Divine Cold Water Immersion (Cold Bathing & Thermogenesis)

Dylan Smith bathing in cold water

Your ice melted into sharp divine nourishment.

Your feminine nature to care for my muscles that have been playfully mangled by mountains is comfortably appreciated by my inner child. Adored by the masculine in me that treasures this inter-linked support system: - Purusha & Prakriti.

The local peripheral skin cooling sensitises my hormones and optimises adipose (fat) tissue without damaging the overlying skin or the underlying muscle layers. - SamaDhatu

Your ability to purify imbues dignity, wealth, comfort and abundance as I bathe in your pure untouched icy-cold sacred hexagonal structures. - Laksmi

While I simply float and breathe, your effortless flow treats to me to a remarkable vascular workout. - Hrdaya❤️

You provide dynamic circumstances to align me with my breath, ultimately for euphoric mastery over my body. - Prana

You stimulate mitochondria to produce thermal heat (thermogenesis) which turns up the metabolism, activates the thyroid gland and enhances cellular communication. - Arogya

Benefits of Bathing in Cold Water

There are many benefits of bathing with cold water, or subjecting your body to extremely cold temperatures (thermogenesis):

  • Vascular workout - Vassal dilating your blood vessels (we have about 100,000km of blood vessels in our body which are not normally under our voluntary control). Open blood vessels with hot water and close with cold water.
  • Taking control over your breath = mastery over your body. Psychology. Remaining comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. But for those who cannot be comfortable, it is not good.
  • Immune system boost - High adrenaline response suppresses the immune system. Psycho-neuro-immunology: the link between our mind, nervous system, immune system and our brain.
  • Invigorating 
  • Communicates with and up-regulates mitochondria.
  • Induces brown fat production (around big blood vessels, heart and lungs) fat is brown because it is so dense with mitochondria. These mitochondria produce thermal heat (thermogenesis) rather than ATP. They encourage white-fat metabolism.
  • Turns up metabolism and activates the thyroid gland.
  • Cold suppresses the mTOR pathway, a molecular signaling pathway that is responsible for either growth or repair, depending on whether it is stimulated or inhibited. To up-regulate maintenance and repair, boost longevity, and reduce your risk for cancer, you need to suppress the mTOR pathway, and the most efficient way to do this is to limit your protein intake.
  • Helps sleep.
  • Cells become more efficient - Hypoxia forces your body to clean up the house and become more efficient in how they handle oxygen. When the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is deficient, the cells freak out, their life is on the line. So any free oxygen radicals get mopped up, any proteins that have malformed get auto-phaged, any cells that are pre-cancerous, aging, not working well, abhorrent get apoptosed (cell death). 
  • Promotes cell stem circulation to regenerate tissues - since stem cells live in hypoxic environments and 

Excerpt from: Water: The Basis Of Life, Therapeutic Bathing, Cold Water Immersion & Extreme Wellness | Professor Marc Cohen #014

Note of Caution

Cold Water Thermogenesis should be enjoyed and have some feelings of comfort.

There are risks of cold shock (it is rare), and your cardiac risks should be low.

It is important to ease gradually and gently into cold water immersion, do not push yourself. If you perform abhyanga before, and immerse in beautiful fluoride free nature it will be easier.

Skin colour of pink to cherry red is fine, but if it is white it is excessive. Shivering is not a good sign.

Do you do cold water bathing? Comment below 👇

For more info:

Doshas and their Gunas (Qualities) and Functions

Learning the inherent Qualities (Gunas) and Characteristics (Lakshana) of each Vata, Pitta and Kapha provides a good framework to grasp an understanding of the nature of these doshas, or bio-energies.

Learning or perhaps memorising those the classical texts (sastras) mentioned provides more expertise as these are authoritative and pure teachings.

Some of these translations don't do the sanskrit words justice. It is wise to learn the sanskrit since sanskrit is the sound that nature makes when intending form, function or phenomena. These "sounds" are expressing the quality or function of the dosha. These words are onomatopoetic, not symbolic.

GUNAS (Qualities)

Vata: Akasha (Space) and Vayu (Air) Elements

Vata Gunas

Tatra rukso laghuh sitah kharaha suksmascalo ‘nilaha (A.H. ch 1. 11)

  1. Ruksha - dry.
  2. Laghu - light.
  3. Shita - cold (and dry).
  4. Kara - rough. With dryness.
  5. Suksma - subtle.
  6. Chala - (constant) movement. Like a snake or ant.
  7. Sara - lubricated movement (Caraka).
  8. Vishada - dry slippery like the touch of a reptile. (Caraka). e.g. Kapikachu (Mucuna prurita) before touching it is vishada.

Pitta: Tejas (Fire) and Apa (Water) Elements

Pitta Gunas

Pittam Sasneha tiktsnosnam laghu visram saram dravam (A.H. ch 1. 12)

 

  1. Sasneha - little less unctuousness. Hot due to paka (digestion) in transformation process. Feels like the wick of a ghee lamp.
  2. Tiksha - sharp.
  3. Usna - hot. e.g. aggressive and angry voice and chilli on tongue is sharp and hot (Tiksnonam).
  4. Laghu - light. 
  5. Visram - foul, fermented, strong. (not part of 20 gunas).
  6. Sara - slippery, like banana peel. 
  7. Drava - liquid.
  8. Amla - sour (Caraka)
  9. Katu - pungent (Caraka) 

Kapha: Prthvi (Earth) and Apa (Water) Elements

Kapha Gunas

Snigdha Shito Gsurur Mandaha Ślaksno mrtsnaha sthiraha Kaphaha (A.H. ch 1. 12) 

  1. Snigdha - unctuousness.
  2. Shita - cold.
  3. Guru - heavy - stable movement, solid.
  4. Manda - dull, slow.
  5. Slakshna - smooth (like ice-cream).
  6. Mrtsnah - greasy. Magnetic attraction. Binding. (not in 20 gunas, not even 41 gunas).
  7. Sthira - stable.
  8. Hema - very cold. With water quality (Susruta).
  9. Madhura - Sweet. (caraka) Pleasantness. Ojas.
  10. Mrdhu - soft. (Caraka).

