‘It always depresses me when people moan about how commercial Christmas is. I love everything about it. The tradition of having this big feast, slap bang in the middle of winter, is an essential thing to look forward to at the end of the year’ writes Richard E Grant.
We are still in the beginning of the year and are celebrating the festival of colors- Holi. This would be soon followed by Ganesh Chathurthi. As India is a pluralistic country practicing multiple faiths; these two Hindu festivals is this time interspersed with Good Friday and Easter.
I have several Christian friends and my maternal uncle is married to a Christian , so I will be partaking Easter cake( without eggs). My maternal uncle has been informed about the choice of cake.
This will be followed by Muslim friends celebrating Eid and we savor Sevayian ( a delicacy). The list is endless. Festivals follow Festivals and our stomachs seldom gets time to relax.
And then there is party time, family togetherness, picnics, office staff celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. We are not anti-social people so keep attending marriage festivities and innumerable birthdays.
A relative drops in from the US and there is a customary family get together . The company achieves certain corporate objectives and there is all around celebration. All of us should feel grateful to the abundance nature provides us with; but do we pause to think about our abdominal region.
Ayurveda has imparted this quintessential knowledge what we partake determines our health and quality of life.
The ancient Seer/ Rishi Sushrut says.’ Food builds and supports the body, improves complexion and general appearance’.
Overeating causes heaviness in the body and makes us sluggish and uncomfortable. Over a period of time our metabolic rate gets disturbed and the process of elimination gets disrupted and warped.
Taittareya Upanishad succinctly puts it that,’ Food is the cause of creation, preservation and destruction. Therefore food is all in all- Anna Brahma. It is life itself. It is God’.
But do we care in this age of junk and packaged food. Do humans care about wholesome diet. A wholesome diet is one that provides energy( prana) and helps in restoration in balance. It does not clog the channels( Nadis). Two harmful substances consumed are excessive salt and sugar. Any doctor will vouchsafe this aspect about our food.
Human body as is the sublime gift of God sends us the important signals – when to fast after feasting!
Amas or toxins are to be necessarily released by the system. And this can be done through the method of fasting.
Our seers and Rishis advocated fasting ( say during festival, Ekadashi) to provide adequate space for digestion. Fasting is nature’s method of cleansing the system . It detoxifies the body by throwing out all waste matter and impurities which get accumulated through heavy splurging, incorrect eating patterns and adopting harmful life styles( lack of exercise, smoking and drinking).
The body gets diseased through accumulation of toxic substances and acids. It invades the digestive process.
Fasting once in 15 days is indeed a therapeutic measure as it cleanses our blood and replenishes the depleted vitamins and other important reserves to be stored in the body.
To purge the body from negative and toxins it would be worthwhile to have plenty of liquids like lime juice and other juices. Also to be on a fruit diet so that the stomach can regain its digestive power.
Good health is man’s inherent nature- ‘A sound body with a sound mind!’
Gandhiji used to take immense care of his body through regular fasting. Ofcourse in lighter vein Sarojini Naidu used to say that it costed a fortune to keep Gandhiji in poverty.
Along with fasting, one needs to maintain a schedule of exercise. Long walks, Yoga, Pranayama and breathing practices like Sudarshan Kriya help in restoration of balance in the system.
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