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A healthy lifestyle is nothing but a management system, just like the one at your office or your home. You must have a similar system for your life as well. To boost immunity and improve your overall wellbeing, I highly recommend Indian classical performing arts. It is a lifestyle essential to remain healthy and well.
Eventually the ultimate goal of human existence, according to Indian philosophy, is Moksha – the liberation of the soul from the life-cycle, or spiritual enlightenment. Worship of sound – Nadopasana, is taught as an essential means to reach Moksha. The deeper you go, the higher the ‘ananda’, or joy, you experience. This sacred approach to sound is a notable feature of Indian culture.
Indian classical dance and music is one of the oldest unbroken musical traditions in the world. Music is inextricably interwoven not only with the ritualistic and devotional side of religious lives, but it is also influential in day-to-day life experiences. From birth until death, music accompanies a person. Indian classical dance and music do not just engage your five senses and take you through meditative experiences; they are extremely helpful in balancing your mind, body and energies.
I have personally experienced immense possibilities in my life which inspired me to promote the Indian classical dance form Kathak – to redefine it, beyond just a hobby or a lifestyle, and introduce it to the masses as a wellbeing mantra through ‘Natya Yoga’ training programs. Over the last 21 years my experience of training men and women of different professions and from different parts of the world has reinforced my belief that classical dance and music calms the mind and reinvigorates individuals. It also alleviates health problems; people suffering from lifestyle-related diseases find my program immensely helpful.
Following a pattern, a system, brings out the best in us. Nature itself follows a series of patterns, in the form of the Fibonacci series. Our system is designed to learn and grow in a pattern, and when you arrange a set of patterned series, it works naturally to bring out the best in you! While learning a classical format, you are tapping on a certain Taal, on systematic beats; your body is moving in sync with your feet, and so is your mind. These recurring patterns create a union of mind, body and energies. This union has a powerful impact on your life, often far beyond what we can imagine!
Be it stress reduction, insomnia prevention, emotion control, high blood pressure, or diabetes; I have experienced magical results in my students when they become accustomed to this art form and make it a part of their everyday life. Students have experienced improved attention in sports and studies, and it has helped the middle-aged in conditioning their muscles, bones and ligaments. It can help people with a history of depression by merely releasing good hormones and sending happy signals to the brain. By indulging in this one art, you can achieve all these benefits, all in one go.
While learning and practicing an art form one is able to express their emotions and share their deepest thoughts without being judged. This relieves stress from the mind, which is the root cause of most diseases. Through Kathak, one also learns and masters the art of imagination and expression, which attracts positive and constructive thoughts and gives positive signals to your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind has the power to change your life!
Emotional scars are more severe than physical wounds. We should not ignore them just because they cannot be seen. We tend to neglect these and move on. We believe in the common phrase, ‘seeing is believing’, and so ignore emotional scars, which causes those scars to be buried deep inside us. This leads to emotional illness, and many other psychological disorders. So, act in the present, attend to those wounds in the present, before you take them along with you to the future, where they may evolve into something that is beyond your control. To see your life change in a positive direction you need to let things change on the inside, because this is what will reflect outside; and art indeed is the best way to induce such changes. When you commit to the positive things in life – such as a useful hobby, a healthy habit and lifestyle – try it out, give it time and settle into it at your own pace. Fall in love with music and motion, and it will love you back, unconditionally – filling you with health and happiness!
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead October 2020 issue.
A Kathak guru, entrepreneur, social activist and wellbeing and conscience coach, Aparna Mishra is a woman of many talents. At the age of 13 she laid the foundation of Kala Saadhana Academy, today known as the Kala Saadhana Art & Wellbeing Centre. Revenues from the centre are directed towards the Shivaakriti Foundation, founded by Aparna for social upliftment of the underprivileged. Her unique training program ‘Conscience and Wellbeing’ has changed the lives of many with its focus on the promotion of ‘Wholesome Wellbeing' – aligning the mind, body and conscience of the individual.