Indian Music

Indian Music has a very long, unbroken tradition and is an accumulated heritage of centuries.  It is believed that sage Narada introduced the art of music to the Earth.  The origin can be traced back to Vedic days, nearly two thousand years ago.  Organised indian music owes its origin to the Samaveda.

The Gupta period is considered as the golden era in the development of Indian music.  All the music treatises like Natya Shastra and Brihaddeshi were written during this period.  One of the influences of Indian music has perhaps been that of the Persian music, which brought in a changed perspective in the style of the Northern Indian music.  It is then that the two schools of music resulted, the Hindustani (North Indian music) and the Carnatic (South Indian music).

The Indian music includes multiple varieties of folk, bhajans, ghazals, qawwalis, bhangra, pop, film songs, remix songs and fusion.

Some of the legends in Hindustani and Carnatic musics are :

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

A distinguished maestro in the field of playing Sarod, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is popularly known as the “Sarod Samrat”. This innovative genius has composed many ragas of his own like Kiran Ranjani, Haripriya Kanada, Shivanjali, Shyam Shri, Suhag Bhairav, Lalit Dhwani, Amiri Todi, Jawahar Manjari and Bapukauns. He has also given performances in Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kennedy Center, House of Commons, Singapore, Mozart Hall in Frankfurt, Chicago Symphony Center, St. James Palace and the Opera House in Australia.

The talented musician has received Honorary Citizenship to the States of Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Atlanta.

Amjad Ali Khan is the first north Indian artist to have performed in honor of Saint Thyagaraja at the Thiruvaiyur shrine. He has also been a recipient of many awards like Padmashree Award, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Tansen Award, UNESCO Award, UNICEF National Ambassadorship, Padma Bhushan, International Music Forum Award, etc.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

He blended the best of the four traditions of music: Patiala that was own, the elements of Dhrupad, the delicacy of Jaipur and the embellishments of Gwalior. Bade Ghulam Ali looked beyond the “Bol-banav” tradition of Thumri. He wanted to break the age old tradition and wanted to play with the notes with greater abandon and less restraint. This kind of Thumri is now well established by the efforts of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

The career span of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was relatively short. He made his mark in Calcutta in the year 1938 and All India Music Conference in Bombay in the year 1944. He was titled the Master in every field of music that he explored.

Dr. Balamuralikrishna

One of the most famous names associated with Classical Carnatic Music is that of Dr. Balamuralikrishna. This legendary musician and Padmabhushan awardee is an able composer, singer, poet and instrumentalist who can sing perfectly in three octaves. He was named Murali Krishna by his father. The prefix Bala was given by a Hari Katha performer Musunuri Satyanarayana and thereafter he came to be known as Balamuralikrishna.

In India, he is the only musician who has won National Awards for classical music, music direction as well as film playback singing.

Dr. Balamurali Krishna has immensely contributed to the world of Carnatic music. He composed a detailed work known as Raganga Ravali on 72 Melakarta (basic scales of Carnatic music). All this at the mere age of 14!

Balamurali Krishna also has over 400 compositions in different music scales that are widely accepted by music lovers and critics alike. He has also created many new ragas Like Mahati, Sumukham, Trisakthi, Sarvashri, Omkari, Janasamodini, Manorama, Rohini, Vallabhi, Lavangi, Pratimadhyamavathi, Sushama, etc.

Bhimsen Joshi

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is the descendant of Kirana stream of Hindustani classical music. He is famous for the “Khayal”, a form of Hindustani classical. Bhimsen Joshi has perfected not just the Khayal interpretations but has also sung Bhajans in Hindi and Marathi. His bhajans are widely heard by not just ardent music lovers but people all over.

This versatile singer has also recorded Kannada Dasa Krithis in Dasavani, which are usually sung by Carnatic musicians. He has also been presented the Padma Shree in 1972, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1985. Perhaps some of his best performances have been at Savai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, which is held in Pune annually.

His most memorable performance that is remembered till date is of course the national integration song “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”.

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Ustad Bismillah Khan was undoubtedly a gem that India is proud of. This Shehnai maestro of India was a Bharat Ratna awardee and has been awarded all the top four civilian awards namely Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan along with the Bharat Ratna. He fully takes the credit for making the shehnai one of the most famous classical music instruments. His concert in All India Music Conference (1937) in Calcutta brought shehnai into limelight and was hugely appreciated by music lovers.

Bismillah Khan had the rare honor of playing his shehnai on the eve of India’s independence in the year 1947. He performed at the Red Fort in Delhi and since that year he has always played on 15th August right after the Prime Minister gave his speech.  He has performed in Afghanistan, USA, Canada, Bangladesh, Europe, Iran, Iraq, West Africa, Japan and Hong Kong.

M.S Subbulakshmi

M.S Subbulakshmi is a name that is synonymous with the world of Carnatic music. This flawless singer whose voice had a divine power is the first singer in India to be presented with the Bharat Ratna, the highest award given to any civilian.

She released her first album at the mere age of 10!

M.S gave her first public performance at Kumbakonam during Mahamaham festival. The versatile singer sang all famous Meera bhajans in her melodious voice and these bhajans are enjoyed by people even today. M S Subbulakshmi has performed in London (Royal Albert Hall), New York (Carnegie Hall), Canada, Far East, Moscow,

Some of her most famous works include Suprabhatam (Early Morning Hymns), Bhajagovindam (composed by Adi Shankaracharya praising Lord Krishna), Kurai Onrum Illai (composed by Rajagopalachari), Vishnu Sahasranamam (1000 names of Lord Vishnu), Hanuman Chalisa (Prayers to Lord Hanuman), etc. Another moving composition is the song Vaishnava Janato that can bring tears to anybody.

uvAcha quiz – 5

a.    He is known as the “flying musician of India”

  1. Bhupen Hazarika
  2. Pandit Ravi Shankar
  3. Bhimsen Joshi
  4. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan

b.   He is praised as one of the ‘9 gems’ of Akbar’s court

  1. Tansen
  2. Zakir Hussain
  3. Ustad Amir Khan
  4. Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia

c.   This singer performed at the UN assembly

  1. D.K.Pattammal
  2. M.S.Subbulakshmi
  3. M.L.Vasanthakumari
  4. Sudha Raghunathan

d.  This singer is known as the Nightingale of India

  1. Lata Mangeshkar
  2. Asha Bhonsle
  3. Kavitha Krishnamurti
  4. Alisha Chinoy

e.   The singer of “vande matram” remix

  1. Rabindranath Tagore
  2. Chaterjee
  3. A.R.Rrahman
  4. G. Venugopal

Answers for uvAcha quiz – 4

(a)  22nd December   (b)  Vikram Sarabhai  (c)  1975  (d)  Tarapur, Maharashtra  (e)  Prafulla Chandra Roy

Meeting Demand-Supply gap for quality teachers – Exploring options…

Various changes are sweeping the education system in the country. This is needed for the overall benefit of our society

Increasing number of education boards are implementing CCE system of education to make the learning process more holistic and less burdensome for students. This leads to increased work-load due to multiplicity of forms and reports. This also adds to the existing demand for qualified teachers.

The already existing demand-supply gap for quality teachers in school education has further multiplied due to implementation of various provisions of the RTE act…

A recent survey report on shortage of teachers in schools. Click to read more…

Does this mean that we should not implement RTE or have a re-look at its provisions? Definitely not. The need now is to explore options to overcome this challenge. Why should we do this now?

