Ever since I started my yoga journey a year ago, I slowly realized I have become more aware of my eating habits. Not much on the choices of food first but on frequency and timing. Since yoga is best done on an empty stomach, I had to eat at least 2–3 hours before the session began. Eventually, I became more aware of what I eat, on how certain food and drinks can affect my practice. Like drinking coffee before practice makes me feel heavy. So it was very interesting to learn about the recent workshop from Life Yoga in BGC about “Eat to Live: Yoga of Eating” where the discussion focuses on mindful eating and yoga asanas to help on working on the internals. I was fortunate to have a chance to attend this workshop headed by French nutritionist Helene Dunlop and and yoga teacher Christina Dinkel Maningo. Hoping it would expand my knowledge on mindful eating and make simple adjustments in my lifestyle that could make a big impact beyond my yoga practice.
Eat to Live
The Eat to Live is a one and a half hour workshop divided in two parts. Helene talks about nutrition and eating on the first 30 minutes of the program. It’s a very interesting discussion on how our posture, choice of food and timing makes a difference in our eating habits. Like how we should chew properly and breakdown food before it reaches our tummies to help it digest faster. Timing is important too like how we need snacks in the afternoon to store energy in our liver for the evening. The significance of the choices of food on the duration of the day preferably more vegetables.
I like how Helene points that changes doesn’t have to be drastic in terms of diet but more on smart choices. An essential point is cutting down on the sugar as much as possible. Water is still the best option for drinks. Take sugar alternatives like coconut sugar or muscovado if needed. Less processed food. Meals doesn’t always have to be gourmet food. Simple and nutritious meals works best.
Yoga to Detoxify
Christina takes over on the second part of the workshop which is a yoga session to detoxify the body. It starts with a Kapalabhati breathing, a breathing method which is a forceful exhalation of breath through the nose coming deep from the navel. It’s actually my first time to try this. It’s very different from the Ujjayi deep and slow breathing I’m used to. Kapalabhati are like rhythmic spurts. It took me a few seconds to get accustomed to it but it felt like pumping air to my head. Kapalabhati breathing has several benefits like:
- Cleanses the lungs
- Warms the body
- Releases toxins
A slight modification on a child’s pose by placing our clenched fist under our belly during our fold initiated our movement towards our next asanas (yoga poses). Then it was a series of flow leaning more on asanas with lots of twist like revolved side angle poses, seated twist poses and even a side crow pose as a challenge. The flow of asanas were designed to work on the internals and digestive system to aid in detoxifying the body.
We finished the session with a shot of a cool and refreshing antioxidant concoction of pineapple, orange, papaya and tumeric.
I thought the Eat to Live: Yoga of Eating offered a good variation from the regular classes offered at LiFE Yoga. The discussion on nutrition would benefit our well-being beyond the yoga mat, particularly on our choices of nourishment. I do like the yoga session as I have learned something new like the Kapalabhati breathing technique and a flow I could use for my own practice if I need the feel to detoxify.
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