It was definitely a challenge, I was VERY sore for most of the month, but of course inspired, and to make a long story short by the time the challenge was over I was already hooked. I still go at least two times a week and LOVE how it makes me feel. My mind is clearer, moods are even more even kilter, and also I am more productive in general! So, no more challenges, now I am just living la vida yoga. I always thought of yoga as a way of life, and was committed to being a “yogi” in my own way, following a spiritual path. I started doing yoga almost everyday but fell of the wagon, got into raw foods to further purify my diet, and began regularly meditating. Not until recently has it all come together again that my diet, exercise, and meditation have aligned in regular practice. I’ve been falling off the meditation wagon lately, because things are getting busy, but it shows… it’s usually when we are the busiest that contacting stillness does a whole lot of good for us in our daily lives. So, I’m working on carving out time!
Below are the Five Principles of Yoga. They are so simply summed up, but at the end of the day it takes a long-term commitment and consistent effort in all of these areas to attain the goal of true self-realization. Good news is, living La Vida Raw definitely puts you in the game. – XoXo Raw Girl
Most of us go through life not really breathing. In fact a lot of people look like they are holding their breath. Breathing in yoga is deep abdominal breathing which supplies the body with a flood of oxygen, and brings air to the deepest part of the lungs. Yogic breathing or pranyama is a lesson to us on how to recharge our life force using just our breath, and also helps us to calm and control our minds.
Our crazy, toxic, and hurried world, definitely lends itself to being stressed out. The sad thing is the majorities of people are stressed out ALL THE TIME, and have to be taught how to relax. When we try, sometimes we find our minds are racing and we cannot truly be at peace. All of the tension created from bad moods, worry, anger etc. can lead to lethargy, headaches, and even terminal illnesses. In yoga, when your body becomes completely relaxed, no energy is being dissipated. This state of relaxation revitalizes the nervous system and brings an overall feeling of “inner peace” which carries over into your daily activities and helps you easily relinquish worries and fears.
If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you should be able to attest to the fact that it differs from other physical exercises which focus on developing the body through mechanical movements. During yoga, because the body is completely relaxed, there is practically no energy consumed or expended. This means that the body has a chance to recharge on the spiritual, mental and physical level, which in turn leads to more vitality in our daily lives.
The proper diet according to yogic principles is a vegetarian diet consisting of pure, simple, and natural foods which can be digested easily. This diet aligns one with the true purpose of eating, which is to supply the body with the cosmic energy “Prana” or life-force. Eating this highly alkaline diet and avoiding over stimulating and acidic foods like: meat, eggs, fish, coffee, refined sugar and carbohydrates, and free of alcohol and drugs, also assists the yogi in maintaining stellar health. An acidic environment in the body is the root of all disease, so adopting this alkaline diet, minimizes or virtually eliminates toxicity in the body and keeps one dis-ease and ailment-free.
The gift of meditation allows us to easily see through the fog of problems and mental chatter that creates agitation and reactivity. The act of stilling the mind, which in this state has no thoughts or desires, we contact the true Source which is us, and where all answers lie. When the surface of a lake (the mind) is agitated by waves (thoughts) we can’t see the bottom clearly. But when the surface of a lake is still, we can see the bottom easily and all things become clear. Meditation shows us that we all have the inherent ability to contact this stillness, shut out thoughts, and control our minds.
Check out the previous post on my 30 Day Challenge:http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/2010/02/14/raw-girls-30-day-warrior-challenge/
Need inspiration to get started? I was inspired by Tonya Zavasta, one of my anti-aging she-roes (who has fake titatium hips!) and healed herself with raw foods and hot yoga: