What is Eurythmy?

Some of us born in the 70s and 80s may be familiar with the haunting number ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the band Eurythmics. But have you heard of Eurythmy?

:/http/www.eurythmy.org

Eurythmy is an art of movement introduced by philosopher Dr Rudolf Steiner in 1912 that helps in the development of the body mind and soul.
Eurythmy is known as visible speech because it expresses in movement the various sounds including consonants, vowels, colours, musical tones and much more with the human body as the instrument.

When performed in the right and regular way, Eurythmy brings balance in the four sheaths of our being namely physical body, etheric body (life force), astral body (soul or emotional aspect) and I consciousness (Sense of self).


Eurythmy works on the etheric plane and strengthens the life forces.
In Waldorf schools eurythmy is used as a pedagogical tool, as part of their curriculum. In addition to nutritious food and adequate sleep, Eurythmy helps children (and adults too) build their vitality, immunity and gives them strength and resilience besides helping them learn consonants and vowels in a lively way through movement.

As a performance art Eurythmy is very appealing with its flowing movements and colourful robes and veils. It is very healing to even just watch a Eurythmy performance.

Under the guidance of an anthroposophic doctor, Curative eurythmy is used as complementary therapy in treating illnesses from cancer to allergies to asthma to psychatric illnesses, metabolic illnesses and so on.

Eurythmy helps us to become socially and spatially conscious when performed as a group by learning to become aware our own boundaries as well as to respect the space and boundaries of the others.

For people who find it difficult to do a sitting meditation with closed eyes and focusing on the breath, Eurythmy serves as a good alternative as it can be used as a dynamic, moving meditation done with the eyes open and with full consciousness.

Eurythmy helps us to connect with the external world of nature and universe in a deeper way by seeing the interconnections between the universe and the human being especially in terms of the elements.

It helps us to understand that the universe is an expanded human being and that the human being is a condensed Universe.
Eurythmy expands our world view.

By

Nirupama Rao

Acknowledgements: My Eurythmy Gurus Dilnawaz and Aban Bana, and my friends Minal and Shalu who were instrumental in making me write this article.

My life with Autism

(Wrote this article on request for an anthroposophic compilation)

I first met autism when I was 20, fresh out of college with a degree in psychology. I didn’t know anything about it. I interned at a special school for slow learners during the summer.

There was this young boy with autism. My mindset expected someone with severe learning problems and intellectual challenges. But what he showed me instead was a genius! A mathematical genius! I was completely taken aback. I also saw the he would repeat the same sentence over and over, not make eye contact and not socialise with anyone. He would just repeat that one line and effortlessly solve big sums without even going through the process.

The second boy I saw in the same school was an artist, obsessed with the Disney movie Alladin. He would draw marvellous pictures of scenes from the movie. He could not tolerate changes in routine. He once threw a duster at me as I didn’t turn up for the usual class!

Then in the year 2001 I had a student who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

His obsessions were with straws, railway timetables and the composer Yanni. He was the first one to show me capacities that were beyond normal human comprehension. He wrote profound passages on how he perceived the world and how the world perceived him. Through him I learnt that telepathy was real. He would read my mind.

After that I met many children who showed me that there was much to know beyond what was obvious. They crossed the lines drawn by the typical human senses and gave me glimpses of what lay beyond. Their moms knew they were mind readers, philosophers and scientists trapped in bodies that wouldn’t cooperate with their great minds. They could not know whether their boys were disabled or geniuses.

Soon I grew restless and discontent with the kind of the one sided cognitively based method I was following. It did no justice to their true being. We were teaching them the alphabet when they were talking philosophy. We had find a way to connect the alphabet to their true being.

What intrigued me was that the boy who spoke of “love being the only knowledge worth gaining” was jumping uncontrollably on the bed. My mind was too perplexed to accept these two facets simultaneously as were the parents.

