In 2010, I went to India to study Yoga in the Himachal Pradesh area which is northern India. It was an extremely traditional learning. All my teachers were monks. Except our Ayurveda teacher and she didn’t vibe with our group well after a couple of weeks of her taking advantage of the “foreigners” and charging outrageous amounts for her treatments, it soon became clear to our group that she had another agenda and we complained about her charging “american” prices for her services and students coming out broke and shocked and selling the food and chocolate they brought from their country to make back the dough. However, we ate vegetarian, had our dinner around 5pm and our lunch mostly consisted of fruit. It wasn’t too heavy because our teacher believed that it created “tamas” which is laziness from our stomach digesting. This was in India though, where ALL we were doing was eating, breathing, drinking yoga and nothing else, isolated in our community.
I see many people really strict on their diet and then telling others what or what is not right about eating food to the point of obnoxious. It’s almost like “I am suffering watching you eat a slice of pepperoni pizza while I am eating my twig so I am going to tell you HOW WRONG it is to eat that way.” And what I have learned, even from my teacher in India, is to allow your Self something that you enjoy as well. When you take the joy out of everything and make it a strict habit to the point of continual judgment to your fellow yoga mates, YOU are missing the entire point. Though healthy eating is important and it benefits you, it’s okay to have a dairy-free, gluten free, non hormone pepperoni slice of pizza! There is not some Yoga God up there taking points off of your karma wheel for eating meat. It’s okay to enjoy the things in life that bring us joy. Its about LIFE and the reflection of life within and really BEing here in our feet touching the ground and seeing all the wonderful things around you that create this life. All the things that are created. It’s amazing, really, when you think about it. I personally LOVE food and everything about it, but I listen to my body and what it really wants and needs and this creates a type of balance and harmony within my Self. This Balance and harmony create a wonderful and enjoyable life along with my joys of food. Sometimes we get stuck in boxes because of our belief systems of how things SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be. But maybe if you expanded and decided to have cacao nibbs in your protein shake, you may find the delight in the simple things and smile after that yoga class where you worked so hard and sweated your ass off.
Words of Advice: Never let anyone Should all over you!