The ancient science of Yoga is a simple, natural program involving Five Main Principles designed to slow the aging process and keep the physical and mental faculties strong and the spirit bright.
The Five Main Principles are:
1) Proper exercise
2) Proper breathing
3) Proper relaxation
4) Proper diet
5) Positive thinking and meditation.
This system was designed with the idea that we were not born merely to be subject to pain, suffering, disease , death, or as my good friend Dr. Zorn says, “we are not here to grow an economy”.On the contrary, there is a far greater purpose and experience to life! But, the spiritual investigation of life’s purpose requires keen intellect and strong will, products of a healthy body and mind. Yoga is a life of self-discipline based on the tenets of “simple living and high thinking”. The body is seen as a temple or vehicle for the soul, and has specific requirements which must be fulfilled for it to function smoothly. Just like an automobile requires five main things for its functioning, so do we. These five vital things are a lubricating system, a battery, a cooling system, the correct fuel, and a responsible driver behind the wheel.
This body-vehicle of ours also needs:
1) Proper Exercise This acts as a lubricating routine to the joints, glands, organs, muscles, ligaments, tendons and other part structures by increasing circulation and flexibility.
2) Proper Breathing This aids the body in connecting to its battery, the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. When tapped through specific Yogic breathing techniques (pranayama), this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
3) Proper Relaxation This cools down our system, like a car’s radiator. When the body and mind are continually overworked, their efficiency is diminished. Relaxation is natures way of cooling & recharging the body.
4) Proper Diet This provides us the correct fuel for the body. Optimum utilization of food, air, water and sunlight is essential! 5) Positive Thinking and Meditation This is the alert and aware driver behind the car.
Let’s focus on more a more expanded view of "Proper Diet". What and how we take in nourishment is not only what we put in our mouths but what all of our senses are having to digest and assimilate.
I have categorized seven main ways in which we can nourish ourselves throughout the day. I hope you find this fun and an interesting approach to your well-being.
1) Food: of course the most obvious is the foods we put in our mouth. Our taste sense. Organic, locally grown, whole foods, eaten in season and cooked with love are the most optimal.
2) Nurturing touch: Hugs and massages are better than dessert!
3) What we see: watching violence and negativity on the screen or in real life effects our state of mental and emotional health.
4) What we smell: one example of this is Aromatherapy, a whole science devoted to using the medicinal properties of the plants aromatic oils. Smell has a very basic and primal effect on the brain. Most of us have experienced this when we have smelled something and automatically had memories of the past. Or do a smell comparison and notice the visceral effects in the body/mind, smell an essential oil of Lavender and Eucalyptus. Which one is more energizing, which would you want to be placed on your pillow before bed?
5) What we hear: listening to relaxing music or positive affirmations can elevate our soul, make us feel happy and aid to our state of physical health. Listening to negative music or words can bring us into that state of anger and thinking.
6) The company we keep: this is something most of us don’t think about, but the friends and people at work that we spend time with have an affect on us. If we allow ourselves to be around negative people we can pick up their bad habits and energy. This is one reason people flock to spiritual people and places. We feel more happy and elevated around people who are focused on a higher purpose.
7) The words we say: this is the most important food for the Body, Mind & Spirit, and the hardest of all to control. If you’re in a bad mood and say something mean to someone, notice how you feel afterwards; fatigue, regretful and not very elevated. Then see how you feel when you compliment someone on something. Instantly you feel happy, elevated and positive. If you are seeking better health or state of mind, I encourage you to look at these seven ways to nourish your being. Where are you able to better nurture yourself?