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At Jindal Health Farm - Upper Crust India

At Jindal Health Farm - Upper Crust India

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Published by Vivek Verma

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Published by: Vivek Verma on Mar 11, 2011
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It may be a tough regime at the Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, popularly known as Jindal Health Farm in Bangalore, but then you asked for it, says 
Farzana Behram Contractor,
who thinks we really take our bodies for granted.
I had been meaning to go to Jindal Health Farm since a long time. For years I had been suffering from apain in the neck, brought about in good measure with the kind of work I do, as also certain kind of people Ideal with! Well, to my good fortune, I eventually made the time and enrolled for the 10 day course (which isthe minimum term required) at the Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences on the outskirts ofBangalore. INYS, Jindal Health Farm and Jindal Institute are its popular synonyms.The place was set up in 1978 by industrialist Sitaram Jindal, a believer in naturopathy and INYS is possiblythe most well-known nature cure establishment in the country.I had heard sufficient tales about the place and was fairly aware of what to expect. For example, I knew it'snot the kind of place where all you do is take a spa treatment or two a day, go for long leisurely walks toreturn to lie in the hammock for a bit before you saunter to the dining room and eat lean, grilled NewZealand chops, a la Chiva Som in Hua Hin, Thailand. For starters, INYS is strictly vegetarian. In fact therefreshing part is you eat and drink stuff, you would never imagine you could. Ashgourd soup, bitter gourdjuice, tulsi leaves, raw beetroot to name a few. What's even better is most of the produce used is organic,home grown in the backyard of the Institute. On days I wanted to go for extra long walks I'd venture into the vegetable and fruit gardens.Was a sheer joy to see luscious papayas growing in bunches on trees not higher than a few feet.The INYS is indeed an unpretentous place, where ordinary, common folks rub shoulders with the
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richie rich, the politicians, the film stars. It's a perfect campus to put off your mobile phone (theydon't even allow laptops here) and forget all your office woes and get back to the basics of life. If Iwere asked to describe in one word my stay at INYS, I'd say: simple. Everything was so simple.The accommodation was clean and simple, the staff was simple and ever smiling, and thetreatments were simple and uncomplicated. Life itself became so simple. The people, all thosewho enroll there, become friends with each other by the end of the course. All very natural and sowonderful.The discipline at the campus is something you don't take lightly though. In that aspect it is prettyregimented. To begin with, you can't leave the campus once you sign in, unless of course somesort of emergency arises. You cannot eat outside food, quite obviously for the whole purpose ofbeing there would be defeated. You don't/can't sleep long hours. If you are in the dorm styleaccommodation (there are also deluxe rooms, nests and executive rooms) you are awakened by aloud bhajan playing on a public address system at 5a.m.! And the way the entire day is structuredyou find yourself going from one doctor or treatment to another.Here is what an average day would be like. You wake up at 6 a.m., bathe, etc, walk to the canteenand drink a warm glass of water with some lemon juice squeezed into it. You gather at the 'Time Square' for a spot of laughter and suryadarshan and after feeling energized, walk towards the Recreation Centre where you remove your shoes outside and carefully place themin the shoe stand and go inside the hall. Here you spread out your yoga mat and for the next one hour follow instructions and go througha group session of yoga. Then you head back to the cafeteria, where you drink some more of the warm lemon water and perhaps chewon some basil (tulsi) leaves. If your diet permits (a detailed chart is worked out for you on Day 1 itself for the entire duration of yourstay), you may have some coconut water. Then you go to your room and rest for about 15 minutes before you head to the 'baths', whereyou may go through some hydro therapy, under Sheilaamma's watchful supervision. Then it's lunch time. Maybe two chappatis, avegetable and a fruit. Maybe not, maybe just fruit, in which case it maybe two varieties, like some watermelon and pineapple. Afterwhich you return to your room, where an attendant will come within the hour to do some cold compresses or enemas. Then again youleave your room, go for a mudpack or mudbath treatment or some acupressure or perhaps acupuncture, may be an oil or powdermassage. There is no afternoon tea or any such thing but you are welcome to go and drink any amount of water. Then it's time for awalk, minimum one hour. Return, have dinner, pretty much like lunch, then go to your room and crash!
This 'average day' gets a bit worse. After three days you head towards even less food intake. To a pointwhere you are just on a liquid diet. Juice, hot water, buttermilk. For about five days. But before you go, 'Ohno', let me assure you, it is exhilarating. Liberating. You realize how little food you really need to eat to feelgreat. You don't feel at all weak, you don't totter or faint or get headaches. Instead you feel so WOW, niceand light, fit and strong. Not sluggish or acidic, just raring to go. You spend more time outdoors, under theshade of the tree, by the lake touching the property. Occasionally you go to the library or even for some fun exercising. Like cycling onan overhead rail track. Very quaint.Everyone is encouraged to spend whatever free time there may be, indulging in some form of activity. And there are quite a few tochoose from. Swimming, gyming, aerobics. There are some who walk all day long. The walking track which goes all around and throughthe accommodation areas passes through beautiful, wooded pathways and is indeed very pleasant. And since the track forms part of thecampus ground it is safe at all times, even at night if you prefer to walk after dinner.INYS has a great reputation for treating patients suffering from asthma, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis,migraine, spondylitis. Treatments differ based on need requirements. Steam Sauna, Infra Red Sauna, OilMassage, Vibro Massage. Various hydro therapies like, under water, Jacuzzi, graduated immersion bath withEpsom salts. There is also the Asthma bath. There are many yogic treatments like Vastra Dhauti, where youswallow cloth (white, pure cotton, washed in hot water) leaving the last bit out, allowing it to reach thestomach, then pulling it out slowly. This is for patients suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Vama Dhauti:swallowing jugs full of warm salted water and then vomiting it out. Jalneti: pouring water from one nostril andallowing it to come out through the other. And then there are the eye washes which help in improvingeyesight, lightening dark circles and of course keeping them cleansed. At the yoga classes which begin withthree Omkara and my favourite - the Gayatri Mantra, in addition to the asanas (excersises), the pranayam(breathing) techniques are also taught. Aanapana, Shukapranayama, Kapal Bhatti, Bhastrika, AnulomaViloma, Nadi Shudhan, Bramari help variously in calming the mind, increasing lung capacity, helping controldiabetes, asthma, cough and cold, strengthening joints, and inducing good sleep. Ah, the goodness of yoga.So how does it work, what is nature cure?To begin with, all diseases can be attributed to the accumulated waste matter within thebody. Treatment therefore lies in eliminating it by enemas and fasting, even sweating it out.Naturopathy believes that among the five elements, earth corresponds to the solid structureof bones, water to fluids like blood and lymph, air to the breath of life, and fire to the body'svitality. Ether is the constituent of the soul. Any imbalance of these elements leads to illness.The emphasis, therefore, is on restoring the balance.
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