Article by Sathya Shivakumar– Global Member HSTD
Edited by – Shivakumar Chandrasekaran – Editorial Lead HSTD
On one hand, modern day health care systems are so advanced, breaking barriers and reaching new heights and on the other, modern day lifestyle is completely out of sync with the needs of a healthy living. At this juncture, it would be worthwhile to draw inspiration from ancient India, which emphasised on a way of life that seamlessly integrated different aspects of life that made good health as a byproduct. Bharath has given us yoga, ayurveda, classical art forms like music and bharatanatyam which are not merely sciences or art forms but channels that truly connect us to the essence and beauty of life.
For the present generation used to soft living, Mohanji has shared some simple practices and food for thought that can make a real difference to our lives.
The world today with its platter of variety, jams us with so many things that lead to unhealthy lifestyles. At the physical level, we consume excessive junk and obesity is the result. At the intellectual level, we cram our brains with unnecessary information from social media, the internet and printed media. At the emotional level, we take in a lot of garbage in the form of unwanted gossip, reactions to situations and things that are not relevant to us. With all the negativity consumed, we pay the price with our health. So it would be good to check if we are “obese”on any of these three levels. If the answer to that is “Yes”, we have to be conscious of what we consume and that will reflect in our happiness and health.
Tuned in with Nature
Ayurveda and traditional healthcare rely a lot on nature for the methods and practices.The traditional practice of waking up early revitalises and rejuvenates the body. Mohanji reiterates that being in tune with the sun is very helpful. When we wake up early, we get sufficient time to connect to ourselves and go beyond the usual distractions. We would also be more available to serve the world in the waking hours because we have spent considerable time with ourselves. This will also increase our feeling of “self worth. By waking up early, the body would automatically shut itself earlier in the night thus avoiding the pulls of various activities that may drain and suck our energy.
By going to bed at nine and waking up early, one would really feel energetic during the day.
Not eating after sunset is also a beneficial practice. When we eat late the sun cannot aid our digestion and over a period of time can cause problems. By eating early, we are consciously controlling our intake and can hence channelize our energy to other activities.
Cruelty free consumption
Another important aspect is to refrain from consuming food subjected to violence. This will lead to inertia and have various unpleasant consequences. The food that we eat should preferably be organic and free of violence.Such a physical and mental diet can add to our healthy living. “We are what we eat” is an oft repeated statement which means that the food we consume has a significant role in determining our physical, mental and emotional well being. This is again applicable at all levels both physical and mental. By consuming food resulting from violence, the impressions are stored at the cellular level. Hence, the importance of conscious living, in every aspect, is paramount.
Connecting to the Source
Last but not the least, divine grace and connection to the supreme, would really bless us with good health. If we look at traditional health systems across the globe, they draw inspiration from the X factor. This is important because the microcosm is a unit of the macrocosm and everything is interconnected. If the beings of our universe are in agony, humans alone cannot be in joy for long. This understanding is important. The collective consciousness will have an impact on the vibrations and the health of the world at large. The understanding that the divine essence permeates the universe can help us stay grounded, connected and ever grateful for what we enjoy every day. The practice of sharing and offering food will also have a positive effect. By channelizing our energy, harmonising with nature and connecting to the source we can make a shift collectively to experience a healthy world.
Deriving health benefits from Dance
From the perspective of a dancer, the journey of dance is a confluence of various aspects. Food and eating right is very important for the dancer. Only when the body feels light, dancing becomes effortless. Good exercise,Yoga and warm up movements add to the flexibility to execute demanding movements and helps the body heal after the performance. Oil therapy helps in lubricating the joints. As a dancer, one can also explore allied art forms such as carnatic music and kalaripayattu and draw inspiration to add different dimensions to the portrayal.
From the physical layer, through the art one slowly progresses to the subtler levels. As the training progresses, one gets mastery in technique and methods. Unfolding happens when the dancer connects to the true soul of the art. The dancer evokes the Bhaav (feeling) not only in himself/herself but also in the ones witnessing it. They go beyond the body/mind to mirror the feeling. It is truly a moment of oneness. Learning classical dance thus connects one to the spiritual dimension, provided one is perceptive and is willing to explore that dimension.
The Himalayan school of Traditional dance had the opportunity to present the Thematic program “Amrutam Gamaya” at the Ninth world Ayurveda congress.The World Ayurveda Congress is a platform to connect Ayurveda practitioners,medicine manufacturers, academicians and take Ayurveda to the world at large, for everyone to benefit from this traditional science.
The ninth conference was held at Panjim,Goa.The evening hosted cultural programs which started with Shloka on Lord Dhanvantari, the God of medicine.The delegates present honoured the shloka standing up while the shloka was recited. The vibrant dance program with the theme of Amrutam Gamaya resonated with the audience.
“May we be lead from untruth to truth
May we be lead from darkness to light
May we be lead from death to immortality
Let peace prevail everywhere”