WELLNESS GURU: What Is The Right Way To Meditate?

Wellness expert Roopashree Sharma answers your health queries.

Dear Reader,

We all take our health for granted. Aren’t we always sure we are healthy? But then one day, we get a rude wake-up call and find that we can no longer do so.

Does your health bother you?

Do you want to strengthen your body or your immunity?

Do you have bad skin? Or hair issues?

Is your digestive system giving you trouble?

Or is belly fat your problem?

Mail your queries to wellness expert Roopashree Sharma at [email protected] (SUBJECT: Roopashree, can you help?) for her advice.

Dear Roopashree,
A lot of people advocate meditation.
Can you please tell me the right way and the right time to do meditation?
I have tried but I get distracted very easily.
Also, how exactly does meditation help us?
Thanks,
Alpana

The morning hours are the best to practise meditation for very simple reasons.

At dawn, it’s peaceful and there are limited distractions.

Since 2-6 am is the Kapha period, our digestive fire is low. The previous meal has been digested by now so you will feel light and fresh.

In case you miss the morning hours, you can meditate before going to sleep, provided you have an early dinner (at least 2-3 hours before you plan to practise).

Learning meditation takes years and you need a good teacher.

You can start with simple breathing techniques; try to concentrate on your breath as you inhale and exhale.

The mind will keep wandering, thoughts will keep coming but continue to focus on your breath.

Gradually, your concentration will increase and you will be able to meditate.

Do try and enrol with a good teacher so that you get the wholistic yoga experience which goes beyond asanas.

 

Hi Roopashree Ma’am,
I use my phone a lot and find my hand getting numb after some time, especially when I am lying down and using the phone.
What should I do to stop this from happening?
Please don’t tell me not to use my phone.
Thank you,
Abhishek

Since you want a solution that does not involve a change in your practices, your best option would be to buy a mobile stand or get your loved ones to massage your shoulder when it hurts.

The basic law of nature is that every action has a reaction — if you don’t respect your body, the body will give up on you.

The next impact could be on your eyes, your neck or mental issues like anxiety caused by excessive exposure to digital screens.

If you want to avoid these problems, limit your screen usage, make sure your posture is correct when you sit to use any kind of digital screen and splash cold water on your eyes after constant screen exposure.

 

Dear Roopashree,
I have read about aromatherapy.
Is it effective?
What kind of aromatherapy would you suggest for getting good sleep and for reducing stress?
When and how should this be used?
Thank you,
Sahana

Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

Please note that the oils have to be natural.

These days, the market is flooded with synthetic fragrances. While they might smell good at first, the nerves get irritated with the chemical fumes as the fragrance spreads.

Therefore, use little but use pure fragrances only. 

To induce sleep, you can try soothing fragrances like lavender.

Ayurveda wellness brands like Spa Ceylon offer stress relief balms made with pure herbs.

Keep usage to the minimal but ensure that you use pure products so that you get the right benefits.

Besides aromatherapy, you can also try meditation.

Play relaxing music and stay away from your screen for at least an hour before sleeping.

Also, to get better sleep, keep away from tobacco, alcohol, drugs and sugary items.

 

Dear Roopashreeji,
As I have a sitting job, I am worried about how it will affect my joints.
Can you please suggest simple exercises I can do during the day and how long to do them for?
Also, what are good foods and a good oil for my joints?
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Kapilesh

Small practices during the day go a long way in staying healthy.

Get up every hour and do stretches (Here are some exercises you can try at work).

Go for a stroll during lunch hour.

Take the option of using the stairs wherever possible.

Walk up to your colleagues rather than sending an email.

You can try laptop stands that allow you to stand and work for some time. These can be easily placed on top your desk.

To stay fit, dance is the best form of exercise; it keeps you physical and mentally healthy. Choose your favourite form — whether classical or western, Zumba or aerobics.

In Yoga, around 2-3 rounds of Surya Namaskar in the morning is a wholistic exercise routine (Do see: How to do the Surya Namaskar).

For maintaining a healthy back, practise the Ushtra Asana but please do so under proper guidance from an Ayush-certified practitioner (Do see: How to do the Ushtra Asana).

A proper diet consists of all nutrients and seasonal fruits and veggies. You can consult an Ayurveda nutritionist to draw a diet plan based your dosha balance, body chemistry, etc.

 

Hi Roopashree,
I want to discuss about my mental issue. Last year my colleague died of a sudden heart attack. Since then, I always feel I am going to meet the same fate.
I have done ECG and also consulted few doctors who said my blood pressure and heartbeats are normal. But regularly I get chest pains and feel I am going to have heart attack.
I have spent most of my life stressful as mostly due to abusive childhood because of my stepmother.
I wonder if it is a heart problem or a mental problem.
Can you help?

You should address this issue.

Let your mind relax since the reports are clear. Constant worrying will negatively impact on your otherwise healthy system.
 
Change your routine for a while. Pursue a hobby. If you know swimming, go for it as water is the best natural healer.

Learn meditation; you can start by chanting ‘Om’.

Further, for inner balance and peace, learn a musical instrument and/or learn to sing; it will bring out any suppressed emotions.

We should learn to let go, let the past remain in the past, take positive lessons and move on.

Bring positive affirmations into your life rather than holding on to the negatives.

Please stay away from any kind of addiction.

Consult a wellness expert in case you are not able to cope as suppressed emotions can result in physical ailments. 

  • You can read Roopashree’s columns here.

Roopashree Sharma, a qualified yoga trainer and naturopathy enthusiast, is the founder of Atharvanlife (external link).

You can send in your health queries to Roopashree at [email protected] (SUBJECT: Roopashree, can you help?). Do remember to include your age, height, weight, where you stay, health issues and any other details that will help. If you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.

Please note: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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