During my yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, our guru would often talk about finding stillness in the body and how that creates tranquility. He said, “Life is so chaotic and most things are beyond our control. During practice, you are able to control the movement which is the key to controlling the mind.” Yoga is all about creating stillness and space. Both are required to dissociate our attachment to negative thoughts.
While most things are totally beyond our control, we often overlook what is controllable.
If your mind were a lake, imagine the majestic peacefulness of glassy waters. We choose what thoughts enter our mind and how they are processed. We rarely see calm waters, because there is so much drama in our lives. These thoughts and distractions are like thunderstorms and only create whitecaps. The choppy surface prevents us from seeing what is really there. Carefully choose your thoughts and the manner in which they are processed!
We also control what food goes into our bodies. For those that know we well, I posses a deadly sweet tooth. Prior to being retired to the Ben and Jerry flavor graveyard, I was known to blow trough three or four oatmeal cookie chunk pints each week. Fortunately, that was quite some time ago, but I still desire a good sugar high from time to time.
During the training in India, we ate a very simple diet that had little variance from day to day. Breakfast was a small serving of papaya and banana along with a bowl of oatmeal. Lunch and diner consisted of dal ( spicy lentil soup), chapati (flatbread), and a wide variety of spicy vegetables. Rishikesh is a holy city and that means no alcohol or any type of animal products including eggs.
My main dish in Costa Rica is the classis casado. A scoop of rice, a ladle of black beans, protein (chicken, beef, or fish), and some leafy greens. Breakfast is either fruit or gallo pinto with eggs. Instead of fast food restaurants, most of the food stalls prepare sushi, exotic salads, or healthy grain bowls. Everything is fresh and local.
Just like getting rid of toxic thoughts in my mind, eliminating sugary and fatty foods has a profound effect on the body. The healthy food always makes the jeans less snug and stress disintegrates. I sleep better and my waking hours are filled with better moods and more energy.
I am not committing never eating cheesecake or letting each day pass without ever experiencing anger. Instead, I am trying to become conscious of my decisions and making better choices.
Five minutes of daily meditation and one healthy meal per day can truly change your life. Try if for a month and see what happens…..