Fall–changeable and unpredictable, one day is sunny and warm, the other is chilly with maybe even some rain. It’s a season of harvest and markedly shorter days and longer nights.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, Fall is understood as the season where Pitta is at it’s peak. In India, Fall is the transitional period from the Monsoon season, where Vata is at it’s peak, to Winter where all three doshas are at a lull. Here, we do not have a monsoon season, just a long period of accumulated heat and dryness that starts sometime in Spring and continues to the first real rains. This has led many here to say that Vata is at it’s peak in fall. Classically though, Vata is at it’s peak during the colder, rainy period and so may be at it’s peak in early winter here.
Some recent science investigating seasonal gene variation found similarities in gene expression during monsoon season in equatorial climates and cold winter season in more northern climates.
A colleague and I are doing a study investigating this–we’ll be needing people to volunteer to collect data on what they are feeling in their bodies to match up against what practitioners are observing here and in India. It’s a pilot study, so we hope that it will lead to further research. If you’re interested in volunteering to collect data, stay tuned. We’ll be sending the survey out in a month or two.
For now, it would seem that attention to both Pita and Vata should be the order of the day and individually we should attend to whether we predominantly feel hot, dry, oily and/or cold and act accordingly.