Tag Archive: health


Integrated Wellness: Discover Your Vision

 

Aug 24th 2013 – loved the play – HTS Giraffe @ RB on Aug 24th  – Witty Satirification – i reviewed  it @The Hindu as satirical questionification ,  – (my first ever review to get published  ,surprise surprise ?!?! )Many points worth pondering ……..Vanilla urbanisation , people on blind dates conversing about how many friends / albums they have on Social Networks , the decline of free thinking etc.etc. – worth introspecting .

review

Review

JS @ RamaKrishna Math ……… Spiritual / philosophical gems explained by monks . Excerpts :

Can one really understand / get 2 know reality unless one knows god ?

Death moves with us as our shadow.

The ‘I’ /Ego is like a bullock tied to a tree – just keeps going round and round.

He who hides himself best , accomplishes the most – after  all ,  the Lord is hidden.

Conquer yourself and the whole world is yours.

Meditation is like taking bath in the holy waters of the mind.

The shake

Embrace the shake

Related articles

 

pipteinpteron

An artist discovered he could no longer make pointillistic work: instead of nice dots he drew strokes, like those violent, elongated raindrops that strike and hurt your face. When he found his hand trembling he’d used more and more force and the result was a neurological condition called a tremor. He went to see a neurologist and was told he had permanent nerve damage. That hurt. He only ever wanted to become an artist and now he couldn’t draw a straight line or a round dot.

What should he do? Try and learn to draw with his other hand? Get medication to numb the effect? Start all over again and study something different? The neurologist had some advice:

“Embrace the shake.”

You can find the whole story on TED, illustrated with drawings and other works of art. I’d like to look at the advice to embrace his condition…

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Excerpts from :- How Meditation Can Help You Get Calm, Relaxed, Healthy & Happy.    http://www.thedailyzen.org/2012/02/4-informal-ways-to-meditate.html

1. By cultivating awareness, meditation can help you find peace in the present moment.  
In some forms of meditation, you practice non-judgmental awareness of the present moment by bringing your attention to the cycles of your breath. This centers you in the present moment whenever your mind wanders into the past or the future. By learning to keep the mind’s temporal pendulum in the center, you become mindful in every moment, even when you’re under pressure. Anxieties and traumas from the past begin to fade as you become more involved in the present and less fixated on the story of how you got here. Experiences that previously appeared dull and bland become textured and nuanced leading you to be more involved and interested in your life.
2. By bringing your mind into sharp focus, meditation can help you be your best.
In these forms of meditation, you keep yourself focused on a visualization, a chant, music, a person’s voice, a prayer, or some other object of attention. You may be instructed to imagine a desired future or re-contextualize past experiences.  After a short period of time you’ll, find yourself drawn into your focus and you’ll be effortlessly attentive. This state is very similar to a trance and is extremely useful for achieving specific goals like overcoming fears, becoming more productive, or letting go of dependencies. Many athletes and business-people practice this form of meditation without even realizing that they’re meditating. It can also be of great benefit for spiritual growth such as gaining greater compassion, acceptance, and universal love.
3. When you transcend your ego, meditation helps you discover yourself.
In these forms of meditation, the ideal outcome is to transcend the ego and intellect and directly experience a deeper, unbounded aspect of the self. …………………..Most techniques in this category use mantras (simple repetitive sounds), chosen for their calming effect and sometimes specifically tailored for the individual. Unlike the focus techniques, though, you’re not supposed to keep your mind fixated on the mantra, but rather go through a cycle of repeating it and letting it go; allowing the mind to follow the mantra into quieter states of consciousness.
4. When you control your breath, meditation energizes your body.
You may be surprised to know that some forms of meditation are supposed to energize the body and mind rather than calm it. When you hear someone say “exercise is my meditation,” this is what they are talking about. The runner’s high is a well known experience in which inner calm is combined with maximum performance. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to experience runner’s high and athletes could benefit greatly from refining it. The most common techniques for energizing the body revolve around breath control. In India, the subtle energy flow from the breath is called “prana.” In China, it’s referred to as “chi,” but whatever you call it the result is the same. The nervous system is stimulated and balanced leading to a feeling of flow. In this state, you feel tapped into a deeper source of energy; you’ll be less prone to injuries when you run and you’ll be able to move deeper into your yoga poses.

