The Sanskrit word for immunity is BEEJ-BHUMI, which literally translates to seed and land! Our body is the land that we can either create water and nourish in a way that will guard us against viruses and bugs OR create an environment that is toxic to us but perfect for those little not so cute bugs to grow and spread through our body! Here are the ways you can boost your immunity:
Both western & ayurvedic studies have shown time and time again the close relationship between sleep and immunity. In Ayurveda, sleep is one of the key pillars of good health. Sleep gives your body the time to remove toxins that have built up in the body. It's a time for your body to replenish and rejuvenate. During this time, Ojas is produced. Ojas is the substance produced from the proper digestion of food into vitality for the body. It acts as a protective layer, almost like a shock absorber for your nervous system, which protects against stress and also enhances the immune system.
Ayurveda identifies the state of perfect quality sleep to be when the mind is totally disconnected from the senses. Therefore it is important to calm, relax, and prepare our senses for sleep. Especially since our days are usually full of stimulation! So here are some sleep well tips:
🌱Sleep by 10 pm
When I tell people 10 pm is my bedtime, the usual response is “that's so early 😂!” But lemme tell you, my body is definitely ready for sleep by that time. You can retrain your body clock, and you will genuinely feel the difference when you wake up. For me, it's no longer a struggle. My body naturally wakes me up 1 minute before my alarm every day when I go to sleep on time! Western studies have also shown the quality of sleep before 12am is superior to after! I won't go into depth with this, but in Ayurveda it says our body clock also aligns with nature's clock. Sleeping before 10 is the time of calm & stability (kappa time). When it hits after 10, there's a surge of new energy (pitta clock) and so it can be difficult to fall asleep during this time.
🌱Eat smaller lighter meals at night.
Eating large meals close to your sleep time means your body is still working during your rest time to digest the food. Instead of having sound sleep where your body is completely shut down, it is actually still in full-blown work mode. When your body starts WORKING OVERTIME, it doesn't get to do all the magical things it usually would to replenish. This being the main reason you feel lethargic even if you sleep early and get a good amount of sleep.
🌱Notebook by your bedside
If your mind is racing full of ideas or worries, keep a diary or notebook by your bed. Write down everything and get it off your mind before you lie down.
🌱 Deep breaths
As you lie down, take some deep breaths. With each exhale, find a part of your body holding tension or stress and breathe into it, releasing the tension. Keep going till every part of your body is tension free!
In short, toxins lower your immunity and so the more toxins that build up in your body, the lower your immunity will be. The more we burn up toxins, the better your immunity is...capeesh?
🍎Spice up your life
In Ayurveda, spices are thy medicine and so adding a little spice into your daily meals is an essential part of detoxing your body. Essentially this means getting rid of all the nasties and therefore building up this magical underarmor of immunity. Cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, ginger and black pepper are all great spices that burn up toxins and support immunity. The masala milk (hyperlink) includes many of these spices!
🍎 Hot water & foods
Cold foods and drinks reduce body heat and in turn reduce your digestive fire, which means your body won't be as effective in digesting foods. Undigested food ends in the production of AMA aka toxins and we already know toxins = lower immunity.
Switch out your cold water with hot water, which improves digestion but also flushes out any nasties that have built up inside your digestive tract!
Always massage upwards, towards the heart to encourage lymphatic drainage. Try long strokes on the bones and circular motions on the joints, belly, and chest.
Self-body massage. I’m pretty sure this will be welcomed with open arms by all of you. It's such a relaxing self-love practice. Everything we put onto our skin gets absorbed into the body so using good quality oils is essential! Massage helps remove toxins from the body, improves circulation and it also coats the nervous system.
Dry brushing: Another massage technique to remove any dead skin cells that could be blocking your pores. It stimulates the lymphatic system which removes toxins and also (yes, you guessed it) STRENGTHENS IMMUNITY,
Gargling with salt water twice a day can clean out bacteria and germs that may be hanging out in your nasal passage or throat before making their way into the bloodstream and compromising your immunity!
When we are stressed, it reduces the strength, efficiency, and ability of our immune system to fight the baddies. Meditating, breathwork, or just sitting still with your thoughts for a period of time during the day can significantly help with managing stress.
Another stress reliever but also an enhancer of happy hormones. Cardio makes us sweat out all those nasties too!
Sending you so much love
xx Radhi ♡