Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Health is in Your Hands


In the previous blog “Health is Happiness” we tried to understand the true meaning of health and its relationship with wealth and doctors. Before going further into the topic “Health is in your Hands”, let me share a small experience of mine in this regards. Legendary Yogacharya Sri BKS Iyengar once said in his interview that he was blessed with numerous diseases like Influenza, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Typhoid etc during his childhood. It is this reason why he has chosen the path of Yoga. Doctors declared that Guruji would die in 5 or 6 years and would not even cross his teenage. But destiny has something in store for him. He not only overcame his afflictions but gone on to live past 94 years and still going strong. When I met him in last July during Guru Poornima, I was astonished to see the kind of energy he has even at this age. He is full of energy, very vibrant and electrifying than a teenager. I have seen people of his age but not with so much vigor and vibrancy. Recently I happened to watch a documentary film on Guruji named “Leap of Faith”. After watching the film, I realized that Guruji’s life was nothing but a battle in every path of his life. He used to practice asanas for 10 hours at times. He experimented on his body in many ways. Iyengar method of Yoga is the result of these experiments and the experiences derived out of it.

After overcoming all the issues, Guruji helped lakhs of people who visited him over the years with different ailments through his unique method of Yoga using specific movements, alignments of the body and different types of props for practicing asanas. Apart from that lakhs of others across the world are getting benefited by the Iyengar Yoga Teachers created by Guruji. Guruji not only lighted up his house but passed on the energy to his students who are lightening lakhs of houses across the Globe. The energy is flowing and there is no halt for this energy. Had Guruji not suffered those diseases, we wouldn’t have found a power house called Sri. BKS Iyengar who is lightening the houses of millions with is Knowledge and Wisdom on Yoga. Great people always burn in the fire like an earthen pot to serve the others.


Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju is no different from Guruji BKS Iyengar. He is another karma yogi who is moving up in his path lightening millions of people in Andhra Pradesh and across the world. Fortunately I am one of the rarest people who got an opportunity to get associated with two of these greats. Like Guruji Dr. M.S. Raju also suffered several health issues during his childhood. He made several experiments on his body and experienced several health benefits. He studied the Science of Naturopathy and after an intense research on the subject he designed the path of “Natural Way of Living” and decided to take this wonderful gift of nature to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Over the last 15 years Dr. M.S. Raju has been preaching the benefits of Natural Way of Living travelling all over the state of Andhra Pradesh. He realized many people suffering from various diseases in spite of spending lakhs of rupees on treatment moving from one doctor to another and one hospital to another without any result. For people like them, he designed “Natural Way of Living” where one can improve his health condition without spending a single rupee, sitting at home without going to any doctor or hospital. Dr. Raju’s followers are increasing day by day throughout the World. He is reaching every house hold through his books, TV programs and CDs and DVDs. Unfortunately most of them are in Telugu language. This is why I started writing my blog. My intention was to take his teachings to Non-Telugu speaking people in India. Fortunately, my blog posts are widely appreciated by international viewers as well. When I began my journey into natural way of living, I never imagined I would be like what I am today. I cannot explain in words how do I feel now. Thanks to Dr. Raju and Guruji BKS Iyengar because of whom I am transforming into a healthy person now.

Many like others I was not very serious about my health though I was suffering from several health issues. Only after watching Dr. Raju’s program on weight loss I started his path of Natural way of living. After seriously taking up Guruji BKS Iyengar’s Yoga I realized what complete health is. These two greats are inspiring forces and twin pillars of my life. I not only gained physical health but also mental peace. After joining yoga I realized that I was running after false things and my goal has changed now. My way of looking at things has changed and this I guess is the reason for relieving my mental strain and stress.

Being humans we do get diseases. That’s the nature our body. Being sick is sometimes for good reasons. It makes you realize the importance of health. I was born with ASD (Arterial Septal Disorder). In simple terms it is a case of hole in the artery of my heart. This made my childhood difficult in many ways. I used to get sick every now and then. But when I look back I realize that it was good in one way. It taught me the spirit of fighting hard to survive. I think it helped my natural instincts to rise. When I was undergoing an open heart surgery at the age of 18, I saw people crying with fear while going to the surgery room. I was fearless as I knew that is going to give me a new life. But I was not aware that my life would become sedentary after surgery which is going to hamper my health condition. My life had become a hell after surgery. Though the heart problem was overcome, my immunity system dropped down, became weak and feeble and restricted to sedentary work. I sacrificed all my sports which I used to play before surgery. Increasing weight was another matter of concern for me for very long time. After following Dr. Raju’s TV program on weight loss I began this journey of ‘Natural Way of Living’. Fortunately I came across a book called “light on Yoga” written by Guruji BKS Iyengar and began my yoga journey. (To know how I began my yoga journey follow this link “GuruPoornima with Legedary BKS Iyengar.”) After that my life took a U Turn. Then I joined Iyengar Yoga Institute Hyderabad, studying yoga under the expert guidance of my Guruji Smt. Zarna Mohan.