4 Informal Ways to Meditate

We sometimes think of meditation as being this rigid activity that must be performed under such and such circumstances.  Seated Zen practice is the ideal, but not the only option.  Meditation isn’t about sitting there and thinking you’re doing something important; it’s about detaching from thought and existing as purely as one can in the present moment.  

As you can imagine, this can be achieved in many activities.  In Zen monasteries, every menial day-to-day activities are attended to as means of meditation.  Monks ritually clean the floors, do their dishes, trim the bushes outside and rake the gardens.  There are a remarkable amount of meditative activities.  Here’s a very short list…

1.  Do the dishes.

“A monk asked Zhaozhou to teach him. Zhaozhou asked, “Have you eaten your meal?” The monk replied, “Yes, I have.” “Then go wash your bowl”, said Zhaozhou.  At that moment, the monk was enlightened.”

Living in a basic utilitarian apartment without space for a fancy dishwasher, my roommates and I share the responsibility of dish-washing.  I often find myself doing them as a form of meditation.  The repetition of an activity like cleaning a bowl or a utensil (which pile up to incredible heights over time, might I add) serves a similar purpose to counting the breath or repeating a mantra.  The whole point is just to practice mindfulness.  

2.  Walk.
Walking is akin to sitting with your eyes closed.  That sounds ridiculous, right? Not at all.  It’s been said that closed eyes are like a ‘movie screen for the ego’.  When you close your eyes and try to meditate for the first time, thoughts bombard you from every which way.  

Walking involves a similar level of constant stimulation.  As you walk, your field of view is constantly changing, and you have no choice but to pay attention to it.  Meditative walking involves treating the sights you come across as one treats thoughts in meditation.  Just let them pass naturally and don’t dwell.

3.  Clean your desk.
This is another highly productive meditative task.  Throw things away.  Sort papers.  Clean your keyboard.  Do some dusting.  Before long, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in these activities.  Your desk will also end up pretty damn clean.  

4.  Eat
I’ve discussed this before here.  Fully involve yourself with your food.  Stare at it.  Smell it.  Savor each bite.  This is preferably done in private, since you don’t want to be the strange person at the restaurant who looks like he’s about to make passionate love to his food.  

Modern culture teaches us to wolf food down in mass quantities without any appreciation or acknowledgement of what we’re eating.  Take a minute and meditate on the act of eating.  You’ll enjoy your food more, eat less compulsively, and find mindful tranquility in the process.

 

What is your real age?

What is your real age? | The Hindu.

 

Exercise is definitely the closest we have to an anti-ageing pill. Expensive skin creams that promise to make your wrinkles disappear, cosmetic surgery, laser ablation and botox are but superficial solutions. They cannot come close to the benefits attained from a regular heart-pumping, well-planned exercise routine.

There are two aspects to ageing. Your chronological age, which is calculated form the day you were born and the number of years you have lived, and your biological or “real” age, which refers to the current condition of your physiological body at the basic cellular level. The two are not necessarily the same. An individual may chronologically be 30 years old, but have the body and mind of a 45-year-old. She could be overweight or underweight, lethargic, with inadequately conditioned muscles and deficient lean body mass. She may have a poor immune system setting the stage for infection. She may have several degenerative lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes and hypertension. We see more such people these days. Young chronologically, but way beyond their years physiologically.

On the contrary, some individuals may be 45 years old chronologically and have a biological age of 25 in terms of energy, stamina, strength, mind power and pure joi de vivre .

What are the parameters to measure your real or biological age? Factors like blood pressure, blood sugar and other metabolic parameters, eyesight, condition of the lungs, heart, vocal cords, skin turgor, energy levels, physical appearance, condition and tone of muscles, mental acuity, memory, level of independence, fat percentage, lean body mass and fitness levels (cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength, agility, reflexes, balance, coordination and so on). Obviously, the advent of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol with the concomitant heart problems ages the body much faster than time.

What determines “real” or biological age? Good genes set the stage for a good or poor quality body. Environment and lifestyle choices, however, are the final predictors of the ageing process. No matter how good your genes, rapid ageing is inevitable if you subject your body to stressors like tobacco, alcohol, drugs and poor lifestyle choices like unhealthy food, lack of exercise and sleep.

The right kind of food is next. Foods with antioxidant properties and fibre like fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, whole unrefined grains and pulses are the best options.