We need not just teachers, but qualified and inspired teachers, declares our Hon’ble President…

He claims such teachers will help steer moral values in schools…

We should thus, look outside the box… some ways in which the following trends can help

With India all set to contribute to a major chunk of global workforce in the next couple of decades, there is a need for wider dialogue and exchange of thoughts in this direction. We at Ankur, welcome suggestions and thoughts in this regards…

Co-scholastic skills delivery in schools – trends and need in the domain

Support from the corporate in terms of sponsorship, increasing number of parents recognising sports as a career option, better participation and winning of olympic medals – all these point to a positive trend in sports education in the country.

Education boards acknowledge this changing trend and appreciate the fact that sports can be a medium for holistic development of a child. Boards today give credits for sports performance and integrate it into overall academic performance grading of a child.

However, handful of schools are empowered with qualified and quality teachers and ability to provide a positive atmosphere to the child to excel in sports. Sportsmen with entrepreneurship spirit are today working hard to be a complementary support structure for schools to transfer sports skills to the students. Click to read a report on this trend where schools outsource sports education. This however is just a tip of the iceberg. Sports education is crying for its due. This report from THE HINDU highlights this point.

The scenario is not much different in other fields. Co-scholastic education on its whole has started gaining importance  in the past few years.

For the schools to cope with other administrative pressures, it makes sense that they focus their energies on scholastic education, where they are better equipped, empowered and their core strength lies. Outsourcing services from domain experts for co-scholastic domains like sports, music, art and craft, dance, life-skills, yoga, etc., is the right approach in imparting holistic education to children.

In this background, there is a need for evolution of a forum with following primary objectives:

  • knowledge exchange
  • develop standards for assessment and evaluation in various domains
  • periodic assessment and development of skill availability in various domains vis-à-vis the need gap
  • research and development of curriculum, syllabi, etc., in an integrated way for the overall benefit of all stake holders in the system
  • one-stop contact point for all schools to outsource the required services

Other objectives may be added to the list…

In short, this forum will act as other existing industry associations for the overall benefit of the industry.

Ankur Katha 2013 – Update

Hi Young Authors…

Katha2013

“The Hindu Young World Ankur Katha 2013” book will be released during the city level event of Ankur Children Yoga Festival 2013. The above event is planned to be celebrated on a large-scale on 19th April 2014.

Invites will be sent to all the winning authors in due course.

Waiting to receive the budding authors…

River with Two-Directional flow…

A normal river carrying water flows in one direction…

The river of mind carrying thoughts flows in two directions, the direction of flow of one’s mind determine where one heads in life…

The downward flow towards destruction is the easy and natural flow, where one acts simply based on instincts.

Humans are bestowed with a special ability to act as per their WILL, commonly known as Will-Power. The upward flow is based on the extent of manifestation of this will power. This upward flow will be effective and smoother, if we direct the senses and emotions as per dictates from the higher intellect. By higher intellect we refer to the creative and intuitive powers of the intellect. The lower intellect is one which helps us deal with the day-to-day affairs effectively and survive.

It is said…

those who create changes LEAD

those who adapt well to changes SURVIVE while

those who resist changes PERISH

And…

To LEAD one need the powers of the Subtle and HIGHER INTELLECT

To SURVIVE one need to effectively use the gross and LOWER INTELLECT

To simply PERISH without getting noticed, it is enough to act according to one’s INSTINCTS.

On introspection and analysis we will understand that…

Great Leaders in all fields who inspire people for generations, effectively used Higher Intellect

Good people who make a mark during their life-time, live as per directions of the Lower Intellect

Vast majority (like animals) live subdued to their instinctual directions

This puts into perspective the cause behind stress and worry in the modern world.

Perseverance and Dispassion are the two wings of a bird which help one to flow in the upward direction of evolution making the most use of higher intellect.

Consistent practice or Sadhana as per the first two limbs of Ashtanga Yoga – Yama and Niyama help one to develop perseverance.

Development of dispassion is not getting disinterested with the day to day affairs or suppression of desires as is commonly understood. It is growing beyond these through well-developed intelligence. Such intelligence is also developed by following the principles of Yamas and Niyamas. 

