October 26, 2014

Autumn tips

October 26, 2014
Some time ago my health collapsed. In order to restore it, I decided to look at the physical imbalance from the point of view of mental harmony. While mapping out the weak points of my lifestyle, I realized that I had gradually accepted many disturbing symptoms – an interrupted sleep pattern, anxiety, night sweats, food cravings and skin disorders among them – as a new “normal”.

Throughout the forties I’ve insisted that bodily discomfort is a part of natural transformation from the productive and outgoing life of youthfulness to an old age. I was wrong. Chanakya Pandita, who was a philosopher and royal advisor (c. 370 – 283 BC), suggested that three emergencies – fire, debt and disease – must be immediately cleared because, if neglected, they will expand and get out of hand.

Basically, there are two paths to wellness. The first one is to medically cover the symptoms, which hardly cures the cause, and the second and often more challenging one is to address the factors that lead to debilitation. It is surprising how much we can influence our condition by adjusting our attitudes, values and habits.

Here are my humble tips for energizing yourself.

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Sleep well. A solid six to eight hours sleep sustains and repairs, and rejuvenates the body. It’s like taking a car into a garage where it’s oiled and fixed while you go shopping, except that it should happen every day. More relaxed you are when you lay down, better the rest. If the adrenal glances that sit at the top of your kidneys are overworked, they keep releasing hormones in response to stress, and prevent you from falling and staying asleep. As a result, you will be chronically fatigue.

To create a peaceful environment, turn off all electrical appliances (computer, radio, TV…) and lights, except for a reading lamp, at least an hour before going to bed. Light up some bee wax candles or ghee-lamps instead. Ventilate the room and keep the window open throughout the night. Do some simple asanas, like lifting your legs against the wall for twenty minutes. Take a warm bath. Gently massage the back of your neck and the belly for a few minutes. Drink a cup of hot organic milk with turmeric. If you are sensitive to sound, wear earplugs. Use natural textiles made of wool, linen and cotton. Read a bedtime story.

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An early bird catches the worm. Upon waking up, do oil-pulling by taking a tablespoon of warm sesame or coconut oil and swishing it in the mouth for ten to fifteen minutes and then spitting it out. This is an ayurvedic method to improve dental hygiene, moisten the gums and pull out toxins, ama, from the body. Then brush your teeth and scrape your tongue. After showering, drink a cup of hot water with lemon juice as a liver tonic.

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Utilize the hours before sunrise for spiritual enlightenment. Meditate and educate yourself. Offer respect and thanks to those who are guiding you.

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Before breakfast, place three or four kale leaves with a handful of wheatgrass into a blender and process them with water. Sieve the juice and discard the fibre (unless you want to use it in cooking or baking later). This shot has a high concentration of vitamin A, C, and K.

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Beautify naturally. Grow your own Aloe vera plant which contains glycoprotein that reduces inflammation and pain, and polysaccharides that promote skin growth and repair. Aloe gel within the leaves is antibacterial; it sooths and moisturizes the skin, and leaves a refreshing, cool impression. You can also make a cleansing mask from the gel and honey, rinse it out after twenty minutes, and apply almond or coconut oil onto your face.

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Eat often and smaller portions. Instead of over-eating once or twice a day, downsize the portions and enjoy smaller meals every three hours. Consume proteins like pulses, grains and milk products during the breakfast and lunch, and lighter foods in the afternoon. Add fresh vegetables, seeds and nuts to your diet. Try to get the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients from food rather than from supplements. If you have to take additional nutriments, choose plant-based products like amla for vitamin C, flaxseed oil for Omega-3 and sea kelp for iodine.

Use authentic sea salt or Himalaya salt. Your body reacts against chemically processed sodium chloride or table salt by water retention.

Give up sugar for the time being. It takes two or three days to overcome the addiction if you get enough potassium from the rest of the menu. Eat fruits, prunes, dry apricots and raisins instead. Too much sugar, regardless if it is refined, organic or whole cane, disturbs the body’s insulin and hormone production.

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Finally, walk in the nature! Even twenty minutes in the woods level blood pressure and relieve tension. It's a beautiful autumn!





24 comments :

  1. Beautiful and so much (ideas, habits) to adopt ! Thank you !

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  2. So sorry about your health.....eat a nice juicy steak !!!! :))

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  3. OMG, so sorry to hear that! Hope you are feeling much better now. I've been thinking a lot on you lately.
    Thank you for the tips, we all could use a kind of change in our lifestyle

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    1. Thanks, Vera! I hope you are well, too.

