Looking after your health is an ongoing process and we must always be increasing our commitment to it as we get older and become susceptible to more problems. Most of us take good health totally for granted – something we are given and don’t have to take care of. But as you are probably thinking, that’s a ridiculous notion. By turning a blind eye to our niggling back pain or continuous tension headaches we have more time for the ‘important’ things in our lives. But what good will all the money in the word do you when you develop a heart disease? And how will you look after your family then?
Are you actively involved in maintaining your own health? Come on, be honest, do you prioritise YOU? Sounds so obvious doesn’t it? But if you were to spend one week in my shoes – or reading my email – you would see just how many people put soooo much before their own health.
It is a convenient belief of many today that we can simply hand over our health to doctors, nurses, pills and potions and say “fix this please, it’s hurting me”. This is a further acknowledgement that we don’t want to be responsible for our own health and perpetuates the myth that illness and disease are something that happen to you – that they are somehow separate. However no disease happens by accident. Accidents happen by accident. Getting a heart disease is not an accident.
We are all actually in a state of wellness or un-wellness. It really is a case of shades of grey rather than a black and white situation. Illness and disease are not something ‘out there’ separate from you – something that you have no control over. Your body is a magnificent, self healing organism. Your immune system is very powerful and the self regenerating capacity of your body is simply fantastic.
Illness is only the last stage of a problem. Before anyone becomes ill, there are early warning signs that things are not quite right. These might include feeling tired more than usual, feeling lifeless, irritability, mental confusion, headaches or general aches and pains. All these should say to you “I need to rest more often and listen to my body more, to see what is at the bottom of this”. If these signs are ignored the body will not cope and ends up waving a red flag and saying ‘I’ve had enough and am going to break down’. The run down state is the cause of the problem (causing a weakened immunity system) and the disease that follows is the effect.
If you have the awareness to identify the problem before it gets out of hand and provide the body with the right conditions for it to get on with its own defense and healing, you will have saved yourself much suffering – and this is the goal of yoga.
After all modern medicine helps the body to heal – the doctors, nurses and drugs do not actually heal the body for us. It is our cells which have to regenerate and mend the affected part. Take a broken leg for example. Once the bone is set back in the correct place, it is the body that does the job of mending. With rest, good food and a calm mental attitude this will take less time. It is more difficult to imagine how the body ‘rebuilds’ itself with other illness such as pneumonia or high blood pressure – but it does.
Convinced? Take a long look in the mirror, look at your eyes, skin tone, tongue. Do you look good? Feel alive? A healthy lifestyle with fresh food and daily yoga goes a very long way to improve your health and wellbeing. All it takes is for you to commit.