Since I started seriously practicing Yoga, not just as a physical practice but as a practice of the way I live, I noticed my entire physical being change. It was strange, I realized, “Hey, I’m getting older in the clock world, but from the time I started practicing yoga as a lifestyle, my physical body (feeling at least, wrinkles are a beautiful sign of sunshine and laughter!) and mind has become younger and more able to deal with day to day situations. I could better do back bends, I could forward fold a littler deeper, and I could focus a lot better during my asana practice.
I may have a bias, coming from a mother who is a dietician and always being completely obsessed with the human body, but, I contribute much of this to the food I take in. This is part of the Yogic practice and a fairly sacred thing to most other cultures than the United States. Something else I believe is that we become what we eat, both on a simple level (if we eat a lot of fat, we will be fat, and so on) and on a much more subtle, energetic level, which I feel most deeply when I do eating meditations.
In Yoga, Ahimsa is one of the Yamas, a moral restraint. Ahimsa means nonviolence, nonviolence in thought, word, or deed. With that being said, I feel that if a cow’s baby is taken in order for it to keep giving milk, and violated by having metal objects draw the milk from it’s utters, the same as a woman’s breast to feed her child, then that energy transfers through that milk and not only am I taking part in a violent process but I am also taking in the negative energy that that cow experienced. Same goes for a chicken who never gets to roam free or has its eggs taken away.
Now, say that last paragraph is just not where you are at. You are just doing the best you can do get by in life in the way that you know is right. You are like, “Hey! I just want to know a healthy recipe!” That’s ok too, because we are all in our own process and reality that we create! I just wanted to offer this piece from my perspective. There is a wonderful cookbook that offers recipes that are very healthy and good for the soul; really, the point of this post is to offer that up to anyone looking to alter their insides and live a healthier lifestyle. Along with tons of super yummy recipes, it offers some perspective from Yoga and eating clean as to improve daily life.
“In yogic philosophy, the mind is formed from the subtlest portion or essence of food. If the food taken in is pure, the mind has the proper building materials for the development of a strong and subtle intellect and a good memory. A yogic diet brings inner peace to the body and mind and encourages spiritual progress.
All of Nature, in including our diet, is categorized into three qualities, or Gunas: sattvic (pure), rajasic (overstimulating), and tamasic (purified). A persons mental makeup may be judged from the type of food he or she prefers to eat. Yogis believe not only that “you are what you eat,” but also you eat those foods that reflect your own level of mental and spiritual purity. As your life changes in a positive way, you will also see your food preferences improving. The yogic diet is based on Sattvic foods.”
Whatever you do, remember that your body is a temple, and you carry the divine within you already.