2008 was the year that destiny led me to anthroposophy, the philosophy that changed my paradigm- on autism, on parenting, on education and on life itself.

Seeing my restlessness, Michael Kokinos, one of my first mentors invited me to walk with him. They were the few steps that changed how I look at children and myself as a therapist.

*The first lesson that I learnt in anthroposophic understanding from Michael was about the connection between the therapist and the child we work with. It was a learning that would shape my following years as a Curative Educator.

No matter what the therapy, the most important thing that brings about a change in the child is the connection or the bond that is formed between the therapist/teacher and child. A bond based on respect understanding and unconditional acceptance. All work can be built upon that relationship of trust.

*I learnt from my mentors that the intellect of the autistic children is intact. It was their ‘will’ that we had to strengthen through their physical body using specific techniques so that it would cooperate a little more in accomodating their expanded consciousness and help them be more embodied and grounded.

*I learnt that they had sensitive bodies that reacted adversely to factors in the environment and made them behave in ways that may not exist otherwise in cleaner, purer environs.

*I learnt that there are many aspects to a human being that need to be well balanced for a human being to be healthy and well adjusted, even if they have autism.

Anthroposophy revealed to me the truth behind the spiritual/subtle aspects of being autistic, glimpses of which my students had been revealing to me in all the preceding years.

This was about the same time when the boom in social media and technology started connecting the world autism community of parents, therapists and the autists themselves, who looked at autism from the same expanded spiritual perspective that anthroposophy had introduced me to.

Today, non speaking autists are speaking out…they speak, or communicate through keyboards, letter boards and telepathically through their moms!

Many of them now write books to teach the world about what it is to be autistic

They confirmed everything that I learnt from my mentors in the anthroposophic conference.

Armed with this expanded awareness, I set out to serve these children in a way I believe they deserved to be served, with with love and respect, on an equal footing. With a knowing that I need this child in my life as much as he needs me.

To help parents see that it’s not the children that need fixing, but the way we raise them, by parenting consciously and by strengthening oneself. As for the children, all we have to do is to let them shine with their unique strengths and accept them the way they are.

I now work with the community of parents, teachers and others through consultations, workshops and writings, trying share my truth of who these children really are,

To summarise my learnings, my truths on autism are:

– to look beyond the apparently uncooperative physical bodies at the

*true being within who, though non speaking understands what is being spoken about him, in his very presence.

*The being, though he cannot express emotions, he can not only feel the emotion of the other but takes the pain of the other as his own, because he cannot separate himself from the other.

*The being that is communicating all the time even while not uttering a single word. One that is ready to reveal a whole other world to one who is ready to listen.

*The being who is capable of many achievements from college degrees to holding jobs to learning and mastering skills that are unique.

*To talk to people about learning to be comfortable with people who are not like themselves.

Children with autism are bringing to light the concept of neurodiversity in our world.

Like his sister tells Auggie in the movie Wonder, “you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out”.

And since they are now speaking, to learn about autism from the autists themselves, by reading the blogs, articles and the numerous books that they are writing everyday.

I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’m being given to share my perspectives on autism and I do sincerely hope that it can make some difference in the life of a child and help a family to find joy in living and evolving with autism.

Nirupama Rao

Psychologist and Curative Educator,

Mumbai

Interview with Reena Singh!

Dear friends,

I met Dr Reena Singh at a training program and we connected immediately!

I had heard about her many times before as the both of us worked in the field of special needs and therapy.

We decided to meet again and that meeting led to an interview cum conversation with Reena as part of her YouTube channel. It was great fun doing it as we were on the same page and could relate to each other.

Here are the links to the interview presented in parts on the YouTube Channel:

Anthroposophic approach to parenting
https://youtu.be/RTC68ZQATRA

Waldorf approach to schooling
https://youtu.be/dAyAUeO-b24

Life Rhythms and Children
https://youtu.be/09dxaqsG0nU

Hurried parenting vs Slow parenting
https://youtu.be/PCAi9vqRYKM

Sibling rivalry and how to deal with it.
https://youtu.be/RVtpoZPmFA8

Will keep adding as Reena adds more parts of the interview.

