|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - December 2018|
by Marjan Overgaag
For my presentation on holistic health, I thought and doubted about a topic. Holistic health. What is that? Is it whether tomatoes are healthy for someone with a pitta dosha? Yes, nourishing is one of the aspects of holistic health. Nourishing of the physical body. The other day my sister-in-law told me that listening to classical music helps her in the process of letting go. That sounded like nourishing of the mental body.
Cleansing and exercise
Or should I talk about the neti pot or upper wash? One of the shat kriyas, the cleansing practices. For cleansing is also an aspect of holistic health. I didn’t think of talking about the benefits of exercises. By now, we - TTP-L3-students - know what yoga exercise can do for our health. Can’t we? The importance of the joints and glands series are familiar from the first day we have started TTP.
Meditation and emotions
Being still. Meditation. It is also one of the aspects of holistic health. Haven’t we yet all experienced what going WITHIN means? Being still. Silence of the body. Silence of thoughts. Silence when we speak. Fast when we eat. Being aware. Being where we are: we have experienced it ourselves. Or not?
Smile before you speak
Off course, I could talk about our negative emotions. Very important as well. Do we cook our daily food with krodha? It makes our food like poison. Or will my topic be Chitta Prasadana…. Before I speak, I try to remember the motto ‘smile before you speak’. It helps me, but I can assure you that it is not easy. And before I say something I try to remember: Hitam Mitam Priyam. Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Again, you’d might think it is simple, but it is not.
What is our attitude in life?
So, what will be the scope of my presentation? I started reading the book A Practical Guide to Holistic Health by Swami Rama. I have read it several times and every time I get new insights. I read the first line: It is about your attitude in life. What is our attitude in life? Do we have the right purpose in life? That’s it! That’s my topic.
Positive mental outlook
Swami Rama taught us that the base of holistic health lies in our understanding of the purpose of life and knowing how to achieve that purpose. The power to make ourselves healthy lies WITHIN us all. We can be completely healthy and happy, here and now. The most important lifestyle choice of all is the choice to have a positive mental outlook. “Attitude is the most important factor in realizing health.”
Three categories of people
There are three categories of people travelling through the procession of life: time orientated, goal orientated, and purpose orientated.
So, let it be clear that the basis of holistic health lies in understanding the purpose of life and learning to achieve that purpose. Therefor we must have a practical philosophy of life. Buddha developed a practical approach to life. He said there are 4 noble truths. If we become aware of them, we will be able to understand the whole philosophy of life.
Swami Rama says, that we have to learn to face life’s miseries and become a witness rather than a victim, then we can enjoy life. The best enjoyment is life, not in the objects of the world. By becoming an observer of life, acceptance of its miseries becomes possible. It should come from within. As we perfect the methods of self-examination, self-analysis, self-control and self-awareness we become more independent and better able to handle the day-to-day problems of life.
A quiet mind
The first step is, says Swami Rama in his book, to build a positive attitude and learn to accept that which makes us unhappy. Next step is freeing ourselves from pain and misery and attaining a quiet mind. We must not have unrealistic expectations of ourselves or others. With realistic goals we will succeed. Our willpower will not be dissipated, and a one-pointed mind creates a dynamic will.
Program of life
Next, we should have to have our own thoughts, independent of culture and religion, and from these we should develop a philosophy of life which is simple and direct. Be flexible and direct. Swami Rama states, that each person should have a program of life and should work for that. And the process begins by cleansing and nourishing, followed by exercise and learn to meditate. Being still. Meditation is powerful and therapeutic. And off course we have to work on our emotions.
A practical guide to holistic health
To prepare for this presentation, I read the book A Practical Guide to Holistic Health. It is highly recommended.
— Marjan Overgaag
Last November 2018 I participated in the TTP-L3-retreat at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. Part of the assignment was to give a presentation.
Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP) offers two training sessions annually at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India.
The future schedule includes:
For more information, please visit the website: himalayanyogatradition.com.