Friends, I have been going on and off in the path of Dr. Mantena Satyanarayana Raju’s ‘Natural way of Living’ these days due to my nature of work and travel. To remain in the path one needs inspiration. Earlier I used to watch programs of Dr. Raju on TV every day and get inspired; which I am missing now. Whenever I get an opportunity I refer to his books and journals for motivation.
It is Dr. Raju who inspired to change my lifestyle and that changeover lead me to the path of yoga and ever since I adopted Iyengar Yoga in my life there is no looking back. It has transformed me completely in health as well as spiritual aspects of life. Yoga taught me self understanding of the body, its constitution, importance and well being in a better way. I began to understand the beauty of my body better than ever before.
While referring to one of Dr. Raju’s books, a few beautiful lines strike my mind. Here they are:
“We wish to have a beautiful home for this living body with a soul to live. We plan meticulously and take every care during construction of the house. We choose nice tiles, expensive carpet and good color combination for interiors, proper ventilation and attractive wood work to make our home attractive from inside and outside. Once we are in the house we clean and mop the floor regularly. At the door of every room we have door mats, dustbins etc. We spend hours to keep bathtubs and toilets clean.
When we provide so much care to provide comforts and facilities to our home, should our body with its soul inside not deserve a better attention? Irony is that we ignore the body, the abode of the soul and pay more attention to the house that this body lives in.”
So true! Isn’t it? We are seeking material, external and mortal luxury leaving the true self ignored within. By the time we realize the mistake we have committed it is already to too late. Some where I read that “life is a race. You race your entire childhood in schools learning material objects; you race your teenage in college for ranks and thereby for better jobs and you race your entire middle life in making a family, looking after kids, their education and finally their marriage. When you look back you are left with nothing but the diseases and disorders. Then you realize you have wasted the whole life after things that are very useless.” Only then people turn towards spirituality and yoga practices but just think to what extent it can help? Had you given your body the prime importance from the very beginning the scenario would have been different? The great example ever is our Guruji Yogacharya Shri. B.K.S. Iyengar. He at the age of 95 still practices yoga for 3 hours. He suffered from Influenza, Tuberculosis, Typhoid and many other diseases in his childhood. Doctors declared his death in his teenage itself. But he fought and fought really hard to survive these many years. It is not that you become immortal. One has to die some day. But at least you live in peace. As Guruji says, “it is not essential how many years I survived; it is essential how I lived every moment of my life. I don’t want to depend upon others during my last days. I want to do all my work on my own till the last breath of my life. That is the reason why I practice even now and I do till the last moment.”
Diseases are not always bad. We feel sad when we are succumbed to the diseases. In fact, it is a way of dragging your attention inwards. If you are not diseased then why will you think of any part of your body inside? Very few people listen to this call of nature and follow the path that leads to health. Guruji began yoga practice at the very early age of 18; he conquered his body, mind, senses and finally the self over a long illustrious career of his. He inspired millions like me in following the path of health, happiness and spirituality. Had I not suffered a heart problem and other complementary disorders along with it, I would not have come into this path of Yoga. I was undergone an open heart surgery called ASD Closure at the age of 19. My body sought my attention since childhood but it took me 30 years to drag my attention inwards as I was also running after all the material objects mentioned above. Nevertheless, you are never late to wakeup. There is a popular proverb in Hindi, “jab Jago tab Savera” which means “It’s a dawn anytime you wake up.” So let us try to understand the festival of dawn and make every morning a festive and joyful morning.
It is good to get up early and enjoy the pleasures of dawn. Our body is engaged in the excretory action in our sleep and it continues even after we wake up. The energy of the nerves is centered on the large intestines as soon as we wake up, since the entire waste material of our body is stored up there. Therefore the mind does not rest until it sends out the waste that reached the intestines throughout the night. The waste material and fecal matter is sent from small intestines and stomach to rectum. The nerves holding the fecal matter will be ready to release it once you wake up. If you do not engage yourself mentally and physically in other things, your energy will help you have a free motion of the bowels.
In India it is always taught to wake up early in the morning. The time between 4 a.m. to 5-30 a.m. is considered to be the best time for health as it contains the fresh and best prana in air. I still remember how my father used to wake up early at 4 a.m. and awaken us since our childhood. I always considered it as a trouble and never understood the importance of getting up early. Today he is into his mid 70’s, very healthy and still working. It took me very long to understand the secret of his health. People in villages are still waking up early and enjoying the pleasures of dawn and remaining healthy. They drink 1 tumbler of water as soon as they wake up and cleanse their bowels, finishes their breakfast before sunrise and leave for their work early. Similarly finishes their work and return home and end up with dinner before sunset and sleep early.
Things are different in the metro cities and towns. People need bed coffee before cleaning the bowels. The energy that has to be used for motion of the bowels will be diverted to digest the coffee, keeping aside its duty of sending out the fecal matter. The excretory action will go on till you eat some breakfast. This action of sending out the waste slackens as the sun rays become warmer and you start feeling hungry. To satisfy the hunger you will start eating. If you wake up at 8 a.m. you have no time left for excretory action. You feel it’s too late and so you hurry up your activities in getting ready for the work. You brush your teeth and have your breakfast immediately after that.
Due to liberalization and the growth of outsourcing jobs in big cities and towns of India, people have messed up their lives completely. People are working in the time to sleep and trying to sleep during the time to remain awake. This is creating all sorts of problems with regards to health. Many people working in BPO and software industries are suffering from sleeplessness and insomnia. Today hospitals have come up with treatment methods to make them sleep. They are charging a ransom amount of Rs. 2000 to 5000 per day for making you sleep. We have messed up with our lives so badly that we need to admit in a hospital to get a sleep which is a beautiful natural phenomenon by paying huge ransoms.
If you wake up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. your stomach will be free for 2-3 hours. Drink 1 to 1.5 liters of water as soon as you wake up and cleanse your bowels. With free motion of your bowels immediately after you wake up feel relaxed. These 1 to 1.5 liters of water helps in the excretion of the waste reached in the blood and intestines in the form of sweat, urine and motion. Half an hour later, do some exercises or practice yogasanas for 1 to 1.5 hours or go for a jog or long walk in the parks. These physical activities help further in sending out the waste matter churned out in the night. Again drink another liter of water to enable the body to clear itself of its waste material. In this way just supply the water in the above mentioned manner and do some exercises then the body will fulfill its duty of excretion completely. Follow these simple steps and experience the difference. These simple steps every day makes your morning pleasant and happy. I have not introduced these methods myself neither by Dr. Raju. These are the age old practices followed by our ancestors; unfortunately we have forgotten them. This is a small attempt to remind those valuable teachings of our ancestors to bring awareness among the people seeking good health.
I hope you enjoyed this update. Keep watching the space for more updates.