Monday, March 12, 2012

Learning from animals-the "Guardians of Being"

Every year, about this time, I get a serious case of Spring Fever.  Who wants to be inside when it's warm & sunshine-y and things are blooming?  Even though I've spent today, knocking items off the to-do list, my heart just really wants to sit outside and breathe in the warm air.  I want to roll out my mat and practice yoga in the grass.
What's kind of fun is that our dog seems to have Spring Fever, too!  (Yep-that's her in the picture...with mud on her nose from burying a bone)  Saturday morning, when we were trying to sleep in, she was WIDE AWAKE.  She bounded into the bedroom, walked over to the bed and licked my nose!  That got me up, to let her out at 6:30 am.  But then she barked, so I let her back in.  But then she bothered me, so I put her back out.  Then she barked.  This went on for hours.  She was so excited, and it must've just been Spring in the air.
A few months ago, one of my sweet yoga students, Sharon, gave me a book by Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonald, entitled, Guardians of Being:  Spiritual teachings from our dogs and cats.  That book makes me smile each time I look at it, so I wanted to share an excerpt with you:
"It's wonderful to watch an animal, because an animal has no opinion of itself.  It is.  That's why the dog is so joyful and why the cat purrs.  When you pet a dog or listen to a cat purring, thinking may subside for a moment and a space of stillness arises within you, a doorway into Being.  The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn't been fully recognized.  They keep millions of people sane."
If you have an animal that's driving you crazy with Spring Fever, don't get angry.  Breathe.  And enjoy them.  You've been blessed with a true friend, who can show you how to live in the moment.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Raw it for you?

Raw foodians will tell you that raw is the only way to go for health.  Others say that raw is not healthy.  From an ayurvedic standpoint, raw is only good for some people, as it is so cooling.  The famous raw foodian, Dr. Cousens says we should limit calories and pretty much anything but raw veggies.  But isn't yogurt good for you?  What about whole grains?  What about traditional meals, like dahl, miso soup, etc?  So many questions!  What's a yogi to do?
Many questions, only one answer-food is individual!  Just like our yoga practice, we have to look at what our individual bodies need and find a way to fulfill those needs.
I am entering the third week of my most recent food experiment.  I am eating 2 raw (or living food) meals a day.  And I feel awesome!  I'm not going totally raw.  As a Vata Dosha (ayurvedic constitution), I am often cold, and a totally raw diet may have unintended consequences.  Also, I'm what we call a "householder", which means I also need to take into account the dietary needs and tastes of my husband.  Plus, I know I need probiotics, so I'm including delicious yogurt and other living foods during the day.  In the evening, when I'm eating cooked foods, we are also consuming many more vegetables, as that's what I've stocked up on.
After 2 weeks of this eating practice, I feel great.  I have more energy, my belly is happy, and I feel good about my food choices.  Another reason I'm not too strict about my diet is that I need freedom & self-compassion in all things.  Eating is a yoga practice all to itself.  Non-attachment, non-harming, purity...
Some great books I've found include, but are not limited to:
The Yoga of Eating-Charles Eisenstein
Raw food for 1 or 2 people-Jennifer Cornbleet
Rainbow Green Live-food Cuisine-Dr. Cousens
Nourishing Traditions-Sally Fallon
There are many great books out there about concious and mindful eating.  Start today to consider your food part of your yoga practice!