Our Latest Obsession COVID 19 - Living Differently

Posted on 09/04/2020, by Hema Bala Shankar

Our Latest Obsession COVID-19 - Living Differently
More than two weeks into quarantine, the days are indistinguishable, confusing limits & waking up each day, reaching for the only thing that connects you to the outside world - your phone.

NEWS clips, isolation memes, posts from friends; you notice something else too..

THE INNER CALL... wanting us to get back to nature, self & experience being human.

We have to listen and return to quieter, simpler & more alive beings! - Live Differently.
Building Immunity Holistically - Back to Basics
Emotional and physical boundaries are necessary for building immunity. Lack of nutrition, hygiene, indolent lifestyle & stress is some of the factors that make us susceptible to various ailments.

Our immunity has always been the basics for good health. During moments of uncertainty, we have to take utmost care of our health & hygiene, for it is the only way to tide over this tough phase of life.
Building Holistic Basics with Family Time
While it's true that family is forever, it is equally important that family is healthy too.

Spending quality time with family does help in coping with challenges, instill a feeling of security, inculcate family values, fill kids with confidence, and much more.

Read on...
1. When life is complicated, eat simple.
For a new practice to become a habit, it takes 21 days. It is so crucial to take ONE STEP at a time.
  • Keep consistent meal times.
  • Eat freshly cooked food for each meal.
  • Limit the varieties in each meal & your body will thank you.
  • Cook a limited quantity of food for each meal.
  • Make sure you cook everything before eating.
  • Have your meals sitting on the floor with folded legs and eat with your hand - focus on the taste & chew more.
  • Limit food consumption from 7 pm-9 am (break from eating when the sun is down)
2. Stay Hydrated
Prepare lemon-ginger drink as a mid-day and evening refreshment.
  • Squeeze 2 fresh lemon and crush 1/2-inch fresh ginger.
  • Add 500ml water to the mixture.
  • Strain the drink and make sure to squeeze the ginger to extract all the juice out of it.
  • Have it plain or add some powdered jaggery (nattu sakarai) or palm jaggery (karupatti) for added health benefits.
Sip Tulasi-Cardamom tea instead of regular tea/coffee.
  • Herbs has to be steeped in hot water; pls do not boil it as the herbs will lose their potency
  • Fresh Tulasi leaves can be used {10 - 15 leaves} or organic Tulasi tea {1 teaspoon} which is commonly available.
  • Green cardamon should be pounded coarsely and added to Tulasi
  • Pour fresh hot water and allow the herbs to infuse for 10 mins and strain the tea.
  • Can be taken once or twice a day as plain or pure honey can be added for enhanced results.

P. S. Do not take commercially available honey since it does not help in anyway.
3. Get some fresh air - At Home
  • Sit out in the balcony for dinner. The most precious time to create strong bonds, love & connection with family members.
  • Encourage children to play out in the balcony rather couching on the sofa/watching TV.
  • Get some sunshine for optimal health. Create a comfortable work-space at your balcony.
  • Ease off and sip your mid-day refreshments in the balcony.
4. Sanitize your home every day with Neem & Turmeric
Neem & Turmeric Sambrani for all-round purification & protection.
  • Break 100g dried turmeric (preferably virali manjal) into pieces and crush to a fine powder in a mixer grinder. Store in an airtight jar.
  • For Neem, either neem oil or Fresh/dried neem leaves (grated) can be used.
  • Burn 1/2 coconut shell in the stove until ember and transfer it to the sambrani ladle.
  • Now, gather all the family members and form a medium-sized circle (such that everybody can sit comfortably) around the sambrani ladle.
  • Drizzle some grounded turmeric powder and neem oil on the burning shells.
  • Close your eyes and inhale the divine smoke through your nostrils and mouth.
  • Keep adding the turmeric and neem when the smoke reduces and keeps up the ember by fanning periodically.
  • The smoke will last around for 15 to 20 mins approximately.
  • Best to practice this ritual during evening prayers.
5. Build Personal Hygiene
  • Routine keeps us grounded. Ayurveda teaches us daily routines (dinacharya) that can create infrastructure for better health. Here are some practices to consider at this time.
  • Keep a routine bedtime and waketime
  • Cleanse your senses using an eyewash - with castor oil, Nasya or nose oil, brushing with tongue scraping, and drinking a cup of hot water after brushing your teeth.
  • Bathe & Scrub regularly.
  • Tone & Moisturize when the skin is damp to facilitate absorption of the product into the skin.
  • Take an oil bath once a week regularly to combat the heat.
  • Massage your scalp with natural oils twice a week (cold-pressed coconut/sesame oil).
  • Wash your hair not more than twice a week with natural hair cleansers.
  • Dress yourself and look good everyday which helps to boost your confidence and also greatly inspires the younger generation.
  • Meditation, yoga, walking, or dancing can set the foundation for a day of clear thinking.
6. Inter-dependent Exercise
  • Do regular simple breathing exercises
  • Practice exercise in every household chore you do.
    • Sweep without bending your knee
    • During drying the clothes, tie the rope above your reach (such that it doesn't hurt your hips much) when hands are raised. This will help to relax your stiff
    • muscles in the lower back. Bend down without bending your knees to pick the clothes from the tub.
    • Again, try not to bend your knees to pick up anything.
    • Help yourself to stand wherever possible (while peeling and cutting veggies, rolling chapati, etc.,)
    • Walk around your home during chats over the phone calls.
    • Sit on the floor as much as possible with folded legs - good for groin and spine (while playing with kids, reading a book, watching TV, etc.,)
7. Manage Stress
  • Avoid sleeping during the day
  • Have adequate meals on time
  • Reduce alcohol and smoking
  • Consider the quality of the entertainment you are taking in. This includes emotions, thoughts, television, podcasts, and even conversations.
  • Read books, draw/paint, tune in your favorite songs, sing along, dance, play with kids.
  • Accept the differences among family members.
  • Keep in touch with friends & relatives through voice/video calls.
  • Finally take a break. Show affection, appreciation, encouragement, listen, laugh, talk and help connect yourself better with family. For this is a time that integrates into our lives something more than self-distancing.
8. Immunity Through Nutrition
Nutrition has always played a vital role in our lives. During times of illness, the cells in our body will be destroyed leading to weakness and low immunity. For some simple yet effective remedies taught in our traditions, Read On...
  • Increase in protein intake
    Protein does the job of building and recreating the cells and makes us stronger. Some easily available sources of protein are
    • Lentils
    • Beans
    • Cereals & Pulses
    • Nuts & Seeds
    • Chicken & Eggs
  • Increase intake of immune rich food.
    • Ginger
    • Turmeric
    • Coriander & Mint leaves
    • Lemon
    • Pepper
    • Garlic
    • True Cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon)
    • Nuts like almonds/walnuts (Recommended 5-6 pieces of almonds or 2-3 pieces of walnuts everyday)
    • Sunflower/pumpkin/cucumber seeds (1 teaspoon everyday)
  • Immunity Boosting Herbal Powder

  • You can prepare the below given herbal powder and store it. The herbal powder is an extremely effective recipe that promotes healthy immunity, heals respiratory tract and lungs.

    P. S. All the ingredients can be grounded in a mixer grinder. Pls use raw ingredients and powder it for effective results.

    • Turmeric (virali manjal - break into pieces before grinding) - 3g
    • Dry ginger (sukku) - 4g
    • Long Pepper (Thippili) - 10g
    • Green Cardamom (elakai) - 3g
    • Tulasi leaves (dried - organic Tulasi tea {not from tea bag} can be used) - 4g
    • True Cinnamon (Sri Lankan cinnamon, not the cassia that we use regularly) - 3g
    • Neem bark - 3g

    • Total 30g

    Preparation, Storage & Dosage
    • Measure all the herbs as given in the mixer grinder and grind it until smooth.
    • Store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
    • Combine 1/2 teaspoon of the herbal mixture with 1 teaspoon of honey and blend together to make a paste or can be taken as a tea mixed with warm water.
    • Take twice a day after meals. For immediate relief, take 3 times a day (initially until symptoms subside)
9. Wrapping It Up
During this time, re-evaluate values, spend time with family, work on creative projects, slow down, connect and love to deepen our experience as human beings.
Remember, that strong families are able to withstand setbacks and crises with a positive attitude, shared values, and beliefs that help them cope with challenges.
Stay Calm & Healthy
Hema Bala Shankar
Founder, Vikarah Holistic Beauty Rituals