Thursday, September 6, 2012

I AM A Health Freak! Does It Help In The Long Run? YES!

Surya Namskaar
Where shall I start this article about myself?! Well...I was always worried about getting FAT! So, from my young age, I never fancied fried foods, sweets etc.  If I have lunch at a function, I skip my dinner, mostly, or just have curd rice.

When I was young, I and my brothers and sisters used to walk to school, which was around 3 - 3 and half Km. from home.  I was working for a few years...again running to catch a bus or train and then walk for 20 mts. from the bus stop! I never thought it as stressful at that time...young age?! After my two sons joined school, I started doing exercises, which continues even now!

I learnt yoga seriously when I was 35.  I was in Hosur at that time where I had many friends.  We asked a master to come from Bangalore once a week and teach us yoga! I learnt Surya namaskara from him and do it even now! I feel that this has all the postures - important postures of yoga and activates all parts of our body.  I used to do 12 namaskaras and it has reduced to 5 now, though.  After doing other small exercises and yoga postures, I finish off with surya namaskara.

I thought since I take care of myself so carefully, I will always be healthy.  But I became a diabetic at the age of 53 and BP also joined shortly.  Stress? Maybe.  It was after menopause.  I have heard that many women get some sort of permanent ailment after menopause which hurt me a lot for a long time.    Is it true? But I couldn't believe I had diabetes! But, thank god,  I never felt weak.  Learnt Sudarshana Kriya (Art of Living).  It is very good.  But after doing it promptly for 6 - 7 months, somewhere I stopped doing it! I am going for walks with my husband regularly and do cycling in the exercise cycle (regularly!).  Sometimes we skip walking but I see to it that I do some sort of exercise everyday.

I noticed a few years back that I was waking up early, at about 2 or 3 am in the morning and never went back to sleep. This aggravated slowly and for the past 3-4 months I started full 'no sleep nights' continuously for 3 to 4 days often.  I was not able to sleep even for 15 mts. in the afternoon. Then sleep again for 3,4,5 hours for a week or so and again 'no sleep' nights. My doctor asked me to have dinner early and walk for half an hour before sleeping.  No, it didn't  work.  Hot water bath before sleep...oohmm, no, it didn't work.  My Ophthalmologist asked me to take a tsp. of poppy seeds in hot milk before going to bed...I took it for more than a month.  No reaction. More than not sleeping, I was worried about the side effects of it.  Will my memory weaken...or some nervous problem crop up, etc.  As per doctor's advice, I took .25 mg of Anxit for a few days.  He said that it will regularise the sleep.  I used to wake up at 1 am even after taking the tablet.  Funny thing is, I never felt weak.  I was doing the regular household work as usual.  My relatives used to call me in the morning and ask 'thookkam?!' (sleep?).  I don't like to watch TV at night.  I read sometimes.  But my eyes became tired after sometime.  My son was playing 'sleep inducing' music...but it didn't help! Both husband and son used to look at my face often after 9 pm.  If they think that I am feeling sleepy, they would switch off the TV, put ear plugs in my ears (they think that I might wake up with the stabilizer or road traffic sound!) and compel me to sleep.  10 mts. and I will wake up and sit up! Sometimes I was so restless that I was not able to even lie down peacefully.

Then one doctor told me, 'never go for sleeping pills, go for meditation, stop worrying about mundane things. Family means, problems will be there.  You have to take care of your health.'  My son took me to a 'therapautic yoga' teacher. She is a student of Yogacharya Krishnamaachari.  She taught me breathing exercises.  I practice this exercise everyday.  I used to get headaches in the early mornings on 'no sleep' days earlier (it was not there in the morning!).  I feel better mentally, now.  I am back to the old active self, my relatives say.  OK, I don't sleep for 7-8 hours, but at least for 5 hours, now!

I feel I am coming out of all health problems because of the Surya namaskara I was doing all these years and now breathing exercises.  This is the first step to meditation, the yoga teacher said.  I was going there once a week for 3 weeks.  Now, once in two weeks.

Tension is the worst enemy.  I had some skin problem, though it has reduced now, because of tension.  No medicine can cure ailments which come because of tension. We must keep on telling ourselves that 'we will cross this phase soon'.  Life is full of ups and downs.

Now, do warm up exercises, surya namaskara and then 'inhale....exhale' slowly'! You will feel good!

Picture courtesy: Wikipedia



S. Susan Deborah said...

The words, "stress," "tension," "health" and "exercise" have become so much part of our daily parlance. Whatever we do does not seem enough, it seems. I am glad that your situation is gradually improving.

Take good care.


dsdsds said...

glad to see your health is improving.. now i am really worried.. i am a lazy bone and dont do any exercise apart from the regular chores.. i havent employed a servant maid also so that I can benefit more... but reading your post I think I need to start something.. yeah pranayama and yogasanas always improve our health.. hope you get a full 8 hours sleep daily..

Sandhya said...

SUSAN DEBORAH: Thank you, Susan! Yes, we have to allot time to do our exercises or suffer later.

HEMA: If you are swabbing the floor with a cloth and not mop, it is a good exercise. Washing clothes also need stamina. You seem to be OK then!

Learn yoga if you get a chance. You can spend just half an hour a day. I was spending only half an hour for exercises earlier, now because I have to do the breathing exercise, it takes one hour. Can't spend one hour so, I split it into half an hours, mostly. There is no other go, now. Or swallo more pills!

Destination Infinity said...

I make it a point to walk everyday. But you are right, we also need to learn and do at least Suryanamaskara. I learned this in my school, now I forgot! I try to avoid all kinds of tablets, except in extreme circumstances like viral fever.

Have you tried meditation? Does that work? I learned breathing exercises during some art of living classes. They were good, but now I forgot!

Destination Infinity

SG said...

Sorry about your health problem. I am glad you are becoming healthier again. Excercise. Excercise. Excercise. That is the only mantra.

ashok said...

eye opening post!

Swaram said...

Glad to know that Sandhya. Suryanamaskara and Pranayama are elixir indeed.

Bikram said...

yes mam, I need to learn this , I get so tired these days ..

and good your health is imporving ..

I do some exercises but i need ot do more I think ..


Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: I am doing breathing exercises now. It is helping me a lot, D.I.

Suryanamaskara activates knees, back, neck, etc. which is very good. Once you learn you won't forget.

SG: Thank you, SG! Yes, exercise is a must at least after reaching middle age!

ASHOK: Thank you, Ashok!

SWARAM: Yes, Swaram and thank you!

BIKRAMJIT: Thank you! I thought you jog everyday. Remember reading it in one of your posts, Bikram.

Anonymous said...

You just motivated me to work out.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Sandhya nothing like keeping fit and hope you continue to live a tension free life with a good night's sleep:)

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Sandhya. Yes I think you areurya Namaskars quite right in feeling that you are coming out of your health problems because of the Surya Namaskars.

Surya Namaskars not only help our physical health but mental health too.

Breathing exercises [pranayam] are effective too, I have found. When I first became ill 7/8 years ago with MS, I did breathing exercises regularly every morning and got a lot of relief.

I am glad that you are feeling better now and sleeping better, too!

sm said...

yes it helps

Sandhya said...

TRISHANKA: Welcome to my blog, Trinshanka (an unusual beautiful name!).

Good, please do! You will feel relaxed mentally.

RAHUL BHATIA: Thank you, Rahulji!

MANJU JOGLEKAR: I used to get some sort of lump like thing in the middle of the chest. As soon as I started doing the breathing exercises, within a few days, it was gone. I don't get it now.

Thank you, Manju! I am far far better now.

SM: Yes, SM!

Bhagyashree said...

Yoga has always helped me. Pranayams are vital to me. I am not able to do surya namaskars at one go. Get exhausted. So I do very slowly :)

Sandhya said...

BHAGYASHREE: It should be done slowly, Bhagya. I used to do it fast until a few years back. Then saw Ramdev's yoga programme. He said that we have to breath slowly and do the asanas slowly. His yoga programmes were very good. Now, he has lost the respect of so many people.

radha said...

I also have these days of no sleep. And I am so drowsy right now at 6.30 in the evening and will be wide awake by 9 pm! And the headaches. Glad to know it is normal. I have had no check up so I am not sure what I have so I feel fine. I used to do yoga when young, now I exercise, do the hula hoop, and the exer-cycle. In about 8 months I lost 8 kgs. Though a lot of people do not like the way i look, I feel fit!

Sandhya said...

RADHA: I too was looking haggard, a few months back. A friend of mine, who came home after a long time, cried looking at me. But I was doing my household work, going out normally etc. I was brisk when I was home but if I went to somebody's place, I sat idly and listened to their chat and slept off! Or if I went by car somewhere long distance, I was sleeping! My son was joking, 'You take amma somewhere by car for 5-6 hours. Just drive so that she would sleep!'

I was also feeling sleepy in the evenings but was worried I won't sleep at night (!) but even then I didn't sleep!

You feel fit because of the exercises, I am sure Radha! This phase will go like mine! I too had unbearable headaches at the back of my head sometimes at night. I don't have it now. I wrote only one post per month during these months! Learn breathing exercise. Art of living's 'sudarshana kriya' also is good. Breathing exercise helped me a lot. Take care, Radha.

Sandhya said...

RADHA: I forgot to mention one thing, Radha. The doctor who asked me to do meditation, prescribed Vitamin D powder once a week for 8 weeks, because I had the deficiency. Parthasarathy Sir also started having sleep deficiency and his doctor also asked him to take Vit.D supplement! Did it help me? I don't know.

Irfanuddin said...

its good to see that more n more people are shifting towards yoga these days and just trying to keep themselves fit.....and it does help them very much to keep fit...

Thanks for sharing this inspiring post here.

kanagu said...

True.. most of the things related to mind isn't it?? Keep on thinking about few things and we loss sleep.

