(Health) Investment tips from a bilingual yoga teacher

Bijay J Anand | July 28, 2016

I am a linguist. Currently, I speak seven languages and endeavor to learn at least one more before I die. The one thing that speaking different language helps you in when you become a teacher is that it helps you to think, rationalize and debate in the language that the person opposite you will understand, comprehend and (hopefully) follow.

Let me explain;

I have a friend who never exercised in his entire life. He simply never had the time! Even before I became a yoga teacher, I’d coax him to do at least something to take care of his ballooning body.

His retort was usually the same, “J’ai pas de las temps”. (I have no time)

One day, I changed my language to speak health with him. Since he was an astute businessman, I quantified his health benefits into money and laid out an investment plan in front of him.

If he was to initially make a ‘large’ investment of 21 days for a detox at a good spa, I told him that it would add at least a year to his life.
So from not having the time to do it because he needed that time to make money, I told him that by ‘investing’ 21 days of his work time he’d actually ‘earn’ 344 days more to make even more money.
Next day morning he was on a flight to Chiva Som in Thailand and he only came back a good 14 days later. I know, 7 days short of my recommendation but what the hell, at least he made a beginning.

Another student in a similar situation spoke a different language. To him I said that he had the option of ‘investing’ an hour a day in a sport/activity/game/gym of his choice or else face a situation of a friend of mine who has to now at the age of 44 compulsorily spend a good two hours everyday for physiotherapy for his arthritis.
He swims every day now and alternates that with trekking which is newfound passion and discovery.

When you invest in your own choice of a 45-minute activity, you can choose whatever you like.
You may play badminton, do yoga, swim, run, cycle, the list is endless.
Conversely when you are afflicted with a disease, the only choice you have is what doctor and hospital you would like to get treated by with no control over how much time you may need to recover (if recovery is possible at all).

Why is it that most of us think of spending an hour on our physical health every day as a burden or a waste of time?

I had a young friend who dropped dead at the age of 38 and another one in Delhi who died when he was just 43. All the money they had in the world could not save them.

I see so many around me ‘reform’ after being told that they have high blood pressure, heart ailments, thyroid, diabetes. Why not reform ‘before’ the shit hits the fan?

Most people who I have known in my life have had a business background. Most would jump at any opportunity to double, triple or quadruple their money in a commensurately short time. To top it all, these highly intelligent investors are certainly willing to work extremely hard to make that money. Unfortunately, most of them also think of looking after their health as a cumbersome, tedious and time-consuming exercise.

Ayurveda is very clear about its role in a human beings life. The science of ayurveda lays principle focus and importance on the PREVENTION of disease and NOT the cure of the ailment.

As we all march towards our own respective futures, we need to introspect and probe our own attitudes towards our health and wellness.

What language do we need to be spoken to in for us to understand how critically important it is for us to take charge of our health?
What ‘investment’ angle do we need to be proposed for us to make this investment in our own wellbeing?

The sooner we understand this philosophy the better. The earlier we make this investment the better.

For our own good.

Sat Nam

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