Yoga increases awareness. Awareness with breath, body, soul, and with everything. So obviously, this includes the food we eat.
Always being a bit of a rebel, I made the decision to be vegetarian the day before my 9th birthday. So, even though I lived with a family who ate meat, I refused.
That doesn’t mean I grew up eating healthy fruits and vegetables. Hardly, all it means is, I didn’t eat meat! As a teenager, I ate the crappiest food you could imagine. That is if you actually count Swedish Fish and Mountain Dew as food. Seriously, even thinking about the stuff I used to put in my body, makes me feel physically ill. Gas station nachos, taco bell burritos, processed cheese, and candy. Loads and loads of candy. My dear friend Janee and I would put on wigs, dress like lunatics and go the the Top Foods Grocery store bulk section in Olympia. We would buy pounds of candy, and a bunch of fresh ginger root. The ginger was for tea to soothe our stomachs so we could make room for more candy. Seriously. We would boil a big pot of ginger tea, sit down with our bags of candy, and watch old Westerns. Rawhide with Clint Eastwood was our favorite. Ahh good ol’ Rowdy Yates and Gil Favor. Ahh to be a teenager.
Continuing. When I started practicing yoga, and right away, I began to change my diet. Small steps for sure, I always craved sweets, but I begun getting “natural” sweets from the Food Co-op, and I started thinking about the importance of organic foods. I started to understand that the food we eat contains energy, and I could feel how the energy from lentils and rice, is different than the energy from a cupake. Food is fuel.
As my practice became even more a part of my life, my diet changed even more. My cravings have changed. I can feel with great sensitivity, that junk food affects not only my body, but also my mind. I feel sluggish and gross when I make poor food choices. I feel vibrant and energized when I eat well.
Through yoga (awareness), I have discovered power foods. Like carrots and almonds. Both make me feel good. I have also realized certain intolerances to foods I used to eat daily. Like wheat and dairy. -Wow, when I eliminated them from my diet (It really isn’t that hard) I felt so much better!
I started learning more about pesticides, the harmful agricultural practices of today, and realized that we are poisoning our foods, poisoning our world. The mainstream farming practices don’t work. I won’t support them. There is another way. Obviously, this means, I spend a lot of my money on food. But remember, food can be medicine or poison. We have to learn to feel the difference. Is there anything more important than health?
I buy organic, I support local farmers as much as possible, I have a little garden, and I buy bulk products. I could do more, but like I said, small steps. I make and eat really delicious food. And soon, I will start posting some good food ideas….Yeah! Yummy healthy food!
There is a “Sister Science” to yoga called Ayurveda, that can help us learn to heal our body. We can heal through our diet, and through tuning in and learning to follow our natural cycles. Check it out.. there are tons of great resources and websites with a lot of information on Ayurveda.
Yoga cultivates awareness. Love your body, love the earth… we are all connected.