Secrets of Longevity in Mandi Community-Daily Active Routines-1.1
Posted on 21-07-2023 11:34 AM

Secrets of Longevity in Mandi Community-Active daily routines-1.1

Active daily routines: Our ancestors often led physically active lives, which involved regular movement and exercise. Even though someof the activities now appear, mundane but contributed significantly to their wellbeing.

The Mandi community culture had traditional movement practices that promoted physical health with mindfulness and often had a holistic effect. Physical activity was inherent in their daily routines, promoting cardiovascular health, build muscle strength/bones, maintain a healthy body weight, and boost mood/endurance.

To conduct meaningful daily business, they had to do all kind of manual chores and walk a lot. Mostly women were engaged in indoor work and men the outdoor work.

Let us look into their day’s routine:

Get up before sunrise. Men used to walk to river/stream side to relieve themselves (no way to skip, the morning walk) while women to makeshift toilets (Jajru in mandiali) erected away/back side of the Chowki (House in mandiali) premises.

Thereafter offer prayers/puja in joint family puja room or nearby devalayas (temple), gather required flowers/puja material, which involved significant effort for an hour or more. During the period, they also engaged in meditation, yoga, pranayama and chanting/singing mantras/bhajans. The holy puja water was offered to sun GOD by way of slowly pouring (Surya Arghya) and watch the sun thru water band – It is believed that offering water to the sun mitigates your past life karma and enhances your eyesight. The leftover water from the puja activity was poured into Tulsi seedlings (usually located in the center of Chowki-known as kyary) or to other plants in the kitchen garden (suwaad in mandiali). On many other occasions, this activity was much more intensive for days/months such as fasting days, sawan month, navaratri week, and shivratri festival etc. The process helped in body movements/postures amounting to legs/arms stretch exercises, full body workout to further enhance the whole experience as well as promote spiritualism.

Next important activity was to start the kitchen. Used to begin with fire woodcutting, lifting, arranging firewood and igniting fire. To ignite fire blowing hard enhanced pulmonary function, respiratory function, and improved respiratory muscle strength. Associated to this was fetching water from nearby natural spring/river (no tap water those days), hand grinding/pounding food ingredients (no machines) etc. Cleaning, cutting, and chopping, raw food items and prepare morning meals for family before each one left for their work. Carrying & cleaning the vessels after meals, helping kids ready for school, used to be a few hours process leading to exercising all body parts/muscles.

During the day, men usually worked at their work site such as office, shop, fields etc. and fetch daily needs while women engaged in house cleaning, mopping, washing, stitching cloths, processing dried/porched food ingredients, and do evening meal preparations etc. To organize, arrange and mobilize all these needs required considerable mind/body exercise. All this was equivalent of modern day body workout, and sit/squat postures so vehemently recommended by experts these days.

Once free from these routines, our ancestors attended to family social commitments. Women will walk to their parents’ house (Nana-Nany’s house-Mayaka) every day while men to bazar (market), waiting for wood carriers/fresh farm produce venders to arrive near the town entry points from where they used to bargain the price and guide them Home. Men also used to idle/gossip with their friends/relatives (mostly chowki tabbar members) with in-between occasional hukka shots and keep an eye on the activities around. Of late, another practice was added to these routines such as talaon ri kuni (Walkway along sunken garden) ra chakkar, Chohatta (Market area) ra chakkar or Chanani kho jana etc. (better appreciated by the mandyals). All this walking involved several steps every day (usually >10000 on an average, so much emphasized these days).

By evening, dinner used to be prepared/served by dusk with all family members together as well as discuss day’s happenings etc. Bedtime was almost before 9.00 pm. The 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night kept them alert & active for this daily routine.

Dr. Pawan Vaidya, Mandipedia-2/2023

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Reviews Add your Review / Suggestion

Rakesh Sehgal
25-07-2023 11:57 PM
All memories came in front of eyes by reading the article.Similar activities during local festivals May add to more such revival of memories.
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