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Ayurvedic Shishir Ritucharya: Complete Self-Care Guide for Late Winter

Sisira ritucharya January 14 till march 14

India calendar of makha and phalguni

The last two months of winter is composed of hemanta and sisira

Sisira makes the onset of aadhana kala which literally means taking away of dehydration

Nights are longer than days which starts to become shorter as ritu progresses

Hemanta ritu accompanies with dryness of air too

Characterized by intense cold and dryness ,occasional clouds ,wind and rainfall

Bala – pravara

Agni – strong by the virtue of the sun just coming out of the south and moving towards north

Dosahvastha – aggravated vata

This is a prime time to build immunity and ojas in our bodies according to Ayurveda.

Diet to be followed during sisira

§  Foods that are sweet, sour and salty are especially beneficial in cold, dry winters.

§   Bitter and spicy foods should be avoided as they tend to increase dryness in the body according to Ayurveda.

§  Heavy foods such as fats and dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, ghee can be taken to balance vata and kapha doshas as per Ayurveda.  due to  intense jataragni

§  Kidney beans, black beans (urad dal), grains and products made from grains (wheat, rice) should be consumed.

§  Sweet products made from sugarcane extracts like jaggery etc.

§  Wheat and wheat products, new grains such as rice, and other nutrition rich diet like dates, dry fruits, etc. are also recommended.

§  Special herbal wines (not to be consumed for intoxication) and honey can be taken.

§  One should particularly avoid taking cold foods and drinks and should drink warm water or ginger tea in winter.

§  Use of potato, sweet potato, carrot, beetroot, pumpkin, ash guard etc is good

§  For an increased immunity during winter season, Ayurveda suggests consuming a Chyavanprash in the morning.

§  Fruits like apple , guava , grapes , dry fruits dates are good .



Life style Shishir Ritu :

§  Warm baths, sauna and living in a warm house are beneficial due to accumulation of kapha dosha.

§  Heavy, warm, dry clothes should be worn. The fabrics that are mentioned are: silk, leather, jute, thick cotton, wool etc. This is in line with Ayurvedic recommendations during shishir ritucharya.

§  Do vigorous exercises. wrestling is recommended,

§  Regular body massage with oil according to individuals prakruti should be done.Head massage is also recommended. Massage not only generates heat, thereby providing respite from the cold, but it also keeps Vata dosha from getting aggravated.

§  Steam bath (swedan) should regularly be taken.

§  After bath, apply ‘lepa’ (anointment) of heat generating herbs like ‘kesar’ (saffron), ‘aguru’ (aloe wood).

§  Do ‘dhoopana ’ (Fumigation  of the room with smoke from the embers of an herb) of aguru in the room. Inhalation of the ‘dhoop’ from aguru keeps the respiratory passage clear, and removes kapha

§  Expose oneself to morning sun rays for natural sudation (sweating)



Avoid bitter , too much spicy food items .

Avoid dry , cold & light food .

Lady’s finger , spinach , pulses are not advised .

Should not expose to cold and strong breeze .

Avoid fasting .

Day sleeping is not advised .


What are the months of Shishir Ritu?

Mid January to Mid march  falls sisira ritu

What is Ritucharya in yogic lifestyle?

Ritu expresses  different effects on the body and environment .Ancient science Ayurveda has  imported various rules and dietary regimens which has to be followed in each season which has to be and could be followed easily, per Ayurveda.  to balance the bodys homeostasis

What are the seasons of Visarga Kaal?

Hemanta ,saadh and varsha are the seasons of visarga kala (Southern solstice)

What are the festivals in Shishir Ritu?

Festivals like lohri ,pongal and makara sankranthi  falls in sisira

Come to think about it, isn’t it amazing that some of the major festivals are celebrated during the winter season, as if it is nature’s way of telling us to indulge in eating heavier and more nourishing? 

In winter as our agni is strong ,it can digest any amount of  heavy intake likw sweets ,milk and diary products .The festive dishes are also designed like that

For example in makara sankranthi – pongal is made in tamilnadu which favours ghee ,milk and dhal ,cashews etc

Chikki out of til is made which keeps the body warm

How Does Massage Help You in Winter?

The winter can cause ache, discomforts, pain in joints and muscles. Regular massages enhance the blood flow, can warm the body and improve the body functions according to Ayurveda.




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