Everything Flows Onward

finding my dharma. living my dharma.

Yoga, food and books. July 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny @ 2:17 pm

Okay, I admit it. I suck at consistent blogging. I’m making an honest effort, I promise!

I decided to ease my way back in today with a general update, of sorts. So here’s just a smidge about what’s going on chez moi:

  • My Ashtanga practice is coming along great, but it seems that in these early stages of my practice, it continues to highlight areas of weakness in my body. First it was my knee, and now it is my pectoralis major. My knee healed up fine, with care and I felt really strong and had some wonderful practices. Then after a couple weeks of that, I got this pain in my chest muscle. I didn’t know what it was at first but now I am pretty sure and it is to the point that I simply cannot practice Ashtanga until it is healed. To be frank, there’s not much that I can actually do that does not bug it. So until it’s healed my personal practice will be Yin-like and will not involve my pecs. I thought I would be more unsettled with this but I am surprisingly at peace with it. This is about healing my body, not about winning a competition (that I’ve created in my own head and where I am the only participant.) So I am okay with being easy. It’s like that whole starting point thing: I want to honor where my body is right now and not yesterday, because it is not the same. (We talked about this in Namaste Book Club chat the other night- more on NBC below- and I am so grateful because I think without that conversation I may not be so at peace with this.) I don’t know if any other Ashtangis have experienced this kind of thing when they first started practicing, but it feels to me like it’s just exposing areas of weakness and then as I heal, I come back stronger and eventually, my body will be in the best position possible to carry out the practice. Either way, I know the true goal in yoga is to build that connection, that oneness with body, mind and soul and so I intend to do just that, no matter what style of yoga I end up doing.
  • Next thing’s next… and this is along the same lines of establishing that body-mind connection, because the past couple of weeks I felt like my relationship with food had been a little off. I was getting stuck in patterns again of eating at certain times even if I wasn’t hungry, of not being mindful of what I was eating, etc. I could feel the way it was affecting my mood. So I found this book by Baron Baptiste called Journey Into Power. I didn’t realize it would talk about our food relationships, but when I brought it home and flipped through it, I discovered a whole bit about this. In the book he talks about his cleansing-detoxifying diet and how to use it to reconnect to your body. So I decided that that was just what I needed to do. I am on day 4 of 7 and so far it has been wonderful. The first two days you eat light, very healthy meals (he gives good examples of a diet plan in his book) and then you do a fruit fast for 3 days and the last 2 days you go back to what you ate on the first 2 days. The point is NOT to lose weight. The point is to realign body and mind. So as I am doing this diet this week, I am noticing my natural hunger patterns. I am noticing what my body craves. Incidentally, I see that I need one small cup of coffee in the a.m. (otherwise I get withdrawal from the caffeine), but after that my body truly does not like coffee in the system. For one, it clouds my appetite and I can’t accurately read whether or not I’m truly hungry. And also, I think the acidity is upsetting to my belly. I know that his cleanse doesn’t call for coffee at all, but I had to tailor it for myself or else I wouldn’t make it through the 7 days. It was so funny, even the very first day, I went for a late morning cup of coffee and after the first sip I immediately recognized that I didn’t want it, but I’d reached for it out of habit. I’ve even noticed a huge improvement of my mental state. I’m feeling lighter and in better moods. Despite the diet, I’m not focused on food. I gently notice when I’m hungry (I don’t think for 3 weeks I had once let myself actually get to the point of feeling hungry. Instead I was just eating because it was “time to eat”) and then I eat something healthy and fulfilling. It’s amazing what respecting my body does for my mind.
  • And finally– have y’all heard about Namaste Book Club? It’s an amazing little thing that I got started with my friend from Twitter, Nancy (@yoga_mydrishti). We only started a couple weeks ago and are only 2 chapters into our first book but already we have been mentioned in several popular blogs, we have 100 fans on Facebook, over 60 participants on our social networking site where we host our chats and are closing in on 200 followers on Twitter! (@NamasteBookClub). We’re international too! We have active members in Australia, Canada, the US and Europe! It’s been such a great success and I am so happy that people are so receptive to it. It is such a wonderful group of people and I cannot wait to see how it grows. It’s such a great way to study deeper aspects of yoga and meet a plethora of wonderful people.

So that’s about that. I usually am not a fan of doing life updates, but I’ve not had a ton of time for pondering deeper blog topics. Maybe with Namaste Book Club now, though, I will! I am also (always) hoping to blog more consistently, so you know… That’s worth as much as it is, I guess.

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