Shivani Mehra, Author at
Meditate

Are there any wrong techniques of meditation?

11 Jun, 2019
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How can we achieve mindfulness? There are many roads leading to this goal and many of them include one or the other kind of meditation techniques. All around the world, mediation is considered to relieve people from stress, anxiety, and depression but is there a wrong way to practice meditation?

There are many techniques to meditate and it is really a matter of what works for you. It is not necessary that a technique that works for me will necessarily reap the same results on you. There is no right and wrong when it comes to meditation. It is a subjective matter and no technique or style can be proved the best one or good for all. Whatever resonates the best with your body, soul and mind is the right technique and you can measure its effectiveness with the change it brings into your life. Ask yourself if you feel lighter and calmer if you are able to concentrate better or feel peaceful and mindful.

Beginners usually, feel the intensity to be either too much or nothing at all. In such a case the technique you are following is not working for you. Be open to trying new methods and find the right frequency that enriches the whole experience of meditation. Though meditation works for most of the people but due to its nature of dealing with the innermost layers of a person, a forced method can result negatively as well.

We tend to forget that meditation is an ancient technique used by saints and gurus to find enlightenment and inner peace. Hence, meditating without guidance can trigger various emotions and unresolved issues in your past that can overwhelm or in some cases disturb the mental balance. Therefore, for beginners, it is advised to practice in guidance of a professional or address any kind of emotional or mental trouble by contacting a therapist. Do not ignore the emotions rippled via meditation it could furthermore cause uneasiness and non-attachment with the world.

So, carve your path to mindfulness and inner peace with meditation techniques that bring you closer to yourself. Don’t force anything on you, ever. 

Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Meditate

When is the best time to meditate?

10 Jun, 2019
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The whole purpose of meditation is to get yourself aligned with the natural forces and have a better, calmer lifestyle. Though the most auspicious time to meditate is at dawn, you can meditate pretty much at any part of the day. The major concern is not to get disturbed while you are meditating. Hence, it’s better to start when you are free and don’t have any work or responsibility hovering over your head.

It is suggested that meditating at the same time daily and maintaining a routine is fruitful in order to acquire balance in life. Even if you can spare 15 minutes daily to sit down and meditate, it will improve your mindset and stress levels. In fact, many experts suggest that you start with a mini-meditation routine of 5-minutes daily and you will feel the change. You can then expand this to 5-minutes twice or even thrice a day or meditate for hours, whatever works for you. 

There is no best time because everyone leads a different life but here are a few generic periods in a day that works for most.

  1. Before you start your day: Undoubtedly, morning is the best time to meditate as you are embarking on a new day and the world hasn’t crept into your mind yet. Also, meditating on an empty stomach helps concentrate better. It improves your routine; mindfulness and nothing better to kick start a day with a fresh mind.
  2. At a moment of stress: The idea of thriving under stress is not the ideal one and hence it’s better to tackle problems with calmness instead.  So, just close your eyes and concentrate for 5-minutes for a better understanding and perspective.
  3. Once you are done with your day: It is suggested to meditate when there is no pressure or urgency on your mind to do something or get somewhere. So, once you’re done with your day sit for 5-10 minutes to relax and meditate.
  4. Before you go to bed: Night is a good time to meditate, as there is less noise. Also, it soothes your mind and hence helps you sleep better.

It is all about finding the most convenient time for you to make meditation, a routine. Choose your own path and keep going because there is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle and a calm mind.

Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Be Fit

Why walking must be your go-to exercise?

30 May, 2019
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There is no denying that a fitness routine keeps you healthy, active and happier! Perhaps, we all know that when you indulge in any kind of physical activity, you tend to be happier and healthier. But here’s the glitch most of us face- TIME- CONSTRAINT.

 Maintaining a routine is a difficult task in the age of hectic schedules and tight timelines. So what do we do? We suggest you take a walk! (No, we aren’t kidding!)

Why walking is a great idea

Not only is it free and doesn’t require any equipment but also, it rejuvenates you mentally and soulfully. Walking for about 30-minutes every day can improve physical health, mental health and relieve stress.

How to make walking fun?

You can club it with various things that relax your body and mind.

You can try the following to make walking a routine:

  1. Listen to music: A little music never hurts! Just play your favorite track and keep moving. It gives you time to think and also lightens your mood.
  2. Walk with a friend: Walking with a friend makes you happier and kick starts a day for good.
  3. Use a Fit-bit: Keep a daily track of your activity and steps that you walked and hence, making it an interesting activity!
    PS: A 10,000 steps mark per day is considered to affect your body in order to lose weight. 
  4. Little walks while working: You can also walk around in the office or home while working or taking a call, discussing something. It will keep you active and cut the monotony of sitting in one place for the whole day.
  5. Take stairs: Whenever you can, try to take the stairs.
  6. Walk to the store: Walk to the nearby locations instead of taking a car/ bike.

