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5 Life Lessons from Art Of Living Happiness Program

Those who know me know that I am a student of life that means I like to keep studying about Power of Mind, Spirituality, Positive Thinking, Health and one of my favorite area – Happiness.

AOL Happiness Program

AOL Happiness Program

I zealously take on every chance to grow my knowledge in the topics mentioned above. Recently I got the opportunity to do the Art of Living’s Happiness Course and I am glad I did it. This course highlights some important life lessons that most of us tend to forget in our daily struggles. This is not a religious course as it focuses mainly on the way we react with people or circumstances and its effect on our life.

The course also encourages the habit of daily exercises, Meditation, Yoga and Pranayama. One feels refreshed and recharged while and after this course. The Happiness Course acts as a Mind and Body detox.

“The best form of worship (puja) is to be happy, is to be grateful” – Sri Sri

Initially I was a bit concerned about the time requirement for the course. 6 days 3 hours each felt a little tedious. I was pleasantly surprised that the time flew by during those 6 days. Every morning I got up looking forward to the class and was happy to be an active participant in the program. Both my teachers (Sunil Poddar and Preetam Lunawat) were bustling with energy and joy, they also encouraged us all to stretch our limits be it of our stressful mind or tired body.

“Keeping the mind happy makes work effortless. This is the skill for productivity” – Sri Sri

AOL Happiness Course has taught me to focus on the present it has also taught me to live responsibly. This program teaches 5 main points which I have shared below.

Happiness Point 1: Opposites compliments each other

Without darkness, we cannot appreciate Light. Without Sadness, we would not know happiness. We need to accept and value the bad to appreciate the good. Life is fascinating when it is full of ups and downs. We need to understand that our universe has a beautiful balance of opposites.

Happiness Point 2: Accept people and situation as they are

Do not spend your life reacting to unfavorable situations. Life is going to throw some curve balls and we need to respond to them in a matter that will help others and us in the situation. A panic or angry reaction will only make the situation worst.

Similarly, we tend to compare a person with others that creates a lot of bitterness in relationships. Check out an article about harms of not accepting people as they are 7 Mind Traps that Steal our Happiness Trap 3: Comparison

Happiness Point 3: Don’t be a football of other people’s opinion

People worry a lot about what others say about them and this burden of other people’s opinion forces a person to take some very wrong decisions. I have written a detail article on the mind trap that will help anyone who feels trapped because they cannot ignore other people’s opinion. 7 Mind Traps that Steal our Happiness Trap 1: What other People Think about me

Happiness Point 4: Take Mistake as Mistake

When someone commits a mistake, do not go blaming that person for it. It will create a very negative impression in that person minds but on the other hand if we consider the mistake as mistake the person feels more responsible about his/her actions and would never repeat it.

Happiness Point 5: Stay in the present moment

We should not waste our time thinking about the past to save our mind from painful memories or the future as it puts stress on our mind. Staying in the present helps focus on the actual task at hand.

“When you wake up every morning, look into a mirror and give yourself a good smile. The smile is the sacred gift of life.” – Sri Sri

My next post will be about the life lesson that affected me the most. It is not one of the above-mentioned ones. It is something that was discussed in the class but it captured my attention and helped me analyze a self-sabotaging habit I needed to change immediately. There is a lot I learnt in those six days and I will be sharing it all with you so keep reading and do not forget to comment your views about this or any other article. Thank you for reading. Stay Awesome 🙂

    Leave a Comment below or by clicking “Comment” link under the Title of the Post, I Would Love to Know Your Opinion on This.

9 Foods to Have & 9 Foods to Avoid while Practicing Yoga and Pranayama

This article is inspired by Arun’s comment on my post lose weight, get ageless vibrant health and radiant beauty with anulom vilom pranayam where he asked about food to eat while practicing pranayama. A brief reply to the comment cannot do justice to this important topic hopefully this article does. I would be grateful if more readers can give inputs as we all are on a journey towards good health while overcoming many challenges along the way. We need to help and support each other to win this uphill battle against unhealthy lifestyle diseases. I have faith together we can win and I invite all the readers to contribute their ideas as every bit of knowledge can make the struggle a lot easier.

Satvik Diet

Satvik Diet

I have written a few articles (some are mentioned below) about food that support weight loss, one can have these foods while practicing Yoga and Pranayama.

. 6 Super Foods for Weight Loss and Much More

. Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

. Tender Coconut Water A Super Drink For Weight Loss And Much More

. Cucumber an Amazing Vegetable for Weight Loss and Much More

. Replace Rice with Broken Wheat/ Dalia for a Slimmer and Healthier You

. Ragi Energy Balls For Instant Energy (Dieters, Pregnant or Lactating Ladies)

To enjoy maximum benefit out of your daily Yoga and Pranayama Practice one must follow a Satvik Diet also known as a Yogic Diet.

Satvik Diet is diet based on ancient wisdom of sages of India for whom Ayurveda, Yoga and Pranayama where important part of a healthy lifestyle. They religiously followed ahimsa (non-harming) hence the diet was purely vegetarian. They also believed in having freshly cooked meals and stale food was considered as an invitation to diseases. As per Indian Culture, food is given Divine importance and it is treated with upmost respect.

Satvik diet encourages foods grown and ripened naturally. Fresh organic fruits and vegetables should cover up your plate more than any other food if you want to eat clean and healthy. It is also advisable to avoid overcooking vegetables to preserve their nutrients. Please try to consume as much raw vegetables as possible as they can give you tons of nutrients and fiber that helps in weight loss.

Processed and factory made food are bad for us. Our body cannot make sense of them. Avoid eating any ready to eat or semi-cooked meal, which are usually loaded with harmful chemicals and preservatives. We cannot digest most of these chemicals and they end up messing with our hormones. Processed food is mostly unnatural and harmful, if taken regularly can cause serious health issues.

I would highly recommend a Satvik diet and lifestyle for Yoga and Pranayama practitioners. Following is a list of food one should have and avoid for a healthy lifestyle. I encourage everyone to contribute to the list to grow our knowledgebase.

9 Foods to have while practicing yoga and pranayama

1. Naturally grown and ripened fresh fruits and vegetables

2. Whole grains and beans

3. Seeds and Dry Fruits

4. Fresh Milk, Ghee, Curd, Buttermilk

5. Herbal Tea, Green Tea

6. Jagerry, Sugurcane Molasses

7. Herbs and Spices such turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil and all spices found in any Indian Household

8. Plant based oils like coconut, peanut, sesame, sunflower, olive oil and such

9. Rock Salt

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. – Ayurvedic Proverb”

9 Foods to Avoid while practicing yoga and pranayama

1. Processed foods,

2. Canned foods and ready to eat or semi cooked meals

3. Junk food

4. Artificial sweeteners (they are useless and harmful have jagerry instead)

5. Non Vegetarian foods (Meat and fish of all types, including eggs)

6. Cold drinks(including the diet ones), Soda, Boxed juices

7. Fried and fatty foods

8. Refined white flour (maida), white sugar

9. Stale, over cooked foods or Microwaved foods

Food is definitely medicine. As per naturopathy, right type and quantity of food can heal diseases and make the body stronger.

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Lose Weight, Get Ageless Vibrant Health and Radiant Beauty with Anulom Vilom Pranayam.


Anulom Vilom Pranayam in the morning

Anulom Vilom Pranayam in the morning

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.” — Deepak Chopra

Hectic routine, ever increasing stress, toxic atmosphere, addictions and junk food all piles up to lifestyle related diseases. Any one of the above reason is good enough for health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetics, PCOS and many such demons that are haunting nearly every households.

Toxins have become such a major part of our life that we cannot escape it. Good lifestyle choices like exercising regularly, drinking lots of water, getting rid of addiction can help us prevent future problems but it cannot reverse the damages that has already been done to our body.

If you are having trouble getting your health back on track then doing “Pranayams” beside all that you are already doing can help. Pranayams are breathing exercises and a very important part of Yoga. Pranayams cure the body from inside and brings balance and order to our hormones.

Regular practice of pranayam can help reverse adverse effects of lifestyle related diseases. It has no side effects and it is far more effective than any modern medicine or treatment. My Ayurvedic doctor emphasis on the benefits of “Anulom Vilom Pranayam”. He insists that everyone should do Anulom Vilom Pranayam for minimum 15 minutes daily.

What is Anulom Vilom Pranayam:

Anulom Vilom Pranayam is a breathing exercise were alternate nostrils are used to breath in and out. It is a very effective purifying technique that can detox the body and clear the mind from stress. It can also reverse effects of toxins, balance harmones and regulate our metabolic rate.

How to do Anulom Vilom Pranayam: (Any one can do this Pranayam)

1. It is important to do this or any other Pranayam on empty stomach.

2. Pranayams are more effective if done early morning in a quite calm place which has lots of fresh air.

3. If possible sit in the morning sunlight to get the added benefit of healing rising sun rays full of Vitamin D.

4. Sit crossed legs in Padmasana (Lotus Position) or in Sukhasana (Easy Pose). If you have knee pain or arthritis you can sit on a chair with straight back rest.

5. Remember this asan is to relax and remove stress so do not strain yourself be comfortable.

6. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply about 4 to 5 breaths to calm and clear your mind.

7. With your right thumb close your right nostril and breathe in through left nostril. Be slow and gentle. Then close the left nostril with middle and ring finger and breathe out of right nostril.

8. Next step will be inhale through right nostril and close right nostril then exhale through left nostril. Keep repeating this alternative breathing for 10 to 15 minutes.

9. For the first week start with 5 minutes. Gradually increase the time to 30 minutes.

10. If you cannot do Pranayams in morning you can do them post a gap of 4 to 5 hours after meal.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” — Gautama Buddha

Why to do Anulom Vilom Pranayam: It’s Amazing Benefits ->

Anulom Vilom Pranayam has amazing benefits that can completely bring order and harmony in our mind and body. Regular practice of this pranayam –

1. Purify, cleanse and tone the nervous system,

2. Removes toxins from the body and clears the mind from stress,

3. Improves digestive system and cures constipation, bloating, gastric problems and other discomforts of an upset stomach,

4. Regularizes the three doshas (Vata, Kapha and Pitta) making the body healthier,

5. Balances hormones curing health issues like PCOS, Irregular menses,

6. Increases the intake of oxygen that helps cure conditions like sinus, respiratory problems and asthma,

7. Regularizes the proper circulation of oxygenated blood, it strengthens the heart and functioning of the lungs. Cures high blood
pressure and arthritis,

8. Provides relief from stress, depression, chronic sinus problems, migraine and hypertension.

9. It increases the energy levels of the body and makes the mind calm, peaceful and positive.

10. Anulom Vilom can make us vibrantly healthy and radiantly beautiful. It helps cures the reason that makes us fat like slow metabolic rate or hormonal imbalance. If we regularly practice Anulom Vilom losing weight becomes easy. It makes our skin glowing, clear, radiant and beautiful. It is the most effective anti-aging secret of many famous beautiful people.

Precautions: Avoid during pregnancy. In case of any critical illness like serious heart condition please take your doctors approval before doing this pranayam or any other kind of exercise.

“A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement” — Jess C. Scott

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