Ice is not that Nice!
By Chahna Tailor
It’s summer. It’s hot. What is the instinctive way to cool ourselves down? Water, iced. Super cold. You can immediately feel a reduction in heat!
Whenever I am asked about Ayurveda tips that can be easily integrated into our daily routine, the first thing I suggest is to hold off on the ice. The suggestion is usually met with wide eyes and disbelief. No ice?! No way!
But, there’s a good reason for it! In Ayurvedic medicine, the Sanskrit word for digestive fire is agni. Our digestive fire metabolizes and converts the food that we eat into energy. If our agni is not working effectively, then we start to see disorder in the digestive system and even other areas of the body. But, just focusing on digestion, if our agni tends to be working slower than usual, we will be faced with a sluggish metabolism.
Cold water is a big contributor. When we drink cold water, it requires a lot of our energy to bring the temperature back up. In science, we talk about how coldness can constrict the flow of nutrients and blood through the body. That is why you will see a lack of circulation in cold areas. Warmth promotes circulation and encourages movement and stimulation.
When it comes to cold water and our agni, it is like throwing water on a fire – it extinguishes it. In Ayurveda, like increases like. So, if you want to stimulate good digestion and fire up your agni (pun intended!), you should drink warm (to hot) water. Even right before a meal, just a small sip of warm water can jump start the digestion process and increase your ability to metabolize what you eat.
It can be difficult to implement this. I mean, who wants to drink warm water when the weather is so hot or when we’ve just finished exercising? If you cannot take warm or hot water, even room temperature water is better than cold water. You can always add cooling elements to it by adding mint leaves, cucumbers, and/or lime. Or make yourself a room temperature tea with hibiscus flowers, chamomile, or licorice!
It takes a little time to get used to it, but it is possible. I’ve started doing it and have even converted my cold-water-loving dad!
About the Author
Chahna Tailor is a Yoga Instructor and Ayurvedic Health Counselor with a background in occupational therapy. Chahna completed her yoga training in Rishikesh and recently completed an Ayurveda internship in Kannur, Kerala. Chahna’s company, Namaskar To You provides yoga, pranayama,meditation, and Ayurveda services. . She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ayurvedic Medicine.