By Sensei Neville Billimoria, San Diego CA
Food and Diet:
You are what you eat.
Both disease and energy come through food.
Unfortunately, most of us eat for the sake of eating
not for the sake of health.
Our food, from a holistic perspective, serves two
The first is to nourish and give us energy (assimilate).
The second is to clean out and detoxify (eliminate).
All foods eaten for health and not just to indulge the
taste buds should aid in either or both these functions.
Typically, eating natural unrefined foods provides
the optimum source of nutrition and energy.
Eating “food without faces” is often suggested for a
long and healthy life. Unless you have an eating disorder,
one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat less.
For the average person in western cultures today,
only one fourth of what we eat actually helps us.
The rest helps the doctor! (No offense my doctor friends…)
Overeating simply overtaxes our system, wastes valuable natural
resources,(do you know there are as many starving
people in the world as there are overweight people?)
and creates other health problems down the road.
Finally, it is not just what you eat or how much you
eat, but HOW you eat that makes a big difference.
So many of us eat junk, eat too much and, if you are
like me, eat too fast. Learn to take time to enjoy the
process of eating. Savor every mouthful. Be grateful you
are not one of the people on this planet today that
is hungry, malnourished or starving to death. Half our
planet is undernourished!
Don’t put another mouthful in until the previous mouthful
has been completely swallowed. Take time to make the process of
eating a joyous, even meditative experience.
This conscious eating honors the food, appreciates the chef,
embraces the life energy made available through the meal
and ultimately provides more than calories, protein, carbs, fats,
vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.-it provides
Try changing one thing about what, how and how much you eat today
and notice the difference…
Your Living Environment:
Usually, when we think of our living environment, we think
of the place where you live.
Your living environment, however, includes the place and
CONDITIONS under which you live.
It is not enough to have a clean, bright, airy home or apartment
in outer harmony with nature in perfect feng shui alignment,
if the inner environment is one of stress, tension and discord.
Creating an environment of support, comfort, and inner safety
can do wonders for the health and well-being for all members of
See if you can identify some things you can do to make your living
environment a sanctuary from the stress and tension in and around you.
Commit to making your living environment the best you can!
All exercise is good, but not all exercise is good for all people!
Today, everyone seems to be touting the benefits of exercise for
strengthening the body, relaxing the mind, reducing heart disease,
and even offsetting depression.
Exercise can be broken down into vigorous, moderate, and gentle forms.
Recent studies have validated the dramatic benefits of even a little
exercise on our health, with less dramatic advantages of intense exercise
over longer periods.
If a little is good, a lot must be better, doesn’t hold true when it comes
to exercise, although this varies from individual to individual.
No students this cannot be used as an excuse for me to make the trainings easier…
The old adage of no pain, no gain is also vigorously disputed in the current literature,
which validates what holistic practitioners have been saying for thousands of years:
involve yourself in types of exercise you enjoy.
Enjoy the process of exercising not just the end result.
Exercising for admirable abs or bodacious buns is probably not worth it if you don’t
enjoy the process.
In fact it might be killing you!
So much for the killer workout… It might be doing just that!
It seems that certain types of exercise do suit most people.
These include-walking, swimming, yoga and tai chi.
Yoga and tai chi emphasize the flow of life energy in the whole body
releasing toxins and creating a sense of well being.
Maintaining flexibility and range of motion have long been key elements in developing
total health-so stretch yourself every day!
Regardless of the form of exercise or cross-training regimen you select,
make sure you learn, practice and emphasize the proper breathing method.
The benefits of using the proper breathing method cannot be overstated and
makes a tremendous difference in the process of exercising and the ensuring results.
Ask you Sensei to teach you how to breathe and I’ll save my breath and you can save yours!
One of the most sorely neglected aspects of wellness,
pun duly intended, is rest.
In today’s fast-paced society, the majority of us simply
do not get enough rest. The right amount of rest is defined
by your ability to recoup energy and repair damaged tissue.
Depending on your particular lifestyle and disposition, the amount
of rest you need will vary. If you are involved in a lot of hard
labor or intense exercise you will obviously need more rest than
those whose lifestyles are more sedentary.
But… “rest should not turn into rust!”
Communing with Nature:
Living in the urban jungle, we often lose our connection
to nature. For countless generations, our ancestors lived
in balance with nature, and recognized and celebrated the
interconnectedness and interdependence with all of nature.
Reawakening our primal links to Mother Earth, Father Sky,
Brother Sun and Sister Moon reminds us of one simple fact:
Nature is full of energy!
It is yours for the taking (shakuraki is a term the Japanese use about how we can borrow energy from nature)
Sunshine is a natural source of Vitamin D.
Sunshine is also a natural germicide and insecticide.
Fresh air purifies the organs and sharpens the senses.
We take in air through the lungs but also through the skin.
Pure water flushes us inside and out.
Drinking seven glasses of clean water a day is excellent for us.
Getting in cold water (hydrotherapy) causes the capillaries to
shrink on the outside and forces the blood to be shunted to the
heart, thereby cleansing and tonifying the circulatory system.
Spending time outdoors in communion with nature can do wonders
for ones state of mind.
Get out your calendar right now and block off some time in nature
today, this week and this month.
Right Mental Attitude:
It is well known that the mind governs the body and the body affects
the mind. In western psychology, they talk about a
psychophysiological isomorphism- a one to one relationship between
body and mind.
In today’s society of negats and negaholics, one must put on the armor
of ones own positive thoughts. It takes practice to re-program ourselves
toward positive thinking. Sadly, according to scientists, we give ourselves
thousands of negative messages each day.
Worrying is nothing but negative goal setting.
And 90% of the things we worry about-NEVER HAPPEN!
Positive autosuggestion takes practice.
We all get to choose whether we want to elevate or
degrade our mental attitude.
Being grateful, practicing forgiveness, rewarding yourself daily,
laughter and humor, play and recreation, meditation and prayer,
practicing self love, using affirmations, developing your own
self healing script, and practicing positive self talk are some
powerful ways to change your attitude and keep the change.
As Sensei Castilonia would say a sense of pleasure, accomplishment,
contentment and enthusiasm for life (PACE) are some key indicators that you
are on your way to cultivating and developing the right mental attitude.
Drill for skill.
Practice like you want to perform.
What you do-you become.
Repetition is the key to anchoring a new behavior, attitude or skill.
If you are so inclined, take any of the elements mentioned above and share some more about it…
With the six guardians mentioned above, you are
well on your way to creating a healthy life.
sow a thought-reap an action
sow an action-reap a habit
sow a habit-reap a character
sow a character-reap a destiny!
Be well and Keep the PACE!~