From The Yoga Body Diet by Kristen Schultz Dollard & John Douillard, DC, PhD
“The Sanskrit word Ayurveda translates to “science” (ayur) and “life” (veda), literally, “the science of life.” At 5,000 years old, it is once of the world’s oldest medical systems. Today, 80% of India’s population continues to use Ayurveda exclusively or combined with Western medicine…
Ayurveda’s preventive mission is to purify the mind, body, and soul. Its target: to prevent or remedy digestive problems. According to Ayurveda, diseases often start with improper digestion. When we eat, undigested molecules of food (called ama) stick to tissues and, over time, cause damage and destruction. Think about how cholesterol clogs arteries or how cigarette smoke renders lungs black. Ayurveda maintains that if you eat the wrong foods, your body can’t be expected to process the impurities, and the result is clogged drains.
You have have experienced this is you have elimination problems, skin rashes or breakouts, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or stomach acidity. Why do we suffer from these conditions? According to Ayurveda, it’s because the body has been unable to break down ama. As if symptoms of digestive duress weren’t hard enough to contend with, the buildup of ama makes it hard for us to burn off bulk fat. THe body is too busy to break down fat. Ultimately, if the body is unable to attend to normal processes, illness and disease result.
Ayurveda, in conjunction with a simple yoga practice, detoxifies the body. The Yoga Body Diet will cleanse the digestive system and renovate your health. Once the digestive system’s plumbing is in working order, the body can get back to breaking down fat, creating energy, and keeping your immunity high.
Drinking warm water may seem ridiculously simple, but it is going to be one of the most profound changes you will make. Here’s why: 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. If you’re one of them, congratulations! This is a good problem to have because it’s so easy to remedy. Up to 5 pounds of weight loss is just waiting to happen. Researchers know that in order for your metabolism—the built-in calorie-torcher toiling away 24 hours a day—to work to its fullest potential, your body’s cells need to be well hydrated. Just as you feel sluggish when you’re parched, your cells—and thus your metabolism—drag when deprived of water.
Why must it be warm water? Some diets claim that your body burns calories when you drink iced water because your internal systems have to heat the water to meet your internal thermostat. That’s perfect if you want to pull the emergency brake on effective digestion. Here’s the play-by-play: Cold water causes the muscles and blood vessels in your gastrointestinal tract to freeze. Warm water, on the other hand, relaxes the muscles and dilates the blood vessels. The dilations allows the breakdown (technically called “assimilation”) and absorption of the contents of your meal to occur more efficiently. And we now know that any trick that makes stress feel unwelcome means more motivation for the body to get skinny, stat.
According to Ayurveda, warm water is a natural detoxifier. Warm water mops up impurities as it travels through your meandering and—dare we say—overtaxed-for-decades digestive system, sweeping away molecules left behind from partially digested food that could be slowing down what nature intended to be an enviably swift metabolic rate.
When should you sip? Any time you experience between-meal hunger or cravings, have one or two cups of warm water and wait ten minutes. If your pangs pass, it may have been thirst. Often, the brain confuses thirst and hunger because the same region, the hypothalamus detects both. Boil water once or twice during the day and keep it in a large thermos. Electric teakettles and warm water dispensers are easy to find at most offices.”