The word “Wellness” has become a word of the millennium It is used so rampantly that often we treat it as a passing word, without giving much thought to its underlying meaning.
Growing up in the, 80’s life was not the way it is today. I vividly remember my childhood years entailed a very simple routine – waking up early morning and doing Pranayam as taught by the elders, followed by a shower and a breakfast that would contain eggs or sprouts, 5 soaked almonds, fruits and leave for school. I would come back from school post noon and have lunch which would be a wholesome home cooked simple meal. I would then finish my homework and would eagerly wait to get go down out of home to play with the other my neighbouring play mates. It was a life devoid of tuitions, TV, Ipads and mobile phones and full of living in the moment and just BE.
Difficult to imagine, right? We would play and run to our hearts content bonding with friends of similar age and that would constitute our physical exercise. Time would equally run faster if not slow, and it soon it was time to get back home. I would shower, eat dinner which would again be another home cooked meal such as…dal chaval veggies and some salad and night cap was a turmeric milk 365 days a year
I would pick up a novel and read till my eyes would close into the world of slumber land. This was life the simple life in the 80’s
The kids from the 80s sure did develop clean eating habits as most of the meals we ate were home cooked in ghee and other home-made spices. We developed a strong immune system that would consistently support us in the latter days of our life. We were physically and mentally active due to all our running and playing and bonding with friends. Loneliness, ADHD, depression, anxiety disorders were very little heard of at that time.
Life was simple, healthy and all was well. This was what Wellness meant to us at that time. Carefree, stress free and joyful living.
I would observe the middle aged womenfolk applying henna to their hair, and lather their faces with home-made face packs and drink warm milk spruced with turmeric in the night. Beauty had its own definition. It felt like an era of people living a life of “beauty inside out”
Not only were their faces glowing but their hearts were like an oasis of wellness, always looking forward towards contributing to the wellness of the family and society – planting one good seed at a time.
A shot of ginger and honey in the morning while they prepared themselves for disciplined morning walk – which would be bustling with so much energy as they walked, talked and laughed their hearts out with their neighbourhood friends. Exercise was fun and not a to do list.
Fast forward to the years in 2000. Life changed drastically as technology advanced, family time got replaced with personal gadgets, everyone became really “busy” doing something, getting somewhere, trying to achieve a target. It’s a hard hitting observation – we are never “free”, we are always busy, a few spare moments are benevolently dedicated to our smart phones. No more play time and tuitions are on a surge. It feels as if there is an impending need to do something all the time.
With such a stressful life comes a range of diseases to choose from. In times such as these, Wellness has become the need of the hour. That which was once a natural part of life suddenly needs urgent attention.
Working in the space of natural Ayurveda for more than five years, my intrinsic goal has always been towards aligning to wellness. I am fortunate enough to have the privilege to learn, collaborate and exchange age old wisdom with leading doctors, yogis and other individuals who are seeking the same path. I have found myself reading extensively about different forms of food diets, meditation, workouts, several detox regimens, going off social media, using natural products, eating organic and home cooked meals, taking time out to walk on grass and practice Pranayam.
After trying a series of alternatives, I eventually came to this conclusion:
“I have to use my own Wisdom to create my own Wellness Mantra.”
It was clear understanding that we all have unique bodies, mind-sets and beliefs. Thus, wellness is also unique for every individual. What works for one may not work for another individual.
Over the years, I began to map out a journey of Wellness for becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life as it is a dynamic process of change and growth.
I began by discarding activities which actually no longer gave me joy. I proceeded towards identifying my predominant Prakriti type. (If you would like to know more about Doshas in Ayurveda and additionally know your own dosha, here is a link.)
Based on the predominant dosha, I identified my food diet and the right exercise regime for myself. I definitely feel better and more connected to who I am as a person.
As a conclusion, I would like to emphasize that wellness is a journey where you are your own competitor, there is no such thing as an ideal state of wellness as every individual is unique and differs from another in his/her physical, mental and spiritual attributes. The idea is to develop a life state where you consistently begin to feel better than what you were.
The best that we can do is spend some me-time and really get to understand our own bodies better in order to help us map out a journey of our own wellness.