Each day, liberate yourself

Bharat Savur | Updated on July 21, 2011

Regain the natural rhythm of life.

Pause occasionally, and make time for your being.

Sometimes I feel I'm running to catch up with time instead of using time productively. I'm also hyper — friends and colleagues often tell me to speak slowly. Is there something wrong with me? How do I become more relaxed? Please help.

Mukund S.

Nothing's wrong with you. It's just that you've fallen into a pattern of doing things quickly, getting from Point A to Point B at double-quick speed and lost the natural rhythm of living. Some suggestions:

Make time for being: Remember, your being is the foundation that allows you to do things, not the other way around. Between two tasks, pause. Close your eyes. Listen intently, without thinking, to the whirr of the fan or the hum of the air-conditioner. Suspend all thought. Listen… a few moments later, you'll enter a new, refreshing world. When you open your eyes, you'll see everything appearing brighter, infused with a luminous life. This is the magical effect of living from the being state.

Write a para: Every day, choose a sentence or phrase that has a profound meaning. Copy it down in a journal. Ponder over it. Write your own thoughts about it in a paragraph or two. Here's a sentence to start you off: ‘Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened.' This is how you plumb the beautiful depths of life instead of speeding on the surface.

Drop the useless: Stop doing meaningless things that you do out of habit. Remember, every year, you develop, mature, evolve and thus, outgrow old toys, tasks, traditions. Unpack your schedule so that you make space for some healing exercises, restful sleep, mindful eating, spending time with nature, absorbing yourself in music…When you have space, you feel a sense of flowing control over the day.

Imagine freedom: While on the road or brushing your teeth, imagine being a bird in the sky, free, not controlled by others. Imagine being in a trance of blissful, joyous peace.

Finally, lock up your lists of things-to-do. Each day, liberate yourself a little. Exercise slowly. Chew mindfully. In any case, where's the fire??

I've been gifted a large exercise ball by a friend. I wish to tighten my butt. Is there any way I can used the ball for this purpose?

Radha M.

Yes, do these three exercises:

Bouncing: This is a warm-up exercise. Sit on the ball as you would on a stool. Now, bounce in the sitting position for 2 minutes.

Butt-tightener: Lie on your back on your exercise mat. Place your feet on top of the ball, knees straight. Raise your butt off the mat. Tighten it and hold for a full minute.

Roll ball: In the same position, bend your knees as you roll the ball towards your bottom. Next, straighten legs and roll the ball away from you. All this should be done without lowering your butt to the floor. Do it five times.

My family has a history of weak eyesight. Could you suggest some foods, and a simple exercise that will protect the eyes? Thank you.

A. Nair

Be assured, a little care goes a long way to good eye health. Incorporate these in your lifestyle:

Blink: The simplest and best exercise is to blink your eyes 300 times a day. This moisturises the eyes. Many people don't blink enough and end up with dry eyes that then bring on all kinds of problems.

Carrots: This vegetable is a great source of the much required vitamin A that strengthens the retina. Dairy products and cod liver oil are rich sources too.

Leafy greens: Add spinach as well as fresh fruits to your daily diet. They contain vitamins A, C, E that prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Beans: To maintain the health of the retina and macula with trace minerals, beans, peanuts, cheese, whole grains and brown rice are a must.

I'm 44, swim five days a week and am fit. I find I'm very comfortable physically when I drink only liquids — water, fruit juice, fizzy beverages. I dislike the usual run-of-the-mill food. Do you think I'm on the right track?

Rita G.

Being a lazy eater doesn't make for good health. You may feel comfortable physically on liquids, but do you feel calm and composed mentally? Before you rush to answer ‘Yes', think carefully. Being under-nourished can upset the temperament — hair-trigger irritation, inability to take decisions , forgetfulness, reduced discerning power, a sinking feeling, low blood pressure, occasional disorientation.

I suggest a simple minimum eating plan to start with — something a little exotic if you have eclectic tastes. Example:

Breakfast: Tulsi tea, sprout stuffed idlis.

Lunch: Paneer, rotis, apple raita, broccoli-yellow-pepper salad.

Teatime: Fruit-yoghurt smoothie, corn bhel.

Dinner: Fruit chaat, soup, toast, jowar-milk-cinamon-pudding.

You should have a feeling of well-being, a sense of harmony with everything, a deep peace, mental clarity, even glimpses of bliss.

In sum, please don't mess around with your health. Why move towards osteoporosis and weakness when radiant strength can be yours?

The writer is co-author of the book ‘Fitness for Life'.

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Published on July 21, 2011

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