Before I jump in and talk about the topic of yoga and the diet connection, I want to apologize for the lack of posting and being a bit behind. Since this blog is a also record of my spiritual journey practicing yoga, and life in my yogaverse, I thought I would add a few personal notes to make up for it. Sometimes life takes over and there’s not enough hours in the day, let alone the week. Like most of you I become busy with work, family obligations and those responsibilities that niggle at us as adults. I’m nearly finished going thru my photos from my trip to India, and about 1/2 the way done digitizing my travel journal.
I started this blog because I enjoy yoga and all that it has to offer me. I wanted [and now feel blessed to have] a place where I can talk about yoga. I am humbled and thrilled any time I see someone like or follow me. Thank you dear readers. You make my heart feel warm and fuzzy inside. Today is mother’s Day and I find myself missing my own mother. She thankfully is still alive but is on the other side of the continent. A 6.5 hr plane ride from where I currently stay, which may as well be the other side of the world, since that’s what it feels like. Wishing you all a happy mother’s day out there.
Vegetarianism and Yoga
We all have to eat to survive. The reason most of us yogis and yoginis partake in a vegetarian diet while practicing the ancient discipline of yoga is that we feel like it enhances our practice. We feel cleaner, healthier, and more motivated. We feel like the prana flows more freely. Everyone has their own path and experiences, their own reasons for doing what it is they do.
I personally follow a vegetarian diet like many yoga practitioners however that was not the main reason why I started this “vegetable diet” as my grandmother calls it. I don’t preach that all yoga practitioners need to follow a vegetarian diet, sure its recommend, but above all do what works for you. This is not a place to judge and therefore it does not bother me that I am the only vegetarian in my side of the family. I began a vegetarian diet as part of a cleaner lifestyle and diet when I decided I did not want to be on anti-depressants any longer and took the plunge to stop them all “cold turkey”. It’s not recommended for individuals to stop medicines like that, but somehow I just knew I would be okay. I guess a week-long session with your spiritual Gurus will do that for you.
I found the internal strength that I needed to survive without all those anti-depressant toxins in my system and thus began my vigorous Art of Living classes combined with my own personal vital self-discipline. This was 6 yrs ago and I am still a vegetarian today. I look back with a smile on my face and have no regrets in my heart on that decision. I feel the healthiest I have been, I have more energy and feel so much more alive. I feel more in-tune with my body like never before. That is why I am a vegetarian. I feel lighter and more energetic and want food that I feel enhances my journey.
Now that I am more in tune with my body, I can tell what I need when I have certain cravings or certain aches or pains. For example those leg cramps, yah I need more potassium. Bananas and coconut water sort that out for me. I have to make sure that I drink plenty of water, exercise, and have plenty of fiber in my diet. I can’t stress enough the importance of fiber and water in ones diet. Being a vegetarian I found my most favorite type of food to eat has been Indian food. There are just so many more tasty and flavorful possibilities in my eyes. When I became a vegetarian I wanted to learn how to cook Indian food. It seemed so daunting to me before learning. In my head I kept thinking it would be quite difficult. Along the way I learned how to cook some Indian food dishes. I learned how to take other dishes or recipes and “Indianised” them and also give them my own spin or flair if you will. I don’t necessarily even follow all Indian food recipes to a “T” anymore. I haven’t taken any such cooking classes, this is just me experimenting on my own.
One thing I have learned is with Indian cooking, you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to measure exactly the amounts of spices for example, the way you would in say baking those American cakes or cookies. This keen observation I learned makes it that much easier for me to cook my favorite foreign foods and worth a share.
Yesterday I found that in my normal routine of preparing dishes to have for my weeks lunches at work, I had a craving for Vegetarian Shahi Biryani. I scoured the interwebs and found a recipe that I adapted and made my own. One change to the recipe for today that provided some extra protein was to swap out the rice for quinoa [“keen-wah“]. As a side salad I also made a cucumber dill raita.