Healthy Living: Yoga and some gyan – Part 1

I am so obsessed about talking about yoga and healthy eating. However, it may be quite a different story, when it comes to practicing it – but starting today, I am making a promise to myself, to document my exercise and healthy eating regimen. This way, I will know exactly what I do and what I nicely omit and ignore! I suggest, you do the same….writing always helps.

Start your day with a large glass of water (to take about half a litre of water). I have it lukewarm as I don’t like it cold, but my sister drinks water that is kept at room temperature and that works well too! Then, I drink another 2 – 3 large glasses of water while doing my breathing exercises. Some people are of the opinion, that you should do these exercises on an empty stomach but I choose to drink water before and during. So, please do consult your yoga instructor (get one, if you don’t have already!) and get going.

Meet the oldest yoga instructor Half Indian, Half French, an inspiration indeed!

Begin by sitting in a relaxing position (I cross my legs) and start your breathing exercises routine. Before, I go any further, please ask your yoga instructor for the correct instructions for doing the breathing exercises below, as doing them incorrectly, will probably do more harm to your system. I learnt the techniques from my dad and he taught me well.  Here goes:

Anulom – Vilom – Inhale from one nostril and breathe out through the other and repeat from the other side. This is one cycle. (I do this for 5 minutes in one go and repeat it 2 – 3 times)

Kapal bhati – The yogis of the world claim that it does even tone your core along with massaging your hard working internal organs (One cycle comprises of 50 breathing out through the nostrils for me and I repeat this 3 – 4 times)

There are several YouTube videos from the likes of Shilpa Shetty, Ramdev Baba, Payal Gidwani and several others. Instructions and techniques vary. I do it the way I have been taught and have done so over ten years. It works for me. However, the advice I got was to begin these breathing exercises, under proper guidance of a guru/ qualified yoga teacher (I can’t stress enough, that you must begin these exercises under a qualified teacher!) and later, once you are confident of these, you can of course carry on doing it yourself.

Now, get ready to do your suryanamaskar, which I will cover in another post. I have a resolve to do the breathing exercises, no matter what, even if I have time for absolutely nothing else! 

Some other tips for a healthy you:

  • After you have had water, have a tbsp of soaked (overnight) coriander seeds in the morning – helps with acidity and digestion 
  • Cinnamon is meant to be great for controlling blood sugar levels and cholesterol too – Boil a cup of water with 1/2 stick of cinnamon until the water is reduced to half the measure. Sip after you have had the plain water and the coriander seeds (the joys!). In fact, it tastes lovely even when sipped at room temperature though out the day
  • Never mix berries (strawberry, raspberry) with yoghurt or milk – Ayurveda disapproves of it as it very hard for your body to digest
  • Never have a pudding at the end of a meal (well, don’t have it at all, which is a bit harsh! So, have it but quite far away from your main meal) – Ayurveda believes that our body digests the sweet taste first, and if we have the pudding at the end, it kicks of the digestive cycle again, leading to poor digestion of course!
  • Last tip for this post – never, ever drink cold water or any cold beverage with your food. It makes digestion harder! The Japanese and the Chinese, sip either warm water or green tea and their skin speaks for itself and of course their long, healthy lives too…

Happy eating, happy living…here is to happy lives!

Shilpa xx


Cover photo: Pinterest

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