According to some of the ancient yoga texts diseases are caused due to three reasons:

1. Aadhyaatmika – Sickness caused due to bad karma or actions of the parents and ancestors. The sickness is hereditarily transferred to the heirs through their DNA. If the parents and grand parents ignore their health and succumb to diseases, they not only affect them but also to their future generations. We see many of these cases today. Diabetes, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Asthma, Bronchitis etc and many other diseases are caused hereditarily to plenty of people.

2. Aadibhautika – Sickness caused by the bad karma or actions of the self. We can call this a life style disorder. They are caused due to bad and unhealthy lifestyles. We see most of these cases in the metro and other growing cities where the lifestyles are against the nature of our body. Sedentary work, lack of physical exert, bad eating and sleeping habits and odd working hours are responsible for this kind of diseases or disorders. This is the most happening issue among the people of current generation. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Liver Problems, Kidney Problems, Intestinal Problems, Gall bladder Problems, Lung Problems, Heart Problems, Paralysis, Obesity and you name it and every modern disease is a lifestyle disorder. They are the diseases purchased by our own self.

3. Aadidaivika – Sickness caused by the karma or actions of the past lives. These types of diseases are very rare. These are the diseases caused to one from birth neither hereditary nor lifestyle disorder. For example, kids with hole in arteries or veins of the heart, one with crooked Spine, Type I diabetes and the cases of physical and mental deficiencies by birth.

We can overcome all these health issues if we learn how to keep ourselves healthy and teach the younger generations the importance of good health. Unfortunately, many believe themselves healthy until they fall sick or get prone to a serious disease. Then they cry that the disease has hampered their health. They believe their health was perfect before the disease and it hampered only after the disease. The fact is, as long as the Light called health is there with you, the disease cannot enter your body. It enters only when the light called health is declined. The disease en-roots into the body and slowly sprouts within without any symptoms. The sprout then starts branching inside the body and only then we realize the symptoms. If these symptoms are not taken care of in the early stages then the disease takes a giant form and destroys your life.
Now let us try to understand the causes for declining health condition of our body. People say that untidiness, food, water and environmental pollution are responsible for the declining health standards of the people. But the fact is, it is only 10% of the cause where as the 90% of the cause is our week immunity system. A sound immunity system protects your body from all sorts of trouble. If at all the disease enters your body and grows, it is the failure of your defense mechanism called the immunity system. Who is responsible for the declining immunity system? The parents who gave birth to you? They realized the importance of health and still live healthy. The doctors and hospitals? They are here because you are diseased. Food pollution? Water Pollution? Environmental Pollution? Mental Stain and Tensions? They are only responsible for a fraction. Then who is the culprit of your health? It is you. You are responsible for your ill health. Your health is in your hands. It is not in the hands of your parents, doctors, hospitals or in the hands of your society. It is totally in your hands. You can build it as well as you can ruin it.

Our ancestors realized this secret of health and lived healthy and happy. We are unable to understand this simple fact and ruining our own health. Today, especially the people living in the metro cities, the educated and the rich are unable to understand this very simple secret ‘the health is in our own hands’. Dawn to dusk we are spending our time in studies, earning money, enjoying foods, traveling and leading a luxurious and effortless life. Actually there isn’t any time to live. Then how can we live healthy? We plan everything except health. We plan what we are supposed to study in future. How we are supposed to earn money. When to visit a favorite restaurant for dinner? Where are we supposed to spend our holidays etc? Had we ever planned a single day allotting a time to chew our food well and eat? Cleanse the intestines and bladder? Doing exercises and meditation? Eating well before sunset and sleeping early hours in the night? Had we ever thought what this beautiful vehicle of our life journey called body needs? Are we providing what it needs? If we look after this vehicle then where is the need of taking it to the shed for repairs? 

We are responsible for our own ill health. It is therefore, we have to correct our mistakes. If your skin is itching, you cannot scratch others to get rid of the itch. Similarly, if your health is declined, you have to pull your socks up and try to regain total health. Everyone must try to keep the doctors away as much as possible. Because a doctor is needed only when your not healthy. It doesn’t mean that you should not take the help of doctors and hospitals. You need to use them only when required and should not depend on them for anything and everything. Doctors and hospitals are only meant to treat the disease. Their relationship is only with your disease and not you. Their responsibility is over once they treat the disease. 

Measures to Improve Health:

Who is a better person to follow when you are looking to improve your health condition than Dr. Mantena Satyanaraya Raju? For the past 15 years Dr. Raju has been doing a wonderful job in promoting health among the people of Andhra Pradesh. You can improve your health condition by following some of these minimum duties of the body.

To run a car in a good condition, you need to fulfill some of its daily needs. You need to provide some water, fuel, engine oil and some air. If you regularly provide these basic needs the car functions properly. Similarly, if you learn and understand the basic needs of the vehicle of our life called the body, then it functions properly just like a car without any difficulty. To ask these minimum needs is the right of our body and to provide them is our duty. The following are some of the basic needs of our body.

