Friday, October 26, 2012

You are a plate for life's ingredients

This is a typical meal I would have back in Mysore, a 'tali'. I love to think back on my meals in India ...I never felt my digestive fire work better!! I really enjoyed to explore all these new amazing plates, made up of a little bit of every taste…I felt so balanced and nourished.
A 'tali' contains a little bit of every taste. As Laskmi, my sanskrit teacher, used to say " little sour, little salty, little bitter, and just a little sweet good for your heart" :) A tali is the most complete dish you can find. Nutrition wise you have a carb (rice), protein (dahl&ghee), fiber&vitamins (veggies), and maybe a little more sugar then you need…but its not processed, and its 'good for your heart' ;). It's a complete, whole,  meal served on a beautiful banana leaf :)
In our yoga practice we begin our search for the self,  'Purusha', through Asana practice: 'Atha yoga anushasanam' the first yoga sutra, now begins the practice of yoga. Yoga is made up of 8 limbs:
Just like the 'tali' a little bit of each of these ingredients makes up a practice, but you must have all the ingredients to have a complete meal!
So just like when you prepare a meal, you take one step at a time, you prepare one item, then another, then another, until you have it all ready to serve! Same in yoga. Of course it takes longer, and a little more effort to prepare the perfect combination of ingredients for the Self, then in the food preparation but the idea is the same. 
So I will start with the first ingredient: The Yamas!
When you make rice, you don't only need rice, you need a couple of things: 
a pot
maybe salt
and fire
Just like rice the yamas are not a step its itself, but a collection of little sub steps that make the actual thing. so here we go:
Ahimsa (non violence)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (non stealing)
Brahmacharya (self control)
Aparigraha (non greediness) 

In the coming weeks I will be posting little insights on each of these ingredients, it will be a slow cooking process, you can follow along and see if any of the things interest you, and you may choose to apply them, or simply keep them at the back of your mind. 
Remember each ingredient is essential to the final outcome, wether it be rice or the search of the self, a recipe is made up of a little bit of everything…so look for that variety…

Stop a moment imagine your Self is a big plate, and the yamas are the ingredients you will be putting on the plate…acknowledge if some or each of these ingredients are part of your life, and write down how they manifest!
It can be as simple as this, here is my take:
non-violence: I follow a vegetarian diet
truthfulness: an everyday commitment of true love to my husband
non stealing: I do my best to be on time for my appointments, so I don't steal people's time
Brahmacharya: I wake up at 6a,m each morning for my practice
Aparigraha: no matter how good my food, I  always leave some for my husband :)

As the weeks progress we will be focusing a little more deeply on each one so keep your paper at hand :)

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