Change does not happen overnight. It is a steady and continuous process. One need to first start using their lower intellect properly before moving forward to usage of higher intellect and there is no short cut in this journey. While on the journey, our past actions and their results will continue to haunt us in the form of resistance from people around and mind within. This is where perseverance comes handy. We need to be mentally prepared to face any obstacle, be resilient and rise up more swiftly than in the previous fall.

Tools for practice:

  • Asana practices with awareness help one to develop the will and awareness
  • Pranayama practices help to keep the energy levels high and activate the higher chakras
  • Pratyahara practices like antarmouna, yoga nidra, etc., help to develop awareness, control over senses, emotions and mind
  • Study and interaction with experts for gaining proper understanding of Yamas and Niyamas

One need to get the right schedule of practices for their need, as per the advice from experts

Courtesy: This insight is from a talk by Swami Muktanand Puri during World Yoga Convention 2013 in Oct 2013 at Munger

The IOER effects on Physical Fitness

You dwell in this physical body.

For enjoying life your body has to be healthy.

For accomplishing anything in this world your body has to co-operate.

There are “n” number of theories and concepts which talk about fitness. Almost every news paper or blog site talks about the importance of fitness and tips to keep fit.

This post is to share the time-tested philosophy for physical fitness. It doesn’t give you Dos and Dont’s for having a fit body. You know your body, the best. Your body, your lifestyle and your life goals are unique to you. Hence, you have to decide what works for you and what doesn’t. You need to take a decision to implement what suits you the best.

Here are the four time-tested, basic principles which govern your physical health

Input:

“Food alone is the best medicine for all living creatures because they have come into existence because of food alone” – Taittiriya Upanishad

“Mithahara is defined as a complete and sweet food leaving one-fourth of the stomach free when eaten” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

We all know that this physical body is made of food. So how does the food we take IN determine our physical health and fitness…?!?! Click to read more…

Output:

Apart from what we take in we also need to take care to send out all waste from the body. Periodic elimination of urine, faeces and sweat removes a bulk of waste from our body. However, thanks to the modern lifestyle there is much more to be eliminated from the body.

Excessive fat stored in the body is something that is talked about more often. In addition to this, bulk of waste gets stored in our body, primarily in the circulatory and digestive tracts. This leads one to most of the life-style diseases of 21st century.

These have to be eliminated regularly as well to keep our body supple, flexible and fit. Click to read more…

Exercise:

Some principles which help in determining need and the right kind of exercise:

  • The theory of use and disuse by Lamarck states that which is put to use develops and unused degenerates and disappears.
  • Various parts of the body – from organ system level down to cellular level need exercise. The physical body is built of trillions of cells, each cell containing a miniature life and energy for a definite function. Individual lives are really only bits of some degree of intelligence enabling the cells to work properly.
  • Various cells of the body, which are used like building bricks, get their energy and nourishment through the blood stream. Ensuring proper circulation and supply of oxygen is thus an important purpose of exercise.
  • The  physical body is not on its own. It is closely connected and influenced by the mental body/state. Hence the right exercise regimen should also have a positive effect on the mental domain.
  • The yogic philosophy takes this a step forward and states that it should have a positive effect on the pranic energy as well. It is well-known fact that all the three – physical body, pranic/vital energy and mental state of an individual are closely related.
  • The five factors that influence the efficiency of a muscular act – the initial stretch of the muscles, temperature, the viscosity of the muscles, the speed performance and fatigue.

With this background let us take a look on the right kind of exercise needed for our body. Click to read more…

Rest and Relaxation:

When the amount of pranic energy spent is more than the body can restore, the body feels weak.  This is one way of spending energy. Uncontrolled emotions can very quickly use up the prana stored in the body.