Characteristics of Healthy Doshas

General Functions of Vata

  • Praspandanamrespiratory movements
  • Udvahanam – carrying dosas, dhatus, malas here and there
  • Pūranamfilling the respective viscera with āhāra rasa
  • Vivekahsegregation of rasa (essence) and malas (waste)
  • Dhāranamupholding / maintenance of the body. - Since vata governs movements and nourishment of the tissues, this way it upholds and maintains.

Vata Lakshana (Characteristics of Normal Vata)

  1. Utsaha - Enthusiasm
  2. Ucchvasa - Inhalation.
  3. Nivsvasa - Exhalation.
  4. Cesta - Action of all bodily functions. Peristalsis, circulation.
  5. Dhatu gatih sama - Proper development of dhatus.
  6. Samo mokso gatimatam - Proper elimination of malas.
  7. Vega Pravatana (Completing) (Vaghbata, Sutrastana. Ch. 11 (1))

General Functions of Pitta

Pitta Lakshana (Characteristics of Normal Pitta)

  1. Darshana (vision).
  2. Pakti (digestion)
  3. Usman - body warmth
  4. Trsna and krsut - thirst and hunger
  5. Deha (body) Mardava (soft) - eg. heat old bread to become softer.
  6. Prabha - glow. Radiant.
  7. Prasada - pleasant.
  8. Medha - intellect. Digesting information. Also if you have a digestive problem your intellect cannot function properly.

According to Vaghbata:

  1. Meda - fat
  2. Dhi - acquisition of information.
  3. Shaudya - bravery.
  4. Tanu mardave - soft body.
  5. Ruchi - taste in everything. Enjoying mentally and physically

General Functions of Kapha

  • Sandhisamślesana - Unification of joints and Unction
  • Ropana - Wound healing (because of apa bhuta / water element)
  • Pūranakrt - promoting corpulence - because of being abundant and massive;
  • Balakrt - strengthening
  • Sthairyakrt - providing firmness in trika joint (scapula junction) or in all locations of kapha.

Kapha Lakshana (Characteristics of Normal Kapha)

  1. Sneha - friendly, oily.
  2. Bandha - binding.
  3. Sthira - stability.
  4. Gaurava - heaviness.
  5. Vrsata - virility and endurance.
  6. Bala - power.
  7. Ksama - tolerance.
  8. Dhrti - patience and bring knowledge into action
  9. Alobha - not greedy.
Vagbhata:
  • Sthiratva - stability.
  • Snigdhava - oily.
  • Sandhi bandha - binding joints.

Dosha Lakshana as per Caraka Samhita, Ch. 18,(49-51).

Vrdhini Lakshana (Characteristics of Increased Doshas)

Vata Vrdhini Lakshana (Characteristics of Increased Vata)

  1. Kasha - emaciation.
  2. Karsnya - darkness.
  3. Usnakamatva - Liking the hot.
  4. Kampa - tremors.
  5. Ānāha - distention and disturbing in intestines.
  6. Śakrt (fecal matter) grahān (catch) - a type of constipation.
  7. Bala bhramsha - energy. Bhramsha = moves out of its place.
  8. Nidra bhramsha.
  9. Indriya brahmsha.
  10. Pralapa - excessive talking. Whatever comes you will say. Unnecessary.
  11. Brahma - delusions/illusions.
  12. Dinata - Timid. Lowliness (low in status). Begging/contrast. Like a king who has to beg.

Credits:

Slohkas chanted by Vaidya A.V. Raju

Pitta Vrdhini Lakshana (Characteristics of Increased Pitta)

Peeta vinmutra netra tvak.

  1. Peeta - yellow.
  2. Vit - (yellow) fecal matter.
  3. Mutra - (yellow) urine.
  4. Netra - (yellow) eyes.
  5. Tvak - (yellow) skin.
  6. Kshut - hunger.
  7. Trt - thirst.
  8. Daha - burning sensation.
  9. AlpaNidraha - Less sleep, insomnia - easy to get to sleep but wake up early, sleep disturbed with emotions.

Kapha Vrdhini Lakshana (Characteristics of Increased Kapha)

  1. Slesma Agni sadanam - displace of agni.
  2. Praseka - excess saliva.
  3. Alasya - lazy.
  4. Gauravam - heaviness.
  5. Shvaitya - pale skin, white.
  6. Shaitya - coldness.
  7. Shlathangatva - unstable like jelly. Like a baby walking.
  8. Swasa - dyspnoea.
  9. Kasa - cough.
  10. Atinidrata - excess sleeping.

Learn more by learning the sub-doshas

Credits:

  • Slohkas chanted by Vaidya A.V. Raju. Slohkas from Astanga Hrdayam.
  • General functions of doshas - Susruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Ch 15
  • Dosha Lakshana - Caraka Samhita, Ch. 18,(49-51) and Astanga Hrdaya.
  • Gunas of each dosha – Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata – Sutra Sthana.
  • Dosha Vrdhi - Astanga Hrdaya, S.S. Ch. 11,(6-15) / Astanga Samgraha Ch. 19: Knowledge of Dosas.
  • Watercolour paintings (copyright) by Dylan Smith.