- Exercise & Fitness
Yoga for Healthy Life
Pravin Vaghani at Uluru
Yoga helps Healthy Life
Healthy Life means Long Life
Health of your body is very important to live a happy and long life. It is said that health is more important than the wealth. This is known very well to most people. Yet, in the chase of amassing wealth people tend to ignore the importance of health and the steps necessary to take to maintain it. People work long hours, sleep less, either don’t eat enough or eat junk kind of food that does not provide them enough nourishment required by the body for the work it is demanded to perform.
When the blood pressure rises, electro-cardiogram indicates a weakening heart, you can’t climb even one flight of stairs without running out breadth, blood sugar level is out of control then suddenly your doctor advises you to start going to a gym for regular exercises, change your diet or take a long holiday and go to a health resort.
Schedules in some of the best health resorts are very strict and arduous. You have to go to sleep early, get up early. They keep you on a simple vegetarian diet, lots of fruits and fruit juices, no newspaper, no television. Yoga and meditation are inseparable parts of such health resort. Suddenly you have been cut off from your business and financial activities. By the end of the holiday you are refreshed and rejuvenated and feel as if you are ready for another bout of your health destroying session.
Would it not be nice, prudent and thoughtful if you incorporated these kind of elements in your daily routine life so that your health never deteriorates and you don’t need to have a compulsory holiday in a health resort !
The simplest way to do is incorporate habit of Relaxation and Meditation in your daily routine life. And of course make a small change in your diet habit as well.
The starting point will be strengthen your mind body. Learning to relax and do meditation are the first basic necessity of deriving the most benefits from the Yoga routine.
Before you sit down for meditation it is best to relax your body and mind.
Select a quiet place in the house. Less the outside noise, better it is. You may play a soft, soothing instrumental music in the background to keep out the effect of outside noise. An abstract or classical music, not related to any vocal song is preferable as otherwise the mind may be distracted to follow the music with the words of the song.
For the purpose of relaxation you may sit on a chair or a sofa in a comfortable position or if possible lie down on the floor flat on your back.
To start with, you first make your body very stiff. Clench your fists very hard, contract and tighten every muscle of your body as hard as you can. Take two deep breaths in that position. Then slowly let go all the tightness from your body.
Unclench your fists and loosen both hands to the limit as if they have become lifeless. Then start relaxing from the toes and work upward on the body. Wiggle the toes a few times and let them lose. Then relax the ankles. Relax calf muscles, then thighs, abdomen, chest and finally neck. Feel as if the whole body is free of energy and lifeless. Breath normally, without putting any effort in it. Stay in this condition for at least five minutes, or as long as you wish.
During the time of relaxation, withdraw your mind from thinking about all the mundane things of the life and concentrate on thinking about your body and the process of relaxation only. Imagine as if you are looking inside your body, inspecting it, moving your eyes from head to legs. Appreciate your brain and its capacity. If you wish to think in the modern technical terms, your brain is the biggest and the fastest computer designed by the Universal Force and it is given to you Free! Its storage capacity is millions times more than the biggest computer and its speed of work is thousands time faster than the fastest computer ever designed by a human being. Only thing faster than light in this universe is your thought.
Also marvel at the efficiency of heart which, on an average, pulsates 72 times a minute(that is 37.843,200 per year) without missing a beat and circulates the blood through the body that keeps you alive and helps you perform the daily functions. Man hasn’t yet designed a machine that will not break down with wear and tear after that many repeatations.
And then there are many glands which take care of different functions in the body. So you have plenty to think about during relaxation instead of letting the mind wander off in different directions and unimportant matters.
If properly relaxed, some people may even fall asleep! And that is okay.
Then slowly wake up your body. Stretch your hands above your head, stand up and do a few body movements. Now your body is ready for meditation.
First put your body in a comfortable position. You may sit on a chair or sofa., but not slumped into it. Keep your back vertically straight as much as you can.
The best posture, as recommended by the Rushis(The learned men) who researched, experimented and developed this form of mind control thousands of years ago in India, is to sit on the floor cross legged in Siddhasan(Sidhha+Asan) or Padmasan(Pdma+Asan). Siddha means comfortable, Padma means Lotus and Asan means Posture
For Siddhasan you sit on the floor with your legs stretched. Then first bend the left leg, keeping it touching the floor, and rest it touching the toes to the right thigh or the bottom. After that, bend the right leg similarly and bring it to rest on top of the left leg.(you can do it other way around also, that is, bending the right leg first and resting the left leg on top of it.) This posture or Asan is considered very comfortable and with practice, one can sit for a long time in this posture.
Stretch the two hands straight in front of your body, touching the corresponding knees. Hold the index finger touching the thumb and the remaining three fingers straight – this is called ‘Gyan Mudra’, (Gyan = Knowledge, Mudra = Posture of fingers. There are ten such Mudras and each helps the body and mind in a special way.)
Close your eyes gently and breath naturally, slowly and effortless. Do not pay any attention to your breathing and let it happen as it normally does.