Opening Doorz Editorial | January 16, 2018
Shreya Narayan on her workout routine, eating habits and spiritual quotient…
I have learnt not to be paranoid about exercise anymore. I try my best to exercise and give it an hour or so on most days. It’s sometimes gym with weight-training; sometimes jogging, sometimes dance, sometime functional training, sometimes swimming, sometimes pilates. A simple walk enjoying nature may do too. My mind and body are going through a transformation and I am trying to be kind to it. This has come about because I have realised that it is indisplined eating that makes me pile on the weight. And thus the focus has shifted to disciplining the mind, which if emotionally stable will discipline the eating habits too. Thus my life is all about exercising and using the little piece of uncontrollable instrument bestowed on us—the mind. And if fitness is to be achieved at all, meditation in whatever form that works for one, is the cornerstone of a fit life.
I get up to my toast with peanut butter, masala chai and two litres of water. I have immense faith in Indian spices and their restorative ability. I also have immense love for good fat. And I feel its fat like peanut, almond and ghee that make us shine. Three things I use everyday are: Honey, ghee, and gur. Breakfast-cum-lunch is at 11:30am. Starting with fruits, I fill myself with rice or chapatti, pulses, eggs or chicken, veggies, curd and some great dessert. This meal has to be the celebration of life and must fill me to the gills. Between 3-4pm, is tea time. I avoid snacking if shooting, if not, I go for Indian gram flour-based snacks such as chakli or bhujiya. And nothing on earth can stop me from eating these yummies. Dinner is at 6:30 pm. It is similar to lunch—I eat with gusto.
Every meal that I have has carbohydrate, protein and fibres in a good balance. I try to get some protein from milk sources such as curd or cheese for calcium. But if I am awake till too late, I may eat something again. I do not like regimented eating. But discipline helps.
I was already a flowerbed of spiritual awareness due to my habit to pray inculcated in me by some good people. But most of the gods are jealous gods. And while they are great to pray to, you yourself remain imperfect, because you think some outside source will make it alright for you. Thus you hold on to them for life and stay in fear of forsaking them. This is the reason my belief in religion has waned. I was praying so much, but fear was keeping me low in energy. In search of energy, in April 2016, I discovered chakra meditation. In this you activate your seven energy centres in the body by ridding yourself of fears, blame, guilt, shame, pain, lies that you tell yourself, illusions and ultimately attachment. It is just a way to lighten your load and empower yourself. By December 2016 (18th night-19th morning) I tasted heaven for the first time. Energy rose and surged like a ball of fire in my central nervous system: for a few days I felt so much love for each and every being, I knew I was changed forever. My life and views, and work changed too, as a result. In 2017, I was another person. I loved everyone. I had more empathy. I had less fear. Thus I was not begging anyone outside me to make things happen. I was changing myself to have more divinity within me. I realised that God is within me. Silence is the greatest stress buster.
My guiding mantras for life:
Surrender: Have faith the size of a mustard seed (as Jesus tells you) and you are sorted. Because once you surrender, you will reach.
Be in the moment to enjoy life: Do not be in a hurry to reach anywhere. Do not pay too much attention to tomorrow. There is no suffering in the now. Be present. Most importantly, Chill!
Don’t dream: Set a goal. Be on that path. Work hard. And then don’t be consumed by your dreams (as the Gita says).
There is no perfect situation in life: The only answer to anything is LOVE. This is just a statement we read and laughed at before. Its true importance can only be understood by the evolved.
Have great self-esteem: Stop doubting. Trust your instincts. Trust yourself. Stop thinking things that lower esteem.