A few Health benefits of walking

  • The risk of heart disease and strokes is decreased due to cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lungs) activity
  • High-blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are controlled better as it  improves your blood circulation and oxygen intake
  • Strengthens your bones and amps up your immunity
  • Strengthens your muscles
  • Improves flexibility
  • Burns fat
  • Improves your stamina

Walking is often considered more of a recreation than a sport and not classified as “real exercise”. But it is also often forgotten that health is not measured only by the amount of sweat we shed.

If a fitness regime works on your muscles, stamina and endurance, it is as good as working out in any other form. Walking can get your heart pumping and muscle strengthening which is the desired result of any workout.  

You can choose the intensity of walking according to your health and body aesthetics. Due to its easy approach and less effort required, walking is highly recommended by physicians for even elderly people or people with joint problems.

You can start with a 15-minute walk and with time you will notice that your stamina allows you to cover more in lesser time. A brisk walk is very effective, too for those trying to lose weight or maintain.

Things to remember

  • Walking is a part of our life. Maintain consistency and walk for 30-minute at least 5 days a week to maintain overall health.
  • Always make sure you walk as much as you can even while you are working, for example, while taking a call.
  • It can get mundane at times so don’t hesitate to ask somebody to walk with you and share the fun.
  • Be patient! It might take some time, but you will notice a difference in your lifestyle once you make walking a habit.

 Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Eat

Cannot consume regular milk? Try these alternatives!

29 May, 2019
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Dairy products have always been a perennial favourite for many people. From the beginning of time dairy has been a huge part of our diet however, changes in lifestyle have led to them following a vegan diet. Many people have opted to follow a vegan diet to get out of the vicious circle of mass production, health constraints and animal abuse. Following a vegan diet isn’t easy. But to make your choices faster, here are a few substitutes. 

  1. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk has been used in Asian households since a very long time. And due to its rich texture and flavor, coconut milk is used as the substitute for cream in savory dishes. It is made of water and the white part of fully-grown coconuts. The levels of calories and carbohydrates in coconut milk are the least in all milk alternatives and it is best for reducing blood pressure levels and lose weight.

  1. Soy Milk

Soy Milk is usually made with soybeans or soy protein isolate mixed with vegetable oils to improve taste and consistency. The flavor is mild and creamy and it works best as a substitute in coffee or cereal. The nutrition value of soymilk is as good as cow’s milk but the calorie content is almost half. This makes it really good for people trying to lose weight.

  1. Almond Milk

Almond milk has only one-fourth of the calories, carbohydrates and fat compared to cow’s milk. It is either made of whole almonds or almond butter and water. It has a light, sweet, nutty taste that is suitable for desserts and baked goods.

  1. Rice Milk

Rice milk is naturally sweet and mild in taste. It is made of milled white or brown rice mixed with water and has a watery texture. It is great to drink on its own or with cereals, oatmeal, smoothies and desserts. In all, this milk substitute has the highest amount of carbohydrates and proteins among others. This makes rice milk a great option for growing kids or the elderly.

  1. Quinoa Milk

Quinoa milk is fairly new in the industry but quinoa is making its mark otherwise as well with its high nutritional value. Even in the form of milk, it is one of the best substitutes for protein intake and hence is very popular amongst vegans. It has a different taste and texture than other alternatives as it prepared by mixing quinoa seeds and water, which is usually consumed as a grain. The flavor is nutty and naturally sweet. 

  1. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is rich, nutty and creamy in taste with much lesser calories than cow’s milk. It is a great alternative as a creamer in coffee, desserts and a thickening agent in smoothies. It is made of raw cashews crushed with water or just cashew butter mixed with water. Like most nut-based milk alternatives, the pulp is strained. This process reduces its nutritional value making it unsuitable for those diets that require higher proteins. 

  1. Oat Milk

 Oat milk is basically a mixture of oats and water, with a few ingredients like vegetable oils, salts and gums to create the desired taste and texture. The taste is sweet and light and it can be used with cereals and smoothies. Oat milk contains a higher amount of protein, fiber, calories and carbohydrates.

These are a few options you can try which are available in the market but you can also try to make them at home. A vegan diet has its own list of pros and cons but otherwise as well these dairy alternatives can help you with many medical conditions. So, taste, try and find the right one for you but keep up without compromising on anything, there is always a way!

Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Cure

Foot Care and Diabetes: All You Need To Know

28 May, 2019
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Uncontrolled diabetes could lead you to a state where the nerves in your legs, feet are so  damaged that you don’t get any sensation. This condition is known as “ Sensory diabetic Neuropathy” and can kill the sensation of heat, cold or even pain in your legs and feet. This can be really dangerous if you have a cut or sore on your feet because you won’t feel a thing but the wound can get infected and cause serious consequences.

Diabetes affects the flow of blood in your legs and feet, resulting in a more tedious process of healing hence even if you get a small cut or blister, it could turn into a major issue. The condition is known as “ Peripheral Vascular Disease” and if not taken seriously, it can cause ulcers or even gangrene which can result in amputation.

Symptoms

In spite of taking proper care and medication, these conditions are different to diagnose. If you find any of these following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Any kind of redness or change of color around your legs and feet
  • Change in the temperature of your feet
  • Any kind of swelling in or around your feet or ankles
  • Pain in the legs or feet
  • Any stray cuts taking more time to heal than usual
  • Infected toenails or change in color of toenails
  • Corns or calluses
  • Dry cracks in the skin

Prevention is better than cure. Here are a few precautionary measures that you must keep note of:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry and protect them from extreme cold or hot weather.
  • Wash them daily with lukewarm water and mild soap. Do not soak your feet in the water and make sure to dry them after, especially between the toes.  
  •  Always keep your feet covered, even in the house. Always consider wearing socks or slippers to avoid any cuts or blisters.
  • Check every day as a routine for any cuts, sores, blisters, calluses, any sort of redness or anything uneven.
  • If your feet feels dry, moisturize with a lotion on the prescription your doctor. Try moisturizing it daily but remember to keep it dry between the fingers as it may lead to infection.
  • Always wear closed-toed shoes to prevent any kind of injury or cuts.
  • Always wear dry and clean socks to keep your feet warm. Wear socks at night while sleeping, if your feet feels cold.
  • Always check the inside of your shoes before wearing it for any unwanted objects.
  • Wear shoes that fit well. Avoid wearing footwear that is too tight or loose as they may end up having blisters around the feet.
  • If you smoke, quit it immediately. Smoking poses major problems of blood circulation that can add to complications.
  • If you feel that anything is hurting you or is not right, get it checked by your doctor. An annual checkup should be done anyway to keep a track.
  • Inspect your toenails every once in a while and if you are clipping your nails; be cautious, as you don’t want the cut to go deeper.  Cut straight with a nail clipper and use a nail file if you have to.
  • Try to keep your diabetes under control and follow the prescription and diet as mentioned by the doctor.

Any disease can cause trouble if not taken seriously. Diabetes, not only affects one’s life but also the lives of those living around them. It is always better to be safe than sorry. A little precaution never hurts! Maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat well, perform good deeds and stay happy.

 Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Be Fit

Shed that stress at any of these top 10 yoga retreats in the world

23 May, 2019
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How difficult can it be to find peace of mind? Well, if you really think about it, it is not that easy. The lives and work culture we follow consider relaxing to be a sin. A hassled mind can hardly achieve what it aspires to. So what do you do in such a case? The answer is, Yoga.

Why Yoga?

Yoga is one of the ancient practices that bring peace to your body and soul. So, if you’re looking for optimum health and inner peace, yoga can be the key to unlock those states of being. So, shed some stress and sign up for a yoga retreat.

To make it easy for you to choose, we’ve got a list of the 10 best Yoga retreats around the world.

  1. Bagus Jati, Ubud, Indonesia

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Hidden in the lush green hillside gardens and serenity, Bagus Jati is the heart of spiritual and physical wellbeing. Spread over 5 hectares of tropical forest in the mountains of Bali, Bagus Jati identifies as the best yoga retreat worldwide. Many wellness and traditional therapies are offered to the guests including detox, nutrition, yoga, meditation, stress relief, anti-aging programs, holistic counseling,and so on.

  1. Reclaim Your Self, Japan

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Established in 2005, Reclaim Your Self is one of the best Luxury Yoga retreats in the world. They meticulously run various programs, which include yoga retreats, yoga holidays and weekend retreats focusing mainly on world-class wellness programs, divine cuisine, and unique accommodation. Meditate with Zen priests, practice Jivamukti yoga and experience shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) in a white beech forest. Other delightful activities include a visit to a shrine for shinto (nature worship), practising shakyo calligraphy, and enjoying local culinary experiences with frequent treks to the beautiful countryside in Japan.

