Healthy Living

Our thoughts shape us up

Upset about your growing waist line…. then ‘being upset’ could be adding more to it. It all begins with the mind and I firmly believe that our body is the reflection of our mind. Pick up any comic book and ask a child to identify the hero or the villain ……believe me, even without reading, a child can identify based on the facial and body structure of the characters.

Yes, our thoughts shape us up. A healthy mind is the key to a healthy body.

healthy mind, healthy body

The modern way of living brings with it higher levels of stress, strain, anxiety and a 24 x 7 sub-conscious brain activity pattern. Left to its own, it is a recipe for disaster. For this is where our inner forces of emotion, habits and mental conditioning end up making us feel tired and out of sorts. Being under constant stress has a direct impact on our endocrine system which essentially maintains our optimal homeostasis. When the functioning of our glands are compromised it reflects immediately on the hormone production and metabolism that makes us gain or lose  weight.

Ever come across the term ‘Adrenal Fatigue’.
Adrenal fatigue is a result of our adrenal glands not being able to cope up with stress. When we are stressed physically or emotionally our adrenals have to respond and maintain homeostasis. If their response is inadequate, we are likely to experience some degree of adrenal fatigue. Symptoms of Adrenal fatigue include:
– feeling tired for no reason
– trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour
– feeling rundown or overwhelmed
– difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness
– crave for salty and sweet snacks
– feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6 pm

When essential energy is not available for taking care of day to day requirements of the body our metabolism is disturbed and our weight balance takes a beating. We could either start gaining weight or losing it rapidly.

Apart from just weight thoughts affect our range of motion, eating habits, sleep pattern, quality of skin, smile, eyes, response to situations, digestion, blood pressure, breathing and so on. Every cell in our body is affected by our thought pattern.

To sustain the balance in our body or to regain it we need to balance our thoughts or the mind. This is where Asanas, Meditation, Pranayama, Yam and Niyam play a vital role. Yoga knows how to power the brain and more importantly, when to power it off to a mode that helps switch off! This is achieved by getting into Asanas that are directed towards bringing inner peace and well-being, higher energy levels and the ability to handle situations better. Meditation and Pranayama equips us to manage stress effectively and the body works to its full efficiency.

So if you think you need a balanced healthy body that keeps you energetic and full of life then look nowhere but in your mind.

Namaste,

Kamal Maliramani

http://www.energizeryoga.in
http://www.facebook.com/EnergizerYoga

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Healthy Living

10 steps to healthy eating

There are loads of advice about diet plans and what to eat but there are even more basic and essential points that we miss to understand or implement while eating. Here are ten such aspects, if followed, that can keep us healthy, fit and lean:

1) Drink solid. Eat liquid.

You read that right. The process of digestion begins when we start chewing and saliva acts on it. It makes sense for the food to spend sufficient time here and get prepared for the digestive track. The idea of drinking solid is to chew the solids till it turns liquid and we should allow liquids to stay and relish it, not just gulp it. Chewing food properly prepares the stomach to be ready with the digestive enzymes and makes it easier for it to break the food for further process.

2) Remain stress free 

The primary role of our Energy system is to combat stress, be it physical, mental or emotional. This is followed by helping the process of digestion. Now if we are stressed in any form and eat it would be of no help to us cos the system needs to first manage stress. Remember the good words from our parents that discouraged us from eating immediately when we ran back home. Learn to stay focused on food and eat with a peaceful mind. Ideally before eating wash your feet, hands, face and pour a little water on your neck which helps you to get fresh and relaxed.

3) Eat half full

When we eat in a rush or in stress there is tendency to over eat. This is not desirable. The ideal formula for healthy eating is to eat half stomach; quarter is for water and quarter for air. When we overload a mixer it has to work harder and could also burn the machine, the same principle applies to our digestive system – never overload. Sitting in sukhasan on the floor helps us to gauge when we are half full. An interesting quote I once read said “there is no harm in eating less”…but remember do not starve yourself.

4) Keep entertainment away

It is common to see members of family sitting in front of the television or internet while eating. If that was not enough our smartphones keep us engaged. When our mind is distracted with entertainment, in any form, we tend to lose control on how much we are eating. Eating becomes a mechanical process and the hand would stop only once we are filled up to the throat. Overeating then becomes an everyday habit; that would be an open invitation for several diseases.

5) Avoid whites in your food

Too much of Sugar, Salt or Maida in our food is an absolutely no. Vegetables if cooked properly take care of the salts, sugar and mineral requirements for our body. The additional salt required is very limited but we tend to keep taste as our priority. Our sweet tooth keeps us glued to sweets and maida while it is heavy on the digestive track, it tastes great. Also we should not forget that all these available to us are processed and treated with chemicals to look and taste good. No wonder BP, Diabetes and Constipation are so common.

