Two months into a new year is a good time to quickly assess the status of our resolutions (or the lack of them), isn’t it?
For everyone who had resolutions, immaterial of how It turned out, it shows a belief in transforming yourself & the high expectations you have set for yourself. So there is reason to pat your back & read on for a challenge that promises to a new you.
Why do you suppose some of us stopped taking resolutions? We have successfully driven ourselves into a catch-22 situation where we want to change & see an amazing transformation in our life (not just for the bragging rights and the fringe benefits that may come with it!) but have seen so many resolutions crash that we would rather occupy the seats on the pavilion, while rest of the world goes to play. But it is time to shake away the past & pad up. We give you 6 steps and an immersive Ayurvedic experience that would help you gear up to a new you.
There is a disturbing trend in the world where lifestyle diseases (like obesity, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease & cardiovascular diseases) are creeping upon us due to the lifestyles we have, owing to the demands of our lives. While these have been directly responsible for morbidity & mortality, they are one of the biggest obstacles to development globally. While the solution requires a systemic upheaval in the way we live our lives, these are easier said than done.
Lifestyle, in itself, sounds like a huge term which is very fancy to use in our charcha during chai or while ruminating about what is wrong in the world. But it is just a bunch of habits that we are used to doing. We have been following a routine even without realizing it! (This realization blew my mind. What about you?). But, that makes things so much easier.
Take one step at a time, one day at a time, with a daily goal helping you grow step by step. A gradual approach for a lasting & concrete result. Further, these goals have been designed to be achievable for everyone across ages, with about 30 minutes of commitment every day.
So, what goals do we would love you to master by the end of the challenge?
Sleep: Stop, Slow down & Rest
In a talk, Guruji spoke of how living life is so similar to driving a car, with the knowledge of the brakes & the accelerator makes you a confident driver. So, like your driving instructor, we start by learning how to apply the brakes. While we can acknowledge how sleep is one of the basic necessities of life, our indulgences with technology & a compulsive habit of worrying are generally the most common reason for struggling to get a good night’s sleep. With a conscious effort to slow down after sometime into the night before going to bed, with a nighttime routine, waking up fresh would not be just a fantasy shown in movies.
Most importantly.. Like Baloo of the ‘Jungle Book’ fame says – “The bare necessities of life will come to you”, Sleep will come to us. We just need to stop all work, slowly simmer down & finally, just rest!
Yoga: From Rest to Conscious Action
After learning to apply the brakes, we now move on to the accelerator.
The difference between a normal action and the act of doing yoga is how involved body & mind are in doing the act. This union of body & mind not only has physical, mental & emotional benefits, you become skilful in action (stated & experienced by Krishna) & a carrier of happy vibes. We just go aww when we see a happy baby, but what cry babies are we? Do yoga & be aww-some!
Food: Feed the Divine
Having learnt to slow down & hit the gas, it is time to understand some tricks in maintenance for benefits in the long run.
We operate at crazy extremes, from not eating food (the countless skipped breakfasts) to majorly indulging in the finger food delicacies that were a dream when you were small (but now you eat it because that is the only way you know how). Thankfully, our ancient traditions come to our rescue to help us eat better. The quality of every task we do changes once we consider it to be sacred in nature & it helps you find balance. Hence, our ancestors, in their infinite wisdom, considered the food, the act of eating & the hunger(or the ‘Agni’) to be sacred.
Experience the sacredness in the next meal you eat & see if it is a practice you want to continue.
Abhyanga: Self Love 1.0
How often do we realise that our body does the mind’s bidding? The poor thing has sat through years & years, while we let our mind take the spot-light. We have generally done things that would make our mind happy, at the cost of discomforting our body. Right? Then it is time to turn the tide for once.
Abhyanga (or oil massage) is one of the ways in Ayurveda, in which you can pamper your body. 20 minutes before your bath, you could apply oil on your body & massage it. Linear strokes for your bones, Circular one for your joints, and 20 minutes of rest for your body to bask in the love. (Your neck & shoulders carry a lot of stress in them. Make sure you get them.)
Meditation: Self Love 2.0
Lots of research has shown the profound impact meditation can bring in the lives of people, but what is a statistic that does not account you into it? Just some numbers. So experience it.
“Meditation is seeing God in you”.
Let it happen. Do not force it.
Do not concentrate. Just let go.
Detox: Stabilizing your effervescent self
There are a lot of changes that are happening around us through the day(Dinacharya) and through the seasons(Ritucharya). While the body & mind marches through these changes, toxins are accumulated & they need to be flushed out. While breath & sleep play a huge role in detoxification on a regular basis (reason why Pranayama & Good Sleep feels so refreshing!), Ayurveda recommends a detox at every seasonal change, to purify the body & handle all imbalances.
You could do just fast(depending on your prakriti) or instead get a panchakarma treatment done to help provide yourself with a much needed detox.
Please share with us your journeys, as you experience these little hacks of Applied Ayurveda.