So please watch, like, share and subscribe 😄

Lots of love ,

Nirupama

Inner Work

When we used to stay in Bangalore, my elder daughter used to suffer from severe asthma. There were many sleepless nights of continuous coughing. And nights where we had to rush her to emergency to give her nebulisation. Later we bought a nebuliser. There was even a forgettable incedence where she had to be hospitalised.

I eventually found a homeopath who was inspired by anthroposophy. She explained to me how a mother’s emotional life had an impact on the child’s health, vitality and well being.

I was going through an emotional low at that time. The homeopath who was also trained in counselling said it was I that needed treatment. When I felt better my daughter would too. So I went to her and to a clinical psychologist for therapy and talked about everything that had ever bothered me.

Thanks to the homeopath I met anthroposophy and learnt about the “pedagogical law” among many other things. That is how the caregiver/mother/teacher/doctor/therapist’s well being influenced that of those they serve.

In anthroposophy a lot of importance is given to inner work on the part of parents and teachers. Children imitate us at various levels. The most important being what we don’t say!!

So I learnt that we have to strive to be worthy of being imitated.

I took the efforts to work on myself- Inner Work we call it.

Then we moved to Mumbai. My daughter started getting better and better.

Her school was better, there was no Bangalore pollen, and I was getting better. Learning everyday, bringing changes into who I am and that changed what I did.

For me an important aspect of inner work is all about being conscious of what we say and do in a non judgmental way…as an observer. In a way working from bottom up. Action to consciousness to being.

Cut to the present. My daughter has returned to Bangalore for her project. In spite of my experience and awareness I was still anxious about the pollen and it’s reputation as the ‘asthma capital’ of the country and its effect on my daughter’s health.

Voila!! It’s been more than a month and touchwood!! You know what…..dare I say it!!

But then again back then it was probably not even the pollen that had not allowed her to breathe!! It was probably my own insecurities that were cramping her life force!!!

I’m putting myself In a vulnerable position here so people understand the effect we have on those we serve…

Steiner said…it’s not what we say or do that affects children. It’s who we are.

Much Love,

Nirupama

The difference between Montessori and Waldorf systems of Education.

Children at play…at Niraamayaa

I wrote the following as a response to a question a member asked on the Waldorf support Group Facebook page. I’m sharing it here (after expanding it a bit) in case there are more people who have a similar enquiry.

I would like to share as a mother, as I have experienced both systems with my two daughters; as someone who worked in a Montessori environment for two plus years and ran a waldorf kindergarten for children with special needs, Niraamayaa, for four years.

As a psychologist and a special educator, I had always been on the lookout for an education system that is joyful and holistic, even before my first daughter was born. When my elder one was 4, I found a leading chain of schools that promised Montessori but was disappointed to find that they didn’t practise it.

Eventually when we moved to Bangalore, I did find a classic Montessori which was very good and my daughter was learning very fast. So in a Montessori, the child sets the pace and if the child shows readiness, they will give her more and more. Everything is taught using sensorial material where the child can touch, feel and manipulate the material and the learning is concrete. So by the end of senior kg she was doing multiplication and division and was enjoying herself! At that time we were very proud of her achievements and were happy with the school.

They also had miniature mops, pans, brooms, rolling pins, etc. where they could imitate the adults in their environment (This can also be found in a Waldof kindergarten free play).

When my younger one was born, we were led to discover waldorf education. This is an education that is salutogenic. That is, it promotes health- Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It takes into account everything that leads up to a healthy and well balanced adult who is intelligent (thinking), compassionate (feeling) and who is a doer (willing). This I realised was what I was looking for. Parents were educated about the philosophy by the teachers in the school and I attended conferences every year.