A few minutes of anger can cost more energy than a day of physical labor. when the anger has subsided, there is still no definite command for the muscles to relax and they stay activated. When we are excited by lower emotions, the mind constantly keeps the nerves in action and our muscles tense by unrestrained and uncontrolled mental states. More of our energy is spent in keeping the muscles in continual readiness for work than in real useful work done during our lifetime.

We can compare the waste of pranic energy as the result of tension to the waste of water as the result of not turning off a faucet and allowing the water to trickle away hour after hour. So we allow our prana to trickle away in a constant stream of tension, which in turn results in wear and tear on our muscles and internal organs.

In order to regulate and balance the work of the body and mind, it is necessary to learn to economize the energy produced by our body, which is the main purpose of learning how to rest and relax. The periods of rest and relaxation help the body to rejuvenate / recharge for the next phase of work. Click to read more…

Why Exercise ?

Some principles which help in determining the need for and the right kind of exercise:

  • The theory of use and disuse by Lamarck states “that which is put to use develops and unused degenerates and disappears.”
  • Various parts of the body – from organ system level down to cellular level need exercise. The physical body is built of trillions of cells, each cell containing a miniature life and energy for a definite function. Individual lives are really only bits of some degree of intelligence enabling the cells to work properly.
  • Various cells of the body, which are used like building bricks, get their energy and nourishment through the blood stream. Ensuring proper circulation and supply of oxygen is thus an important purpose of exercise.
  • The  physical body is not on its own. It is closely connected and influenced by the mental body/state. Hence the right exercise regimen should also have a positive effect on the mental domain.
  • The yogic philosophy takes this a step forward and states that it should have a positive effect on the pranic energy as well. It is well-known fact that all the three – physical body, pranic/vital energy and mental state of an individual are closely related.
  • The five factors that influence the efficiency of a muscular act – the initial stretch of the muscles, temperature, the viscosity of the muscles, the speed performance and fatigue.

With this background let us take a look on the right kind of exercise needed for our body.

Right Exercise

The modern physical fitness programs are designed to develop the muscles. Fitness experts try to enhance fitness by mechanical movements and exercises. Muscular development of the body does not necessarily mean a healthy body, as is commonly assumed, for health is a state when all organs function perfectly under the intelligent control of the mind. Yogic exercises apart from developing the body also broadens the mental faculties. Through this one also can develop the ability to master over the involuntary muscles and systems in the body.

The main purpose of exercise is to increase the circulation and the intake of oxygen.  This can be achieved by simple movements of the spine and various joints of the body, with breath awareness and deep breathing but without violent movement of the muscles. During strenuous exercises, for instance, we are unable – even though respiration is deeper and faster – to breathe in enough oxygen to meet muscular demands. An oxygen debt is created.  This debt is the difference between the amount of oxygen actually needed by the active muscles and what is actually received. In moderate exercise the oxygen supply can keep pace with the oxygen used and no oxygen debt results. The only residual effects will be a depletion of the carbohydrate reservation and a need for more protein to be used in rebuilding the cells that broke down in activity.

In strenuous exercise programs, the greatest limiting factor for the maintenance of severe exertion is the oxygen supply. Even though the spleen is stimulated to contract and discharge red blood cells into the blood, the intake of oxygen cannot meet the muscular demands for it, so, lactic acid is accumulated in muscle and in blood. Without enough oxygen to reconvert, fatigue sets in. There is a limit to the size of the oxygen debt that an individual can incur and here is where slow-motion exercises of yoga help.

Moderately, loading a muscle is the most efficient way of getting the most work done. When not stretched enough, the muscle is not very efficient. Although viscosity is wasteful of efficiency, it is really an inherent reason of safety.  It acts as a brake to prevent muscles from responding so fast as to tear themselves apart. A moderate speed of performance is, therefore, more efficient. It is now being recognised that driving a man at his work to the point of exhaustion is not practical, with regard to the health of the person, or about getting more and better work done.

