Yoga is about tuning into our senses, Yoga is about cultivating awareness at the mental, physical and emotional level. The devoted Yogi practices Yoga in a way that shuts down the external world to focus on the internal one, even if for some minutes and for those truly powerful and lucky ones, this can last hours… if this is Yoga, then how many Practitioners forget to incorporate Nourishment into their well-being programs?
Our mind will find difficulty to attain balance within an imbalanced/malnourished and fatigued body, how can you expect your body to stay well-adjusted if it feels the effects of sugar highs and processed food? The latest trend in Yoga retreats combines days of Yoga complimented with a 100% organic balanced diet which leaves the Yogi feeling not only refreshed, but lighter and energized. The truth is, we do not need to go on retreat and pay expensive chefs to achieve this sense of well-being, it is within our grasp if we chose to do so, and this is precisely what the Yoga & Nourishment campaign is seeking to achieve: give the practitioner the tools to develop a long lasting sense of well-being by targeting body & mind in a holistic way.
Now, look at the world around you, Marketing campaigns and fast food companies make you believe that food packed in a plastic container for months can provide you the right set of nutrients, such foods are designed to last on shelves for long periods and therefore contain a higher number of chemicals than those naturally available sources. In our busy world, these food packs are convenient, after all, we stick them into the microwave for 2.5 minutes and we have what seems to be steaming hot food, but the key question here is: how do YOU feel after consuming this? Does it give you a long lasting sense of satisfaction and well-being? Or does it leave you bloated and rather “un-fulfilled”? Does it lead you to crave more of this? Now, dear reader, bring your attention to a meal you had which was full of organic, un-processed colorful food? Remember how did you feel after eating this?
As a full time scientist and yoga teacher myself, I found convenient packed food the way of eating during busy times, little by little this way of eating became a regular habit, I thought I was saving time, but what I was doing, was to put on weight and feel what I learnt to recognize as “normal”, I did not became aware that I was missing great bouts of energy by eating food which made me feel lethargic, it was not until I went to a Yoga retreat in the Spanish mountains where an experienced chef fed my body delicious organic vegan food… although it took me a couple of days to adapt to this regime, by the end of the week I FELT different, my body was somewhat.. better! I actually felt wonderful, my skin was glowing and as a result, I was happier. I did not recognize this feeling as I got used to feeling “normal”, which for me was bloated and sluggish. The yoga retreat reset my body and mind in a way Yoga failed to do on its own... hence my passion of working in a holistic way and partnering with food experts to create a holistic proposition to Yogis... it is also worth to mention that a long standing shoulder injury disappeared after the retreat, which I believed it was partly down to my body receiving the right nutrients.
Of course, my own journey through achieving a healthy food habit has its up and downs, but I am working hard in replacing processed food by fresh organic vegetarian options, the most important indicator for me is how I feel after eating certain foods after a longer period of time. I used to shut myself down to what my body would feel, easy to numb this feeling with all kind of entertainment, but here is where my Yoga practice comes into place, I stand on my mat, ground my feet, close my eyes and tune into my breath, tune into myself, and I seek to become aware of how I am feeling… it is then my responsibility to change what is not working on my food or continue feeling the same, but with awareness it comes the power to decide, to decide how I will feel.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that stress can lead to poor healthy eating habits, how to break this? Yoga can provide several breathing techniques to reduce and control stress levels, enabling the Yogi to reduce cravings coming from emotional sources, but this, will be the subject of another blog entry... stay tuned!
“True healing comes from nourishing the body and the mind…”
Make it happen...
Thank you for reading
Yoga teacher & Senior Scientist working full time with a major Multinational.