Many of us, myself included begin our new year with promises of a fresh start, new beginnings and an attempt to change some form of habitual behaviour that has been keeping us from reaching our potential; whether it be a Diet (After all the festive seasonal indulgence), Gym (Trying to shed those pounds and get healthy), or even promising ourselves more time spent on hobbies or projects that we didn’t quite get around to in the previous year, yet, for most, the reality is something rather different, we start with the best intentions and then falter somewhere along the way; giving in to either our lack of commitment, loss of focus or bad experiences that have us clutching onto the old patterns or paradigms in which we previously existed. Often it is because we lack the full comprehension of why, what, when and how.
So let us take a journey into the wonderful world of Lifestyles and see how having a better understanding and being equipped with knowledge may enhance our chances of actually succeeding in our convictions.
Firstly lets start with Diet…
Most of us are so individualistic when it comes to food, taste and what we enjoy eating that we never consider how this change will effect both our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Take into account your current diet when making this shift; foods carry frequency and therefore fall into Consciousness Categories; I will be using the Yogic and Ayurvedic terminology based on the 3 gunas; Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic but I’ll define their meaning so its not too confusing as I’m sure some of you are unfamiliar with the philosophy.
Each Guna has a quality, trait or essence associated with it.
Tamasic: is inertia or darkness
Rajasic: is activity or passion
Sattvic: is purity
For instance if you are eating mainly meat; more than 5 times a week, whether it is in your sandwiches, bacon for breakfast or chicken for dinner you would be classed as an Tamasic (Inertia-c eater) simply due to the amount of energy spent on trying to digest, resistance to fight disease in the bodymind also becomes compromised.
There are many foods that are classed into this category including onions, alcohol and even garlic. Now imagine for a moment having this type of diet and spontaneously moving to a straight Vegan or even a vegetarian diet what would happen… Well your body would begin to try and rid itself of all the toxins that it has build up, these would begin to surface and if the body is not prepared and you are not getting the exercise and hydration required the toxins would begin to poison the body and may very well overwhelm the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis (a healthy equilibrium) this could seriously hamper you and end up causing more damage than good so make sure you raise the consciousness of your diet slowly and get the necessary information to do it in a safe and stable manner that is suitable for your uniqueness.
For the example above, raising the consciousness would be moving from an Inertia-c based diet (Tamasic) to one that is more Activity based (Rajasic), consider choosing spicier food sources over Inertia-c and then moving to a more Enlightened or Pure diet (Sattvic) which would contain more Raw fruit and a vegetarian or vegan based diet. Skipping out a level of consciousness could be damaging to your health without careful consideration.
Tamasic Food: The following are the characteristics of Tamasic diet.
- Tamasic food is heavy, dull and depressing
- This food is not good for the body or the mind.
- It brings in a sense of inertia, clouds the power of reasoning, and sucks out the energy inducing sleep.
- It destroys the body’s resistance to diseases.
- It also invokes feelings of anger, jealousy and greed in people.
- Overeating is a Tamasic behavior.
- Tamastic food includes meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods and over ripe foods.
- Only when too much of it is eaten, it causes the dulling effect. In moderation, Tamasic food is considered as grounding and promotes stability
More Examples of Tamasic (heavy) foods
|Fruit||Avocado, watermelon, plums, apricots|
|Grains||Wheat, brown rice,|
|Vegetables||Mushrooms, garlic, onion, pumpkin|
|Beans||Black, pinto, pink|
|Meat||Beef, lamb, pork|
Rajasic Food: The following are the characteristics of Rajasic diet.
- This food is salty, dry, sour, spicey hot and bitter.
- Heavily spiced foods e.g. hot pickles and chutneys which can stimulate the senses
- They are irritants and stimulants
- All moreish or tempting foods come under this category
- It is not good for the mind-body balance and Rajasic foods make the mind more agitated and susceptible to temptation.
- It tends to excite and over-stimulate the body, and makes the mind restless.
- The mind can become more Rajasic, which means it tends towards anger and hate and manipulation.
- Rajasic food includes chocolate, salt, eggs, fish, tea and coffee, sharp spices.
More Examples of Rajasic (stimulating) foods
|Fruit||Sour apples, apples, banana, guava|
|Grains||Millet, corn, buckwheat|
|Vegetables||Potato, nightshades, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tamarind, pickles, winter squash|
|Beans||Red lentils, toor dal, adzuki|
|Dairy||Old sour milk, sour cream|
|Meat||Fish, shrimp, chicken|
Sattvic Foods: The following are the characteristics of a Sattvic diet.
