The Four Pillars of Health

  last post we had a brief look at

the four pillars of health.

let's keep going with this by still looking at the simplest pillar

even though we seem to make it the hardest one -

or is this just me?

 Dawn - the most magical time of the day for me. A time of hope, of new beginnings, of each and every new day.
(photo by Eric Oberle, on

Why do I make this physical pillar so hard? I don't always. Often I'm on the ball, good habits, up early in the mornings for whatever exercise I'm doing. Good eating patterns. And then life takes over and it all goes awry, and I'm back to having to resurrect and restore my routines.

Routines are great. I 100% believe in having beneficial ones. 

habits & mindset = routines

However, I also truly do believe that habits combined with mindset are what are even more important. For they lead us to establish or return to, some sort of regularity aka routine. If, for example, your mindset is that you feel better if you run, do yoga, go to the gym, swim - whatever!! Just having this as a "thing" in your way of thinking, and having the habit of doing it whenever you can - does in itself, lead to a regularity, which then becomes a routine. Or, something/s that we routinely do.

have some routines already in place

So, carrying on from  our previous post I'm already

  • drinking more water
  • eating better. Basically just a tad less, more healthy, and at regular times. Little do-able things. And less starch. 
  • having more incidental movement. 
  • and with food, I've been taking strong notice of what I eat, and when I eat it. And even more importantly, how my body feels afterwards. For example, if I eat sugar before three in the afternoon, I get a sugar crash, tired and sleepy. And that includes fruit, unless I have it with some protein. So what and when, for me, both do matter. I also have to watch the amount of carbs that I eat prior to evening, as they have a similar effect on me as sugar does. 
what is precious to oneself?
There is something else to do with wellness. And it is what is precious to our life. So, I guess that really means what is precious to life for all four pillars.

For me, and physical health, this is about breathing clean air, and having clean water to drink. To me, these two are the absolute basics: the bottom line. And, as a yoga teacher, any physical health things that I do, always includes yoga breathing. You can find lots of different and easy techniques here on my yoga blog. But truth be told you can find very basic breathing techniques all over the internet.

Why do I include yoga breathing? Well, it's for increasing our Life Force, much of which we receive from the air that we breathe. 

But we can also increase our Life Force (prana), by being around trees. They seem to charge the air in such a profound and peaceful way. Trees release energy during the night, it rises up from Mother Earth, and that energy (also prana) is felt everywhere by us just before dawn. This is one reason why the early morning air is so beneficial for us. 

I have resumed getting up mega early - about 5.30am. I don't really want to.  Gosh no. I'd much rather sleep in and be a lazy bones. (I wake at 5am and get annoyed that I'm awake)

But my life has had a few changes recently, and I do have to get up mega early most days. I actually do feel so much better for early rising. And it is an energy thing. It also seems to make our hormones (which do so much work within our whole physical-mental-emotional complex) increase their efficiacy. So that's affecting two of my pillars of health in a really positive way.

I'm also being outside more, as vitamin D from the sun is so beneficial to well being. I feel that this jumps up my prana levels, too. 

what is precious to you? what really matters in your life?

You will have your own things which are precious to you. It's such a different way of looking at things. What is most important to oneself regarding health? Just one thing? Or several? Honestly, I do feel that this is such a lovely way to look at the four pillars of our life. 

And, just as importantly, what simple changes can we make in these areas? Doable and easy changes. I always go for 5% changes. But I don't measure this, I just do weeny maintainable things. Then a bit further down the track, I'll do another 5%-er. This, for me, doesn't rock the boat too much. And it's such an easy way.

So, what matters to you with health? What can you do about it? Easily.

** link to simple complete breath, here

** an easy stress reducing breath here

** an older 5% change post here

** and a post about prana here


  1. I love that quote about dawn and the wonderful picture you've chosen to accompany it.
    It sounds like your making good positive strides towards improving your health. Well done on the early starts, I'm not waking up naturally until 6.30am at the moment but this should change when we move out of winter. x

    1. I always feel, for me, that winter is a time to hibernate. So getting up earlier - umm - is harder for me.

  2. I love to get up early, too. We are surrounded by trees up here, which is very therapeutic. Regular yoga and pranayam makes all the difference for me, too.

    1. Your situation always sounds so special, so idyllic. Trees, birds... how lovely. Yes yoga is great for making a positive difference, I feel.

  3. As much as I want- I am not an earlier riser. It is very important to take care of your health because your health is your wealth!

    1. I agree Antoinette - it's so sad when people lose their health.

  4. I used to love getting up early on the farm when everything was just waking up. A truly magical time.

    1. I stayed one night at my daughter's farm. And experienced the most magical, peaceful morning. I shall never forget that.

  5. Thank you for all the information you share in these posts, Ratnamurti. Doing all the things I should do to improve my health doesn't come easily to me. Especially waking up early!

    1. I don't find it easy to wake up and then get up, early, gosh no. But I do try to do it as often as I can. Because it suits me. But it doesn't suit all xxxx

  6. Beautiful post, Ratnamurti! I have been really focusing on healthier lifestyle habits lately as well. Yoga is so helpful! If I get stressed in the middle of the day, I now quickly go straight to a short yoga practice to rebalance myself and it is like magic how well it works. I have also just added vitamin D supplements and what a difference in mood that has made! I am about to start a 21 day healthy lifestyle challenge to really create some better habits for myself and my family. Thanks for linking with me!


    1. One of my daughters makes sure than she gets out in the sun most days, even if just for a few minutes. It makes her feel better. Regular "shots" of vitamin D. Good on you for taking that vitamin and yes yoga does make us feel so good.

  7. Well, I am not healthy, I have a hereditary lung disease but I do everything that keeps me as healthy as possible!

    1. Who could possibly imagine what it's like to live with that, the tiredness. But your photos and writing are so cheery - it's an attitude that is a real inspiration.


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