What arrived as a challenge in these unprecedented times of Covid-19 was looking after one’s health and well-being. Obtaining these attributes may be difficult for those not used to working on their health. A special show ‘Holistic Wellness Week: The power of protein’ supported by USSEC was broadcast on NewsX that revolved around the subject of holistic wellness.

While holistic fitness is attained through several means, one of the most prominent among them is protein. Similar to holistic fitness itself, protein also has various means of being acquired, chief among them poultry. Trying to decode the holistic wellness mantra for people in the times of a pandemic, NewsX was joined by a panel of fitness experts- the founder of Sarva and Diva Yoga, Sarvesh Shashi, Personal fitness instructor Mitushi Ajmera and Pilates expert Vesna Jacob.

Addressing the pandemic, the founder of Sarva and Diva Yoga, Sarvesh Shashi expressed, “The pandemic has definitely got us back to the roots of understanding that health needs to be considered holistically and in the ‘Sarva’ terms, we say that there are three aspects which are body, mind and nourish, under ‘nourish’ is what we intake. There is a saying that often goes, ‘you become what you eat’ and we think it’s very true because not protein but apart from protein, the right amount of nutrition in our body is extremely important. People think that exercising and doing physical activities leads to different kinds of physical goals which are weight loss, weight gain, flexibility, etc., but they often forget to give importance to the food. I believe that food plays an extremely important role, not just in the physical part of our system but also above the shoulder, which is the mind.”

Talking about the significance of protein-rich food in holistic wellness, Sarvesh said that he could not stress enough on how protein plays an extremely important part right from muscle building. He added that one needs protein in their body for them to get better energy and the part that food plays is just unbelievable.

During the show, Sarvesh Shashi also demonstrated some breathing practices, one of them was a kriya called ‘Kapalbhati’ and the other was pranayama called ‘Anulom Vilom’.

Joining the discussion, personal fitness instructor Mitushi Ajmera said that three macronutrients- proteins, carbohydrates and fats must be considered for a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Highlighting the importance of proteins, Mitushi added, “Proteins are important because their work cannot be done by carbohydrates and fats which can happen in the case of carbohydrates and fats. Fats can do the work of carbohydrates but no other macro-nutrient can do the work of proteins because proteins are made of amino acids. Now, these amino acids are required, these are the building blocks, so these are required not just for muscle building but also to heal the tissues present in the body, to balance the hormones. So these amino acids are required at every stage in the body and they are required through the day”.

Mitushi went on to say that people think that they need to take a protein supplement or protein food only after the exercise, which is not so! She said that the protein requirement is there throughout the day, every time the body repairs, proteins are required. Ms Ajmera said, “Proteins are important macro-nutrients, no one else can do that work.”

Mitushi then presented a demonstration of some exercises for the hips and the outer thighs that help with knee pain, runner’s knee and lower back pain.

Going ahead, the conversation was joined by pilates expert Vesna Jacob, she said, “There has to be a combination of education and knowledge with awareness because if you do not have self-awareness, which everybody has which can be called the gut feeling, instinct or the higher connection, so you do know instinctively what kind of works for you, what is good for you and what has the potential to work for you. Then there is education which means that you need to kind of take these choices, you have to back it up and that is how you can do your checks and balances. If you hear something on the internet, check it with your inner-self.”

Vesna added, ” We all want to do well, look good and we all want to thrive in life, having said that, these are all external aspects of the internal processes. So, what I teach people is to go back with them because looking good comes as a consequence of feeling good and doing what is right for you at this point in time or what is right for your body at this point of time. Feeling well, being happy and thriving in life – all come as a consequence of realigning your thoughts, your words and your actions. If your thought, intention, words and actions are not aligned then there is always some conflict happening within. So what we teach through pilates is how to create that alignment on the intellectual level, spiritual level and physical sense because the pandemic sadly has made our posture even worse because you don’t even have to pretend that you care about how you’re sitting when you’re home. It has created a rise in issues with the hip, hip flexors and lower back problems which were already on the rise but it increased it even with the school-going children because they just roll out of bed and they sit in front of God knows what and do their online thing. For adults, because you’re not necessarily going to the office, you’re sitting in whichever way and our bodies were designed to move.”

Vesna Jacod then showed and explained physically what pilates, more importantly, holistic pilates is. “Pilates is low impact exercise system, invented by a German gentleman Joseph Hubertus Pilates,” said Vesna.

Addressing the impact of the pandemic on an average person’s lifestyle, Sarvesh Shashi said, “When the pandemic happened, the average Joe was asked wash his hands twice, thrice a day, take shower twice a day, eat healthily and eat home-cooked food but you should not need a pandemic to make you realize this, you need to have a shower twice a day. Joe didn’t need a pandemic to realize this, unfortunately, that was the case that happened. I mean we run one of India’s largest platforms and before the pandemic people said that they would do 50 mins of physical workout and 10 mins of breathing but after the pandemic they said let’s do 30 mins of workout and 30 mins of breathing because they couldn’t sleep well, their level of anxiety was increased, they had started eating home a lot more and they automatically lost weight. The only reason in my opinion for that is exactly what Vesna said which is the produce of whatever food you’re eating.”