- It is the purest form of food.
- Sattvic foods are light and easy to digest
- It brings peace to the mind, clarity and perception and is nourishing for the body bringing with it a feeling of contentment.
- Sattvic food is great for overall fitness and for a balanced energy flow.
- Sattvic food includes cereals, honey, herbs, sprouts, seeds, nuts, legumes, butter, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, and whole meal bread.
More Examples of Sattvic foods
|Fruit||Mango, pomegranate, coconut, figs, peaches, pears|
|Grains||Rice, tapioca, blue corn|
|Vegetables||Sweet potato, lettuce, parsley, sprouts, yellow sqaush|
|Beans||Mung, yellow lentils, kidney, lima|
|Dairy||Organic milk, fresh homemade yoghurt|
Secondly Let’s look at Gym or Exercise…
A good life and a healthy lifestyle is all about Balance and when we consider the majority of us spend most of the time at work in a stressful environment tending towards Go, Go, Go, Achieve, Achieve, Achieve. Some of us proceed to then follow this up with more intensity by visiting the gym, which, depending on where you go is generally filled with Loud music and even more intensity for your workout… not quite the balance that one requires or is looking for when trying to stay in shape and keep relatively fit and healthy; so I would like to introduce some alternative options that you may never have heard of, or, you thought maybe were a little girly.
First off I would like to introduce Jing-An – The Asian Wellness Experience; owned by a reputable and very wise soul Dr. Michael Lan. In my experiences I have found him to be both knowledgeable, exceedingly modest and he has an incredible heartfelt presence about him. He is a man that certainly walks his talk!
Jing-An has some amazing options when it comes to exercise and Wellness programs and it takes just moments to realize that Jing-ans’s trainers are professional and proficient in every aspect of their lives.
There are some great options for all levels when looking for a suitable training program whether you are just a beginner or someone who is looking to acquire more strength and leadership into your life there is more than enough to choose from. You get exercise and learn how to become your own inner master developing and strengthening your chi/qi which will not only keep you fit but improve your immune system and help to protect you against all those nasty’s ensure strong mind, body and spirit.
Options Available include; Tai Chi, Qi Gong and the latest development that is gaining some amazing publicity and has been featured in Marie Claire Magazine and Fitness magazine; Chi Cardio. Private and children’s classes are also available.
Below find a summary of classes.
Tai Chi; also known as the Perfect Exercise, is a series of movements practiced slowly with concentration and intention. Although practiced as a martial art, Tai Chi is used predominantly for its health and healing benefits. Daily practice of Tai Chi can eliminate tension and stress, improving health and lifestyle. The advantage of this ancient art is that its simple basic principles are most practical and functional in our everyday life. Tai Chi is a form of exercises that anyone from young to old can practice safely. Jing-An The Asian Wellness Experience offers authentic “Yang” Style Tai Chi; there are four main tai chi styles being chen, yang, wu and sun. The “yang” style is the most popular and can be practiced from our studio to your office or even your own home.
Translated directly as ‘Energy Work’, Qi Gong is a self-control discipline promoting self-awareness of one’s own potential and usage of energy. Not only helping to build up bodily reserves of strength and resistance to control and cure disorders, but also has the ability to promote vitality, rejuvenate the body and stimulate intelligence. There are two main original Qi gong styles practiced amongst schools and practitioners worldwide and they are mainly the soft and hard forms.
Chi Cardio is a form of body cardio and mind fitness exercise training, incorporating all the best elements external and internal martial art forms. It is a workout designed to focus the person on their chi physically and mentally achieving maximum fitness, endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Chi Cardio may also be incorporated into any normal gym workout and is an excellent tool for personal fitness trainers.
For information on Dr Lan please click here Jing-An – The Asian Wellness Experience
Secondly it is my greatest pleasure to welcome you to the wonderful world of Yoga and I’ve have found no better teachers and guides than that of Jax and Sy of Jai Yoga; named after their beautiful baby boy who is a regular feature at the studio and has been known to Love the gong. This studio has been built and designed to have the lowest environment impact possible including local materials and most of which have been recycled. Stunning views pervade the space and the entire studio has warmth of compassion and love.