Have a regular fitness routine that includes some cardiovascular activity like, running, speed walking, cycling or aerobic sessions. This should be balanced with adequate strength and muscle building.

Flexibility decreases with age. Sustaining and improving flexibility of various body parts with modalities like yoga and simple stretches keeps the body limber, prevents pain and poor posture due to muscle imbalance.

Stress is a part of our daily lives. Eliminating it altogether is too much to expect. Managing stress properly, however, is possible with proper training, meditation, relaxing techniques, time management and a basic willingness to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

Simple things like developing a hobby, having strong family ties and/or close friends that one can count on and relate to.

Working at something you love or nurturing relationships, especially those with pets or children, can be enormously rewarding and add meaning to life.

Learning something new or developing a new skill improves neurological function. It appears that keeping the body and mind active slows the ageing process.

People who exercise regularly and make the appropriate lifestyle choices have been found to have not only higher longevity but also a better quality of life. A youthful body and mental attitude along with the maturity and experience that comes with chronological age is something to aspire towards.

There is nothing wrong with ageing. It is the most natural process of the human body and certainly cannot be arrested. It can, however, be done gracefully with every attempt made to remain independent and productive.

Related articles

How young do you feel? | The Hindu.

 

Your answers should shed light on your Real Age.

1. Are you excited, (or at least vaguely motivated) to get out of bed in the morning? Yes/No (Sometimes we are too fatigued to register excitement and just wish for a few more minutes of blissful sleep, but that is a different discussion altogether.)

2. Do you have a purpose in life or are you drifting along wondering what to do next? Yes/No

3. Do you have a cause/hobby you are passionate about? Yes/No

4. Do you enjoy life? Do you look forward to your days/ events? Yes/No

5. Do you have strong, nurturing relationships? Yes/No

6. Do you like the work you do? Yes/No

If your answer is mostly ‘Yes’, you are doing really well on your ‘life experience’ score! Much of how you experience life depends on your attitude. An enthusiastic, nurturing and positive attitude can keep you younger.

From a physical fitness perspective, the following questions are pertinent

7. Do you exercise regularly and eat healthy for the most part? Yes/No

8. Can you run up a flight of stairs and not be completely winded at the end (or middle) of it? Yes/No (Indicates cardio vascular endurance or stamina)

9. Can you touch the floor standing up without bending the knees? Yes/No (Indicates the flexibility of the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs and lower back, which tend to get tighter with age. Stretching regularly keeps all the muscles limber.)

10. How many proper push-ups and squats can you do? This varies with fitness levels. Increasing the number of push-ups and squats can help improve your strength.

11. How fast can you walk a mile? How quickly do you recover from the exertion? (see box for answer)

12. What is your fat percentage? (see box for answer)

YOGA

https://i2.wp.com/www.yogatrail.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Infographics.jpg

What’s your yoga style?
( source : http://www.yogatrail.com/blog/whats-your-yoga-style/ )

articles/design

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/a-letter-to-young-men-who-protested-against-rape/article4278356.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-happy-persons-meal-plan/article4398708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/no-workout-worries/article4278370.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/thank-you-for-the-music/article4398699.ece –  reminds of my dad trying raga recognition……….

My brother and mother then began to ask me (the newly-discovered savant) — “what feeling does this song give?” And I would reply “sad” or “happy” to start with, and on to “like praying” or “like boyfriend-girlfriend” or “like king-and-queen” (much to my family’s amusement, because I didn’t yet know the words “devotional” or “romantic”, or “regal”, but that is what I was trying to express). And so there it was: the raga name, its identifiable face or mukhda in a film song, and its bhaav or emotional charge, all “taught” to me in a non-lesson.

As I grew, Hindi film songs of the time and older ones became a rich repository of raga recognition. My mother would then often “staple” a raga that she was learning with a song that we liked, providing one more approach-road to the rich farmland of classical music. Was this a thought-out strategy to transfer music knowledge to her kids? I don’t think so. There was very little that was premeditated in my mother’s personality. So it is likely that she was simply joining some dots for herself and us, in a casual, relaxed journey of discovery.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/wellness-read/article4398710.ece -John Perry’s new book, Don’t Buy This Book Now!: The Art of Procrastination argues that procrastinators are often perfectionists, and structured procrastinating or doing one thing as a way of not doing something else is sometimes extremely effective.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-two-faces-of-tokyo/article4278372.ece   –  Everywhere I turn in this city, there is a visible dichotomy between the old and new. I get off the Metro and walk through a shopping area inside the station, larger than many malls in India. And at a short distance from the exit, I enter a Japanese home to witness a traditional tea ceremony. It is a different world here. The lady of the house is in her kimono and the students, here to (re)learn their traditions, are men in business suits.

