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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्


By Chitranjan Sawant
You are sneezing, my dear, said mother to her young son. Cold weather in winter is bound to bring along its companion, the common cold, replied the son who is wiser than his years. He assured his mama that he is not shaking hands with those who have a running nose or are coughing every now and then. Good piece of advice for both children and adults to follow to keep out of harm's way in the frosty winter..
We follow the granny's advice more than the doctor's. Granny says: keep yourself warm kids and you will never have a running nose. She is right. The moment a man lowers his guard by taking off the woollens on a slight perspiration, he exposes himself to an attack by the cold generating virus. By the way, just do not kiss a girl or a guy suffering from common cold or remnants of flu otherwise you would be inviting trouble. Trouble never comes alone. In winters it comes in the form of big battalions of Napoleonic era. So the best way to beat common cold is to take preventive steps. Once you have a running nose, a sore throat, mild headache, body pain and slight temperature, you may conclude yourself that Flu is on the way just to say HI. Just turn it away and make it feel that it is not welcome. Your body is not ready to play host to Flu because it is playing host to Yoga.
If you get common cold or mild flu and take medicines, it may take a week to depart If you do not take any medicine, the common cold will vanish in just seven days. Moral of the story is: do not waste time and money in consulting a doctor and buying medicines that do no good. What do you do then?
Pranayam is the answer. Pran is the life breath and Ayam is Control. it is through breathing exercises the yogic way that you control your life-giving breath and steel your mind and body to ward off common cold and its ancillary diseases. What is to be done? Take a deep breath through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Again, inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. There is no holding of breath in the lungs in this primary Pranayam named Anulom-Vilom. For a beginner it is enough at this point of time. As the beginner feels comfortable with this initial step, we pass on to the next one.
Bhasrika is the next higher step. The simple method is just to push the air inside lungs through both the nostrils, pause for a second and let lungs inhale naturally. Push out again. When done in slow motion, it produces good results for a beginner to steel his nerves. Experts do the same sequence of breathing in quick time and attain a shine on face, especially on the forehead. It is a proof that the Pranayam is proceeding well.
Some simple rules of hygiene to be observed always but more strictly in cold season may see one hale and hearty. Let us take a look at some of them. Never crowd in a small place that what others exhale, you inhale that air. It may be harmful. Please wash your hands with soap and water every now and then. It is a must before you take meals or do a bit of snacking. It is the virus in the air that we have to protect us from. If a friend or a relation is coughing or sneezing too often, he or she may be advised to put a handkerchief or a tissue paper before the mouth so that germs in saliva do not infect the person sitting or standing nearby. Babies and children must be protected more than the adults.
Some school going children just like to rub hands on a parked car or the school bus and dirty their hands with dust that contains germs of sorts. Children may get infected and it is constant counselling that would wean them away from that habit. One has to hold the side handle of an escalator that may be infected. Washing hands with soap and water thereafter is the answer to this type of infection. One may carry cleansing lotions in pocket before leaving home as soap and water may not be available in some places.
Finally, it is the will power that matters most. We should give auto-suggestions: be healthy, be happy to achieve the aim of becoming a Centenarian. Say morning and evening while praying: Jeevem sharadah shatam....and...adinah sharadah shatam: May Ishwar grant me a life of one hundred years and may I be self reliant and nota dependant on others in every way in that life of one hundred years. AUM SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH.

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