Last Night’s Dinner

July 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Was baked sea bass, baked romanesco with pine nuts and meyer lemon, and a light salad washed down with crisp Grenache Blanc. Today’s practice? Light as can be, with jumpthroughs that were consistently swift and smooth. I’ve surprised myself a few times in recent practices where I literally felt like I was flying as I jumped from Downward Dog to seated, hips really high in the air, feet tucked in, and before I know it I’m in Dandasana, going ‘Wow! What was that?’ And of course, the moment I start trying to recreate it, it’s never as good.

I’m beginning to see the undeniable link between the dinner menu of the night prior and the quality of practice the following day. It was only a matter of time, honestly. My conclusions so far? White wine is better than red, seafood better than meat (duh) and the less carbs, the better. Of course, with age, even a glass of wine will make its presence felt, but as a conscientious omnivore, I’m taking whatever I can get now.

It makes me nervous (and there’s a splash of dread somewhere in there) to recognize this link between food and the practice because, as David Garrigues says, it’s the ‘final frontier’. We can stop smoking, stop taking drugs and stop drinking alcohol. But we still need to eat. My diet has definitely lightened up compared to a year ago (though I’ve still put on the pounds – thank you Chaturanga), and I’m making a conscious effort to cut down on the carbs and meat for weekday dinners. Part of the reason is to vary up our diet and challenge myself to cook unfamiliar vegetables and grains, with the help of cookbooks like these.

As it is, we don’t eat a lot of meat at home – perhaps a steak every 3 to 4 weeks, chicken, every 2, pork and lamb, rarely. I do, however, get spurts where all I want for dinner is just a good steak. These cravings usually come after a period of predominantly vegetarian/pescatarian meals so I’m listening to what my body says and giving into those cravings when they arise, just to balance things out.

The devil of course, lies in eating out, which we do at least once a week, and dinner parties with friends. It’s probably a good thing we live in suburbia and not a big city as there are less ‘good’ restaurants to try and our friends are dispersed all over the area, making it harder to meet up. But when we do, we partake in good wine and good food, making the next day’s practice (if it happens) a sluggish one. That’s part of the karmic cycle of food and the practice, and it’s something I’m starting to appreciate, the longer I keep with this thing called Ashtanga. Right now, I’m at the stage where I’m seeing the link between dinner menus and what plays out on the mat, and I’m trying to find a middle ground without suppressing my appetite or a desire for the practice. Let’s see where this takes me.

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§ 2 Responses to Last Night’s Dinner

  • bibi says:

    I know what you mean about cravings for a juicy steak (accompanied by a glass of chewy red wine, in my case)! I get those a lot after extended periods in Pakistan where it’s impossible to get a good steak – and one you’d like to eat medium-rare on top of it.

    I’ve also lately gotten much more tuned in to eating in ways that make my practice nice the day after, which often means that I’ve been evading dinner. I’m actually amazed by how willingly I’ve started giving up on certain foods for the sake of yoga. I find that just some veggies for dinner works the best – it feels so nice not to have that steak/burger/bratwurst from last night weighing me down like a brick at the bottom of my belly… Since it’s summer and we’re in America, though, there’s pressure to grill all the time so I cave in a bit more often – and end up regretting it the morning after.

    • D says:

      I can’t evade dinner because it would mean waking up to a very angry stomach, but yea I know what you mean about giving up foods for the sake of yoga. I’m more conscious about eating meat, pasta and pizza now than before and when I do, I notice that I brace myself for practice the next day. Karma in its most basic form!

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