A human being needs to have a right balance of thinking, feeling and willing. So here’s where the difference between the two systems shows up. In a waldorf kindergarten, the emphasis is on the developing physical body. This is when the child is completely in the will. In movement and activity. This is not the right time to do cognitive activity although the children are capable of it. Because as I said, the body and the organs are still developing. This is the time to build on the skills (gross motor, fine motor, attention, focus, sitting tolerance, compliance, etc.) required to do academics later on. The children have to be prepared for academics. This is the age for building rhythms, for free play and for exploring the world through the senses.

Academic concepts are taught only from grade 1 in waldorf schools.

I like the way concepts are taught in a Montessori which can be very useful in early grade classes and for children with learning issues. However, I personally believe that kindergarten is too early for such intense cognitive work. There are deeper reasons for this.

This is the time for children to imitate, play, draw, do things with their limbs and get messy.

Having said that Waldorf kindergartens nevertheless are structured programs with a definite and defined curriculum.

In conclusion, I have learnt that Waldorf education is not a method. It’s a philosophy and a way of life.

Hope this helps.

Nirupama Rao

Mom and Psychologist

ARISE, AWAKE AND QUESTION

(Especially written keeping in mind the young adults, people who are contemplating marriage and parenthood and parents of young children. This is not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear)

The world has changed a lot more in the last 5 years than it has in the last century.

Ola, Uber, flipkart, Amazon, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Google maps and numerous other apps have significantly changed our lives. Life is going to become increasingly impossible to live without our ubiquitous cell phones that can, incidentally also be used to make calls.

Technology has definitely improved the quality of our lives. It has helped save a lot of money, energy and time. It’s like any other invention like the knife or the atom bomb. It all depends on how we use it.

Netflix has a series called Black Mirror (the ipad, laptop or tablet screen that’s turned off) which projects into the future where technology takes stranger turns and transforms humanity in unimaginable ways. Many works of science fiction have been prophetic and that thought is quite scary!

In fact, even infants have their eyes glued to their gadgets that are stuck to their prams, as mom is busy shopping. Six month old babies don’t eat anymore without watching their favourite cartoon/nursery rhymes on YouTube or listening to their favourite Bollywood number.

My now adult nephew’s friend is earning in Crores by making nursery rhyme animations of questionable quality.

Ten year olds want have their own Youtube channels. Children are not going down to play as much as they used to earlier.

Parents in restaurants are feeding their babies but not before handing them their smart phones to keep them distracted.

You go to any social get together and you find children and adults alike busy with their screens, even relatives who get together after a long, long time. Couples in restaurants are busy looking into their own smart phones instead of looking into each other’s eyes.

Parents are not able to set limits as they are themselves hooked on to it as the IDEA 4G AD says “Look look, India hua hook”

Social networking apps have several people employed only to make sure people are always hooked.

I wonder if there’s an app to measure the number of hours people spend with their phones….(update: yes there are many)

HOW ARE OUR LIFESTYLES AFFECTING US

Given this situation, young children who are affected the most, are speaking less, moving less, playing less. This is giving rise to many issues like speech delay, poor muscle tone, coordination and many sensori-motor disturbances. It’s hard to imagine the repercussions this is going to have in the future.

Just as cardiac problems, hypertension, BP, infertility, cancer and diabetes are called lifestyle diseases among the adult population, children are also exhibiting various lifestyle related symptoms like hyperactivity, low muscle tone, sensory processing disorders, autism like features, speech delay, aggression and so on.

There are 4-5 children with issues in a class of 20 children at a playschool I visit. Since it was too time consuming to talk about the same causes and effects to each parent individually, we decided to address the parents of the whole school regarding these modern challenges faced by today’s children, and in turn, parents and teachers. The talk was surprisingly very well received by the parents who were being swept by the wave of technology and lifestyle. But when this was brought to their awareness, it was like an awakening.

