Self-Care Starts with Gut Health | The Driven Yogi
It’s the new year, which means yoga classes will probably be filled to the brim with new students (or those who fell off of their practice). While this is a great problem for teachers to have, it can also be a curse. Since teachers will be giving more of their energy to students, this is the time of year when their self-care has to be at the top of the list – and it starts with gut health! Yoga studio owner and teacher, Rachel Rajput, shares how she protects herself from getting sick during this time of year and how teachers can protect themselves too.
Contributor: Rachel Rajput, Studio Owner and Yoga Teacher
During this time of year people always wonder why I never get ‘what's going around,’ and I firmly believe it's because I drink kombucha religiously. This fermented drink has so many health benefits, and every chance I get, I like to tell people (especially yoga teachers) how they can hop on the train to gut health, too.
What is kombucha?
Simply put, kombucha is a fermented drink made of black tea*, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. It is made from the same chemical reaction that creates wine, beer, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, and tons of other foods and beverages. This delightful beverage is made using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), sometimes called the 'mother’, which looks kind of like a mushroom. More on this powerful bacteria culture a bit later…
Why drink fermented tea for gut health?
We live in a world of food and drinks that are irradiated, GMO'd, sprayed with pesticides, chemicals, and everything else under the sun. We are also a society dependent on antibiotics and hand sanitizer. All of these things combine to kill off most of the bacteria that lives in our gut, even the good bacteria, the kind we need to fight off cold germs, yeast infections, and other nasties. So it's no wonder that come cold season, our poor immune systems fight a losing battle to all of the germs. Enter kombucha. This powerful beverage brings billions of these bacteria back into our bodies, which rev up our immune systems and provide us with rich probiotics that help promote healthy digestion along with other benefits. Keep in mind kombucha is a product of its own environment. This means that the bacteria that lives in your house, in your cabinet, will go into it, thus, helping to protect you from the germs in the same environment. This is a reason why making kombucha yourself boosts your immune system more than consuming store-bought fermented foods and drinks.
Getting started with gut health - purchase or obtain a SCOBY!
If I haven’t lost you yet, you may be wondering how you can jump on the bandwagon to gut health. Well, first things first - you’ll need a SCOBY to get started. You can either purchase your own, or if you have a friend who makes their own kombucha, get one from them. The best thing about a SCOBY is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. While kombucha is fermenting it is creating layers upon layers of itself. All your kombucha making friend would have to do is peel back those layers and give them away, thus spreading the love for gut health.
So if you haven’t tried it yet, now is your chance to try one of my favorite kombucha recipes. In a few weeks time you may notice yourself getting less colds and the other bugs that everyone else is getting constantly.
*For the caffeine sensitive folks: use herbal tea instead of black tea. You’ll get all the health benefits without being up all night.
Rachel Rajput (ERYT-500) is the founder and owner of Left Coast Power Yoga. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, three-year-old daughter (with another on the way), and dog, Enzo.