Another year of Christmas holidays are over, and the chances are high that you have over-indulged in things less than kind to your body: high sugar, high fat foods chased with alcoholic beverages for example. Perhaps things that you even know you are allergic to, such as dairy, wheat, or eggs, have been laced into your diet over the last few weeks as they appeared in the many of the ‘treats’ that have found their way into your office parties and family gatherings. And now, you don’t feel so well.
But truth be told, you didn’t feel so well while you were over-indulging in these things to begin with. Although at first your taste-buds may have danced at the rich chocolates and fatty meats that the holiday season brought along, very soon they got used to the taste and stopped being so excited by it all. But likely you continued to indulge, more out of a sense of habituated consumption than real desire. And although your body clearly told you that it was not having very much fun anymore, your mind, convinced that it should be enjoying the indulgence, charged on.
Now that the season is over however, even the mind is coming to terms with the fact that it doesn’t actually feel that great. The mental fog is beginning to clear and mindfulness is returning. And with mindfulness comes the gift of choice. Therein lies the Yogic path.
Instead of continuing on in a state of automatic consumption, begin to listen to what your body is saying to you. How does it feel? What does it want? What does it not want? When you start to listen in, you may be surprised at how clearly the body actually speaks.
Post holidays, it is a good idea to allow your body to guide you back to a place of internal balance. This journey usually involves a sort of cleanse. Your cleanse may not be the sort marketed to you by health-food stores and magazines, but may entail simple changes to your diet and lifestyle that allow the body to rid itself of the things that are clogging its systems. For some of us, that means clearing out the dairy, if that’s what our body is allergic to. For others it may be as simple as decreasing the low-fiber, high simple-sugar foods, while increasing fibrous complex carbohydrates for energy instead. For some of us, an increase in cardiovascular activity, such as introducing a Vinyasa or Ashtanga Yoga class into our regime, is needed to help detoxify our systems. While for others, lowering sodium intake and increasing healthy liquids may be what the body needs.
The reality is that only your body knows what you truly, and it is clearly telling you. All you need to do, as Yoga teaches, is to listen in.
Kavita Maharaj is the owner of Red Door Yoga® and the director of The Red Door Yoga
School® in Lantzville. She can be reached at 250-390-9367 or through www.reddooryoga.ca for