Most of us adults are sleep walking through life, flowing with the current and doing what everybody is doing. As humans, we have individual egos that help us to think independently for ourselves unlike animals that are governed by a group ego and herd mentality. ‘Normal’ is no longer most healthy.

We need to think for ourselves and consciously question our choices, especially when it comes to our children. Is this the best that I can give my child? At every step, we need to question ourselves about the choices we are making. Is this what is good? Will this calm my child or excite him? Do I satiate him immediately or do I deal with the tantrum? Do I spend time with him or do I hand him the I pad?

HOW LIFESTYLES ARE CHANGING

Technology is only one part if the lifestyle changes we are witnessing. The world we live in and how we are living is changing in many different ways. Now let us look at what are the lifestyle aspects that are impacting the true potential of the future generation.

What are we doing differently from the previous generation that is giving rise to issues that they did not face?

  • Increase in the number of vaccinations and antibiotic As we are developing resistance, we need to look for stronger doses! The body is no longer allowed to fight infections on its own. We are reducing natural immunity by resorting to unnatural prevention.
  • The missing family physician that used to listen more, diagnose simply by checking the pulse, and not immediately order a battery of tests. Counseling was part of his job profile. Today there is no time for that. There is no time to lose. We need to get better immediately even if we have to suppress the symptoms- child or grown up.
  • A surge of packaged, instant, refined, fast and processed food in the market. As far from real food as it is possible.
  • Increased use of GMO in agriculture.
  • A sudden flooding of technology into our lives which is becoming increasingly indispensible. Children and adults are equally glued to gadgets, no matter where they are. Some schools have started using gadgets too. Movement and physical activity is reducing.
  • Early start in school and academics: Children are packed off to schools even before they are two (a mistake I admit to making with my elder one and am not proud of it). Children take about 6 years to get ready for school in terms of developing the necessary skills like sitting, focussing, pencil grip and so on. I realised the hard way that feeding young children information too early is detrimental to their physical health and well being. Early start leads to fatigue and burn out. Learning is a lifelong process. Even the elderly people learn. What children under six need to do is play, run, get messy and explore.
  • Lack of regularity in eating and sleeping times and in the rhythms of the day. Even children under 5 are not getting their sleep needs met. It is now normal for children to go to bed anywhere between 10.30 to 12. I have seen children who can’t sleep before 1 am!! Children need to eat early and sleep early.
  • Pollution: all kinds of pollution. Air, water, food, noise, wifi radiation, electro-magnetic waves, you name it.
  • Excesses: there is excess of stimulation- noise, visuals, entertainment, material abundance, food, flavors, sugar, excess of everything. We don’t know where to draw a line and say this is enough. Over-stimulation makes children Hyperactive. Once the stimulants are removed, children calm down. They will not need shadow teachers or go for therapies if healthy practices are adopted right from the word go. we do not need to be entertained all the time. Sometimes it is important to do nothing!
  • Consumerism: businesses go to any extent to make people want to buy their product. It doesn’t matter how the product may affect the gullible people- their body image, their self esteem, their self worth. As long as the product sells, everything is OK.
  • Media boom: Media is everywhere…it constantly keeps telling us who we are, how to think, what to eat, what to wear and gives us information that they want us to have. We are at their mercy completely and we have created these ourselves.
  • Role reversal: Children being only children and the recipients of the abundant resources, they are no doubt the centre of our existence. However unfortunately, the children have been given the control and parents listen to children instead of it being the other way around. Experts say “be their friend” and this has been completely misunderstood. Children need parents who will set the limits for them and handle them with firmness instead of becoming putty at their hands. There is a simple reason for this. We are adults, hopefully with the experience and they are children with apparently no experience to take decisions and make judgments. We have taken up the role and responsibility of being parents and we are not here to relinquish control to the little ones who don’t have the experience to weigh what is good for them and what is not. It is difficult for us to see them cry. We need to learn that sometimes a ‘no’ expresses much more love and concern than a ‘yes’. This is especially true in parenting. Having said that it needs to be balanced with a good measure of love and presence to make it work!!

