What is the vital force?
There exists an amazing life-giving and life-sustaining force inside our body and it is called the vital force or vital energy or prana shakthi or the healing power – it is the body’s most indispensable component without which we just cannot function.
All of us are born with a certain amount of this vital energy(it varies from person to person) for a single birth and the more economically we use it, the more efficient and smarter we get..!!
Having said that, there is only one vital force inside our body which has to cater to every single voluntary/involuntary process executed by the body. I mean be it voluntary functions like reading, writing, walking, jogging, etc., or involuntary processes like breathing, digestion, elimination, healing of physical wounds, etc., there is only one vital force that has to do all of these functions. The lesser number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously) , the more efficient it becomes. Alternatively, the more number of tasks it is assigned (simultaneously), the lesser efficient it becomes. This concept is called vital economy.
Vital Economy – A Closer Look
To understand the concept of vital economy in better detail, let me take you through 2 scenarios below:
- Scenario 1: We have a proper electricity connection and it so happens we are put up in an area where there is rarely a power cut. Of course we make sure to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use.
Now imagine the second scenario:
- Scenario 2: There is a major power shutdown due to a natural calamity, say a flood; we have na inverter/power source at home with a limited battery capacity to be used over a period of, say, 5 days. Compared to scenario 1, don’t we become extra careful to save on power because we are very sure we have only a limited capacity at our disposal? Instead of switching on the light in every room, don’t we make sure to switch on the lights only in the room where we are and switch off all other lights?
This is exactly the concept of vital economy and the (above) second scenario typically applies to our body’s vital energy, Our body has a limited amount of vital energy and our body certainly has to do the involuntary functions like respiration, elimination, blood circulation, etc., Our body is also supposed to do the assigned tasks like education, profession, etc (like going o a school,college or workplace. ) So where comes the possibility of economizing on the energy source? That can happen with the digestion..!!!
OOPS, of course am not here to say we have to stop eating…!!! But we can definitely alter our food habits and lifestyle so we can be at our best physical and mental capacity. That said, there are 2 main steps we can take with respect to food choices we make and here they are:
- Eating more of (raw or fresh) fruits and vegetables because they comparatively take very less time to digest. Also read through mono fruit breakfast
- Secondly, even when we happen to take cooked food, we can increase the proportion of cooked veggies and reduce the proportion of grains and pulses because cooked veggies digest faster than (cooked) grains and pulses. This way, we will be feeling full, have a lighter tummy and also healthy..!!
Food Gives Energy ???
Now having understood the concept of vital economy, can we still go with the popular belief that ‘Food Gives Energy’??? Of course not…!!! To understand it better, energy can broadly be divided into 2 kinds:
- Vital energy
- Food-Derived energy
As a matter of fact, our body actually has to spend the vital energy to digest the food that we eat and then get the food-derived energy from that and it is definitely not the other way round. We are used to hearing, ‘eat more food so you have more energy’, ‘you must eat when you are tired or sick to get back our health’ and we now know its a false theory.
So lighter the food (we also have to make sure it is nutritious and so we insist on taking more raw fruits and veggies), the lesser the vital energy that is spent to digest the food (please note we are economizing on the vital energy reserve..!!!) and hence we feel more active physically and mentally.
Alternatively, heavier the food, more of the vital energy is spent to digest the food and we have literally over drawn the available vital energy(meaning we have spent more vital energy to get food-derived energy).
The nutrition breakup we see against every food type, by far, pertains to food derived energy and has actually nothing to do with the vital energy reserve within each of us. So it now left to us to decide which food types are most suitable for us to run a happy, successful life – to do this, we just need to listen to our body after every meal.
- After the meal, if we are tired and sleepy, it simply means the food is heavy and wants more of the vital energy for digestion and its not ready right now to do any other voluntary task.
- Alternatively, after the meal, if we are feeling alert and energetic and we feel our body is able to move and our mind is able to think clearly, it just means the food is light, it needs very less vital energy for digestion and hence its ready to do any voluntary task assigned by us..!!
More Points On Vital Economy
- When you tired or sick, we have to definitely take rest and not eat – because the vital energy has to heal now to make you fresh; eating or drinking a stimulant, say, a tea or coffee at this juncture overloads the vital energy and we might momentarily feel fresh because the body is now diverted from healing to digestion and the fatigue is sure to return..!! Also read through, what is disease?
- When you are not eating (i mean when you are fasting), vital energy gets the time to clear clogs and dirts in the body and after the fast we will be feeling more energetic and functional. Also read through, benefits of fasting
- Vital economy also explains exactly why we cannot climb a staircase without panting after a heavy meal.