Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Water and Ayurveda

Are you drinking enough water? We have all heard the importance of drinking enough water a day to maintain our body fluid levels, but did you know the benefits of water also go as far as curing all kinds of illnesses and diseases? Water is recognized in Ayurveda as crucial to creating balance and ridding the body of toxins so that the vital energy within the body flows more smoothly.

Q: What' is Ayurveda?

A: Ayurveda is a 5000 year old science of healing originating in India

Q: What is a dosha?

A: Dosha is your mind/body type according to Ayurveda


You can add spice to your water to balance your dosha:

Hydrating Vata-Balancing Water. lubricates the lower digestive tract, the seat of vata. Add a few mint leaves, one-quarter teasoon of marshmallow root, half teaspoon of fennel seeds to two quarts of boiled water. Let stand. Sip while warm.

Cooling Pitta-Balancing Water. Refreshes overactive pitta. Add quarter teaspoon of fennel seeds, two rosebuds, and one clove to two quarts of boiled water. Drink at room temperature.

Detoxifying Kapha-Balancing Water. Coldness is an attribute of kapha, so this blend is warming; it's also aids digestion. Add three basil leaves, two thin slices of fresh ginger, quarter teaspoon of cumin seeds, and half teaspoon of fennel seeds to two quarts of boiled water. Sip while warm or hot.

Q: How do I know what my dosha is?

A: Find out by taking this quiz


What about drinking water during a yoga session? Some teachers allow it, some do not. Why the fuss?

Because in yoga we're working not only the musculoskeletal system but also the pranic body. Water cools the system down and puts out the subtle fires that are needed to cleanse and purify as you move through the asanas.

It might make better sense to drink before and after class instead or at the least to sip it rather than guzzle it just before you do that headstand. As always it depends on the person, the class, the environment so be guided from within. Maintain a mindfulness and your body will guide you in the right direction.


For those of you that are interested in an ayurvedic approach to yoga, Leena works with her clients in determining their particular dosha and devising a programme that would be the most beneficial for their health and well-being. This programme can be Hatha yoga based or through the vehicle of thai massage or a combination of both.

"I take a very holistic approach," says Leena. "I look at every aspect of the person's life and then make a recommendation. Neither is it set in stone. People's bodies respond so differently. Even our mind plays a powerful role in how we view things. So the key for me is to stay in tune with what is needed but remain adaptable. Flexibility is much more than stretching the hamstrings- it's also about expanding your vision, your definition of what is appropriate in any given situation."

Leena Patel is currently based in Las Vegas where she teaches yoga and meditation to Celine Dion and A New Day. She has written numerous articles on health, yoga and spirituality and has taught across the US, Canada and in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria and the UK.

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