#1 Approach food the right way
About eating food – in India there has been, and still is to some extent, but unfortunately our modern schooling is wiping it out completely, but there is a whole knowledge about – at which time of the day what will go best into your system, in which season, what will best integrate into your system. Like this, there’s a whole elaborate cultural aspect.
Eating without necessary sensitivity, neither for the food, nor the time, you have no sensitivity, simply you eat something that comes your way – there is a big price attached to this, there’s no question. Above all, it is not just about ill-health, you lost your vitality, you lost your sensitivity. That’s a huge loss – it’s like a partial death. You’re not able to feel and experience things as sensitively as you did when you were a child, or somewhere further up – that means, you’re half dead. So, this partial death will happen to you, if you’re eating wrong types of food. If you just become little conscious, simply, the quantum of food that you’re eating will simply drop like that. Because you don’t need so much food. The more food that you’ve put into this, the more it has to process to get the same amount of energy, it is taking a toll on the body.
Let’s look at it this way – 1960s you had those big Fords and Chevys, you know, massive ones like battleships, all right? How much gas they were drinking? And today, the modern sleek machines, how much they’re drinking? Well, now you’re going into electric cars – nothing, no sound, no exhaust, no nothing – it’s going smooth. So essentially, even with the machines we create, we’re looking at fuel efficiency. This [self] also, we must look at it. Because in this [self] one fuel efficiency, or excessive consumption of fuel, is not only bad for the economy – for your own personal economy, it is also super bad for the machine. Because excessive amount of food it has to handle to get little bits of energy.
And especially, I see this practice is very prevalent in this part of the world – people eat at 7, 8 o’clock, or 10 o’clock, parties and all, they’re eating late in the night, and they just go to bed. Going to bed with a full stomach is just a complete no, if you’re interested in living well.
#2 Try a powerful yogic practice for fitness
There is something called as Upa Yoga – that means sub-yoga – are useful processes of doing things which has no spiritual dimension attached to it. If you do Upa Yoga, or Angamardhana systems of yoga, fitness is assured. You will not need any equipment, all you need is 6 by 6 floor, and you will be super fit and you can build your muscle, everything. Only thing is, you won’t become like this [muscular]. A whole lot of people have become like this, they think they’re fit. I think they’re in a straitjacket. It’s not just strength, it’s not just the bulge of your muscle – the flexibility of your body is as important for proper functioning of the system.
In yoga, we are not just looking at the muscular strength, and other structure alone. The organ health is very important. So, the system is evolved so that there is organ health. It’s very important the body is flexible and usable. Fitness and well-being does not mean walking on a treadmill, having bulging muscles like that. No.
#3 Cleanse the 5 elements in your system
To strengthen the integrity of the elements in our system is very important. So, is there some way to do it? Yes, there are specific methods with which we can do. One simple way right now is, work with the earth, and water, and plants, and stay outdoors – that itself will do something. But in yoga there are specific methods. In fact, most of the yoga is just that – Bhuta Shuddhi, to cleanse the elements. So, without bringing a certain integrity to the composition of elements in the system, however strong you may think you are, in terms of life you are not strong.
You may be having muscular strength. That will not sustain you through certain aspects of life. You will see – not always, but you will see somebody who is very – seems to be very muscular, and very strong physically, just one little ailment, ‘buff!’ they’ll go down like… 2 days of fever, they will just go flat down. Somebody else who doesn’t seem to be all that strong, who looks scrawny, you see, he can take any amount of beating. This depends on the elemental integrity within the system – how well integrated are your elements accordingly… And the elemental integrity also determines in how many ways you can use the body.
If you don’t have elemental integrity, and if you use your body beyond certain limitations, when I say limitations I’m not talking about physical limitations, if you use your body in other ways other than being physical, it will just crack up, and that’s why the yoga sadhana is… starts with Bhuta Shuddhi. All aspects of yoga are essentially Bhuta Shuddhi being manifested in so many different ways.
Can we do something specific right now, without yogic guidance? Simple thing is, work in the garden. Walk at least, at least an hour or two a day. Especially before you go for dinner, or for lunch, especially before that, at least for half-an-hour, walk without footwear; not on this granite – either in the grass, or in the mud outside. You will see body being in touch with the earth, when you eat the food that you eat, the way it integrates it is very different. Digestion will anyway happen, but how much you can integrate into the system depends on how much you’re in tune with the earth. So, even half-an-hour if you walk without shoes or footwear, and the body remains in touch with the earth, you will see, the elements will function with a little more integrity than the way it is right now. So, a certain amount of being in the outdoor, being with the sun, being with the wind, being with the rain, being with the earth, is very important, because that is what you are – you are a product of that, you are a manifestation of that.