The element of Water: In Sanskrit Jala जल

Over the past few weeks we have posted information about three of the elements: Akash (ether), Vayu (air) 💨 and Teja or Agni 🔥 (Fire). The fourth element we will discuss today is Jala 💧 water.

Many of you are familiar with the Ayurvedic tip to refrain from drinking cold water. You may be surprised to learn that there are certain situations where the classical texts indicate recommendations for cold water.

  • Recommended in fainting, called murcha in Sanskrit.
  • Excessive heat vitiation of Pitta.
  • Alchohol consumption.
  • Giddiness.
  • Physical fatigue.
  • Vomitting.

However, warm water is almost always recommended to clients, as it is light (laghu), digestive stimulating and alleviates all the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). Check the Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthana 5:18 for further references regarding Jala.

It is particularly important to avoid cold water 💧 in conditions of pratisyaya (cold), flatulence, aruchi (anorexia), hiccups and immediately after an oleation therapy (oil massage).

But why is cold water avoided? Drinking cold or excessive amounts of water before or after a meal can suppress your digestive fire. Water intake after your meal can result in weight gain and should only be taken in small quantities during your meal. It is also recommended to avoid iced drinks and sparkling water while eating, as this also slows down the digestive process.

So, how much warm water should you drink with your meals? 🤔

Ayurveda recommends that 1/3 of the stomach capacity should be filled with water 💧 1/3 be filled with food solids 🍚 and 1/3 with air/ space 🌬 This ratio enables the food to churn.

Think of it this way – imagine a pot of soup filled to the top. The quantity makes it difficult to stir your food and perhaps your food would start to boil over during the cooking process. The same is true for your stomach capacity!

Simple tip: Keep your water jug outside the fridge and try drinking room temperature water instead of cold water.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Jala, the water element. Wishing you a great day!

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* 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘎𝘈. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘺𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘺, 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘴.

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