Have you ever nurtured a house plant or a garden. If you give it too less water, it dies. But there are also plants which will die if you give it too much water, same for manure, sunlight. Each living creature has a delicate balance as dictated by nature. Humans are no different, but lot of times we don’t balance the activities for both healthy body and soul.
I’ve struggled with my weight all my adult life, going through phases of getting heavy and then becoming fit and back again. Looking back, I can map that these phases also coincided with how healthy I was on the inside. Though both culture and science are in agreement that outer body and inner self are completely intertwined, it is hard to really imbibe it and consciously work on both at the same time. With the current situation we are in, I decided about 4-5 months back to give it another shot, get back into shape both outside and inside. Not just for my sake, but also for those around me. Because if I’m not healthy, it will eventually affect those around me as well.
So in true Self-Help style :), here are 10 Things that worked for me –
- No extreme diets. While I reduced carbohydrate intake and did intermittent fasting for a few days to jolt the body a bit, I mostly ate the same home food as usual and a balanced diet.
- Started the morning meditation at a comfortable time, without pre-planned wake-up time or practice duration – thus letting the mind find comfort naturally
- Started with small fitness goals using pre-recorded videos of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in the Cure.Fit App and kept adding on, not letting the body get used to it.
- Mindful breathing techniques helped get some stillness to sit for longer periods and then added Mantra meditation to delve deeper.
- As the exercise regime started to get monotonous, started exploring Hatha Yoga. For some reason, earlier had an aversion to it, but now I absolutely love it!
- With the solid foundation built for the meditation practice, I started to add the Sikh Prayers one by one. But instead of the usual cultural norm of chanting, I put on my headphones and sat quietly and listened to the verses as intently as possible to combine them with the mindful breathing meditation.
- As the lockdown lifted, started mixing some solo outdoor activity like cycling and long walks. Now with a mix of HIIT, Yoga and Cycling, a good rhythm of 4-6 activity days every week was established.
- Added a cold water shower, to jolt the body awake during Amrit Vela (usually around 4am). The body has now become comfortable waking up early and sit for longer periods in the prayer-meditation practice.
- Now, the Inner Self feels connected with the Yoga practice, they have become one and the energy flows seamlessly between the two paths. I feel refreshed after every session, whether its Yoga or Prayer-Meditation
- Again to reiterate, this is what has worked for me and each person will have their own process, path and comfort level. Please listen to your own body and being.
None of this would have been possible with the loving support of my wife, Nitya, who got me hooked to the Cure Fit App Live Classes and Yoga. I’d also like to thank my Cure.Fit coaches, in particular Rahul Huidrom (HIIT), Anil (Hatha Yoga) and Anvita Dixit (Breath Yoga) who are amazing teachers and I now follow their live classes regularly.
There is now steady progress towards the goal – to get within ideal weight range while building muscle strength and calm the mind to find inner peace. After having lost 8 kgs in 4 months and developing a certain sense of contentment in the inner being, the goals no longer feel unachievable. But we are human and must keep up regular practice for continuous improvement.