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Pacchpan Mein Bacchpan – Himanshu Mehta

Fitness is child’s play and It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. Invoke and kindle the child within and fitness will come to your rescue. Everything else can betray but Fitness will pay well its loyalty. There is a saying, “Health is greater than Wealth”. 
Inspiration is mutual. I inspire to get inspired. Juhu beach is the birthplace of my Fitness post 50. I call it ‘the world’s largest gym’. One can do anything and everything on the beach that a child would love to do. Morning Exercise for me in form of yoga, and meditation gives me complete peace of mind and self boost to keep afresh throughout the day. 
In the year 2000, I had a nervous breakdown and chest pain. I was advised to see a Cardiologist. An ECG was taken, luckily all was fine but it was a wake-up alarm. I realized I was at crossroads and had to decide whether to chase wealth or health.  I chose Health as it seemed clear to me that only if I’m in great shape would I be able to enjoy my wealth. The exercise started gradually, at a turtle’s pace at first until it became a routine. Now I feel almost half dead without a workout, it’s become an indispensable part of my identity.
As a bonus, exercise and good sleep increased my immunity and metabolism and helped me maintain my weight and blood pressure which were on the verge of shooting higher.  
Our body is our temple. We see, feel, eat, and perceive everything through our bodies. Whatever we do is to ultimately feed our ego or get a good feel (Spirit) which is about ourselves and others we come across. Actually, we all do everything for a good feeling (spirit) which is beyond ego, just like a child who is busy enjoying playing with their toy smiling & laughing knows no ego. For example, supposing we bought a most expensive house/car or fallen deeply in love with a most adorable person we definitely would take utmost care and wouldn’t take it/them for granted. Irony! We ignore this precious wealth – this beautiful human Body.   
It’s human nature, we will pursue whatever we succeed. With fitness, all we need to do is push ourselves to attain the first little success. It happened the same way to me. In 2010, I succeeded losing 10 Kilos in just 4 months, my waist reduced from 34” to 30” & Fat from 20% to 8.8%. I feel if I can do it, anybody can. It just takes 5 to 7 % of our day, a little inclination, awareness & dedication (continuity). All that is required is moving out of our comfort zone. Actually, Life begins when we are out of our Comfort Zone. Why waste health by becoming a rat in the rat race for money? Or be a victim of self-created Laziness. How much money does one need for a happy life? 
I tried out many physical activities like Karate, Windsurfing, Weight lifting, Gymnastics, Running, spinning, and paragliding but it was like touch & go with each. For the last 12 years, I have actively settled down with yoga or any other activity that aligns with Yoga practice like the Total Body Resistance Exercise. Yoga, I feel is working on me internally and externally. My entire workout is more focused on regulated breathing, for breathing is yoga so is life. When we are practicing yoga, we are bathing every cell of our body in oxygen just as we bathe our body under a shower we are cleansing the external body. When we are breathing deep in practicing yoga we are bathing every cell in the body in oxygen and calming our nervous system. 
Very recently I took up Mallakhamb. It’s an amazing and very challenging workout. I keep changing and reshuffling my workout regime as my body demands and avoid getting trapped in monotony. I am getting into the habit of listening to my body.
It’s unfortunate that we start accepting all our ancient arts and values after the West has accepted them. It seems that a need for endorsement from the West has become ingrained within us. Today a lot of innovation is being done in Yoga in the West esp. the USA. The same goes with our Sanskrit, Veda, Upanishads etc. I find myself falling in love with our rich Indian ancient beliefs and practices and wish to contribute to whatever extent I can to make it popular and available to the masses.
I have also realized food plays a very important role in our fitness regime at least to the extent of 50%. With regular fitness activity my perceptions of food change. I started interpreting more in terms of Proteins, Carbs, etc becoming a selective eater. I was a social drinker but with my regular yoga practice, even that little craving for drinks mellowed down. The question ‘live to eat or eat to live?’ has become ingrained in my food habits. My Yoga master who is globally very popular, when last I met him at 70 looked fit & fine like 45, once said, “No food is the best food.” Of course, this is not meant to be taken literally; but what he was talking about was our penchant for junk food & our reckless eating habits. He used to preach that while eating we never think about what we are eating, how much we are eating, how much time we take for eating, how well we are chewing, and what we really should be eating. My experience says six meals in small portions works the best. A good friend who is a leading Gastroenterologist told me, “Himanshu, actually our stomach is just the size of our fist but for sake of our lifestyle & cravings of our taste buds we keep stuffing inappropriate quality & quantity of foods in our stomach, leaving no choice for this ‘pappi pet’ but to keep expanding and then we find the accumulation of excessive Fats at various unwanted places in our body. 
Not forgetting one of the most vital necessities for fitness is water. Proper water intake is a must at least 3 liters in a day or one glass (250ml) every hour.    
We are all living in Kalyug. The two living hells we all want to stay away from are the hospitals and courts, where nothing else but your intrinsic level of fitness safeguards you. I have found Fitness can be the best antidote for depression or to keep it at bay. If you become loyal to your Fitness regime you will have lots of advantages for yourself (but beware advantages always come with disadvantages. There are always two sides to a coin like crises and opportunities. Of course, fitness opportunities will always outweigh the crises.) Fitness will guide us gracefully through the aging process and to me, the 3 pillars of fitness are flexibility, strength & core strength. 
It’s never too late to catch the fitness bus, be it at any age or size. My own inspiration 
My heroes & inspiration are the oldies like Tao Porchon Lynch at 92 who used to dance Salsa dips n dives in mini skirt and has been practicing Yoga for 70 years, 72 years old Russian Grandpa doing impossible crunches, Joan at 86 doing floor & bar gymnastics, such real life Super Heroes just exceed their limits challenging many youngsters. 
Upaarwale ne zindagi di hai, Jii bhar ke ji lena chahiye, poora vasool karna chaahiye. Tabbhi upparwala zaroor khush hoga. Love Life to its fullest.
In a true sense, health is a state of complete physical, and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It’s not about the appearance of our body but it’s about the feel of our body, ultimately peace within and discovering your own self and the very purpose of your life.
I recently met a spiritual guru who said the very purpose of my birth is to inspire people. Hence, I’m happy to pen down this article hoping it really inspires fellow readers. Whatever I take from society I would always want to give back with compounded interest.
I am born to inspire. The synergy of guidance from the Cosmos & intuition from the Heart can do wonders. I strongly believe “past does not equal the future”. We all can create the future of our choice. Would love to see everyone physically, mentally & financially fit.
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