Good that you have started following meditation. It really calms the mind.

Take care :)

P.N. Subramanian said...

I also feel "Meditation" makes things easier. Now after having crossed 70 I too feel, I should be guided by your experiences.

Sandhya said...

IRFANUDDIN: Yes, it does help everyone, Irfan!

KANAGU: Meditation helps to keep the stress under control, Kanagu! Hope you are doing some sort of exercise or yoga!

P.N.SUBRAMANIAN: I learnt yoga when I was 35 and follow it till now!

வை.கோபாலகிருஷ்ணன் said...

Interesting article.
Thanks for sharing.

Respected Madam,

Thanks for your valuable comments in my recent post. I have given my reply also for the same. Please go through the following Link:
”லஞ்ச லாவண்யங்கள்”


Anu ~*~ said...

oh !! appealing Post ~


Avada Kedavra said...

I tried to learn yoga but finally gave up since I am lazy. After reading your post, I feel so guilty for not exercising.

Avada Kedavra said...

And good to know that your health is now improving because of yoga!

Anonymous said...

great info...

thanks for sharing

Sandhya said...


ANU: Welcome to my blog, Anu! Thank you!

ASHWINI: Two doctors prescribed sleeping pills for me. One doctor admonished me saying that family means problems would be there, otherwise we should not get married! Go for meditation, he said! I took it literally and learnt Meditation and am still doing it. The improvement was slow but it works!

Thank you, Ashwini. Please take time to do some sort of exercise always.

AVAD KEDAVARA: No, Yoga will do you lot of good. You won't regret allocating some time for it.

KRISHNA; Hope you are doing your exercises, Krishna!

Usha Pisharody said...

You inspire, Sandhya! Am in the doldrums myself these days, recuperating from a back problem (again!)! Thank you so much!
And do take care. I know you will go through this time with the routine :)

Sandhya said...

USHA PISHARODY: We have got a yoga doctor here in Adyar. My relative had this lower back pain. She was asked to take bed rest. She went to this doctor (I went to him for my slight spondilitis which is no more now!) and he taught some yogic exercises and it is more than 10 years now, since her problem was cured. If she thinks that she has slight pain, she starts doing the exercises and it goes off. He is a disciple of Yogacharya Krishnamachari. The name is Dr.Krishna Raman. He will be of help to you, Usha. If you need more details I can give you, Usha.

I seem to be OK now with the breathing exercises and other exercises. Thank you!

Ramakrishnan said...

Confidently and courageously you have approached your ailments and successfully managed to keep them in control. Hats off to you.
Yes exercise is the answer to most modern day ailments.It helps to relax and drives away tension which is the root cause for problems like diabetes, blood pressure etc.

R. Ramesh said...

whenever someone feels a little down..they should read this post:) thanks sandhyaji

Roshmi Sinha said...

Good to know you are fine, Sandhyaji. Sleeplessness is so scary.

Yes, try not to get worked up or tensed. It affects the body and mind, and that results in health issues like, BP and diabetes.

Best is to remain active and cheerful. Listen to good music, have pleasant chats with folks at home, read something nice, and meditate for sometime. Your mind will be calm and you won’t have any problem in sleeping. You have a nice garden too, do spend sometime everyday among the plants and butterflies … its very pleasant. And your two adorable cats should be cause for much mirth!

Sandhya said...

R.RAMAKRISHNAN: Thank you, Ramakrishnan Sir! I do meditation everyday. Thank god, that phase is gone now.

R.RAMESH: Thanks, Ramesh!

ROSHMI SINHA: I am very particular about exercise and now do meditation too. I love to hear good melodious music and love gardening too. Still, I got these ailments! I must manage tension even better!

Yes, the cats entertain, we entertain them and enjoy!

Thank you, Roshmi!

Megha said...

:) I could relate with your state of mind to some extent.. :) ..
However, I am 26years old.. but sometimes that disturbing sense of worry or ailments is really demoralizing.. I will try Surya Namaskara :) ..

Thanks for being so transparent in your writing..

Megha :)

Roshmi Sinha said...

Sandhyaji, I am keen to know your take on my latest post (The Krishna Key). It may appear to be a book review; but is far deeper than that.

Link at your service:

PS: What are your views on my other two posts about Shri Krshn … in case you have read them, that is? :)

PPS: May you enjoy good health always.

Sandhya said...

MEGHA: Welcome to my blog, Megha!

We never understand the impact of good health until we start getting ailments one by one. It is scary! If we take some precautions, like doing proper exercises everyday, well, as often as possible, our self confidence will improve.

Take care of your health Megha, from now itself!

ROSHMI SINHA: Will read your post in the afternoon, Roshmi! Thank you!

Jyoti Joshi Mitter said...

Seriously, at times you don't know why something is happening to you, but as you deep dive, you find, it's because of something you do ( tension) . Lovely post!

Sandhya said...

JYOTHI JOSHI MITTER: Thanks for the comment, Jyothi!

I have realised it now! Tension is the main culprit for all our health problems!

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