Total Health: Bharat Patra of Milaidhoo Maldives On How We Can Optimize Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
9 min readJun 12, 2024

My favorite life lesson quote is “Never be attached to anything.” It resonates deeply with me because it reminds me that true happiness isn’t found in clinging to external things. We often focus too much on chasing happiness outside ourselves. This quote teaches me the importance of detaching from attachments and finding inner contentment, which leads to lasting joy and fulfilment.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing? As a part of our series about “How We Can Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Bharat Patra.

Bharat Kumar Patra is a seasoned yogi with over two decades of mastery in yoga, wellness, and holistic therapies. Originating from the coastal village of Baleshwar, Odisha, in eastern India, Bharat epitomizes holistic living. His fervor is dedicated to disseminating the transformative potential of yoga to individuals of all ages, advocating a holistic approach intertwining breathwork, meditation, and tailored yoga modalities for both therapeutic and spiritual enrichment.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in the coastal village of Baleshwar in Odisha. Following my education in psychology and history at Bhubaneswar Utkal University, I embarked on a transformative journey. Venturing to Bangalore, I dedicated two years to an MSc program in yoga and wellness science at S-VYASA University. This laid the foundation for five impactful years as a yoga instructor at the famous Shreyas Yoga Retreat. Subsequently, my path led me to Thailand, where I spent seven enriching years at Banyan Tree, further refining my expertise in yoga and wellness.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My grandparents have been monumental figures in shaping my perspective on health and wellness. My grandfather’s remarkable longevity, living to 105 years old, was a testament to his unwavering commitment to yoga and fasting rituals. Witnessing their dedication firsthand, I was inspired to join them in their daily practices from a young age. As I grew older, I began to grasp the profound benefits of these rituals. It became clear to me that promoting wellbeing was not just a passion but my calling, leading me to pursue a career in this field after formal education. Their legacy continues to guide and inspire me every day.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Following my graduation, a changing moment occurred during a holiday with my uncle at the Ramakrishna Mission. Engaging in spiritual discussion with the guru, I found myself deeply inspired. This encounter sparked a significant shift in my academic pursuits towards wellbeing. Recognizing the immense career opportunities in this field, I embarked on this path with both passion and purpose. What began as a hobby evolved into a fulfilling vocation, allowing me to merge personal fulfilment with professional endeavors.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

As I delved into research on yoga and wellbeing studies, I found myself captivated by the depth and breadth of this domain. The vastness of my knowledge tempted me to explore every conceivable avenue for my research program. However, under the guidance of my mentor, I was advised to narrow my focus to yoga and wellness for my thesis presentation, specifically delving into the intriguing intersection of Mudra and logical memory. This directive not only honed my research but also instilled in me a profound appreciation for the power of focus and specialization in academia.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ opened my eyes to a world of wisdom and spirituality. Its stories and teachings have impacted my life, guiding me on a journey of self-discovery and inner peace. This book has taught me invaluable lessons and continues to inspire me every day.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My favorite life lesson quote is “Never be attached to anything.” It resonates deeply with me because it reminds me that true happiness isn’t found in clinging to external things. We often focus too much on chasing happiness outside ourselves. This quote teaches me the importance of detaching from attachments and finding inner contentment, which leads to lasting joy and fulfilment.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

One of the most exciting projects I’m currently involved in is mantra meditation. It’s all about harnessing the power of sound to balance our emotional intelligence. When people chant mantras aloud, the vibrations have a remarkable ability to alleviate anxiety and stress. I believe this practice has the potential to greatly improve people’s mental well-being and help them lead happier, more balanced lives.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives: Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Absolutely!

Mindfulness Practice — Incorporating daily meditation or deep breathing exercises helps cultivate inner calm and clarity. I’ve experienced firsthand how these practices alleviate anxiety and promote mental resilience.

Regular Exercise — Engaging in physical activity releases endorphins, boosts mood, and reduces stress. Even a daily walk can make a significant difference in mental well-being.

Seeking Support — Building a strong support network and reaching out for professional help when needed are crucial for maintaining mental wellness. Opening up to others can provide invaluable emotional support during challenging times.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I have found Hatha Yoga to be incredibly beneficial in my daily life. Starting my day with Hatha Yoga practice, especially through the specialized program at S-VYASA, has been life-changing. It not only enhances my physical well-being but also brings clarity and balance to my mind, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Certainly!

Daily Yoga and Breathing — Just 30 minutes of yoga and breathing exercises daily can boost physical wellness. I have experienced improved flexibility and inner calmness through this routine.

Healthy Diet — Prioritizing nutritious foods supports energy levels and overall health. I have noticed increased vitality by focusing on a balanced diet.

Adequate Rest — Getting enough sleep is essential for recovery and vitality. Making rest a priority has helped me feel refreshed and ready to tackle each day.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Healthy eating habits are crucial for overall well-being. One challenge is turning knowledge into action. Remembering the adage “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar” helps me prioritize balanced meals. Additionally, I’ve found that treating water as therapy — drinking before and after meals — aids digestion and boosts energy. Incorporating these simple practices can make a significant difference in our daily lives.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Gratitude Practice — Daily reflection on what I am thankful for shifts my focus to positivity.

Mindfulness Meditation — Staying present helps manage stress and fosters inner peace.

Self-Care — Prioritizing time for relaxation and enjoyment recharges emotional well-being.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I believe in the incredible power of a smile to uplift emotional wellness. It is a universal language of kindness that can heal wounds and brighten even the darkest of days. Smiling helps us navigate through life’s challenges with grace, reminding us to let go of burdens and focus on the lessons learned.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Daily Reflection — A few moments of quietness each day help center the mind and foster spiritual wellness.

Gratitude Practice — Acknowledging blessings cultivates contentment and connection with the world around us.

Acts of Kindness — Engaging in acts of kindness uplifts both others and ourselves, nurturing our spiritual well-being.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Nature offers profound lessons for cultivating spiritual wellness. From the tranquil sway of trees to the constant flow of rivers, we can learn valuable insights about life’s rhythms and resilience. By immersing ourselves in nature, we’re reminded to embrace change, adapt to challenges, and go with the flow of life. Nature’s wisdom encourages us to find peace and harmony within ourselves and the world around us.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would inspire a movement rooted in reconnecting with nature and promoting sustainable, eco-friendly practices. By encouraging people to embrace organic farming and live in harmony with the environment, we can create a healthier, more balanced world for generations to come. Let’s return to our roots, draw inspiration from nature, and work together to cultivate a brighter future for all.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I would be honored to share a private breakfast or lunch with Sadhguru. As a disciple of his teachings, I deeply admire his wisdom and insights into spirituality and life. His profound understanding of the human experience and ability to offer guidance make him a fascinating and inspiring figure to connect with. Such a meeting would undoubtedly be enriching and transformative.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

To catch up on my latest work, you simply must venture to Milaidhoo, our haven for well-being. Here, amidst the serene beauty, we’ll delve into techniques, share laughs, and perhaps even uncover some hidden gems. Stepping onto Milaidhoo is more than just a visit — it’s a transformative journey waiting to unfold, promising to leave you refreshed, inspired, and ready to embrace the world anew. And, as we say here, you will be part of the story of a small island

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

--

--