  1. Rasa Retreat, India

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A beautiful and simple place for you to feel closer to nature and hence yourself.  Situated in the heart of Goa, India Rasa retreat is one of the most peaceful retreats you can find around the world. Those looking to take a dip in the spiritual levels of inner peace and a full yogi experience will find their home here in this retreat.

  1. Silver Island, Greece

A delightful 60-acre private island strewn with flower-filled tracks, ancient churches, beautiful olive trees and to top it up, a gorgeous lighthouse. If you want to be away from city life and take a tour inwards, this is the place you want to be at. Enjoy Mediterranean meals with local wines and train with the best Yoga masters from all around the world.

  1. Ulpotha, Sri Lanka

Amidst the Galgiriyawa mountains, monks living in remote temples and caves, is situated this admirable, peaceful and homely organic farm that offers Yoga with internationally renowned teachers, ayurvedic treatments and beautiful lake in the middle of serenity. Named by the Observer magazine as the “best yoga retreat in the world,” Ulpotha seeks to provide an authentic experience to visitors as they co-exist happily with nature.

  1. Yoga explorers, Italy

Set in the Umbrian Countryside, yoga explorers are led by an amazing duo who are popular for their style of keeping yoga light-hearted and fun. This retreat comes as a whole package providing you an experience of living in a 12th-century hillside farmhouse set in beautiful Italy. A perfect getaway for great food, amazing company and expect coming back home with a peaceful soul and relaxed body.

  1. Ananda In The Himalayas, India

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An award-winning, luxury spa resort located at the foothills of the Himalayas, Ananda In The Himalayas is the perfect destination if you are looking for to rebalance mind, body and soul in nature’s lap. Along with Hatha yoga and guided meditations, enjoy beautiful scenic views and top-notch ayurvedic treatments and let the energy flow to the most inner layers of you.

  1. Kaliyoga, Pulgia

If you like to relax and cleanse at the same time with beautiful sunsets and a luxury stay, Kaliyoga is the right choice. With stunning Trulli as your stay, this retreat provides a full package for your body, mind, and soul. Founded in 2008, Kaliyoga already has made its mark in the industry. With two sessions of yoga every day and spa treatments it is one of the hub spots for tourists.

  1. Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand

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Situated on the Koh Samui Island in Thailand, this retreat offers a range of detox options to cleanse your body inside out. The programs are customized for visitors as per their preferences and choices. These programs include yoga, meditation, spas, and food combinations to help you detox your mind and soul.

  1. Sivananda, Bahamas

Yoga just gets better when it’s practiced in the Bahamas. With a breathtaking view and clear turquoise waters, Sivananda is the perfect getaway. With its vast range of accommodations, it is not heavy on the pocket, yet soothing and rejuvenating, an experience that everyone deserves.

 

Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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Our basic nature is humane and love and compassion come naturally to us. But ego and narrow minded thinking always try to overpower the immense affection and the urge-to-connect that our hearts hold. Heartspace literally means the infinite space a heart holds for feelings, which if put to action will keep us satisfied and happy forever. Once we start making decisions from our hearts, we will feel happiness in everything we do. This in turn will put us in a constant, peaceful state of mind.

But it is not easy to be in our heart space given we live in the 20th century and emotional vulnerability is all around us. There are various challenges that creep in that force us our of our heartspace. Some of them are given below:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Hopelessness
  • Depression

Challenges are a given on the path of life but it is very important not to lose your balance and to keep moving forward with a smile and a heart full of love.

Given below are 10 steps you can follow if you ever feel challenged about remaining in your heartspace:

Identify the reason for pain

 What is causing you pain? What is the feeling associated with it and how much does it impact you? You need to find the reason for the pain in order to be healed.

 Simplify your surroundings

You might neglect your surroundings and forget that it affects your energies on a very subtle level. If your body doesn’t feel light, your heart probably won’t as well. De-clutter, cleanse and brighten up your surroundings and you will instantly feel a sense of openness.

Nourish your body and mind

Food not only provides nourishment to the body but it also affects how your senses behave. For example, oily and heavy food makes you dull and lazy but fresh fruits keep you active and rejuvenated. Keep your diet healthy and nutritious for a better state of mind.

Just Say it

Anything that is holding you back or making negative space in your heart needs to be faced. When your heart is heavy, it is prudent to come face to face with the cause.  Speak about it to a close friend or, better yet, to a trained therapist such as a life coach or spiritual counselor.  Truth is not always pleasant but facing it is surely worth it, especially in the long run.

Stop waiting

When you know it’s the right time, no second thoughts will matter to you. Taking that one step of courage will take you towards greatness. A light heart gives you that courage and a happy heart will always find a way towards happiness.

