Monday, October 20, 2008

Nutrition, Alignment and Power Yoga

The title above sums up my third weekend of yoga teacher training. This weekend was by far the best one so far. I learnt so much and worked hard and still enjoyed every minute of it. We discussed the book by John Robbins named “Food revolution”. The book is really good and states plenty of benefits of going vegetarian.

The book gives ample statistics as well has some really heart warming stories. He talks a lot about how animals are treated in these factory farms, what they are fed and their hygiene, the cruelty level in order to reach the profit level intended. The one line that hit the spot was “America is a protein obsessed nation”

I was born and raised on vegetarian diet and started eating meat on a regular basis (chicken, fish and deli style turkey) more or less 10 years ago (after I moved from India to USA). The book was such an eye opener that I cursed myself for the way I ate for past 10 years. We also learnt about deadly hidden ingredients in seemingly harmless foods like nuts and even cereals. After reading and the lecture on Friday I was so overwhelmed that I did not know what to do to fix it all. I just wanted to fix my mistakes quickly. I was really obsessed. Something just took over me I guess. I went home and lectured my daughter, argued with my husband and basically forgot the fact that I had just reached an important destination in my own journey. Everyone has to take their own course and reach their destination on their own. There is just no point in forcing my ideas on anyone else. All I can do is just being a good role model and hope my near and dear ones reach there sooner rather than later.

Every time we meet for the training we always do freedom practice for half an hour or so. This time we focused on detoxifying postures. Everyone incorporated different twisting poses, back bends, pranayama techniques into their practice. We spend a good amount of time learning the correct alignment of some of the basic poses like Tadasana(mountain), adho-mukha-swanasana(down dog), chaturanga-dandasana(low plank/low push up) and urdhva-mukha-swanasan(up dog). Alignment is I think the key to success in yoga practice. It gives you the maximum benefits of the pose avoiding any injuries.

I was very excited about Sunday session with BERYL BENDER BIRCH. She was the first person who coined the phrase “power yoga” (along with Bryan Kest). The workshop was from 9 to 12 in the morning. It started with a lecture. Beryl spoke about awakening oneself, awakening our true nature. It is so silly the way we all associate our identity with things like our net worth, how smart our kids are, which city we belong to, which car we drive. It is hard to detach ourselves from these things. How it makes us happy and proud when people speak nice things about any of the above mentioned things. How it affects us negatively when people around us start talking about the same things in poor light. We forget that those things are not us. We are separate from it. We all need to work towards it. It is always easier said than done. Being undisturbed or unaffected by outside world and errors of others is the hardest things anyone can do. The trick is how quickly we catch ourselves building negative emotions due to external stimulus.

Listening to Beryl was pure pleasure. She was very sweet and compassionate. She seemed very grand motherly. Kind and gentle!

We practiced power yoga for next 2 hours or so. I had heard the term when I was in India. I was sort of scared of it. Thinking God knows what these people in the west practice in power yoga. I had judged it as some new crazy western fad yoga without ever making any effort to know what it was. I am feeling a little embarrassed to write this.

After doing it I realized that it is just good old yoga poses. No matter what style or what names they have, underneath it all it is all the same. Some people do it to get workout, some do it as a therapy while some do it to get peace of mind. Important thing is that lot of people are doing it. More power to them!

After the workshop we all ate lunch at this cute vegetarian place called “cosmic cafe”. The food was great. They offered variety of menu choices. We need more restaurants that cater towards the vegetarian crowd. It won’t happen unless being vegetarian is considered cool.

We get next weekend off. I am really happy about it as we will be celebrating DIWALI at home. Until next time, Happy Diwali to you all!


Linda Sama said...

oh my god. a veg cafe in Flower Mound? or Dallas?

man, that area sure has changed since I lived there! Maybe people will even vote for Obama!