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.
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.
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.
Utilize the hours before sunrise for spiritual enlightenment. Meditate and educate yourself. Offer respect and thanks to those who are guiding you.
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.
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.
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.
Finally, walk in the nature! Even twenty minutes in the woods level blood pressure and relieve tension. It's a beautiful autumn!