current season with ease and adopt practices that balance us from within.

This is an Ayurvedic ritucharya. Ritu is the season and charya is rule and regimen. [1] Ritucharya is a practice that tunes our diet and behavior to match the environment around us. It feels good because we cultivate ease with nature.

According to Ayurveda, fall and early winter are vata season. Vata is marked by dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile and clear qualities.

As the seasons change, consider the following practices to balance mind and body. It is suggested that one follow these practice from about October through February. However, with awareness, you will notice your desires begin to shift anyways. :)

Opt for High Quality, Warm Nourishment

Diet should include:

  • Warm, well cooked, well spiced foods such as soups and stews

  • Warming spices such as ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, cumin

  • Drink warm fluids - ideally water or tea

Avoid the Following:

  • Cold, frozen, rough, dry, raw and hard foods

  • Pre-packaged snacks - Rice cakes, chips, crackers, popcorn, dried fruit

Abhyanga or Self-Massage

Loving touch paired with warm oil is one of the best ways to ground and calm the mind and body. It also supports the nervous system which is a function of vata. Also, the daily application of oil combats the dryness that is ever-present in the fall and winter months. 

This Ayurvedic massage is best practiced in the morning. Showering after the abhyanga allows the oil to steam and soak into the body. It can also be done after the shower. Choose a seasonal oil such as sesame for the fall or opt for something lighter like olive or sunflower if you are pitta. Safflower or dry brushing is good for kappa. I like to get high quality, organic massage oils from Banyan Botanicals.  

Here is a video on how to perform the abhyanga.


Routine is a wonderful way to balance the irregular and changing aspects of vata dosha. This means eating and sleeping around the same time each day. It helps the body get into rhythm and supports regular bodily functions and elimination as well.

Slow Down

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. Look around and enjoy all that fall has to offer for the senses: beautiful leaves for the eyes and crinkling under the toes, cool air on your face, smells and tastes of warming spices. Ease up on your schedule and block out more time for self-care and to simply be. Remember that you are a human being – not human doing. ;)


[1] Ritucharya: The Answer to Lifestyle Disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361919/