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June 2011
A Peaceful Mind in a Healthy Body
Vidya Singh
In our busy life,there comes a time when we need to bring in a sense of peace and tranquility,to give us the necessary strength to deal with life’s vagaries. It is only this that can calm our senses, slow down the frenetic pace,strengthen our mind and allow the body to work its way through the day.

For a Healthy Body
Exercise and healthy eating can lead us to the path of a life that is filled with quality living. There are no shortcuts and absolutely no other options. Having realized this, we need to do everything that is necessary to incorporate changes in order to create the platform from which to lead this special life.

Good nutrition has been proven to be the main factor to live with a body that is functioning as it is meant to. We need to make sure that not only we eat on time, but also make the right choices about what we eat. It is also imperative to remember that our family table and what we put on it, is our choice and in our hands. This is a good way to make sure that the entire family is benefiting, from your awareness, of what good nutrition can do for the body.

Exercise is the next most important factor to experience this life of quality to the fullest. The certainty of all the benefits that come from regular exercise cannot be repeated often enough. It is certainly enough to experience that yourself, through a daily exercise regimen.

For a Calm Mind
Walking: A daily walk in the park is probably one of the best-known ways to relax yourself and get the exercise that you need for the day. Some of us are morning people and others are evening exercisers-- it is quite unimportant when you do it. It is enough that you do!

This can be a time of introspection,of prayer,of relaxing the mind and allowing the body to take over. Any exercise that is repetitive and done for a period of time is relaxing in itself. Whether, you jog, walk, bicycle or swim, the repetitive movements are soothing in themselves. This is a time to let go,allow your thoughts to flow and let the streaming consciousness act as a calming effect on the body and mind. The endorphins that begin to course through the body while you are exercising bring a chemical reaction in the body as well as the mind,to give you the ‘feel good factor’that not only calms the mind and senses,but also helps to burn the calories as well.

Cardio Options:Bicycling, jogging,swimming and rowing – any of these cardio options are repetitive and this allows the mind to be free and your thought processes to flow freely as you exercise. As you exercise, you will find a sense of peace envelop you and this will allow you to become calm and when you are done with the session, you will have allowed your mind to transcend into a higher plane.

Yoga shows the way to the practitioner, the way to achieve a perfect state of mental,physical and spiritual well-being. The word yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit, and is the union between the person that does the movements and his inner self. The postures that lead us through a yoga routine are known as ‘asanas’ and these are done with the concentration being placed on breathing,while moving into each position slowly.After a session, a person will feel a sense of peace and harmony.

There are several different types of yoga that are practised worldwide.Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga are among the many, and the modern day Bikram Yoga as well.The yoga asanas that have been developed over a few thousand years work on both the internal organs and strengthen the body as well.Apart from developing lean and long muscles,yoga also gives you peace of mind.

Tai Chi: This wonderful form of fitness comes to us from the Orient and has become increasingly popular in India. It is made up of a gentle,meditative system of exercises that challenge the mind and body.The series of gentle,circular movements and positions, exercise the body,unify the body and mind and encourage an even flow of “chi”(inner energy)through the body,which increases the body’s health and vitality. The series consists of 37 different movements that are choreographed into a pattern.All the movements are rhythmic and flow from one into the other.The deliberateness and the slow flowing continuity of the movements create calmness in the body and mind.

Vidya Gajapati Raj Singh is a sports and fitness enthuisiast,and popular columnist based in chennai

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