FIT AT 90

How VIRENDRA KUMAR Bat­tled Asthma & Heart Dis­ease With Yoga

Health & Nutrition - - FRONT PAGE - Virendra Kumar, mum­bai ku­mar­[email protected]

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

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