We talked about the natural transformation we all undergo as we begin a
yoga practice. As we practice yoga we begin to increase our sensitivity
and our vitality level. When our physical sensitivity increases it is
quite natural that we feel drawn to eat differently. As we experiment
and eat lighter and 'cleaner' foods the contrast of eating heavier and
potentially more 'toxic' foods becomes more apparent. As our vitality or
'aliveness' increases we naturally feel it when the food we eat
decreases our vitality or aliveness.
Thus there is a natural
transition over time to a diet that is in accordance with the changes
that we are experiencing because of our yoga practice.
become clearer of the goal of our yoga practice, and our life in
general, the idea is to allow every aspect of our life to aid in this
particular vector of intent, keeping in mind there will be new
realizations and adaptations that will emerge in the process.
In this process it is very important for us to remember that because of
'constitutional' differences and the particular needs of our life
processes, lifestyles, profession and goals that we stay aware that what
may be good for another may not be good for us, and as our goals and
lifestyles change what makes us feel vital may also change. There is no
one size fits all for diet. It is very tempting to learn a new ideology
around food and whole heartedly and zealously pursuit it. It gives us a
sense of purpose and clarity that we all seek in our lives. Often this
could be a good thing if we approach it with great self-awareness and an
experimental attitude without rigidity.
One of the key themes
we are addressing in the context of this series class is the importance
of constantly referring back to our inner senses to be the guide in our
transformation and exploration process. As opposed to blindly following
dietary fads and trends, using the fads and trends as guidelines and an
opportunity to experiment with various methods while observing the
effect on our systems through close examination over a period of time.
If we take this approach we are less likely to harm ourselves and others
with extreme and rigid approaches to diet.
approaches to diet, even in the more progressive alternative approaches
it's only recently that constitution based approaches are emerging in
the mainstream. In the East, in Ayurveda- Indian Medicine and Chinese
Medicine, constitutional based approaches were the foundation of the
medicine. Medicines, herbs, and any prescriptions were all given to the
yogi or patient based on a careful assessment of individual constitution
and unique characteristics.
As Yogis, many of us are
beginning to develop the sensitivity to be able to assess more clearly
what can be right for us. With the help of appropriate educational
material and models of categorizing the energetics of food (hot, cold,
dry, wet, heavy, light etc..) we can eat a diet that is in harmony with
our system and bring ourselves in to greater harmony with our
environment as well. Thus as we eat the food let us slow down, chew and
savor the flavors. Let us feel the effects. Over time how is our body
and minds doing? Yogis were always experimenters. They were the
scientists of their own times, and they tested and affirmed through
experience. Thus yoga is a practical science of the people.