There is a lot of talk about Japan’s, in particular Tokyo’s, global identity and modern ways but to my uninformed eyes, they seem as conformist as ever. While the style on the street is definitely avant-garde (think of Tokyo as an Asian Milan), people with tattoos are viewed with suspicion. Even tattooed teenagers trying out their newfound coolness are not allowed in several places including city buses and trains.

And they take their rules very seriously. My guide almost weeps in embarrassment when her cellphone suddenly rings in the middle of a Metro ride. There is no written law; it is just impolite and therefore not acceptable to disturb other passengers. That kind of discipline is ingrained and imparts them with a great dignity, even while noisily slurping noodles from a bowl.

I have read a lot about the Japanese love for all things aesthetic and sensual. Their preference seems to be for straight lines rather than curves, perhaps an extension of their need for tidiness. On my way into the city from the airport, I see building after building, a Legoland of little square boxes balanced delicately on top of each other.

This is the most fascinating culture I have seen, even if for a short time and from a distance. Japan is a country torn between the allure of a shiny modern persona and the strength of its strong traditional heritage. And nowhere is this struggle more evident than in Tokyo.

Must-dos in Tokyo: Visit the Asakusa Kannon temple and Roppongi Hills tower, make a day trip to Mount Fuji, watch a kabuki performance, attend a baseball match, buy a kimono, shop at Shibuya district and eat sushi.

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The Hindu : Arts / Books : One for the bookseller.

Colin Franklin’s memoir, Obsessions and Confessions of a Book Life (published jointly by Oak Knoll Press, The Book of Kells, Bernard Quartich Limited, 2012) written in his 89th year is a book for booksellers. A bibliophile will take deep pleasure in it, but a bookseller will feel a closer kinship and resonance with Franklin’s accurate, precise, and stylish recollection of transactions between dealer and collector. I was charmed by Franklin’s diffidence; can a rare book dealer even afford to be as diffident and shy today? Did his diffidence belong to that time — those days — or does it stem from him being a scholar-book dealer? The minutiae of bookselling made him awkward.

He was often embarrassed about selling, asking prices or quoting them; even thinking of referring to someone as customer made him uncomfortable. Franklin thinks catalogues are self-advertisements and, after doing about some eight of them, he stopped noting that they felt like ‘an infinitely vulgar form of self offering’. Instead he exhibited at international antiquarian book fairs and talks of how they are composed of invariably painful moments, inescapable boredom, some discoveries and surprises — best of all, at end of day, dining out with other booksellers and gossiping.

‘No bookseller is free of the fear that he will never sell another book’.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/cancer-cuisine/article4373998.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/the-faces-that-make-the-fte/article4360253.eceHappy consumers are not the only ones that look forward to Numaish. For some Hyderabadis it is less a shopper’s paradise and more a place of vocation; Zeenab Annez speaks to the groups of people who make Numaish safe and enjoyable to the visitors-    …..Whether in fashion, food, home décor or electronics, Numaish has always been up to date with the latest trends in the market but there is one thing that stubbornly refuses to change according to consumer taste: the music. As radio announcer Rashid aptly puts in “You will not hear any ‘Munni badnaam hui’ here,” and he is right. As one walks through the stalls, shopkeepers and sales boys lip-sync involuntarily to the catchy tunes they have been hearing for the past few weeks. Spend enough time there and you will find yourself doing the same.  The man in charge, Ajay Jaswal of Ajay Sounds boasts of a large collection of old Hindi classics.

yoga

http://www.bradpriddy.com/yoga/sequen.htmSequencing of asanas

http://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/Yogic-Exercises-for-Diseases-Health-Conditions

http://www.remedyspot.com/articles/241-yoga-ayurveda-exercise-basis-good-health.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/864

http://www.svaroopayoga.org/contemplation.asp

Certain yogic disciplines are well known since ancient times. If you don’t set yourself to them, you may find them happening quite naturally, including:

  • The 3:30 am wake-up call — meditation is calling your name.
  • Early to bed — ready to go to bed with the sun (or soon after).
  • Simplicity — how much of anything do you really need?
  • Living lightly — matching your food intake to what you need, not what you want; or empty out your purse (or your car).
  • Silence — cultivating inner silence by finding opportunities for outer silence.
  • Going without — giving up comforts and pleasures, even giving up things you consider to be necessities (even when they are not).
  • Generosity — giving time, energy and/or money to those you want to support, but giving more than the easy amount.
  • Doing more — tackling a practice or a project, or holding yourself to a higher standard.

