Understanding Bala = 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.
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 realized by following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If someone is born with a naturally low level of immunity, this factor cannot be changed. Therefore we should focus on strengthening the second type of immunity, which fluctuates with the seasons, age, and planetary cycles.
One reason why winter is a good season for building immunity is that the digestive fire (Agni) is stronger in cold weather. Just as your home’s heating system works harder in cold weather, so your inner digestive fire is strengthened during this time.
Winter is the season when nature is ready to nurture us. Due to the digestive level being very high, people feel hungrier, and can actually digest food much better, thus nourishing their bodies more. People think that this season is bad for immunity because as appetite increases, people start eating more junk food and heavy, hard to digest foods, and thus weaken their immunity. But it’s important to realize that we are facilitating a weak immunity system.
For this reason, it’s more important that we eat immunity-boosting food in winter, and that we follow the ayurvedic daily routine. This should be your regimen in winter to nourish your mind and body!