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Saturday 20 March 2021

The Wellness Sense by Om Swami #bookreview

The Wellness Sense by Om Swami #BookReview

The Wellness Sense by Om Swami dwells on holistic wellbeing from the perspective of Ayurvedic and yogic wisdom. It is not a book that gives you information on Ayurvedic medicines or concoctions, instead, it talks about the underlying principles of health and tells you about various ways to achieve it.

I had first read the book The Wellness Sense by Om Swami at the beginning of the year 2018. I was searching for a book on Ayurvedic principles on Amazon and this book was among the top suggestions. The blurb as well as the readers’ comments on the book looked promising. The book is written in a simple and easy to understand language, and I have gone back to reading it multiple times to soak in the wisdom and bring necessary changes in my lifestyle. I loved the way the content of the book is designed. Any person (like me with no knowledge of Ayurveda whatsoever) can read and understand the underlying principles with ease. The language is jargon-free and a breeze to read and understand. Even if you forget the details, you will remember the key takeaways and the lessons and that is the important thing.
Om Swami, in his book ‘The Wellness Sense’, emphasizes the importance of living in sync with Mother nature, understanding one’s body constitution, the importance of eating sense, the impact of our thoughts and emotions on our overall health, how to cleanse our body and mind, ways to bring a balance in our lives and much more.

Quoting some lines from the book to give you an idea of the tone of the book.

‘I am not suggesting that Ayurveda is a panacea. No system of medicine is. But when you combine the principles of Ayurveda with yogic thoughts, you make a giant leap in your understanding of the human body and its well being.’

Our body is the finest, in fact, the only, medium of experiencing all pleasures and sorrows. In Ayurveda, as in yoga and tantra, the health of an individual is not just the state of his physical body but an aggregate of the body, senses, mind and soul. Your immune system is directly impacted by your state of mind. The more positive and happy you are, the stronger your immunity.

Yogic texts believe that as bliss is the natural state of your mind, health is the natural state of your body.

Just focussing on your physical health by the way of better diet and exercise is only a fraction of the solution. The important part is taking care of your mental and emotional health. How you respond to what life throws at you affects your health in the most significant manner.

The author first elucidates our connection with mother nature; he explains the five great elements (panch mahabhoota) and their significance in relation to our body’s constitution. He also dwells on the Ayurvedic perspective on the human body by explaining the seven tissues (sapta dhatu), the three physical humours ( tri-dosha) and various aspects of our mental and physical constitution.

In the first few chapters, the author re-iterates in various ways that health doesn’t come from food alone and that there are various other factors that need to be taken care of for a holistic approach to one's wellbeing.

Again quoting this passage from the book about health:

Your physical health is almost entirely dependent on how your body accepts and processes food, which in turn is affected by your mental and emotional state. The body is just not a mechanical machine, for if it were, all stomachs would process the food exactly the same way. The truth is that everyone’s body is unique. Even if two people eat identical meals, their bodies respond to them differently.

Every one of us is born with a certain constitution. It determines how we accept, process and absorb the food we eat.

Every living entity is born with a certain natural tendency. It’s called svabhava.

When we consume food, it is not just about eating, digesting and excreting. We have, in fact, made a silent agreement with food. We have agreed to absorb the energy from the food along with its svabhava. We are about to become the food we’ve just consumed.

‘Ayurveda states that one should consume food according to one’s constitution. When we do that, our nature starts to synchronize with nature, and the food we eat leads to better health and harmony.’

The way food has been explained in the book and the stress on developing the right ‘eating sense’ has been a big take away for me. Right from understanding food from the Ayurvedic viewpoint (Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic), understanding the six tastes of food, the four stages of food, to understanding the five aspects of consuming food the right way, there has been a lot of perspective change the way I look at food. These were things that I had known in bits in some way or the other but rarely put to practice.

A good sense of eating has five aspects, namely mindfulness, water, quantity, gratitude and time.

Classical scriptures say that water should be eaten and food should be drunk.

The book then goes on to explain the life cycle of a disease, it’s causes and more, from a different perspective. He dwells on the five causes of a disease, the four killers - ama, indigestion, sugar, and stress. He also talks about the mental afflictions - fear, anger, hatred, jealousy and greed and their roles in manifesting diseases in the physical body.

In the words of the author -

‘A disease is what disrupts your equilibrium, that is, your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance.’

In the final chapters of the book, the authors talk about methods of physical cleansing, fasting, pancha-karma and some ways for mental detoxification like visualization, meditation, and journaling.

The best thing about the book is that it gives you all the information to make an informed decision but doesn’t get preachy in its narrative. Everything the author states make perfect sense and hence it is easier to understand, absorb and practice. The Wellness Sense is written with the intention of empowering you to take control of your wellbeing in a holistic way and it does a fantastic job of doing it.

I would highly recommend ‘The Wellness Sense’ by Om Swami to anyone looking for a wholesome book on wellness.

If you read this book, do share your thoughts with me on my Facebook PageTwitter Handle or tag me on Instagram @jyotibabel using the hashtag #jyotispages 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means, that if you make a purchase through the link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

You can purchase the book through the link below. 

Here is the blurb of the book:

Why do certain foods harm some people and help others? How come the results of a weight loss programme varies from individual to individual? And why do some people fall sick more often than others? The science of Ayurveda holds answers to these questions and many more. Its scriptures took a holistic approach to health by combining our lifestyle with our natural tendencies (which vary from one person to another). This groundbreaking new work from Om Swami combines the yogic view of food as sattvic, rajasic and tamasic with Ayurvedic perspective, and further relates it to the modern view of foods as acidic and alkaline. This is also the first time that Ayurvedic prakriti (vata, pitta and kapha) has been discussed in the context of yogic prakriti (sattvic, rajasic and tamasic) in a truly cohesive fashion. The Wellness Sense extracts the essence of Ayurveda, yoga and tantra to combine it with modern medicine in this simple, step-by-step handbook on how to take better care of yourself. Accessibly written, deeply researched and distilled from Om Swami's own lived experience, The Wellness Sense puts your health and happiness in your hands.

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