When we define ourselves as ‘human’ it includes (1) a physical body, (2) a mental body, and (3) an emotional body. While these three facets appear as independent entities, such a limiting belief is the root cause of suffering and disease according to the Yoga/Ayurveda traditions. Instead, if we believe that we are a combination of body, mind, and emotions, and work to achieve oneness of these three entities, we will be on a course toward a long, healthy, purposeful, and extraordinary life. Thus, in an era filled with wars, natural calamities, pandemics and other infections, it is imperative that we keep the body, mind, and emotions in sync, functioning as one unit, and act in that manner to achieve optimal health and wellness. So what does this look alike in the present scenario where we are besieged with a deadly virus? To address the virus associated health challenges, let me present some excerpts drawn from my newly published book Good Living Practices that provides numerous Tips for optimal health and living that keep the body, mind, and emotions in sync.
Good physical practices include mindful eating, physical exercise, and regular tuning of the body to nurture one’s physical health. The principles of good physical practices can be found in three of the eight limbs of Yoga philosophy: the Yamas (moral injunctions), Niyamas (moral observances), and Pratyahara (managing the senses). Let me just say that combining good physical practices with a daily practice of asana will nourish all the organs and body systems and help to gain strength and may improve immunity. People who incorporate these practices are more stable physically and likely to feel energetic, empowered, and positive about their direction in life.
Good mental practices are about strengthening brain structure and function, and this is achieved through good quality sleep, mental training, and selfless service. According to Yoga/Ayurveda, inculcating and putting into practice the principles of Yama (moral injunctions), Niyama (moral observances), Asana (poses), Pratyahara (management of senses), Pranayama (breath practice), Dharana (focus), Dhyana (meditation), and Karma yoga (selfless-action or selfless service) will lower the risk of acute and chronic health problems, reduce stress, improve sleep and mood, enhance mental clarity, and help an individual to make wise decisions. A clear mind is not affected by stress and produces a healthy body, thus creating a greater connection with one's own pure, essential nature.
We carry with us an enormous amount of emotional baggage which weighs us down and clouds our perception and awareness. According to Yoga/Ayurveda wisdom, failure to detach from the negativity may lead to mental illnesses and make us more susceptible to infections, illness, and chronic physical conditions. Being on the yoga path means to cultivate good emotions and harmonious thoughts to reduce mental conflict and promote a fully functional life. This involves using suitable tools to perceive, understand, and express emotions and to be aware of life’s daily dramas and act effortlessly to experience complete peace and joy. A steady and regular practice of Pratyahara (management of senses), Pranayama (breath practice), Dharana (focus), Dhyana (meditation), and Karma yoga (selfless action or selfless service) is a key to manage and overcome any emotional disturbance.
I am not wrong when I say that every individual wishes to experience less stress, feel more energy and joy, sleep better, and put all the virus talk on the back burner. But to do this effectively, you need to keep the body, mind, and emotions in sync and this balanced approach as described above is a pathway to optimal health and wellness.