Christmas is a time for festivities but also a time to rest and reflect.

So what were your reflections for the past year and what are your resolutions for a healthy 2003 in mind, body and spirit?

Listening to the prevalent messages of war and peace over the Christmas period, I couldn't help reminding myself of the ageold saying that we are our own enemies when we are dictated by the desire for power, wealth and lust.

My focus here is on the individual's personal development against conflict and the best ways to resolve this in order to live a reasonably happy and fulfilling life.

Everyone knows conflict and war bring destruction and grief, whether this is within yourself, in a family or between nations. The root causes of conflict and war are greed, ego and power while the path to peace and good health is one of love and joy for yourself and others.

Sharing love doubles the benefit and enhances well-being while hatred not only destroys all health and happiness but breeds more conflict.

The Bible is a fountain of wise and practical teachings which guide us toward a happy and healthy life and give us strength in times of adversity through devotion and faith. Similarly, the Hindu Vedas, the Muslim Koran, the Chinese and Budhist teachings hold the same truth.

If we can learn ways of controlling our emotions, our thoughts and our minds, we can be at peace with ourselves and we might be able to spread happiness around us, too.

We can do this by meditating with faith, love and devotion, reminding ourselves every day that we are not just a physical body but a spiritual being whose true characteristics are love, peace and joy.

These are destroyed by our wicked ways.

In the year 200BC, a sage called Patanjali gave a scientific structure to the system of yoga. He described yoga as a comprehensive programme, regardless of race or country, for maintaining perfect health and also as a means of achieving union of body, mind and spirit.

It does this through the practices of social discipline (non-violence, truthfulness, controlled celebacy, non-stealing, charity and non-possessiveness), personal discipline (cleanliness of body and mind, contentment), penance or sacrifice for others, living under the will of the Lord, control over one's desires and senses, daily practice of contemplation and meditation of the spirit and, ultimately, connecting with the body's creative energy.

We can at least adopt a simple and practical formula for ourselves to live a healthy life full of joy and without fear.

Do yoga and meditation within your own faith, share love and respect with others and the environment, earn your living honestly and give something in charity -

for we have borrowed this world from our children.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and
holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove.

Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: