The importance of trying to be healthy

Aching joints, sore muscles all the time. Sounds familiar? Did this start happening only recently? Are you thinking gone are those days when I had all the energy and didn’t feel any pain at all? Time to reevaluate your situation, especially your sadhana of physical wellness.

When you were young, you naturally used to run a lot, walk a lot, play a lot. Even when you were attending college, you kept up by running or playing sports/games. Then the focus shifts on to settling down – find a job, find a mate, raise a family, get a house, etc. This transition invariably takes away a lot of your time and energy. Add to that there is the 8-5 (minimun!) commitment of working. Where do you have the time to come back and attend to your other matters and also try to keep your activity level the same as before? And if you are a mom, more likely than not you have two jobs!

With all the challenges to adapting to an adult life you invariably start to ignore the needs of the physical body. The body needs to be taken care of or attended to. Attending to the body should be more of a need than a hind sight. The negligence of the maintenance of the body is compounded by not only the lack of physical activity but also indirectly by providing it with unwanted material. Think of all the food you have eaten until today and how much of it could have been substituted with better food; how much of it could have been just ignored. While the senses were satiated, the Self wasn’t nourished. I am talking about the sense of satisfaction you get, the sense of well-being you get when you eat right.

This gross neglect of the body starts to act both physically and mentally on your self. The not so surprising fact is you don’t notice the changes right away – like when you transitioned to college or to work. It take as much as 15-20 years for the body to demonstrate visibly the neglect. By that time, the damage could be irreversible.

In spite of where you fitness level is now, the days you can practice the Yoga asanas, you can feel your body fitter, tighter and healthier. You energy level will remind you of what it was when you were in your 20s. You can feel that extra pep in your step.

Yoga asanas are a great way to keep up your body health. All you need to do is to find 15-20 minutes during your entire day to practice some of asanas. If you can’t devote a set time for this, no problem! Just stretch when you can. I invariably sit on the floor when we watch some TV. On the floor, I quickly go through the seated bound angle, seated forward bend, seated difficult side bends, cobra, bow, knee-to-chest and lying twist. At a later time or right away, I practice sun salutations and tree or other standing postures. During another part of the day, I cover lotus and yoga mudra. All these would have taken me overall about 20 minutes. Try this tip and see the difference. If you are not sure what these asanas are ask one of your Yoga teachers and they will be happy to cover them in the class.

[From a previous Evolution newsletter that I used to send]

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