Yesterday I spent getting my thoughts together for the Immersion and also packing for Park City. Inspired by my trip to Denver with Meg where we cooked kicharee everyday in our hotel room, I am taking a veritable kitchen cabinet with me to Park City- I got my Ayurvedic spices together, rinsed and dried my dal, measured my rice, my ghee, my tea, gathered all my supplements and then packed my clothes. I decided not to pack my mini rice cooker since the condo I am staying in has a fully equipped kitchen and my bag was already getting quite full. Anyway- maintaining a wholesome diet when travelling makes a huge difference- body, mind and spirit just stay more in tune and aligned.
It is weird because for so many years travelling was this "excuse" to indulge in food and/or behaviors that I knew were not good for me. What has happened in the last few years is that I so love my regime of self-care that I find I am looking for ways to "Stay on the program" rather than excuses to go off of it. Something in the last few years has really shifted for me and it relates to the self-love theme. Eating a certain way, maintaining a meditation and pranayama practice and so on are really acts of love. Going off the program is not a reward. Why would I reward myself with things that do not uplift me? Makes no logical sense at all but for years that was my orientation to my practice.
And like I said earlier the dynamic has shifted for me over the years. Somewhere along the line I just wanted different things for myself. I stopped liking the feeling of being altered with alcohol, full with unhealthy food, strung out from not being centered, wired from too much coffee and so on. It is not that I am rigid or anything about what I eat and how I manage myself when I travel because that is just the other side of the same coin. One my be fluid to deal with a live of travel. But now I think- wow, eating healthily and practicing while on the road is worth my time and attention and planning because I AM WORTH MY TIME, ATTENTION AND PLANNING. I am worth caring for. I am worth tending to. I am worth a life of Practice. So this shift makes all the difference in the world.
Recent studies have shown that we only have so much will power we can ever use. So, for instance, if you resist the candy bar at 5:00pm through some great effort of will then your will for the day is shot and you will not be able to resist the dessert tray when it comes along around 7pm. (Or whatever the thing is for you.) The only real way that we can integrate new patterns is by allowing what it is that we want to change and cultivating that change through our practices and intentions like by making moderate choices within those things that we might try to staunch out with will power. For instance, one ounce of chocolate is one thing. A huge candy bar is another. An occasional ice cream cone is not making anyone fat and so on.
Obviously it is not just about food but our other practices as well. I remember one time someone said to me when I was going on vacation, "Oh it will be so great- you can take time off from doing any yoga and just relax." I remember the notion being absurd to me. I mean, I can barely relax with yoga in my life. The only way I could relax without it would be with a sedative! And why would I stop doing something that I love because I was on vacation? To me, vacation is "Oh thank God, I have more time to practice!" (And then there is the whole notion that I am so much nicer with asana in my life and really, I do this for others as much as myself!)
So anyway- I have half a suitcase full of ways to take care of myself on the trip- not to mention making kicharee in a hotel room saves a ton of money!! My friend Sundari and I have a dinner date on Monday after we first arrive and then she will take me to the store that night for veggies, milk and so on. Sundari is an awesome woman and a long-time certified teacher who I am trying to convince to move to Austin. Well, that is only part of the story but anyway- she is without a home town right now and I said, "Texas is really fun and we need more certified teachers to help all these people get certified and implement my plan of world domination." She also likes Vancouver a lot so all you Canadians, I will put a plug in for that also!
Anyhoo- it is the final weekend of our Immersion, which is really thrilling. We have a good strong asana practice to look forward to today and then from 3-6 Craig will talk to us about Yoga Anatomy and whatever else he feel inspired to share about. I can't wait.