Exploring Holistic Fitness

I felt like everyone else, I knew what the word health means. Don't you feel, we use the word casually, flinging it around as caution and sometimes remorsefully in the end moments of distress?

Kubbra Sait

Many of us are just living through life and not really experiencing it. Gentle reminder: Life is happening to us, and not the other way round.

When a medical calamity strikes us and trust me, it occurs when one is least expecting it, it is only then we realise the importance of health in our forever expanding Universe. Most people take the word in its passiveness for granted and I the lucky one continued my ignorance towards how active the word "health" really is.

The dictionary defines health as the condition of a person's body and mind. I invite you to check in right now and ask yourself, how is the condition of your heart, your mind, your breath and your body? How do you feel? Did you take a deep long breath or a shallow one? Did you pause? Were you able to process the truth to yourself? Or did you just quip with an unaware, “Fine!”

I wrote a book recently titled ‘Open Book, Not Quite a Memoir’. In it is a chapter titled, ‘living many lives in one life time.’ This is true for all of us. I too, like everyone else, went through the roller coaster of life that went by. It was only when I sat down to take stock of those very moments, did I realise no incident is ordinary, you know why? Because I realised I am not ordinary and neither are you. I was preparing for who I am today, and have been defined by those very challenging moments.

While working at Microsoft, I was proud of living other people's dream for a fair share of my illustrious corporate career. It resulted in dreariness, and physical pains being manifested. My eyesight grew weak, my upper back developed a hunch as I bent into my laptop screen for hours. (It is funny to me, how I just rolled back my shoulders as I type this piece). I could have obviously corrected the physical condition by hitting the gym three times a week, but, who would advise me that the physical component was only a part of the whole? No matter how much money I spent on personal trainers in the most lavish gyms, they just wouldn't bring me joy or a sense of completion. I never felt entirely great in my body. I was doing the processes because I copied others who did the same. What I did not realise until the third of my five year corporate career was that if my inner being wasn't happy, nothing I would do would reflect on my face or in my eyes.

It was only when I paused from the regimented routine, packed with more and more things to do and achieve when I felt a deep surge to speak my truth, not to anyone else, but to my own self. I wasn't happy. I was bored. I was dissatisfied. I was in pain. It made me realise that I was not only comfortable, I had also become complacent. The dissatisfaction of what I did, how I did and for whom I did resulted in an overall health crash. As I said earlier, I am lucky and thankfully it was a mere gnawing feeling leading to discomfort and not a calamity.

It is then I realised that change is possible. No one said it was easy, but the fact that it was an option, presented me with a chance at a new life I'd now go on to create. Health for me is holistic. It's about you and every aspect of you is connected to the Universe as a whole. Just like the neural symmetry inside the magic machine called the human body, you are using to commute through the real world. In broad strokes for me, this means:

Physical fitness:

It is hilarious how most humans I have met on their first week in the gym thrive for a flat stomach. Let me tell you first hand, that it is impossible to achieve that particular goal in isolation without the rest of your body being strong. For me it turned out to be alignment.  I was lopsided as most of us are because every one of us has a dominant side. The work for me began with making small continuous efforts of strengthening the physical side of my body that was least used. I tried gyms, crossfit, boot camps, running and everything else until I ended up with yoga.

Yoga helped me shelf all my persisting worries for the forty five minutes I’d spend on the mat which would end with Pranayam / breathwork. Yoga now for the last two years and counting brings me immense peace. The beauty of yoga for me is how it shows me, one day I can touch my chest to my thighs in a forward bend and then on days I am barely able to touch my toes in the same pose. I am learning to accept my body for what it does for me, and also grateful for showing up on the mat, no matter what. I also am a big cheerleader for assisted practice. If one can, I suggest starting with a teacher who can teach you your anatomy. 

Mental fitness: 

I used to use my personality traits and flaws as a crutch, and callously remark, "I am short tempered." It became quintessential for me to crack down what led to my outbursts? I was curious about why I would end up crying after a yelling showdown? It really hit me, when I started experiencing panic attacks. My regular visits to the therapist taught me I was striving for perfection; it was how I was conditioned to be and only when the realisation struck me was when I consciously started being gentle on me and my surroundings. I am still working on it. I am now calmer with my interactions. It also helps me look at situations from the outside and not only focus on me. This has helped in reducing stress. Funnily now that my mind is at peace, the trapezius muscle is also pretty chill, it doesn't revolt and shoot pain up my neck and my head doesn't feel like it is being dragged on my shoulders. 

Soul Fitness:

Do you know mindfulness is a golden nugget that helps combine your physical and mental health? Most people associate soul fitness with spirituality. I feel, do whatever works for you but, please do. Spend those (at least) ten precious minutes filling a gratitude journal, reciting a prayer, colouring a mandala or meditate. Do anything, but please do something. Treat yourself, because you deserve it. Disconnect from the outside chaos and appreciate the calm within. You'll soon start to be aware of your breath patterns. I use it at work as an actor. How else do you think I cry on cue? I also switch out and chirp once I hear a stern "CUT". It is because learning to channel your breath, helps me (and you) control your actions, your words, and the circumstances.

Funnily enough it took me years to gift myself a routine which allowed me to savour each day. This is a perceived fast paced world where we push both our minds and bodies through extreme conditions. But, the world can wait. Really it can. Trust yourself and the process. Be willing to make the change you require. Your health and its well-being is a gentle process. You'll soon acknowledge and appreciate the world and its chaos. 

Tags assigned to this article:
Mental Health physical health soul holistic health


Around The World


Novel Approaches For Anticipating Outcomes In Pregnancies With Foetal Complications

Improved prediction of which pregnancies are likely to result in stillbirth, neonatal death, or extremely preterm delivery will aid in identifying the...

ISKCON's World Holy Name Week And Bhadra Poornima Celebration

The celebration concludes along with over 15,000 Bhagavata Purana Sets distributed ...

Amrita University Unveils Groundbreaking Research Projects During Amma's Birthday Celebration

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) —spiritual leader, humanitarian and visionary—was born on 3rd October, 1953 in a remote coastal village in Kerala...

Genetics Helps Explain Childhood Cancer: Study

The findings, which will help with genetic counselling were published in The Lancet Oncology....

The Power Of Mindfulness: A Secret Weapon For Competitive Exam Success

Being fully present when studying, rather than letting the mind wander, can lead to more efficient learning and better recall during exams...

Spiritual Well-Being And Mental Health

Discussing the connection between spiritual well-being and mental health and exploring practices that promote both ...

Quick Connect With BW Wellness

Subscribe Our Newsletter