You get nowhere in life without tapas. You cannot complete your education, buy or rent a home, keep a job, grow a garden, raise a child or stay married without tapas. There is a hidden secret in the practice of tapas: the karmic effects. The law of karma says that everything you do has repercussions. When you “pick your poison,” doing tapas in the arena you choose, the benefits extend into every area of your life. This principle is well known in India, where a person will undertake an arduous climb to a holy site so that they can get a good job. It works!

I remember giving things up for Lent when I was a child, a form of tapas. Yogis embark on similar periods of intense practice, perhaps by attending a yoga training or retreat — truly tapas! You can create a similar “intensive” for yourself by tackling a pose you don’t like to do, working on it daily for a month, or perhaps giving up television and doing yoga during that time for a week or a year.

The key is that you decide what you’re going to do. If it’s an easy decision, it probably isn’t really tapas. But if you pick something that is too hard, you might not be able to actually do it. So pick a challenge you know you need, but one that you can actually do. Tell your yoga-buddies, so they can encourage and support you. But I must warn you of one seductive aspect to tapas: When you meet the challenge you’ve set for yourself, you might find that you like it so much that it becomes part of your lifestyle. I used to hate the 3:30 am wake-up call, and now I love it!

http://www.auroville.org/vision/integralyoga.htm

http://observedinbooks.blogspot.in/2008/02/complete-artists-way-by-julia-cameron.html

http://www.yoga-age.com/asanas/prana.html

http://www.thepragmaticyogi.com/2010/07/asana-analysis-reclined-herosupta.html

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=10856

carnatic music today ……

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861805.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861793.ece            When parents enjoy parenting, they ensure happy years of growing up for the children.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861789.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685706.ece  –  Whether the shawl draped on this singer by this sabha came about because of an envelope stuffed with distinctly non-musical notes. How Carnatic music has suddenly become a cool lifestyle statement for a new generation, with kriti -laden iPods tucked into its jeans.        This informality, perhaps, will offer him a clue to the ever-increasing popularity of a music festival that, unlike Glastonbury or Bayreuth, doesn’t advertise itself, and is driven largely by word of mouth and an undying love for the art. He doesn’t need to have heard of the performers. He doesn’t even have to know the music. And if he doesn’t get tickets to a concert, there’s always another one playing down the street. Every year, he will eventually realise, Carnatic music makes its grandest statement with a festival that feels as intimate as a gathering of family.

An annual ritual Every year, around the Tamil month of Margazhi, some 60 organisations (or sabhas) cast a spell of music over Madras, with over 200 performances every day. These performances include vocal and instrumental concerts, lecture demonstrations about the intricacies of Carnatic music, walks along historic sites of musical importance, and talks about events and personalities. If the December Music Season is not the largest music festival in the world, it’s certainly a top contender for the spot — and, with every passing year, it only keeps getting bigger. And better.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685727.ece   –  How not to get diabetes

Here’s an emergency plan to shield you until the weight comes off. Besides maintaining a healthy weight, four factors keep diabetes at bay. If you combine any three, it’s like throwing up a force field between you and diabetes. The combo is more protective than the individual parts, a fact that has startled the experts. It gets better: If you combine all four, you’ll start losing weight without half trying.

Walk 30 minutes a day. Start slowly if you need to, but start. Buy a pedometer, and add a few more steps every day.

Drink lightly. Up to two drinks a day for men, one for women.

Eat smart. Lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of 100 per cent whole grains, very lean protein (including at breakfast; it’ll curb your appetite later), a little low-fat or no-fat dairy, some nuts, a bit of dark chocolate.

Don’t smoke. If you do, quit.

Then kiss diabetes goodbye.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685734.ece