1. Air – The most important need of our body is air. One cannot survive more than few seconds if there is no air. Fortunately, the air moves in and out of our body involuntarily without our intervention. Therefore we could lead this much of life. Lungs are the main organs that carry oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of our body. But, keeping in mind of our daily activity we are not utilizing our full capacity of the lungs. Due to non usage, the lungs are losing its functional capacity and collapsing in times of need. If you have an active physical activity in your daily life then the lungs perform well. There is no better way of improving your lungs capacity than Pranayama in Yoga. However, any other physical exert also improves the lung capacity. You need better, wider and expandable lungs for a good healthy life.

 

2. Water – After Air, water plays a second vital role in our health. You need to realize that 71% of our body weight is due to water. Everyday 2 liters of water is utilized by the body in excreting the toxins from the body in the form of urine and sweat. You need to maintain the water levels intact in order to keep your inner environment healthy. Many people don’t realize this and do not maintain enough water levels in the body. Even if they do, they drink in the form of cool drinks, beer, buttermilk etc and think they are maintaining enough water in them. But they forget these are food items and not water. You need water to cleanse your body; not the soft drinks, sodas and juices. The body has to digest and cleanse these drinks and extract water from it. It may be helpful to some extent but it may not do the same as water does. Water is directly absorbed into the blood immediately and serves the need. If you serve 6 liters of water in Dr.Mantena’s way, then you lead a very healthy life. If you follow this, half your diseases or problems disappear.


 

3. Food – Food is the third most important element of our health. Everyone does eat food but the food that gives pleasure to the tongue but not the food that is useful to the body. We are utilizing the stomach filling it for a minimum of 3 times a day and hardly doing any physical activity. We are eating, wandering and working restlessly throughout the day and night. We are not leaving the body alone even when it is sick and not in a position to eat and digest the food. Ignoring all the symptoms of the body stuffing the stomach has become a routine. We have forgotten the ancient ways of Lankanam - fasting till recovery during fever and other sickness and regular fasts every now and then during a month to provide rest to the body. We have forgotten the ancient mantra – eat less and live more. Yogis in the past rightly said, Eka-bhukte sada yogi, Dwi-bhukte sada bhogi and Tri-bhukte sada Rogi; which means, the one who eats once a day leads a long life like a yogi, who eats twice lives like a bhogi - an enjoyer, who eats thrice lives like a rogi – the diseased. My Yoga teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan says, one has to enjoy food but with regulation to live healthy. Follow this simple mantra and that is enough.

 

4. Exercise – Physical exercise is very important part of life. As Guruji BKS Iyengar says, if you want to be healthy, you need to purchase health by spending your sweat. How truly said by the great Maestro? Apart from fingers working on computers, books and files we are not moving our body. Guruji in his book tree of life on yoga said, today a modern man wakes up from a cushion bed to find a bed coffee or tea and lands on sofa for reading news paper, He falls on dining table for breakfast, dining table to car seat for office, car seat to office chair for work and the reverse in return. He begins and ends his day on the seat. How is he supposed to get health? When anyone is asked to do some exercise, he says that he has no time for that. What a pity. How ignorant he is? Why does anyone forget that by the time he is full of time to exercise, the body is no more capable of doing it? The water once spilt into the soil cannot come back. Therefore, you need to extract your time now before it’s too late. 

 

5. Rest – Rest is very useful part of our life. You need to rest the body externally and internally. External rest is given by providing a nice, deep and ample sleep in the nights. Since humans are day predators, the dharma of our body is to work in the day and sleep at night. But the lifestyles of metro cities are opposite to this. Due to night schedules of their work many people in the cities are suffering from sleeping disorders like insomnia and sleeplessness. You need to avoid these lifestyles as much as possible to stay healthy. Internal rest can be provided by eating less, regular fasting and doing lankanams – fasting unto recovery during sickness. 70% of daily energy is utilized by the body in eating food, digesting the eaten food, converting them to glucose and supplying the converted glucose to the body cells. If you do regular fast, the body saves this energy and utilizes in cleansing and repairing the body. We discussed all these in the previous posts. So I don’t feel necessary to elaborate on this.

 

6. Excretion of the Waste - The body excretes the wastes and toxins of the body in the form of urine, sweat and stool. Most part of the waste is excreted through stool. We always think of filling the stomach but never pay attention in cleansing our intestines until we get intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, burning sensation and blood spilling through anus, piles, hemorrhoids, fishers etc. Follow Dr. Raju’s Natural way of living, keep your bowels moving freely and overcome all these problems with ease and lead a healthy life.

If you take care of these 6 basic needs of the body you always remain healthy, your immunity system boosts up and protects you from all sorts of diseases and disorders. We might have committed mistakes in the past but let us pledge not to commit the same again and change our lifestyle and follow the Natural Way of Living from here on.

I hope you enjoyed this update. Keep watching the space for more updates.
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