Sleep your way to good health

One of my clients an American Company had implemented, ‘Thursday as Wellness Day’ for all its employees at the workplace. So here I was, every Thursday conducting various wellness activities in the office for these employees. After surveying for 4 weeks, I observed that I got 100 percent attendance in the Power Naps session! These naps were not only an instant hit compared to other wellness activities, but also most employees wanted a longer session. It was later that I learnt that many employees had difficulty falling asleep or difficulty sleeping through the night, or would wake up feeling un-refreshed. There were also employees who would choose to skip their sleep for other social activities.

There is growing study showing how employees in today’s business world are not getting the basic sleep needed every day. At the same time, this chronic lack of even a few hours of sleep at night, results in poor decision making skills and significant loss of productivity at the workplace. Employees can’t sleep when they are stressed; and paradoxically, lack of sleep makes them stressed! In fact, researchers found that trouble sleeping and insomnia is highly associated with stress, anxiety and depression. Physical, mental or emotional stress – work deadlines and tension, finances, relationship pressures are top of the list of factors that can rob you of sleep. Pain and physiological circumstances such as menopause or pregnancy for women, travel across time zones, having young children, excessive noise and snoring partners can all contribute to inadequate or poor quality sleep.

The short-term effects of inadequate and poor quality sleep are - loss of productivity and reduced mental capacity the next day, lethargy and drowsiness, lack of focus and concentration, lower physical energy, impaired appetite and digestion, dull emotions and reduced zest for life, lifeless skin and bags under the eyes, etc. Research further indicate how the brain actually uses sleep time as a time to categorize and store information, so that individuals who sleep after a period of intense study are often able to remember more of it later than people who do not take the time to sleep.

Long-term ongoing sleep deprivation results in impaired natural immunity (which means less resistance to infections and disease), obesity, high blood pressure, lowered mental and emotional stability, chronic depression, etc. All this can damage relationships, ongoing work performance and throw the body's systems out of balance. Scientists have shown how lack of sleep causes fatigue. This in turn causes depressive symptoms and leaves one with not enough energy to exercise. Due to this state, certain chemical changes take place in your body which stimulates your brain to not only eat more but also to eat more salty and sugary food. All this leading to obesity! So you realize that sleep is not only meant to recharge and rejuvenate the physiology but also to bring a balance between physiological, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

Adequate sleep, diet, yoga, relaxation and lifestyle changes help resolve the problem of sleep disorders. Also, the quality of rest is crucial. The most restful sleep occurs when the mind is completely detached from the senses. And this state can be achieved only through proper learning. It’s been reported how majority of people who used relaxation therapies for their insomnia found it to be helpful. In fact, powernaps are very practical for employees - it just requires the realization that doing so is acceptable and beneficial (when we are conditioned unfortunately to think that sleeping during the day is lazy, rather than healthy). If your work place is not quite ready to tolerate the concept of a power nap then practice a short session of whole body relaxation, combined with deep breathing, which you can do at your desk. It works wonders! You'll find over time that if you take care of your sleep habits, you can accomplish much more than if you strain to work all the time.

Metro Nirvana conducts, PowerJuvenation Naps sessions. Each session is a combination of body relaxation, breathing techniques, creative visualization & sensory sleep-inducing therapies. A 20-40 minute PowerJuvenation Nap recharges and re-energizes you, instantly improves your alertness, productivity and moods, reduces stress and anxiety. All this leading to improved health and well-being. For more information visit

Say No to No

Found this inspiring ad copy of Shell energy in a magazine . Wanted to share it with you.


Isn't it high time someone got negative about negativity?
Yes it is.
Look around. The world is full of things that, according
to nay-sayers, should never have happened.
And yet "yes"
Yes, continents have been found.
Yes, men have played golf on the moon.
Ye, straw is being turned into biofuel to power cars.
Yes, yes, yes.
What does it take to turn no into yes?
Curiosity. An open mind. A willingness to take risks.
And when the problem seems most insoluble, when the
challenge is hardest, when everyone else is shaking
their heads, to say: let's go.

Life and Coincidence

Following up on my previous blog "Pearls Before Breakfast' about Joshua Bell performing incognito. Journalist Gene Weingarten got a Pulitzer Prize for this experimental article that featured in the Washington Post. And do you want to know what happened that night when Gene Weingarten reached home after receiving the Pulitzer Prize at New York?

Read this follow up

Pearls Before Breakfast

Continuing my last blog on music, I’m sharing a real life incident which took place 2 years ago. It narrates how we tend to ignore very special people and talents, based on our perceptions, sometimes faulty perceptions. Let us pause a little and attach values to what a person or an incident deserves……

A man positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket at a metro station in Washington DC on January 12th, 2007 and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning around 7.50 am. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.17 When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
As W.H. Davies aptly stated in one of the greatest poems ever written " Leisure"
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare....

To watch the video of this experiment and read the article “Pearls Before Breakfast’ visit the Washington post site:

Music and Therapy

It’s always a pleasure to visit the city of Chennai, in the south of India (earlier the city was called as Madras). Chennai is the cultural capital of India and this city is distinctly different from any other city in India in terms of traditions. South Indian classical music (also called Carnatic Music), dance and other art forms are still popular in the city and the city plays a very important role by providing platforms to indulge in such art and culture.

