Happy December! In closing the year, there's always plenty to celebrate and time to make some final beautiful memories for 2019; as the saying goes, "eat, drink and be merry!" Yet, while in theory this sounds great, in practice it can lead to a lot of issues with food.
In the spirit of aparigraha and as a body-positive and food-positive individual, I think this time of the year is a powerful opportunity to put into practice non-attachment to the fear, anxiety, resentment, guilt or shame of eating. As a basic need, eating food doesn't have to be a source of guilt or shame, but for many of us it has morphed into something of a hidden demon, and I speak from my personal experiences of dysfunctional eating in my late teens and well into my twenties.
In our Western wellness culture "clean eating" has become a new form of dysfunctional eating in the name of health. Eating food doesn't have to mean that you have to work extra hard to burn those extra calories or jump on a juice fast at the beginning of the year to make up for how "bad" you were during the holidays. In Ayurveda, the types of foods to a person should eat fluctuate with the seasons and with your unique constitution; there's no hard and strict rules on what you can and can't eat--just intuitive guidelines on things you should try to avoid or eat sparingly. Furthermore, eating too much of the same thing can create imbalance, no matter how healthy of a "super food" the modern clean eating culture says it is. In addition, Ayurveda recognizes that one of the major sources of disease is suppression and/or forcing of your natural urges--such as eating food.
Sure, there's a time and place to worry about working out, counting calories and having #nodaysoff BUT maybe this holiday season, give yourself permission to have a day off to enjoy without fear of failing because you had a little too much to eat at a celebration. Try this, and just observe what happens. Ways you can empower yourself is by journaling your experiences, creating a positive self-affirmation, and establishing a regular breathwork & meditation practice to help support your journey and bring you back to your present moment just as you are.
For me, the holidays where always a hard time when it came to food. I actively struggled with bulimia starting in my late teens and well into my late twenties. While my active struggle with bulimia has finally moved into a place of respite, those demons still exist in my mind. However, re-patterning my relationship with food has been--and continues to be--a powerful journey into self-acceptance and self-love. I share this little bit of my personal life experience to say that:
I see you.
I see you, and I'm here for you.
I see you, I'm here for you, and I have nothing but love for you.
Happy holidays friends.
I've been getting a lot of questions about teacher training, so starting in January I'll be exploring a 3-part topic on the benefits and challenges yoga teacher training for people on all paths of their practice, starting with exploring "Yoga Teacher Training for The Person Who Doesn't Want To Teach." If you don't want to be a yoga teacher, but you do want to immerse yourself into the study of yoga and you don't know where or how to start, January's newsletter is especially for you!