Choose Healthy Living: Limit Future Pain

May 7, 2018 | Yoga Sutras of Patanjali | 6 comments

A quote from rumi.

It would be a beautiful thing if we were able to get through our days and years without pain. Any sort of pain–emotional, mental, physical or spiritual. A lovely thing, but we know it’s not likely to happen. Especially as we age.

I speak from experience when I say that getting old is a further impediment to being pain-free. There are the many ‘inconveniences’, such as loss of hearing and deterioration of vision. As well, there are the discomforts of stiffening muscles and rusty joints. There are also the outright agonies that go with serious medical conditions. And these occur at any age.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I can preserve the relative good health I enjoy. I want to avoid future pain, too, of course, to the extent that is possible.

At the recent Ekam Retreat, I was reminded of a powerful message that comes to us via the old sage, Patanjali. In his Sutra II-16, Patanjali says: ‘…suffering that has not arisen can be prevented.’

Rebel Tucker, one of the Ekam presenters, led a discussion session called Choices for Living Well. If you’ve never experienced Rebel in person, you must book in for her classes at the Ekam Festival in mid-September. Rebel is an enthusiastic force of nature and a force for optimum good health. In her retreat session, we talked about what techniques and strategies enable us to practice good self-care. The holistic practice of yoga is an obvious method for fostering well-being. That is, the practices of asanas, pranayama, meditation and relaxation, done regularly.

Another well-defined way for promoting self-care is eating well. Long ago, I worked out what I consider a healthy diet for me. It’s mainly plant-based, not too much sugar, fat or refined foods. I’m also well-practiced in ‘portion-control’. Sound boring? Not entirely. My housemates and I spice things up at dinner with a glass of wine. Being at the retreat and enjoying the awesome meals cooked by Sarah Wilton had me feeling my best diet-wise. I realised the evening glass of wine I enjoy was possibly not serving me well.

Have a become a teetotaler since the retreat? No. But I have become more aware of the effects of even my modest glass, and felt better for limiting it.

The point for me isn’t to live an abstemious life. It’s not even to avoid ‘suffering that has not arisen’. It’s more about noticing what enables me to engage with life fully on all those levels: emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.


  1. Eve hi. Thank you for your writings as usual. Lovely to share the retreat with you.

    • Thank you, Liz. It was a very special, kind of quietly powerful weekend.

  2. Thanks for your post, Eve. I have been contemplating this topic of preparing for future wellbeing for many weeks, mulling it over in my mind, working out the adjustments I could make and habits I could break for truly healthy living. There seems to be a pressing necessity for me especially as I’ll be saying, “Goodbye beautiful fifties!” quite soon. But just the reading of your post was a peaceful practice in a busy day where task followed task followed task and I found it very engaging. Everything in its own time though; stillness, understanding, resolve. Rumi resonates with his idea of the open door for change. There’s another symbolic poem written by an 18 year old, Miroslav Holub, “The Door” (which I have used many times as a text in the English classroom) where she encourages the listener to let go of fear and open the door to life. I would love to be at Ekam in September to hear Rebel Tucker speak. Hope to see you again soon…..lovejulia

    • Thank you for your comments. I’ll have a look for ’The Door’ poem right now.????

  3. Thank you Eve for your words & for giving me the opportunity to cook for you all & to connect with such a great group of people.
    After a ridiculous amount of work over the past few works , I too am suffering…time to rest & play & rejuvenation.

    lots of love ,
    till next time.

    • Ah, restorative yoga and yoga Nidra is my Rx, Sarah.

      Here’s some more nice words from Tania about you: ‘The group of attendees was lovely and I felt so nourished and spoilt by Sarah who created such generous and thoughtful meals.
      The wholesome and nurturing foods do really make a retreat extra special.’

      Namaste 🙂


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