Being a Well Being
by Sipra Pimputkar
It is a New Year, and a New Day! What makes it any different from any other day? It is a time when one anticipates another chance to do things differently and make life better and happier. What would change life enough to make a difference? Perhaps change your diet, get more exercise, rest, and organize your life to have more time for leisure time activities? Despite the best of intentions, these resolutions and goals often fade away as the business of daily life picks up again.
The problem with most people is that year after year these resolutions are based on a self-defeating premise. Even as those resolutions are made, the mind already recognizes that the plan may not succeed. If there is any doubt, the battle is lost. The resolutions will succeed only if there are no goals or deadlines. Whatever resolutions one makes should be for the benefit of the individual, and not undertaken to please someone else. Simply resolve to make each day as good as possible. Make the resolution to include only positive thoughts and actions. List the goals on paper so they stay fresh in the mind. Stick it on the refrigerator. Review the list each day.
If the goal is to lose weight, do not resolve to lose a specific number of pounds by a specific date; rather, resolve to simply eat right each day. Make it a realistic goal. Eat to feel satisfied and eat to enjoy the food. Often the diets people choose are fad diets where the body is deprived of some vital elements that can be stressful to the body. Spend some time to determine what foods should be in the daily diet. Make it a balanced meal with food from each food group. Make each meal full of various colors, textures and tastes.
According to the Indian Ayurvedic system, each meal should contain all the six flavors that the tongue can recognize. Satisfying each taste bud creates a sense of balance in the diet, body and mind. For each meal, eat something salty, sweet, peppery/pungent, sour, bitter, (e.g. mustard leaves, arugula, coffee) and astringent, such as spinach, celery, or cranberries. Try to be disciplined but forgiving when there is a slip-up. If cooking is not a skill, develop it! Proudly cook a meal at least a few times a week. Suddenly, it will become fun to plan a meal: shop for the best in seasonal produce and look up some interesting recipes.
Make your meal time something to share with friends. Eating together often helps prevent overeating out of boredom. While eating, turn off the TV and put down the book or newspaper. Simply be present with the food for a few minutes, eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful. Season the food with good conversation if there is anyone else to share it! Set aside a small and reasonable budget for eating out. When that is gone, stop eating out for the month. Collect the savings from not eating out and enjoy a treat the following month.
Likewise with exercise: In Ayurvedic terms, exercise should use 50 percent of your energy. If you are too tired after working out, there is little to nothing left to spend on other pursuits during the day. The need for rest varies with each individual. The important thing is to go to sleep around the same time each evening, and in a calm frame of mind. It is better not to have a TV in the bedroom, and perhaps drink a cup of cinnamon tea before going to bed to lower the blood pressure, calm the nerves and raise your spirits and help induce sleep. To prepare: Instead of cinnamon powder, roughly smash a tablespoon of cinnamon sticks (preferably the Indian, Chinese or Vietnamese variety) and simmer in about two cups of water for about ten minutes. Cover and let steep while preparing for bed.
Remember: Slow and steady wins the race, and every day is a New Day.
Sipra Pimputkar is the owner and founder of Yoga-Well-Being, a studio in Grandview Heights dedicated to making yoga and movement arts, such as cardio-kickboxing and Zumba, accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Visit Yoga-Well-Being.net.