The Yogasakhi participants had an eye-opening session on ‘Toxins in our home’ by Anubha kothari. She conducts workshops and events in Bangalore on behalf of SHARAN ( www.sharan-india.org). Here is a summary:
Toxins envelope our life. Unfortunately, many of them are present in our homes. Ironically, our effort to over zealously clean our bodies and surroundings can flood our bodies with toxins more dangerous than the germs we are trying to avoid.
Eliminating every harmful substance from our daily routine can be nearly impossible, but knowledge and awareness is a good place to start. The kitchen and bathroom are home to many plastic products. Storing food, packing and heating food in plastic containers is highly avoidable. Steel is a better option. Microwaving food is a major source of radiation and is a strict no-no. In fact, needless and repeated heating of food changes the molecular structure, rendering it less nutritious and more toxic. It is common knowledge that teflon-coated and aluminium utensils release harmful substances into our food while cooking. Steel vessels and iron griddles are a healthier substitute.
Toothpaste, soap and shampoo contain various chemicals that can cause disease in the long run. Try replacing these with natural products, for instance ‘besan’ paste as an exfoliating scrub and salt and lime to clean your teeth . If that sounds too extreme, opt for organic products with the least amount of harmful chemicals.
Cleaning liquids and detergents as you can imagine are highly toxic and can be either eliminated or used sparingly. ’Ritha’ powder can substitute dishwashing liquid. Use detergent judiciously.
Creams, deodorants, and cosmetics contain many ingredients that can be potentially dangerous. The kitchen contains time-tested treasures that can nourish and beautify. If you must use cosmetics, do so only for really special occasions! A toxin free diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit is a better approach to look and smell great. Mosquito repellents are too toxic to apply regularly. If you must, citronella oil is recommended.
Highly processed food like canned food, sauces and frozen food are known to be hazardous. One should steer clear of ‘health food’ which claims to be fibre-enriched as more chemicals and stabilizers are used to produce them. Unsuspecting health freaks and well- meaning mothers, do watch out!
As toxins cling to oil and fat, it is wise to switch to a low fat diet, not just for vanity but for protection. Simple home-cooked food with minimum preservatives and lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruit is the best investment and prevention against disease.
Finally, our generation’s addiction to electronic devices is a source of lethal radiation. Apart from being a menace to optimal social and family interaction, it can cause grave health consequences.
Yoga is synonymous with awareness and stresses on willpower. Yoga is also about balance. Incorporating improvements in our lifestyle can be challenging. We can start with awareness, try hard to stick to our resolutions and also maintain a balance between the ideal and the practical.
This post is contributed by Nivedita Master. She is a counselor by profession and a regular yoga practitioner.