If you thought that Yoga might be a little girly for your liking then I suggest you think again… A yogic workout will more than likely produce more sweat and burn just as many if not more calories than any regular gym workout and with Jax’s infectious personality you’ll be coming back for more and more. These folks at Jai yoga walk their walk and breathe their talk making sure that this is an experience and not just a workout. There are 2 yoga rooms depending on what style you’d prefer whether it’s a more relaxed stretch or a faster flowed workout.
You have 2 rooms to choose from at this incredible studio depending on what styles you prefer.
The Sun Studio (Heated Yoga) where Bikram Yoga and Vinyasa classes are held has stunning views of Cape Town’s Table Mountain and Lion’s Head and is bathed in natural light – the two side walls are floor to ceiling glass, affording views of the harbor and allowing sunlight to enter as well as a floating glass strip at the front of the studio affording views of the mountain and city.
The Moon Studio where Ashtanga yoga, Mysore Style, Yoga Nidra, Pregnancy Yoga, Yoga Tots, and OSHO Active meditation, are held has a peaceful and meditative atmosphere. Pure white walls and floors welcome you as you enter this yoga studio, with its high ceiling and crystal chandelier. An aura of calm pervades this exceptionally beautiful Cape Town Yoga Studio.
The benefits of Yoga are far reaching and meditation is included at the end of every class the list of benefits is enormous and you’ll begin to look younger, feel lighter and experience more joy and energy in your life than ever before.
Is a fun, dynamic practise with a strong internal focus. Breath and movement are synchronised to link postures together in a flowing sequence. There are six series which require progressive degrees of flexibility, strength and humility.
The Mysore Style
This is how Ashtanga Yoga was traditionally taught in Mysore, South India, where it originated. Students practise the Ashtanga sequence under guidance and supervision. The teachers physically adjust each student in the poses, helping them gain correct alignment and safely enabling them to go deeper into poses than they thought possible. It is very much like a private yoga session within a group setting. This style of teaching provides a space for students to learn at their own pace and level. Students are encouraged to practice up to a point in the sequence they remember and their body can achieve without strain. Modifications of the poses are given where necessary. Gradually over time the whole sequence is remembered. In this way the mind and body come into harmony. This is the most effective way to learn Ashtanga in the long term. There are at least 2 teachers in any Mysore class. The class is open for up to 2 hours and the student can come and go any time within that time frame. Want to know more about?
Yoga Nidra comprises of the secrets of total transformation which give a real positive direction to our life and eliminate the root cause of all negativities like stress related disorders, ailments like hypertension, depression, insomnia, asthma, digestive disorders, etc which drain our life energy. It is the key to penetrate the latent realms of mind, and train the mental faculties to access the immeasurable powers of the subconscious and unconscious mind. This is a deep relaxation method that draws the senses inwards; preparing one to access deep levels of consciousness. No physical effort is required as this practise is done while lying in savasana – corpse pose. Using breathing techniques and visualisation yoga nidra provides rejuvenation to the entire mind/body system and is a good sleep aid. It is a perfect compliment to physical practise.
The original Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga works toward wellness, restoration and rejuvenation. The heated studio facilitates deeper stretching, prevents injury, and relieves stress and tension. Bikram Yoga was designed to systematically stimulate and restore health to every muscle, joint and organ of the body. Participants are guided through a series of 26 postures during which the heart, lungs, circulation, muscles, brain activity and mental capacity are all affected.
These 1hr classes are shortened versions of the Ashtanga Primary Series and are good for people new to Ashtanga who would like to learn the basics and for people who have busy schedules and only have 1hr to spare for yoga practice. Some of the more difficult poses of the series are left out but the sequence is still challenging and provides a good all round work out. The continual movements, from one pose to another, gives you an added cardiovascular benefit, which more traditional forms of yoga do not have. The routine practice of vinyasa yoga can increase muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, and reduce levels of stress.
To view and find out more please visit Jai Yoga
With all these amazing benefits why would you not try an Alternative.
In closing if you make these suggested LifeStyle adjustments, your Mind, Body and Spirit will be in a better position to complete those tasks and projects. You’ll have more energy to start those hobbies having the strength of your convictions to achieve anything that you may endeavor to for 2012.
If you’d like to know more about how infiniteWELLNESS can help you on your path to wellbeing then call us at the Clinic on 072-697-2383 to make your next available appointment and achieve what most people only talk about.