Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday Morning

I had a most lovely restorative practice this morning in the Red Tent. (TMI? Perhaps. oh well, "it's my blog and I will share if I want to, share if I want to, share if I want to..." ) Anyway I then enjoyed a delicious bowl of black beans. (Yummy. In addition to carrot cake, one of my culinary talents is black beans., thanks to a recipe Shelley in BC gave me from her Ayurveda training.) I also made a great pot Creamy Green soup this morning for me and Kelly to eat tonight after classes at SMSY. (Kale, onions, mushrooms, ghee, milk. Very green. Very creamy. Yum.)

One of the best things about my foray into Ayurveda has been the discovery that, for my particular situation, FAT is good. (Of course, like everything, the right kind, in the right amounts.) So after years of the whole low fat thing and being indoctrinated in that mindset, it has been a thrill to slather my food with olive oil, ghee and to drink hot, whole milk (organic, of course) and so on. What decadence. What abandon. What yummi-ness. Such enjoyment.

And that is one of the fundamental tenets of Ayurveda- ENJOYMENT! One must love the food they eat and enjoy it for even the most "wholesome" of foods to be truly nourishing. For, like in Anusara Yoga, attitude is the most important thing. And from this enjoyment one is actually delivered to a place of deeper enjoyment of life. Instead of disciplined eating being a stoic chore of renouncing all that one likes (because if we like it it must be bad for us or we must be bad for liking it), the discipline of Ayurveda is intended to cultivate within us a sense of deep well being from aligning with nature and its cycles. Sounds like something else beginning with A, doesn't it?

It was radical to me when I started learning about this because the context is so life-affirming and most diets and food plans are so well, not. (Think about the heavy emphasis on cleansing in Natural Health circles. ) I talked to Craig about this one day and he said that while Ayurveda definitely has a very thorough set of plans and protocols for detoxification, its primary emphasis is on setting ourselves up in such a way that we are supporting the body in taking care of itself as God designed it to do. He said if most people drank some water, ate an apple or two a day and exercised, the body would detox itself just fine. (Of course this is assuming that we are also not poisoning ourselves with lots of alcohol, drugs and chemically-laden, over-processed foods.) He said that most people have a difficult time actually trusting that their body could do that for itself and then behaving in ways that support the body's natural wisdom.

I made a comment that perhaps it is just our cultural mindset about "original sin" that makes us think we have to detox, cleanse, deny and that makes it so difficult to trust and support our internal wisdom. He told me that in fact, the early "Naturopaths" were very staunch German Protestants and definitely were not so into the "trust the wisdom of the body" ideal. Think about it- they came up with colonics. (Need I say more- trying to clean out the very part of your body that is pretty much uncleanable?!! ) Okay, I guess I did have to say more.

Anyway- I am not opposed to anything like cleanses and colonics and all of that I have just enjoyed this new perspective around food because it is so much like my perspective on asana practice. When people ask me how I get myself to practice asana, I just have such a hard time answering. I practice because I love it. I want to do it. I am so much happier because of it. And Ayurveda has been so radical because now my choices around food are oriented around learning what is truly good for me, loving what I am eating and feeling more connected to the world's basic goodness as a result. All of that from MORE FAT. (Well, that and some other things also, but really, ghee is fantastic stuff. Eat it, wear it, drink it..)

Anyway- its been a radical change of heart in my relationship with food to really feel that eating well, that making sane, disciplined choices according to my dosha is an act of self-love and respect, not one of denial. I am not a Purist along these lines at all. I do not sweat the small stuff. Like supposedly carrots are pitta aggravating but really- they are a vegetable. I just cannot go that far. And being without pitta-aggravating chocolate would be more pitta aggravating to me than a few squares of great chocolate a day! Well, enough on that for now.

Classes last night were fun. My theme for both classes was "Shri". Shri is beauty and also another word for "that which is essentially life-affirming." Also a name of The Goddess, that aspect of the Divine that is manifested. I had planned to talk about that last night and then when I got into to the room Dr. Phillips had given me a beautiful bouquet of flowers half of which were red, the color of Shri!

After the 4:30 class Lisa said, "I have a complaint about the immersion." I said, "Yeah, what?" She said, "Well , because of the immersion I am no longer satisfied with 1 hour and 15 minute classes. I am just now getting warmed up!" (Ahhh, yes, Christina thinks maniacally, another one, converted!) So that was a highlight.

The 6:00 class was fun also- we worked on eka pada urdhva danurasana, which was fun. That and hanumanasana by the end because Alice wanted to! (Joke-but you had to be there.)

Let's see- I think last night Mike and Susan and Susan were the only double- dippers. Great job, guys. Oh yes, and Sveta double -dipped. She also brought her boyfriend to the flow class and since she did not make him double-dip they are probably still a couple this morning! He did well, though.

All right everyone. See you soon. Love.


mandy said...

I love what you wrote about your experience with Ayurveda and food. I myself went through a simliar transformation, I went from no this no that, no sugar no fat to Bring on the butter!....clarified if possible. It's funny how much liberation and freedom of the highest self one can obtain when they just allow themselves in enjoy the good in life. Really I started to "eat right" when I started hanging out with Anusara crowd. Just as an expample,how many Starbucks cups do you see in a room the morning of a training with John, there ain't no shame.
So yes it feels good to enjoy the food that fuels my practice, gives me energy to teach yoga, and helps me be vibrant and healthy....notice I did not say fit and thin. Sweet sweet freedom.

mandy said...

The next morning.....
I went to bed last night thinking of green creamy soup. Would you share that and the black bean recipe.

Krishna said...

Being pregnant has changed my taste buds so much. Just knowing that green creamy soup exists, and that it is out there in the world runny amok over spoons and bowls makes me feel kind of queasy. But I ditto what you said about good fat. I figured out a couple years ago that since I live in the vatta dosha, I need a lot of good fat to keep my digestion running smoothly, my skin from being too dry and to feel more grounded.