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Book Review: Prajna Is A Practical Book To Have Around The House

Prajna

There are times when days become too crowded, stress mounts, and health goes for a toss. The yearning for a blueprint for a more structured, fulfilling, peaceful and joyous life is common. Small, rejuvenating rituals not only infuse a rush of adrenaline but keep us energised throughout the day. If these rituals have been sourced from Ayurveda, the world’s oldest, time-tested healing system that is rooted in the principle of the mind-body-spirit connection, it becomes even more relevant.

As she applied these practices to her own life with success, she realised that there were some practices and rituals that one could use to not just heal but to prevent illness and which one could easily incorporate in one’s daily routine to lead a happier, healthier, more wholesome life.

Mira Manek (writer, cook, and wellness expert) too did not have it easy. After leading a demanding, peripatetic life which meant making a lot of adjustments to food habits and lifestyle, not to mention the energy drain, she found herself exhausted quite often. Battling a bad marriage alongside, she reached a point where loneliness and despair became her constant companions, and ill health followed. This led to her search for effective, long-lasting lifestyle changes that would restore her equilibrium. She stayed at various Ayurvedic retreats and spas, in her quest to detox and rejuvenate.

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Here, she learned yoga, meditation, healthy cooking, centering, and more, while all the time becoming conscious of the fact that we are a mind-body-spirit/soul complex, and healing has to address this. As she applied these practices to her own life with success, she realised that there were some practices and rituals that one could use to not just heal but to prevent illness and which one could easily incorporate in one’s daily routine to lead a happier, healthier, more wholesome life. Some of these were life-changing. So, she gleaned these restorative practices, and traditional Ayurvedic wisdom that she had seen being practiced in her home, as a child, and put them together as a practical tool-kit that one can choose from.

The author believes that adopting practices that resonate with us, and making small changes that become habits, lead us slowly towards intuitive wisdom or ‘Prajna’, the ability to be spontaneous, and respond with playfulness to life’s events, however unpredictable and challenging.

The book is divided into three parts: Morning, Afternoon and Evening. Right from practices to start the day with a spring in the step to increasing your resilience during the day to tackling lethargy after the afternoon meal to de-stressing post-work, the book has a repertoire of mantras, asanas and pranayamas, recipes for balanced meals, music playlists, prayers, guided meditations, cleansing practices, and ways to be more mindful, aware and restful. There are tips for the workplace too, which are familiar, but which need reiteration for them to be remembered and incorporated. The author believes that adopting practices that resonate with us, and making small changes that become habits, lead us slowly towards intuitive wisdom or ‘Prajna’, the ability to be spontaneous, and respond with playfulness to life’s events, however unpredictable and challenging.

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The book also addresses issues like stress, fear, anger, worry, anxiety, lack of sleep and concentration, dealing with the unexpected—all of which can be assuaged by accessing ‘Prajna, a higher wisdom that makes us more aware, mindful, woke and proactive. The book comes with an impressive list of resources and recommendations—right from links to online breath-work classes, and holistic healing centres and resorts to useful podcasts to books. It would have been great to have recipes with more local, Indian ingredients, but to be fair, there is a good mix of the regional and global. It’s a simple, practical, feel-good, handy book to have around the house, which lives up to the promise its stunning cover offers.

Image Credit: Mira Manek/ Headline Publishing Group

Archana Pai Kulkarni is the Books Editor at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.