FIT AT 90
How VIRENDRA KUMAR Battled Asthma & Heart Disease With Yoga
To mark the occasion of International Yoga Day (on June 21st), ‘H&N’ reader 90-year-old Virendra Kumar shares with us his journey of how he fought asthma and heart disease with yoga and meditation. ‘H&N’ salutes Virendra Kumar’s steely spirit of not letting his health conditions get the better of him.
Indian sages have given two marvellous gifts to mankind, yoga and meditation. Pity that their full potential is yet to be realized. Asthma is considered incurable, while coronary blockages require invasive surgery. Here, I am going to bust both these myths with medical proofs and a living example (of my own). I retired from Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) as Joint Director in July, 1986. Working as a Russian Interpreter with the Russian Chief Adviser to ONGC, my duties involved a lot of touring across India. I have been doing yoga for over 60 years and
meditation for over 40 years now. Working with the Russian Chief Adviser also meant drinking and eating rich food. But yoga and meditation saw me through without any problem. After retirement, however, I became lax with my routine but with no let up in drinking and good food. As a result, six years after retirement, in around 1992, I started feeling difficulty in breathing while walking. I was referred to Dr J J Dalal, a famous cardiologist in Mumbai. My stress test at Hinduja Hospital showed high BP and Ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the heart). I was then asked to go for an angiography. I was told that bypass surgery will be done after angiography, if required. I backed off. I started treatment for BP and resumed my full regimen of yoga and meditation in right earnest, and started feeling better. Angiography after a gap of about 10 years, in 2002, showed definite clearing of the coronary arteries. Angiographies dated 2008 and 2013 showed progressive clearing of the arteries. I am now 90 and living a normal life, with a healthy heart. I had shifted from Dehradun to Mumbai sometime in 1990. The pollution and sultry climate of Mumbai escaped my notice. As a result, I had an asthma attack in 1995. I got in-house treatment in Hinduja Hospital. But after discharge from the hospital, I increased my time of meditation from 20 minutes to 30 minutes and did it twice a day, morning and evening. Asthmatic people normally do not have a very long life. But here I am, at 90, fully cured of asthma. Here, I would like to say that meditation need not be done only on ‘asana’. One can do meditation sitting in any position in which he feels comfortable. I have been doing meditation sitting in a chair for over 30 years now. Meditation in darkness
I started treatment for BP and resumed my full regimen of yoga and meditation in right earnest, and started feeling better.
gives better results. During meditation, the cosmic energy enters your body, recharges your body cells, rejuvenates you and prolongs your span of life significantly. Kapal Bhati and Anulom Vilom, as advised by Swami Ramdevji, give wonderful results. Of course, I do take certain precautions to prevent asthmatic attacks. I avoid dust, pollen, pollution, spicy food, cold drinks, chilled and sour foods. Alcohol is a strict ‘no’. I chew thoroughly to avoid putting extra load on the stomach and accumulation of fat in the body. After lunch, a siesta of half-an-hour and a light walk of 20 minutes after dinner are a must. I never go to bed less than three hours after dinner. Before going to bed, I massage my feet with mustard oil. Now, I do not need BP tablets too because my BP remains normal. I do not have diabetes or back pain, have a natural growth of hair (though dyed in black), have lost only a few teeth but have no problem eating food without dentures, and have strong bones. During the last three years, twice I slipped in the bathroom, once a motorcycle hit me to the ground, and about 15 years back, while visiting Dehradun, a truck hit me from behind and I went underneath it. By God’s grace, nothing ever happened to me or my bones. I never talk ill of anybody, nor do I think ill of anybody, as ill feelings only eat into your body. I believe that noble deeds pay. I saved two sisters from drowning in Ganges at the Garhmukteshwasr fair in UP in 1949, and saved two others from death at different times and places. I believe that prayers of those people whom I saved have shielded me from any harm coming to me and also helped me rise from abject poverty to the present stage of happy life. Thank you God for all your mercies!
Asthmatic people normally do not have a very long life. But here I am, at 90, fully cured of asthma. Of course, I do take certain precautions to prevent asthmatic attacks.
Virendra Kumar post retirement in November 1986
Angiography report dated 2013 with clear arteries
Stress test report
Meditating at 90 years ‘young’
My family: My sons and daughter with their life partners