Moderate and consistent Yogic exercises, aside from making you feel better and relaxed, can help your body to become more adequate for the demands placed upon it.  Moreover, a well-trained body helps a great deal to train the mind.

Most common causes of fatigue are heart trouble, diabetes, kidney infections, and glandular disorders. Most of these symptoms could be easily removed with natural diet, relaxation, breathing, and Yogic exercises.

Yogic exercises pay great attention to the spinal column and other joints.  Moreover, they keep up an even supply of blood to every part of the body by helping to increase circulation and keep arteries elastic. The elasticity of the arteries also plays an important role in preserving health for it maintains the pressure between beats of the heart.  It keeps the blood flowing steadily.  The flow of the blood would be intermittent with inelastic arteries; a spurt would seem with each systole. With elastic arteries, the blood is forced steadily along the capillaries and veins.

Yogic exercises are mainly designed to keep the proper curvature of the spine and to increase its flexibility by stretching the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments.

Long before the modern scientists knew anything about the endocrine glands and their functions, the Yogis advocated exercises for these important endocrine glands.  Yogis knew that the endocrine system affects the emotions of the mind, and vice versa. Yogic postures help to strengthen the endocrine system through exercise, and bring the emotions under control through concentration and relaxation.

Rest & Relaxation

When the amount of pranic energy spent is more than the body can restore, the body feels weak.  This is one way of spending energy. Uncontrolled emotions can very quickly use up the prana stored in the body.

A few minutes of anger can cost more energy than a day of physical labor. when the anger has subsided, there is still no definite command for the muscles to relax and they stay activated. When we are excited by lower emotions, the mind constantly keeps the nerves in action and our muscles tense by unrestrained and uncontrolled mental states. More of our energy is spent in keeping the muscles in continual readiness for work than in real useful work done during our lifetime.

We can compare the waste of pranic energy as the result of tension to the waste of water as the result of not turning off a faucet and allowing the water to trickle away hour after hour. So we allow our prana to trickle away in a constant stream of tension, which in turn results in wear and tear on our muscles and internal organs.

In order to regulate and balance the work of the body and mind, it is necessary to learn to economize the energy produced by our body, which is the main purpose of learning how to rest and relax. The periods of rest and relaxation help the body to rejuvenate / recharge for the next phase of work.  During relaxation there is practically no energy or prana consumed, although a little is kept in circulation to keep the body in normal condition, and the remaining part is being stored up and conserved.

Sleep is the most commonly known mode for rest and relaxation. Ideally one need 6-8 hours of rest a day depending on the life-stage, gender and other factors. Two hours before midnight and four hours after is the most advisable period for one to have a good sleep. Insomnia / sleeplessness and excessive sleep are also common diseases of 21st century. Depriving the body of much-needed rest and relaxation for long periods of time can have deleterious effects on the system. Excessive sleep on the other hand can make us dull and again have deleterious effect on our body.

The three methods for rest and relax are on three planes… physical, mental, and spiritual. No relaxation is complete until man reaches the stage of spiritual relaxation. During relaxation, the conscious mind sends a message to a particular organ, such as the heart or liver. This message is received by the instinctive mind and the order is immediately carried out. Thus one could relax all the involuntary organs too. Wakeful Sleep is an effective way to do this.

Physical: First, physical relaxation starts from the toes up and the auto suggestion passes through the muscles and reaches up to the eyes and ears at the top. Then, slowly, messages are sent to the kidneys, liver, and so on, internally.

Mental: During mental tension one should breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes and concentrate on breathing. Slowly the mind will become calm and one is able to feel a kind of floating sensation, as if one were as light as a feather; one feels peace and joy.

Spiritual: Yogis know that unless man can withdraw himself from the body idea and separate himself from the ego consciousness, there is no way of obtaining complete relaxation. So, from the mental relaxation, he withdraws himself and identifies himself with the all-pervading, all-powerful, all-peaceful and joyful self, or pure consciousness within himself, because all the source of power, knowledge, peace, and strength are in the soul and not in the body.