THE AWAKENING

We need not wait until things go to such a head that we cannot reverse it anymore. I’m not sure how much of it can be reversed even today, but as free thinking independent individuals, we still have our capacity to think for ourselves and make conscious choices wherever it is possible.

People are doing that…and they may be judged for it, but that does not stop anyone from breaking the mould, seeking an alternate way of life. They are awakening in their own unique ways.

People are seeking out alternative medical practices, alternative schools, home births, water births, saying no to vaccinations, going in for veganism and organic food, taking to farming, minimalism, slow food movements, supporting sustainable and humane businesses, breaking gender stereotypes, going for yoga, meditation and other spiritual practices and so on and so forth. People are finding their own individual path and have started believing in natural and holistic lifestyles.

People are truly awakening and are refusing to follow so called ‘normal’ currents.

WHAT CHILDREN NEED

Children need to grow up in calm, simple, uncluttered homes with less toys, with good healthy routines, minimum entertainment, lots of physical activity and maximum time out in nature. They need parents who are warm, loving, playful, in the here and now, who believe that less is more and slow is good and are conscious, ecologically aware and most importantly, trusting. Children who grow up in such homes have better stamina, better resistance to diseases, recover faster from illnesses, are much more calm, grounded, balanced and happy, there is more resilience and are able to bounce back sooner from situations.

Even a child with autism who is brought up in the above-mentioned manner may experience reduced aggression, hyperactivity, sensory issues and will be able to realize his true potential using the gifts that autism brings with it.

Our lifestyle has changed, but the archetypal human nature remains the same across time and space. We are still a product of nature. We are still made of the same elements that makes the rest of the natural world. The more we are in harmony with nature and its rhythms, the more we are in good health- physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Human evolution is not over yet. We are still evolving. The human being is now peaking in terms of intelligence. There’s much more to be achieved intellectually. But what lies beyond human intellect? What direction is our next step in evolution going to take?

It will be interesting to see….until then, let us arise, awake, ask questions and think as the conscious beings that we are! We may still not be perfect and yet to do things the way they need to be done but what is more important is that we are aware and conscious of our actions.

This can be our practical, everyday, living and individualized spirituality.

NIRUPAMA RAO

(Psychologist, Parent Counsellor),

Co Author: Parenting-The Art and Science of Nurturing ( with Dr Shekhar Seshadri, NIMHANS)

Contact: 9987653780, raonino@gmail.com

ARE WOMEN AND GIRL CHILDREN SAFE?

Our country has come a long way in terms of a woman’s progress and men’s changing attutudes.

But the journey is not over. Women are still not safe.

http://www.blush.me/lets-gab/republic-day-26-women-speak-theyre-not-proud/?utm_source=FB&utm_campaign=blushonpage

Tanvi’s article has faced a lot of criticism for generalising.

A woman would have been criticised in the past century for fighting for voting rights and for education. But she succeeded.

Today she fights for safety…hopefully much before the next century the woman and the girl child will be safe…..

Proud of Tanvi to have the courage to publish this …..what some of these women are saying may not be serious enough or agreeable to many….but what this article covers is but the tip of the iceberg…..there’s a lot more disturbing stuff happening which we can’t even dare to hear about. Scary stuff happens out there and people close their eyes and ears.
As I was thinking about Tanvi’s article, I accidentally came upon a very disturbing video on Facebook which left me rattled.

A woman is being stripped and molested in broad daylight and the incedent is being videotaped with 20 men watching as she’s crying for help. Not one “MAN” comes to help her or save her.
I speak for all those women and children who are being harassed, molested, eve teased, raped, violated, bought, sold, beaten and abused.
I speak for 2 and 3 year old girl babies who are being brutally gang raped and thrown in the gutter….what for? For a moment of pleasure?

