For some people, it’s chocolate. For others, it’s potato chips. For me, it’s ice cream.
We learn to scold ourselves and limit our intake of junk food. Yes, it is bad for you, if you sit on the couch for 12 hours straight and finish a box of chocolates, or a large bag of potato chips, or a tub of ice cream. But the other extreme is not eating junk food at all. Is that good? The answer is not total elimination, but moderation. For me, I need – and I mean NEED – ice cream as part of my diet. If I eliminated it completely, I would definitely crack and binge eat sooner or later. So, I allow myself that scoop of ice cream once or twice a week to satisfy that need, and I’m happy.
I practice yoga so that I will feel good. Not feeling good because I “worked out,” but feeling good because I am stronger, lighter, more open, and free. When I skip a yoga session, I notice it immediately. My back starts to ache and my body is hurting. I practice yoga to take away that heaviness, that ache, that pain. Are we able to appreciate that? If we truly understand that yoga and exercise is to heal our bodies, then we can understand that we need to fuel our bodies. I come from a yoga background where my teacher fed us during class. Halfway through class, she would walk around and pass out chocolates, nuts, or even home-cooked food from her kitchen like kabocha squash or greens. If she offered food to you, you eat it without question. Why? Because you understand food=energy and the next yoga movement will need all the energy you’ve got. So you eat and you work hard and you feel good.
Practice yoga, eat your ice cream, and be pain-free and happy.