Chennai hosts the annual Music festival for Carnatic music during mid-December to mid-January, in which over 2000 artists participate. The month long festival which is held at various places in the city attracts famous artistes and thousands of performing art enthusiasts across South India. In fact, the Music festival also called Music season is an annul ritual amongst the expatriate Indians and scholars, who come from across the globe to participate in the festival.

All traditions across the world have music as an integral part of their culture or religion in form of hymns, prayers, songs and chants — all leading to uplifting the soul. Similarly Carnatic music is considered the best medium to pay homage to the Gods. This makes the festival present a blend of both melody and divinity.

Attending various concerts, I was so touched to see how Carnatic music by these extraordinary musicians created happiness in the hearts of the audience. The audience was not only listening to the music with their ears but with every cell in their body. It was indeed wonderfully fulfilling and refreshing. Even after leaving the music hall, I experienced deep peace and joy through this divine music. Music creates an incredible feeling of wellness and deep relaxation. It is so balancing! For me this is healing music. These are healing sounds. It expands my consciousness, my awareness.

Music is so holistic that it has positive effects on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of one’s being. Music is now an accepted form of therapy along with conventional medical treatment. In fact, benefits of music therapy have been scientifically researched across the world.

In India, music therapy is called ‘raga chikitsa’ and is mentioned in Ayurveda as one of the ways to restore the imbalances of the body which is considered the root of all diseases. Composers of Indian classical music offered music therapy especially for the mind through ragas and mantras. The concept of raga, which is unique to Indian music, blends musical notes with specific time periods, to either intensify or pacify the emotions and thus has tremendous therapeutic value. Each Raga has a unique structure which combines both fixed elements and infinite possibilities of variation, allowing the musician to bring out all the subtle values of the frequencies present at that time of the day. In fact, modern science has proved how every cell of the body has its own vibrational frequency. When we listen to a particular music which resonates with that frequency, it activates the vital energy of that cell and thus stimulates deep-rooted rejuvenation.

I always recommend my clients to listen to some form of music daily. You can listen to music while traveling, working at your desk, while asleep by the bed side, in the morning as you are getting ready for the day, while dining, reading a book or just let the music play in the background as you go around doing your daily chores. Even when no one is present to listen, playing the music 24 hours a day in your home or workplace generates a peaceful, soothing atmosphere that uplifts the whole environment. Though it is best to listen to music in a comfortable position-sitting or lying down-with the eyes closed.

To begin with, you can listen to the pacifying melodies of nature, which will help revitalize your body, mind and spirit. Or listen to upbeat yet relaxing music like Buddha Bar or Tantra Lounge, etc. You can listen to eclectic world music which has a spiritual composition to it like; Native American Indian flute solos, Sufi music, tribal African drumming and rhythms. However, listening to Indian classical music or healing sounds like Sanskrit ‘mantras’ or Zen Buddhist chanting, is the most holistic mode of treatment in combating anxiety, stress, fear, high blood pressure, depression, trauma, addiction and even suicidal tendencies. This kind of gentle music is comforting, gradually slows heartbeat, helps to filter out distractions and encourages heightened levels of perception and creativity. The music is an ideal background sound to any activity and a MUST in stress-related environment.

So, give your body and mind the good rest it deserves. Listen to some healing music now!

Am posting a very soothing and therapeutic Indian chant called 'Vandana Trayee'. Happy listening! Happy healing!

Listen to relaxtion music posted every week on my official website This soothing music relieves stress and tension, improves your mood, boosts your energy levels and heals your soul.

Make Wellness your New Year Resolution

Even if resolutions are not kept in the course of the year, the importance given to wellness reflects a positive change. Every small step you make towards holistic living will improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

So does this year’s New Year resolution involve any of these holistic goals?
  • A better work-life balance
  • Exercise more and regularly
  • Spend additional time with family and not just friends
  • Resolve to quit smoking and drinking
  • Have a healthy wholesome diet to tame the bulge
  • Spend more time travelling to different parts of the world
  • Have regular massages
  • Allot more time for rest and leisure
  • Build a life outside the office
  • Practice yoga, the perfect antidote in this stressed-out world
  • Kick unhealthy habits by taking up a healthy hobby
  • Learn something new this year
  • Spend more time in volunteer activities
  • De-clutter your house and desktop
  • Spend some time in silence daily. It is here you can see the larger picture - the purpose of your life and meaning to your life
  • And finally, constantly remind yourself that you deserve to be happy.

Making a lifestyle change is not easy but once you begin to reap the rewards you will definitely feel the effort was worthwhile. Remember, it’s not so much important to make a resolution as it is to follow it through. Hence, set short term goals, use visualizations to help along the way and you just might be amazed how your resolutions soon become a part of your holistic life.

Today I set goals I know I can reach.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
The goals I set today for myself will help me in the days to come.
I shall have a Wonderful 2009.