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Ramadan meditations: The art of relaxation during Ramadan

  • Published at 07:53 pm May 22nd, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:49 am May 30th, 2018
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Have we ever been so far removed from the cycles of nature as we are now?

Bangladeshis have always been busy, but have we been so far removed from the cycles of nature as we are now? 

Rising with the sun, resting with sunset, having nourishing meals free of radical chemicals? 

Not only do we have to worry about chemicals used to preserve the dead in our food (formalin), our lives are spent in traffic jams (often as long as two hours per ride), and despite the level of income, without addressing the needs of everyday people, the informal and formal service sector (housing, water, sanitation, education, healthcare) -- we face slummification in every city and suburb. 

Our capacity to think our way out of this is hampered by a programming that pushes self-hatred based on skin-colour (fair and lovely mindset), wealth, pedigree of education -- the list of negative programming is endless. 

To come out of this great game, the first step is to relax. This is one of the reasons beloved Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged namaz with community. 

But even our namaz has been tainted, Islam reprogrammed to be a source of tension rather than relaxation. The good news about programming is that it can be changed. 

During and after Ramadan, taking five minutes to lay down (without sleeping) and listening to one’s breath, without thinking, will help lower blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes. 

Awareness of self and one’s programming increases even in these short periods. 

Enlightened offices usually have a break room where people can stretch out for at least 10 minutes.

People working at home, caring for family and children should take a five to 10 minute break every hour.

How many sermons have we attended ater Jummah, how many of them address basic things like relaxation and how best to do it? In a way, the lack of contemporary guidance for Muslims pushes us to widen our worlds and obtain knoweldge from a variety of sources. 

According to the Bihar School of Yoga, the process of relaxation is key. Here is what they recommend: 

Lay down and adjust the body position on the floor

Experience the contact of the body with the floor

Feel the heaviness and limpness of different parts of the body

Feeling of sinking in the space in front of the closed eyes

Be aware of your breath. 


Shireen Pasha is Berlin Bureau Chief, Dhaka Tribune.

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