Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Staying Hydrated Through the Seasons

Drinking enough water is vital for our overall health and wellbeing, but also how we drink it is equally important.  Keeping our digestive fire alight and bright so to speak enables our body to digest well and eliminate the toxins from what it is we are ingesting, and from the process of ingesting, drinking iced drinks is like throwing water over that fire and invariably compromising our digestion, causing indigestion and increasing the toxins.  It is better to drink a little warm water with your meals that will soften and aid digestion, and to not drink too much an hour before we eat and an hour after we eat allowing the digestion to perform well.  Drinking and eating on the go are a definite no no as this confuses the function of digestion, try to take time for the process of hydrating and nourishing yourself as something special, a time for you, a time to enjoy your food or your drinks, fully focusing on the taste and goodness you are taking and giving a little thanks to all those who have worked to put that nourishment in front of you. 
Often we get so busy through the day that we simply forget to drink, and in evening classes I see students muscles cramping because they are suffering with dehydration without even realising.  If drinking just plain water is a turn off to you then here a few tips to make it a little more interesting and to keep in line with the seasons –

This season can bring a little heaviness and loss of physical strength so warming up our water can help.  Add a little honey with lemon, fresh or dried ginger or cumin seeds to lighten the heaviness.

Summer can be hot and fiery (depending on where you live!) so cooling properties are good, add mint or fennel seeds.  Chewing on fennel seeds also can refresh the breath, and treat indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating and irritable bowel.

Autumn can be windy, dry and a season of change where grounding and warming are needed to maintain balance.  During this time squeezing fresh lemon and adding a little honey to warm water will be beneficial, or a little cardamom. 

During this time with less daylight a little cinnamon, fresh or dried ginger, tulsi or star anise will help to keep agni (internal fire) balanced.  Winter with these shorter days is more a time for journeying inward and like the plants a time for rest.

With these seasonal mocktails to spice up our water consumption we can stay more in tune with the seasons, stay hydrated and balanced.  Remember that if you are using honey the water should be warm as adding honey to boiling water will turn all the goodness into to toxins. 
Let us stay healthy and glowing with our water intake
For now have beautiful days and enjoy every ray of light and every drop of water!
Om Om Shanti Om
Mangala / Nicky

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