6) Don’t skip breakfast

We need more energy during the day than night and so having a healthy breakfast is essential for the day. After dinner this is the next meal with a gap of about 12-14hrs, this is reason enough that we provide our body with essential nutrients and minerals that would aid our energy and keep us alert and active through the day. Important aspect being that the food should be healthy, one that supplements’ your energy and does not drain it.

7) Last meal by 7 pm

Having a healthy gap of 2-3 hrs between eating and getting into bed is a great habit. This gives sufficient time for the body to digest the food. Our body at night gets into repair mode and so if the digestive system is still active, it interferes with our rest and restoration. Eating late and sleeping immediately also disrupts your digestive process cos gravity aids the movement of food and this gets deprived when we sleep. A light meal is sufficient to keep us going for the night. This habit also keeps check on our weight.

8) Do not drink water while eating

Water contains essential salts and minerals for the body. Water needs no digestive enzymes to work on it and is immediately moved to the intestines for direct absorption. Therefore, when we drink water while eating food it would carry with it undigested food from the stomach into the intestinal track. This unprocessed food gets difficult to work on and creates unnecessary drain on our system. A few sips of water, if the food is very spicy however, is acceptable.

9) Eat five/six small meals a day

Eating small portions five/six times a day is better than eating more than just 3 meals. This habit keeps blood sugar levels steady. It helps keeping ‘feeling of being fatigued’ away. Eating smaller portions five times will also bring in variety into food ensuring the right nutrients get into our system. When we stick to three meals a day think about how we come to the table like a hungry monster and this brings with it the tendency to eat more than required. One of my favorite quotes on food ‘you can have it all, just not all at once‘ also reinforces this.

10) Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables

Nature provides us with the right foods at the right time of the year. Water melons before onset of summer, oranges/mangoes during summer etc. Advanced scientific techniques have enabled the availability of every type of fruit or vegetable mostly through the year but we need to sit back and think about our food habits w.r.t seasons. The kind of food we eat alters our temperature and metabolism and the more we respect the cycle of nature the better for us. One easy way to get to know the food for each season is to enter a market and check for fruits and vegetables that are most visible and economical.

Namaste
Kamal Maliramani

http://www.energizeryoga.in
http://www.facebook.com/EnergizerYoga

Yoga Practice

Why love Headstand

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The first thought that comes to most of us when we think of a Headstand is…. ‘Can I do it?’.
We go through mixed emotions of fear, anxiety & uncertainty.

So is it worth the journey… ‘Yes it is’.

Here are five strong reasons to love Headstand:

It’s Anti-ageing

Gravity keeps working on us every moment and keeps pulling the organs towards it, most visible being the sagging face. Headstand gives a face lift by allowing gravity to work in the opposite direction. It works similarly on all parts of the body thereby acting as an anti-ageing agent. Get ready to get younger.

Builds Confidence
When we start working on Headstand everyday we make slow but steady progress. Each milestone achieved boosts our confidence and make us believe that final Headstand is possible. We start overcoming our fears. This positive reinforcement of confidence starts reflecting in other aspects of our day to day challenges, thereby, adding to our inner strength…mental and emotional. Headstand is the secret to great confidence.

Improves Focus
One of the key components of Asana practice is to develop ‘Focus’ and a Headstand can test it best. While most of the standing, forward bending, supine Asanas can be performed with little focus, a Headstand is just not possible without it. We might manage to get into it but to achieve steadiness ‘Focus’ is the most essential component of a Headstand. So get into a Headstand and get improved Focus.

Makes us Physically Stronger
A steady straight Headstand demands strong hands, shoulders, spine, core, legs…almost every part of the body. Getting into a Headstand daily will keep adding strength and energy making us stronger. Boost your strength with a Headstand everyday.

Gives Emotional Stability
In this age of instant coffee/messaging our mind gets used to working fast, we start seeking instant solutions to everyday challenges. While the real world moves at a more slow & steady pace. This disconnect from the real world leaves us disgruntled, irritated, angry & depressed. Working towards achieving a steady Headstand would take months of regular practice, the slow and gradual development connects us with the pace of real world. Over a period of time the slow & steady approach becomes second nature to us bringing back control in daily challenges and making us emotionally more stable & stronger.

Apart from the above, there are many more physical, mental and spiritual benefits to share but I choose to keep this note small & simple.

Do not allow the fears in your head keep you away from the Headstand.
Move on in life from ‘I cannot’ to ‘I can’.

Namaste

Kamal Maliramani

http://www.energizeryoga.in
http://www.facebook.com/EnergizerYoga