This phrase is a simple way to state that what you put into your body truly creates the individual you will become. What you eat (and drink) not only affects your physique but your outlook, your productivity and how you relate to those around you. It is especially significant when you are trying to establish a steady yoga practice.
I believe that the most life supporting habit you can develop is to be selective about what you put into your mouth. As you grow more in tune with your body through yoga, you will become more sensitive or aware of the way you are impacted by these choices.
For me, caffeine, sugar and alcohol can be very unbalancing. For instance, while I love a good cup of coffee, it changes my level of clarity and the way I react to situations. It definitely affects my physical body by triggering a great deal of nervousness and anxiety. Yet when I drink green tea, I find it to be soothing. A while back I posted on the virtues of drinking tea versus coffee. Click here to access that article.
Like many nutritionalists and health experts will tell you, drinking enough clean water and limiting sugar, caffeine, alcohol and red meat is important to your physical health. What they don’t emphasize is that those habits also determine your mental state; affecting your resilience, concentration and stress levels.
So, I would suggest you monitor your habits. What may be fine for others, may not work for your system. Through careful consideration, you will reveal your triggers and discover what precipitates specific behaviors or ailments.
Once you connect with how your drinking and eating behaviors affect your daily life, look to how they influence your sleep patterns. Receiving a good night’s sleep on Wednesday may be indicative of a week’s worth of healthy eating habits. But, when you drink a glass of red wine at the restaurant on Saturday, you may realize that was the night you had a more troubled sleep.
And, the beauty of all of this is that practicing yoga makes you more sensitive. You can detect the effects of poor habits more quickly with the slightest of changes. I have found this to be both a blessing and a curse.
When you honor what you put into your body and the quality of your sleep, you will, in turn, compound the advantages that yoga has to offer. One of my favorite sayings is: “When you allow your lifestyle to support your practice, your practice will support your life.” We will soon be exploring how rewarding it can be to build a more supportive yoga practice.
As promised, I am now using this blog to supplement my new book, Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Day at a Time. This week’s post refers back to Chapter #6: Life Support. If you wish to start at the beginning, please look to my first post.