Living Well and the Yogic Way

New Delhi: What-to-eat-and-what-not-to-eat books are dime a dozen. So what makes `Eating Wisely and Well’ different from the pack? Answer: the author.

Educated at AIIMS and MIT, Ramesh Bijlani spent 25 years researching on nutrition vis-a-vis cardiovascular disease and diabetes. From 1992, he delved into the depths of yoga. He is one of the few doctors in India who has studied ancient Indian wisdom to know what the modern science of nutrition lacks and how Ayurveda and yoga can help fill in the gaps.

The outcome is a superbly written and easy to digest book, holistic in nature and yet scientifically appealing. Moderation is its thrust. Blaming refined foods for the emergence of present day diseases, Bijlani underlined the importance of holistic living that includes unfailing prayers to divinity at mealtime. Innumerable day-to-day questions are raised - and answered with clarity.

Bijlani is not just one of India`s foremost experts on nutrition. A resident of Delhi`s Aurobindo Ashram, he is an authority on Aurobindo`s Integral Yoga, a synthesis of all major schools of yoga that also goes beyond them. This is at the heart of Bijlani`s ‘Essays on Yoga’.

In a way, the yoga book is also a lifestyle book - and can be read along with the health book with profit. Bijlani demolishes many myths about yoga, underlining that material achievements are its by-product, not the goal. And yoga, he says, "can be brought into all our activities - work, play, eating, talking and sleeping".

The book, a collection of articles written over a period of time, touches upon spiritual philosophy, meditation, Vedanta, modern medicine, integral health, prayer and healing, and death. Each chapter is a gem.