nervitedness sinks in

working on my dancer's pose outside the taj mahal.. need to fix my hip alignment!

Mum and I are finally all settled here in Scottsdale, AZ, and with two yoga classes down, I’m getting nervous—I turned around in the hot room today to peek at the thermostat and humidity levels (I’d been standing directly under the humidifier, getting hot steam pumped down my back for twenty minutes now): 105F, so about 41C, and 70% humidity… and I thought India was hot.

Yet, I got myself in this sticky, sweaty situation. Sumit’s Teacher Training is two 80-minute classes, five days a week, in the aformentioned climate, pulling, pushing, stretching, strenghtening—and that’s just the body. It’s the mind, too, it’s 40 hours a week, learning all we can squeeze in to 160 hours of total class time. The history of yoga, meditation, nutrition, ayurvedic practices, adjustments… it’s all a bit overwhelming to learn atop the 60-or-so page dialogue.

But that’s the point, right? Not worrying about the future, the pains my body will feel a week or two in, nor memorizing the near scripture. It’s staying present, being there, listening, learning, feeling and experiencing everything that is happening right now.

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why, YES, that stuff you eat everyday does matter!

After a semi-grueling and heavily Tim Horton’s fueled weekend of volleyball, I was happy to make it back into Toronto in time for the Sunday Yin class at Moksha (at this studio, Yin, like Moksha, is done in the heated room, but it’s a less active form of yoga—instead of activating cardiovascular activity with flows, balance, and strength in what is known as yang practice, yin slows the body down, allowing the muscles and joints to sink into long holds and get into the real gritty deep stuff in your body). It’d been a weekend of failing to warm up, forgetting to stretch, and subsiding on some heavily-preserved foodstuffs. So it seemed only appropriate to get in a good stretch, and I was doubly happy when I remembered this was the week they were screening a documentary I’d been wanting to see.

As part of the Living Your Moksha challenge’s Week 1: Living Healthy, Moksha did a screening of FoodMatters, an excellent doc which revolves around Socrates’ principle “let food be thy medicine, and they medicine be food,” and highlighted all the of the vicious vircles created by the medical community, the emphasis on drugs, the fact that most doctors have absolutely ZERO formal training in nutrition or the influences one’s diet has on their health (no one here’s heard of type 2 diabetes? Um, hello, cancer-causing toxins?). There was lots to be learned, including: no, you can’t really overdose on vitamins; vitamin and mineral deficiencies are the root cause of more things than you can imagine; cooking food actually makes your body perceive it as toxic; and you can’t fully remove toxins unless you first detoxify and then replace the bad stuff with some new, good foods and nutrients. 106,000 people die EVERY YEAR in America due to KNOWN adverse side effects of the drugs they took as prescribed by their doctors, an Lord knows if those drugs had any actual positive effects (in comparison, the last 20+ years have seen 10 deaths that are suspected to be due to vitamin overdoses). But your doctor isn’t sponsored by a vitamin company, and buying nutritious food and being healthy doesn’t make money for American doctors, at least. We in Canada, I think could entirely reverse our problems about the cost of medicating our aging population by 2050, maybe sooner if we shifted the focus and treatment to nutritive prevention rather than treatment. Food for thought. Tons of great information, tons of very interesting things to think about. David Wolfe, raw, superfood activist (I can’t even tell you how many times he said raw cacao was the best food in the world for you.. I’m just fine with that) and Charlotte Gerson, part of the Gerson Institute—which treats the ‘uncurable’ diseases like cancer with high vitamin dosages and healthy diets have both stirred up a little something in me to investigate this further… stay tuned.

Oh! And, if your mental health is ever suffering, ie. feeling a little down on yourself (ie. the sorry state I was in after this weekend’s sad 0-10 showing at the vball tourney), encourage yourself with the resonant words of Jessica: