Yoga, food and health.

5 fruit and vegetables a day, 7 a day, 10 a day?!

You might have thought that by now, dietary advice would have been distilled and refined to a unified theory of ‘what’ and ‘how’ to eat. If anything, we are still yoyoing from one piece of advice and research to the next contradictory piece of advice.

First, we are told that butter is a definite ‘no no’; bad for our circulation and heart and that vegetable spreads (margarine) are the way to go. These butter substitutes are then shown to be worse for our health and so it’s back to butter on our toast. So, should it be low fat, low salt, organic, cow’s milk, goats milk, no milk – help!

Should I, shouldn’t I?

For me it is personal experience alongside the science that I read that seems to work best for me. I approach food, eating and nutrition in the same way that I approach my yoga practice.

In yoga, I observe what effect my asana (yoga poses) or pranayama (breathing practice) have on me and I also observe how my daily activities affect my yoga. I use my yoga practice like a sensitive measuring instrument to get an understanding of my life.

As B.K.S. Iyengar (the great yoga guru) said “yoga is an art and a science” and I suppose my method is a scientific approach with me being the guinea pig.

Yoga = art + science

Yoga = Life.

Therefore:   Life is an Art and a Science!

Food for me is a big part of my life and I observe the food I eat in the same way I observe my yoga practice. What effect does that extra glass of wine, late night meal or a little too much to eat have on me and my yoga practice?

Let me tell you how I might gauge the effect of a food on me, take coffee for example. I know that coffee is a stimulant and I sensed that coffee had an effect on me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what. I took coffee out of my diet for a month and I noticed that I was less agitated but nothing specific. When I had my first coffee again, the effect was very pronounced and very quick, tightness in my abdomen and buzzing on my fingertips, I was literally vibrating. I conducted the experiment, I have the results, now whether I decide to give up or moderate my coffee consumption, that is another issue.

Yes, I do follow scientific research but sometimes research is taken out of context and big assumptions are made by those magazines or newspapers that report it.

I have found my own personal experience is a more valid method of understanding the effect of the food I eat on ‘me’. Science by its nature is a generalisation and a piece of research not be relevant to my body and my biochemistry, whereas my approach is specific to my body, my genetics, specific to Kerry.