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  4. Great tips! I totally agree with you. Body and mind work together and the cause of the illness has to be found. Curing the symptoms is an error...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Yes, the inability to see the connection between the gross and subtle body is a weakness of modern medicine.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. And I hope you are feeling better.

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  6. Hope you feel better Lakshmi.I'm bookmarking this post. Thanks for the pearls.

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  7. Have you removed grains from your diet for a time? I did and it made a huge difference

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    1. Yes, gluten I have removed for the time being. It is helpful.

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  8. Good to see you back. I was thinking about you and was missing your writing. I thought you must be soaking up the summer as much as possible and not spending time on blogging. I can relate to your thought. I have learned a lot from you. You have inspired me to think differently. This post also making me rethink my lifestyle. Feel better soon.

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear that you were unwell. The oil pulling tip is interesting I might try it. Turmeric based toothpaste is also a great way to naturally whiten teeth and keep them nice and healthy as it has a lot of antibacterial properties. Good to have you back on the blogosphere.

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    1. Yes, turmeric is wonderful. In addition to regular uses, I sometimes brush my teeth with it.

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  10. Lovely, LOVELY words of wisdom and experience. I love how you write about each one and your photos are poetic. I will send a link to this post to all of my daughters and sisters; and a link on my blog fireflies of hope dot com. I am so glad for you that you are on the path to recovery and hope. Each suggestion you offer is very similar to the routines which have helped me during a 10-year recovery from debilitating illness after toxic chemical poisoning.

    I have a feeling the idea I am about to share is something you are familiar with already: I have added to my daily routine an all-over self body massage with lots of very warm oil (abhyanga). It has contributed most greatly to my overall sense of calm and well-being (and a more predictable grounded energy). It has eliminated hot flashes as well. The benefits are too long to list.

    I just put cured sunflower oil (most people use sesame) into a glass bottle, cap it tightly and submerge it in my bathroom sink full of hottest water and leave it to get very warm. Meanwhile, I spread a large beach towel on the bathroom floor, make sure the room is warm, exfoliate from head to toe with silk garshana gloves, and then proceed with my morning "abhy" with delicate music in the background. I do this most mornings and dedicate at least ten minutes to this self-massage.

    I send you good wishes for continued health Laksmi. It is truly priceless to feel physically well.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging comment. The human mind is designed to be in goodness, sattva, and when it becomes unbalanced due to tendencies and attachment to passion and ignorance, physical disharmony develops.

      Thank you for advising about abhyanga. I haven’t done it probably because I have a bit funny relationship with my body :-). I’m embarrassed to admit but I’ve always been more of a tomboy and lived (mostly) in my head, paying as little attention to the physical needs as possible, which of course has contributed to my current health issues, too. Most people groom and pamper their car or iphone more than I’ve cared for my body. So I have to take baby steps to change my attitude, and might add the oil massage to my morning routine when it feels comfortable enough. Thanks again for your well-wishes.

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  11. I forgot to click the "notify me" button with my comment, so I will do it now with this comment.... I want to keep reading this wonderful thread :)

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  12. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and tips,
    especially in autumn it is a good time to turn inwards, revalue your needs and nurture yourself.
    Take care,

    Namaste, Linda

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  13. Hope you feel better soon Lakshmi. This post is a good guide. Much thanks.

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  14. I hope you are feeling better.
    As always your posts are so reflective and thought-provoking. Deep and informative. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, your journey and discoveries.
    Namaste

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  15. What a beautiful post. Loved going through all your tips. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Hope you feel better soon

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  16. I hope you feel better soon Lakhsmi. Sorry that I never asked, assuming your absence to be just a sign of being busy. So true about everything you have in this post and I really need to incorporate all of it it seems. crazy busy life, no time to slow down, disturbed sleep patterns, no time to relax and much more going on here. Thank you so much for this inspirational post. Need to force a change in lifestyle. Hugs.

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    1. Dear Soma, my observation is that the sleep is the most important health factor because so much restoration takes place at night. A steady sleeping rhythm also gives a strong structure for a day. Better you sleep, more you accomplish during the day. The same applies to waking up early. The morning hours are so valuable, and whatever you use them for seems to have a deeper impact than any other part of the day. I’ve decided that even if I fail in all other areas of wellbeing – sports and so on – I’ll try to become an expert in sleeping :-)! Interestingly though, it’s not as easy as you would think. Longer you’ve neglected it; more difficult it is to normalize it.

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  17. Aw now :)
    these are some great tips!
    It suddenly got very chilly this weekend... gonna need loads of tea.

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

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  18. Lovely post, thank you!

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