Yoga and Diet

I worked with a new yoga teacher tonight using a style unfamiliar to me. This teacher, (whom I’ve known for 30 years!) has been studying, practicing and teaching Svaroopa® Yoga for the past nine years. He is a gentle teacher and the yoga is a somehow gentle and at the same time strenuous approach to “strengthening the core” and aligning the spine. And the real result is a “stilling of the mind” – the goal of any yoga and certainly one of the reasons I am interested in continuing to study this style and approach.

I have practiced yoga off and on for more than 30 years. And I have been more disciplined recently working through a morning routine which also includes Qigong. These practices are enjoyable; I am feeling good about the stretching of my sometimes tight body and the easy motions through the Qi-field as I move through the 5-element form of qigong. So, why a new practice?

Do you ever feel stuck in a routine? Do you sometimes wish things would change, that something new would come in to shake things up? Or maybe you are reaching to take a next, deeper step. I’m feeling like this at the beginning of 2013; and this year is all about the process of the transformation, right? How do we expect to transform by sticking with our customary routines?

I may have found a practice that is going to take me deeper. Even in this first introduction I felt my body release, relax and go deep. More importantly, I felt my mind quiet. I don’t think I have experienced such a rapid alignment of body and mind into that space of peace and silence since I was first initiated into TM (transcendental meditation) in 1969!

And here’s where diet comes in and links back to my post yesterday about that mirror my vegan friends hold up for me!

Before my class tonight Rosemary and I had a quick bite, early dinner, at a Chinese bistro. One of my favorite dishes there is a spicy Korean dish that I usually get with beef. True to form I ordered that about two hours before class. And it was delicious. I didn’t even finish the serving, packing up the last bit for a snack later, maybe after yoga. On our way home I remarked to Rosemary that I had thought to eat light, remain vegan for the whole day leading up to this new class. But habit tripped me up as I ordered my usual.

And it was OK. But I did wonder as I relaxed into the asanas if I could have released even more if my early dinner had been lighter. Next week I’ll be more conscious of my food intake before class!

But is it only before class and other similar activities that I’ll be “more conscious”? Isn’t my goal in life to grow in consciousness at all times? Isn’t this the goal for humanity? That mirror is reflecting some serious thought-forms that are beginning to press back, hard.

Rosemary and I have discussed vegetarianism over many of our 40 years of knowing one another. We have both curtailed our meat intake but we have not eliminated it; and we both enjoy a moderate level of dairy. Rosemary, as an incredible intuitive, looks for the “light content” in the food she prepares and eats. If I take this literally I would choose foods as close to the sunlight as possible. This would mean eating a lot of green vegetables, right? And I do love the greens! But isn’t grass-fed beef only one step removed from the sunlight of green grass?

My dilemma remains. I am not ready to go vegan. But I am certainly thinking about it. I have a lot to think about!

I do know I like Svaroopa Yoga. And I do know that I can go deeper in that practice if my digestive tract is clearer and lighter. So, at least one day a week I’ll be vegan.

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