Ancient cultures and religions have repeatedly stated the importance of how our minds, bodies, and spirits are connected.
Any imbalances in the flow between these lead us to not feel the best versions of ourselves and to the manifestation of physical limitations.
A common and profound quote by B.K.S Iyengar states, “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” This quote defines how keeping the balance between mind, body, and soul can allow us to become the best versions of ourselves. In present times, more and more people are seeking inner peace and mindfulness by creating lifestyle changes for healthy and positive well-being.
As someone who believes in the unity of mind-body-soul, I think the connection of the three elements to oneself is crucial to bring balance to the self to create harmony. The mind-body-soul is a way of understanding ourselves as “a complete individual“. Our mind is where both consciousness and unconsciousness are responsible for our beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Our body is the physical aspect of ourselves that carries you through life and allows you to experience the world through your senses. Our soul or spirit is that intangible part of you that you might refer to as your essence. If you belong to a particular faith, it may be easier for you to connect with the concept of your soul. If you are secular, you might find it outside of religion in actions such as spending time with yourself in nature, doing yoga, or meditating.
The easiest way to identify with the connection is when our body is in pain; automatically our mind is restless, leading to the soul not being at peace within. This leads to a complete imbalance in our ecosystem. When the body is calm, the mind and soul are equally at rest, resulting in contentment. Taking care of your mind, body, and soul can help you be more productive in all areas of your life.
The human body is a complex system consisting of millions and millions of organisms living in one ecosystem with many different cells working together, each of which should not be separated because one impacts the other. Hence, living a healthy life is extremely important to maintain balance in our lives. During the pandemic, more people started re-examining their lives and realising how being stuck at home was unhealthy, leading to more restlessness and stress.
How do we start the journey to reduce our anxiety? The first step is having a healthy body. Quote B.K.S Iyengar again, “We must create a marriage between the awareness of the body and that of the mind. When two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides. Health must begin with the body. Your body is the child of the soul. You must nourish and train your child. The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for your soul to reside in.”
Feeding our bodies with healthy ingredients is the beginning of our journey. All ingredients and food made by nature are believed to be healthy. We are all so used to having processed foods that we have forgotten the rich proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates produced by all the fruits and vegetables produced from the earth. We need to start by “clean eating” and maintaining a simple yet delicious, nutritious diet in our daily lives. The fresher the food we consume, the more light our body will feel, leading to more energy for a fulfilling day. What we eat directly affects our bodies. Several pieces of research and studies emphasise the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet to protect your health.
The second step in the journey is to remain fit and active regularly. Exercising is an integral part of feeling good before we start our day. Yoga enthusiasts may want to start their day with a mindfulness meditation practice before exercising, leading to a more enriching experience. When we exercise, we generate mobility in our body and all the cells in our body happily jump with joy, pumping oxygen and positive vibes. It can also be said during this time it’s You vs You time, where you challenge your body to work out, tuning into the strengths and weaknesses of your body. Meditation is also a powerful method to soothe and rejuvenate the mind and refresh the soul. To fulfil the need for a balanced mind, body, and soul that has predominantly become common, several resorts and yoga retreat centres have created wellness packages specially designed to provide tailor-made sessions combining exercises and meditation in a mindfulness programme.
Confucius said, “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” If you have watched “Kung Fu Panda“, you must have paid close attention to the deep messages of wisdom and mindfulness meditation by Master Oogway. The Master taught Kung Fu Panda to believe in himself and practice connecting with one’s inner self to obtain inner peace and live in the present. This brings a great perspective to reflect upon that the power lies within us the moment our mind, body, and soul are in sync. Following the words of Master Oogway, we can cultivate this mindset through mindfulness practice. This practice is about calmly bringing non-judgmental awareness to each present moment. Just like when the panda learns how to allow the raindrop to fall on him without breaking his concentration and inner peace, he can use the same practice to deflect the barbs and arrows – and cannon balls – that is shot at him.
With a still mind, connecting to your soul, inner peace, and clarity prevail. From here, we grow internally; igniting our intuition and inner wisdom to emerge. We also become more self-aware, perceptive to everything around us, in tune with nature, grateful for everything, empathic to people, and able to solve problems quickly and make decisions easily.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle can be seen in our daily performance – we will feel calmer and stronger in our bones and be more proactive and productive during the day. We will notice our lives change through our more balanced approach to life, feeling younger, bringing a gentle smile to our faces as we wake up each day.
A healthy mind, body, and soul can also be defined as spiritual health, something that can be achieved by almost anyone and everyone from all walks of life. There is no age limit to start. The benefit of healthy living is more like a deposit, similar to when our parents gave us piggy banks when we were young to put coins for saving and gain rewards on our birthdays. Staying in shape, eating natural foods, and meditating every day is like a deposit that we will reap the benefits from later on. The mind-body-soul connection is a shortcut to the happiest, healthiest, most vibrant version of you and changes the way you feel, impacting the way you show up every day.