I speak for female infants snuffed out in the womb or soon after they’re born.

Why?

I want us to create an India where a father Respects his wife in the presence of his children.
I want us to create an India where a mother teaches her son to respect other women.
I want us to create a world where a woman is respected as a human being and not treated as a commodity to be used and thrown.
I want us to create an India where a woman can walk freely in the streets….burkha or no burkha.                      I want us to create an India where every girl child has a right to life and a right to education.                                                           I want an India where women are remunerated on the basis of their skill and not gender.

Am I wanting too much?

I don’t think so. As a mother of two girls, I want them and all girls in all parts of the  world to be free, safe, respected, and valued.

Nirupama Rao

BUTTERFLY

butterfly

BUTTERFLY

Nirupama Rao, IPMT Mumbai 2014

Butterfly

You belong to the astral realm

I have astrality in me

What is the difference between your astrality and mine?

Where in our astrality do we humans stop being perfect like you and the other creatures?

Maybe we are perfect but what prevents us from feeling that we are perfect creations of nature- Just like you…

Where does the perfection of nature stop in the human being?

Where does my polarity come from?

What purpose does it serve?

You are beautiful yet not proud

What is in me that’s not in you that makes me proud and arrogant sometimes

And even inadequate at the other times?

I used to feel I am like you butterfly-

Carefree

Then somewhere along the way I stopped

But maybe you are still apart of me…somewhere

(Picture link: (https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwjqg9baxPHPAhWLtI8KHSUyDSQQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwall.alphacoders.com%2Fby_sub_category.php%3Fid%3D134784&psig=AFQjCNHR_XtbqhPizWj1dh_8p9RKF-z51A&ust=1477332767892879)

IMPORTANCE OF RHYTHMS

(This article is inspired by Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy and is dedicated to Zainam)

Rhythm
Repetition
Reverence

These are the three Rs of Waldorf Education.

THREE FOLD AND FOUR FOLD NATURE
The human being is a product, a creation of nature. He’s made up of the same elements that are around us in nature. We have layers to our human body.
Physical – earth
Etheric- water
Astral- air
I consciousness /self-warmth

A human being is also made up of 3 systems- the Trinity, the tridha….

Brain and central nervous system or thinking,

rhythmic or heart lung system -feeling

and

thirdly the metabolic limb system which rules over the will and makes up the organs.

The head system is influenced by the metabolic system. The rhythmic system forms a bridge between both. You can imagine the 3 systems of the human being in the shape of an 8 (Lemniscate) with the head on top, metabolism at the bottom and the rhythmic in the middle.

IMG_20160605_132131

(https://drhauschkaaus.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/three-fold-nature-of-human-beings-plants-and-the-skin/)

As I have said earlier, our bodies are made up of 4 sheaths: physical, etheric, astral and the I-Consciousness. The Etheric or pranic body is connected to the rhythmic system.
So when we have good, natural Rhythms guided by the rhythms of nature, we are in harmony with the natural world as we share a common collective etheric body.
Paramahamsa yogananda mastered his breath and the Etheric body. His body did not decay for 21 days after his passing! The bodies of farmers take a longer time to decay as compared to a city dweller as they work on the farm and have a strong life force, someone told me once!

As nature suffuses us with etheric or pranic forces, so do Rhythms. Good rhythms give us health and vitality.

BODILY RHYTHMS
Our body being a product of nature just like the plants, birds and animals, has a natural Rhythm.
Unfortunately, the human being, the only creature with “free will”, has tampered with these natural Rhythms and we have lost our harmony and healthy balance resulting in lack of stamina and reduced immunity and new age illnesses.
Let’s think about it:
What are the aspects of our body connected to rhythms?
Blood,
Breathing and lungs
Liver and metabolism
Heart
Female reproductive organs, and so on
Although we have mastered the art of prolonging life, we are falling victims to lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, cardiac problems, asthma, infertility issues, cancer, ADHD, sensory issues and so on.
The more we tamper with nature- our nature, we are harming ourselves.

