Wednesday, May 9, 2012

wheat may be evil..but i love my belly

I have to say I do love bread, but no longer eat that much of it..mostly because my energy level is better with less of it. I am always amused by the books that come out saying that this or that food is no good at all. I am sure there is some truth in it, but eliminating one thing..and the effort required to do so..I never find this a worthwhile effort. It is more stressful to avoid the "bad" food than to just enjoy it when you do have it.

                                                   image taken from here

A story- When I was in college, my dad had a heart attack, and in order to avoid surgery, he completely and radically changed his diet, which did some great things for his health and amazed his doctor. However, he put the same stress he had about his work and life into this new diet. Ultimately, it didn't stave off surgery, and his doctor had to tell him that it is better to just enjoy foods he shouldn't have from time to time, because it was better to be relaxed than to have the perfect diet.

I think the French do it right..enjoy in moderation. Accept your body. Would I rather enjoy a good meal or get more deeply (whatever that means) into certain poses?

I think the reasons people are more obese today are more complex than a single evil ingredient - more sedentary lives, people work more hours and probably cook less, the prevalence of cheap fast food, larger portion sizes, more processed food (including "health" food), agribusiness and big farm subsidies, more hormones and antibiotics in meat and dairy, lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables (let alone locally grown or organic), more sugar and sugar substitutes in food, the idea that "fats" in food are evil, larger portions, and less people who smoke (I know firsthand that nicotine is quite an appetite suppressant).

rant over

Practice lately has been good. Much less confusing for my body (and mind) now that I am just practicing ashtanga. I haven't wanted to write about it that much, just to experience it and let it go. I am amazed at how much my practice can fluctuate from day to day. Some days, like yesterday, I had to fight an urge to curl my tired body into child's pose when I rolled out my mat. Other days, like today, I am fine getting on the mat, and mostly have to deal with my mental blocks about doing certain postures (UHP and mari A and C -yes, I don't know why B and D just don't cause the physical and mental anguish) or a terrifying lack of drishti (no wonder primary has all those forward bends - it is soooo much easier to focus if you are looking at your knees than looking out at the room). And there is always my problems with savasana, trying to relax fully has not been as good since the blanket incident.

It was pointed out to me today that I haven't been lining up my heels in the standing postures. What a difference that made in utthita parshvakonasana - I felt my upper body supported by my bent leg, and felt sensation in the hip flexor of that leg. Will see how this change plays out tomorrow in standing. Mari C felt good today. Yes. Good. stable. First time I could feel my upper back open against my knee/thigh on both side, and when I came out of it, I didnt feel like I had just made a journey halfway across the world (maybe just across the state).

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