Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rambling on about ... lifestyle

I was playing trivia on DALNet ( when this question came up - What is the name of the traditional indian form of exercise? Easy question - A: Yogasanas.
As a kid, I was able to perform various yogic positions, or asanas as they are referred to in the vernacular. That question prompted me to attempt the Lotus position, or padmasana. I got the position, with a little effort, and felt pretty pleased with myself ... until I discovered, to my chagrin, I couldn't get out of the position!! I have since been practicing regularly, and expect to be able to get over my ummm fear of the lotus position. Google came up with a number of web-sites, but the one that gets my vote is this one - Anyway, take my advice. Dont' ever practice yogasans when puppy may come in and sniff-tickle you off your balance.

We hear off-and-on about various forms of exercise [martial,and otherwise]- Yogasanas, Tai'chi, Judo, Quigong, and so on. All these forms of exercise, seem to have two things in common.

i. Ensure a supple spine, and good posture
ii. Practice controlled breathing.

As babies, our bodies are naturally supple to an extent that seems almost impossible to most adults. Just try to hold your big toe to your mouth and suck upon it, if you don't believe me!! A baby does it with an ease most of us grown ups cannot.

As we learn to use our mind and settle into the world socially in the 'accepted way of life', our body loses the flexibility it was born with. By and large, the accepted form is increasingly influenced by what is spoken of as 'Western culture'. Lunch and Dinner in the classical European form, i'm unsure of the nation of origin, require a table and a chair. On the other hand, meals [even
traditionally] in India are believed to have been consumed sitting cross-legged on the floor. It is only in the recent past that I heard the cross legged position actually stimulates the abdominal muscles.. compressing the right organs to promote digestion. While the previous statement may, or may not be accurate, i find myself wondering whether there a middle-way that allows us to grow technologically, and yet refrain from a sedentary lifestyle?