REGAINING HARMONY
Once we know this truth, we can slowly regain the harmony.
How do we do it?
By understanding bodily rhythms.
And
By remembering how our grandparents and great grandparents lived, how they ate, and most importantly, when they ate. They rose early, ate before sundown, slept early and did a lot of physical work. My grandparents had excellent rhythms and were healthy and independent right into their 80s and 90s. They never took the sick bed and decided the date of their own passing!!

LIVER RHYTHMS

Our liver has its own set of rhythms. It is in an accumulation mode from 3am to 3pm and in an assimilation mode from 3 pm to 3 am. That’s why wise people said have a heavy breakfast and a light dinner.
The liver rhythms are as follows:
Breakfast: 3am to 9am
Salad, fruit or soup: 10.30am
Lunch: 12-1pm
Mid afternoon light snack: 3.30-4.30pm
Dinner: 6-7pm (this is when they/we crave for junk food a snacks!)
Sleep: 8 pm especially for children as they need 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep for growth, healing and development.
We need to create optimum conditions and ambience for sleep by dimming lights, making sure there are no loud noises or excitatory activities including gadgets 2 hours before sleep.
Gadgets, especially touch screens use up the the Etheric forces and deplete our vitality.
A nice foot massage, a song or a story in the mothers soothing voice will help the child drift into sleep land.

EXPANSION CONTRACTION
Another important aspect about rhythms is the breathe-in, breathe-out aspect.
This is the aspect in us that constantly expands and contracts.
Like the universe- the big bang and the black hole.
Like the sunrise and the sunset.
Like the waxing and waning moon,
Like day and night
We breathe in and breathe out.
We awaken, we go to sleep
It is very healthy and harmonizing to bring this expansion and contraction into our daily Rhythms.
How?
Physical and movement activities, play etc. are breathing-out or expanding activities.
Painting, writing, thinking, fine motor activities, listening to story, eating, sleeping are breathing-in or contracting activities. As our in and out breaths alternate, so should our expanding and contracting activities.
When children are always out out out or always in in in, it affects the rhythms and the Etheric forces and robs them of their vitality, strength and immunity.
Yoga practitioners would have heard that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath.
Hence, the expanding activities should be of a longer duration than the contracting activities. Play and movement should be longer than sitting down and focusing.
A young 5 year old in whose nature it is to run and play, but is made to sit at a desk is bound to be restless!!

Other rhythms are the weekly rhythms, monthly and yearly Rhythms which include family activities, holidays, get togethers and festivals.

RHYTHMS, THE BRIDGE TO HEALTH
The metabolic system needs a lot of etheric forces for digestion. Since thinking, processing and cognition, are the basis to good digestion (yes, you heard me right! Not brain!), a good store of etheric forces and rhythms are required to build a bridge between the higher head pole and the lower metabolism pole.

Good rhythms lead to general well being. A healthy etheric body, strengthened by good natural rhythms, leads to good immunity, cognition,memory , habits and character formation.

Happy RHYTHMING dear friends!!!

Nirupama Rao

STRENGTH OR LIMITATION?

Never judge a fish by its ability to climb trees…. Said a wise man called Albert Einstein.

We are all endowed with qualities and abilities. Many, many of them. We sometimes use them in isolation and sometimes in combination.

The right skills or abilities in the wrong place may look like a limitation. For example, if an introverted guy with a creative writing capacity takes up a job as a salesman, he will look like someone with a lot of limitations, as the wrong fit of the job requirements to his capabilities may make him feel inadequate.

Instead, if he finds a job that can utilize his natural skill and talent of creative writing, for example as a copy writer, his limitations turn into strengths. His introversion and introspection may aid in creative writing.

So next time you feel limited, it may be worth wondering if that is because you are the right person in the wrong place!?