Lots of things have changed in the Countdown household since we both took up Ashtanga.
There are the obvious ones: We get up way earlier and go to bed way sooner. Our diet — not entirely because of the practice, but certainly helped along — has gone raw and hybrid-wheat-free. We’re planning the Yatra to India.
There are the not-so obvious ones: Practicing the yama and niyamas; studying Sanskrit and the Yoga Sutras; investigating Darshan and Bhatki.
One thing has not changed though: When we eat dinner.
It seems that the early dinner — to make way for the following morning’s practice — is always among the top things Ashtangis talk about when listing off the changes the practice has caused.
“You’ll want to eat no later than about 5 p.m.,” I have read. “Dinners out with friends are a thing of the past.”
Well, not for us.
I chalk the fact that we still have dinner at 8 p.m., even close to 9 p.m., and then are on the mat by 6:15 a.m. the next morning to the raw diet. The food just isn’t that hard to digest. Eating raw, it is difficult to get too full, to feel that stuffed feeling one gets.
And even if you do eat a bunch, your body — once it has adjusted to all the raw food — burns right through what you eat. It’s very quick and efficient energy.
Now, I know that a raw diet isn’t sattvic and goes against Ayurvedic principles. But I also know that Ayurveda didn’t have to deal with genetically modified foods, processed foods or hybridized wheat. It is a whole different garden these days.
What I can tell you is this: By 6 a.m. the next morning, just nine hours or so later, our raw dinners are gone. We often hit the mat just as we start to feel hungry, in fact.
For any number of reasons, beginning but not ending with work, it would be impossible to push our dinner time much before 7 p.m. It isn’t a problem.
Food for thought for anyone?
Posted by Steve