 Address it

 You might have kept your pain under cover for so long, lying to yourself, thinking it will be fine. But what lies unattended needs to be addressed, sooner or later. It might be difficult at first but you will soon learn how to deal with it. There is, then, no looking back from there.

 Give & Share

We often underestimate the power of giving. It is surprisingly soothing. Being compassionate is our natural state of being. Once you connect to your basic emotions, it gets easier to get back to your heart space.

 Give up the grudges

You might have suffered from pain from a very long time but if it hasn’t yielded happiness, it is not worth keeping. Let it go. Release it and make space for better, beautiful things.

 Live the moment 

 It is very easy to fill our heads with thoughts of what can go wrong. It is all these worries that take away the joy of present. We then end up somewhat hanging in there, trying to be happy with a burden while it really is all in your head. Lighten up a bit. Leave the future to arrive as and when it will. Till then, be mindful and enjoy every moment of the present.

Look for happiness

It is as easy as it sounds: look out for things that make you happy. Sometimes a smile makes your day. At other times, you make someone’s else day by just smiling at them. It will definitely uplift you. Look for the little joys of life and keep your heart open for them.

 

Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

 

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Cure

Integrative Medicine: All you need to know about it

21 May, 2019
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We often wonder what it really takes to lead a happy and healthy life.  Many will say that taking care of your body or eating the right food is the key to it, but we often forget an important aspect- the inner self. Mindfulness is as important as a good physical routine.

Nowadays, many people are adopting new health techniques to deal with diseases and illnesses and Integrative medicine has proved that a disease can be cured by taking care of a body, inside-out. A healthy body is not just healthy organs and bones, it’s a state of mind.

What is Integrative medicine?

Integrative Medicine is an approach where the patient is not only treated physically, but the other aspects of health are also considered as a part of their treatment.

This includes mental, spiritual, emotional, social and environmental wellness which might affect a patient directly or indirectly.

While practicing Integrative Medicine, the patient and the therapist work as a team and employ a strategy that works the best to achieve optimum health.

Therapist-Patient Teamwork

The model of Integrative medicine works towards an overall healthy body, not just in regards to curing a particular disease. It usually differs from person to person catering to different orientations of one’s life.

The therapist usually works with the patient to understand their lifestyle and accordingly a plan is prepared using both conventional and alternative therapies working towards getting into a better health state.

Alternative therapies include yoga, meditation, acupuncture, reiki, spiritual counseling, etc.

As Integrative Medicine differs for individuals, there is no confirmed combination that works for any disease. Though a few therapies have proven to work in tandem with conventional medical care and for most of the ailments are as below:

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy used to channelize the flow of energy in a person’s body. The process involves inserting very thin stainless steel needles into the skin of the patient, at certain parts and to various depths. It is said to heal stress, body aches and in some case asthma and osteoarthritis as well.

According to Chinese medicine, the body needs a smooth flow of energies to be well and acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to secrete certain chemicals which helps it achieve that.

BIOFIELD THERAPIES

Biofield therapies are a medium through which you can navigate through bodies own energy to find the problem and solve it by tapping it and manipulating the same energy. Biofield therapies include Reiki, Healing touch, polarity therapy, etc.

These therapies are known to release the stress in the body in terms of energy and hence brings peace and a sense of calm. It can heal a range of illnesses ranging from body aches to chronic pains.  

GUIDED IMAGERY/ VISUALIZATION

Happy thoughts are more powerful than you think. Not only they make you smile but with happy thoughts and a positive state of mind, you can turn back to diseases or illnesses. There are techniques where people are made to focus on positive mental pictures or moments which tend to improve blood pressure levels, stress levels, and anxiety.

HYPNOTHERAPY

Hypnotherapy is a technique where the practitioner puts the patient into a state of unconsciousness where consciousness is altered according to them. It’s a state of deep focus and helps in dealing with a certain problem a patient might be facing. This is usually used when the problem is emotional and goes deep. In some cases, it has also helped reduce pain and stress.

YOGA

Yoga is an ancient practice that is used to keep your body and soul synchronized. Not only it keeps your body healthy but also brings the balance, spiritually and emotionally. It integrates mind, body & soul and makes it easier for the energies to flow inside freely, addressing all the problems in the body.

If you notice all these practices are made to give a better flow to the energy in a body and that in fact is the main reason for any kind of trouble you might be facing emotionally or mentally.

TAKEAWAY

So, take out time for yourself and have a slot in the day that is just for you. Maintain your balance and lead a happy life with not just a healthy body but a healthy mind and soul as well.  

Shivani Mehra is a hopeless poet, budding author, learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.  

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