 

Input – Output effects on Physical Health

Input:

“Food alone is the best medicine for all living creatures because they have come into existence because of food alone” – Taittiriya Upanishad

“Mithahara is defined as a complete and sweet food leaving one-fourth of the stomach free when eaten” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

We all know that this physical body is made of food. So how does the food we take IN determine our physical health and fitness…?!?!

While there are certain foods that are bad for all and not advisable for anyone, there is no thumb rule to distinctly classify food as good or bad. Anything in extreme is not advisable. Balance is the key. The following factors decide what food is good for you:

  • Your Life-style: Do you have a sedentary life-style or Do you spend a lot of energy and calories in your daily routine? Does your daily routine involve more of mental (thinking) work or manual work or some mechanical work like data entry, etc., These decide what foods you need to take. As food determines not only the calories but also where it works. While some foods enhance thinking capacity others make you dull-witted.
  • Your Life-goals: This directly affect your life-style, decide how many calories you need in your day and from what sources these calories are to be obtained. A mountaineer or sportsperson’s need is different from a factory workers or a musician or an artist or a corporate professional.
  • Your Life-stage and gender: A young growing kid needs more proteins than a middle-aged person which is different from that of an old-aged. Men’s need of basic nutrients differ from that of women.
  • Your Body Constitution: Ayurvedic texts describe three basic biological humors – Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Water) in our body. These need to be balanced for us to be healthy. However most of us have one or two predominant over the other(s). We need to understand our basic body constitution and take such foods which complement it. There are various sources for a vitamin/mineral. But, based on your body constitution you need to decide which food – fruit, vegetable, etc., is suitable for you.
  • Mental Constitution (Gunas): There are three types of food, namely Sattvic food, Rajasic food and Tamasic food.

Milk, butter, fruits, vegetables and grains come under the group of Sattvic foods. Sattvic foods bring purity and calmness to the mind and is soothing and nourishing to the body.

Spices, hot substances, meat, alcohol, fish, eggs, etc. which stimulate the nervous system are stimulating or Rajasic foods. They arouse animal passion in man and brings a restless state of mind. It also causes nervous and circulatory disorders such as high blood pressure, hardening of arteries, uric acid diseases, etc.

The food that is rotten, putrefied, over-riped, etc. come under the Tamasic foods.  The Tamasic foods make a person dull and lazy.  His thinking capacity diminishes and sinks almost to the level of animals.  He has limited energy and more prone to chronic ailments of the body.

Again individual mental constitution will help decide the right kind of food. Needless to state that we need all the above three types of food, but again… balance is the key.

Consultation with experts help decide the right balance for us.

OUTPUT:

Apart from what we take in we also need to take care to send out all waste from the body. Periodic elimination of urine, faeces and sweat removes a bulk of waste from our body. However, thanks to the modern lifestyle there is much more to be eliminated from the body. Excessive fat stored in the body is something that is talked about more often. In addition to this, bulk of waste gets stored in our body, primarily in the circulatory and digestive tracts. This leads one to most of the life-style diseases of 21st century. These have to be eliminated regularly as well to keep our body supple, flexible and fit.

In addition to this there are also lot of energy blocks that tighten our muscles and nervous tissues. These energy blocks may be either due to muscular tension, poor dietary intake, sedentary lifestyle or even due to mental stress. Studies have now determined that mental and psychological stress as the main reason for these energy blocks that deprive our body of the much-needed energy.

Shatkarma and relaxation practices of yoga help in eliminating these wastes from our body. However these have to be learnt from experts and not through books and videos as is popularly done these days. These practices are better imparted and integrated into one’s lifestyle at an early age.

These practices of internal cleansing help

  1. Free flow of energy in the body
  2. Proper digestion and assimilation of most nutrients from the food
  3. Keeping the body supple, active and energetic.
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