Ayurveda sees winter in a different light, where winter is actually the best season to improve immunity. Strange as it may seem, it’s not a weakening season but rather a season which provides the best opportunity to strengthen your immunity.
To understand how to improve immunity in winter, you first need to understand the unique concept of Bala(immunity).
Bala, when translated in English literally means “strength,” however unlike the western concept of physical immunity or strength, Bala goes further to include psychological immunity, and spiritual immunity. Bala provides endurance against any disturbance to these areas.
In Ayurvedic terms, immunity has a direct correlation with digestion. When the digestive system is strong and appetite is good, then immunity is strengthened. In simple terms, whatever weakens digestion weakens immunity.
Understanding Your Immunity Level
Besides diet and lifestyle, there are other factors that determine your immunity level. These include your genetics, the season of the year and your age. It is even possible to develop an established level of immunity that remains stable throughout all the ups and downs of life. The list below explains these three levels of immunity.
Three Levels of Immunity
• Genetic (Sahaj) – the innate level of immunity, which you are born with.
• Cyclical (Kalaj) – fluctuating levels of immunity due to the change of seasons, different stages of life, and planetary cycles.
• Established (Yuktikrit) – a balanced, permanent level of immunity that can be realised by following an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle.
If someone is born with a naturally low level of immunity, this factor cannot be changed. Therefore in Ayurveda, we focus on strengthening the second type of immunity, which fluctuates with the seasons, age, and planetary cycles.