Below are a series of 5 suggestions why vegetarianism is important for the individual yogi as well as for our collective health. After that, there is a brief diagnosis on smoking and alcohol, followed by a simple Ayurvedic detox.
The 5 reasons for vegetarianism discussed are;
1. Health 2. Karma 3. Spiritual Vibration 4.Compassion 5 Environment & Ecology
There are 3 sub-factors (i) bio-chemical (ii) bio-pranic (iii) bio-mechanical (of the 5 listed in earlier posts) as to why science and medicine indicates vegetarianism is better for our health
(i) Bio-chemical = Endocrinal/Digestive
Meat has more toxins, uric acids, lipids etc. than eating a vegetarian diet and takes more energy out of system to digest. It is a misconception that enough proteins cannot be assimilated from a vegetarian diet. Sources are plenty via dhals (lentils), beans, curds, etc.. as well as optional supplements such as from Spiralina. In addition, meat is fried and grilled in oil as opposed to vegetarian foods that can be boiled or eaten fresh.
(ii) Bio-pranic = Pranic/Nervous
Consumption of meat grants less prana from the Sun as it is further down the food chain. Photosynthesis of plants using light, ionisation and enzymes gathers more prana as well as energies that science is now researching into harnessing for alternative energy sources as well as bio-fuels. Thus, meat is really a secondary source of prana rather than leaves, fruits, nut and roots. In addition, less prana is lost when a vegetarian diet involves less frying in cooking items unlike meat.
(iii) Bio-mechanically = Musculo-skeletal
According to anthropological science, our teeth have not been designed for vegetarianism with smaller incisors and more massetor teeth of herbivoires.
The cosmic law of accountability into the Wholeness of the inter-dependent Universe (individually and cosmically) follows the law of reflection, reaction and resound that Yogis & Gurus talks about and we, in acceptance or perhaps ignorance of our ability to trace all causes, call events “karmic”. This refers to the Christian doctrine of “as you sow so you reap” or Newton’s law that “every action has a corresponding and equal reaction”.
Thus, causing suffering to mother nature and her expressions (including animals), in the forms of prakriti (nature) that makes up by the 5 elements, has repercussion of imbalance that results in disasters natural or accidental as a symptom of this same law and phenomena.
And, by taking the more accepted and open “Secret” that thoughts are things as well as the law of attraction, violent thoughts through our electo-magentic neural wiring and holographic brain/minds magnetise and participate in the inter-dependent distribution of these natural forces.
With the higher the development of collective consciousness and potential for powerful thoughts, the greater the sensitivity that ripples this effect of pain.
This accumulation of thought is believed in the Indian metaphysical system to be held in the causal or akashic plane. Our 7 levels of chakras connected via our endocrinal and nerve plexus correspond to this 7 higher and lower astral planes that hold this psychic positive or negative thought residue on the collective level.
But more relevantly, animals have greater development of consciousness and therefore sensitivity over planet life to experience pain and the karmic effects of killing traced back to the cause often being man greed over need as the unnecessary and often inhumane reason for the suffering of too many animals.
To take it further and accept the law of karma into a Darwinian level of evolution of mind through reincarnation, then the concept also suggests that the law of sacrifice allows plants to evolve through consumption via humans to a higher life form at a natural pace whilst the mental association allows this to happen for animals through pets and domestication by example of human qualities onto animals.
3. SPIRITUAL VIBRATION & GROWTH
This point follows the logic and Yoga’s & Vedanta’s teachings that food carries a certain vibration whose essence influences and makes up the mind, as all 3; the food, mind and thoughts; are part of the same constituents of nature.
Indian metaphysical teaches that nature is made up of 3 qualities called gunas and 5 elements. The 3 gunas are satwa (harmony), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). The combination of these elements contribute to this balance of gunas in nature. A predominance of ether is associated with satwa at one extreme and earth with tamas at the other whilst fire adds the rajas component for activity. It is all common sense and can be inferred quite logically based on subjective correspondence.
The AUM of Hinduism are these 3 gunas with nature as GOD.
A = Generation => Brahma or Raja Guna (of activity) and, subjectively correlates to the waking state and, objectively to the day time.
U =Organisation => Satwa Guna (of harmony) and, subjectively to dream states and, objectively to twilight hours
M = Destruction => Tamo Guna (of inertia) and, subjectively to deep sleep states and, objectively to night time
Thus, food can be satwic, rajasic or tamasic. Generally, vegetarianism is advocated because its matter is more ether promoting and satwic but not always the case. Some non-meat items such as garlic, onions, salt, excess of cheese and fungi (mushrooms) are often avoided by spiritual seekers as they carry more tamas as well as being considered as nourishing the reproductive glands and thereby the sex drive. Not only that, satwa is associated with freshness which allows the food to not lose its quantity of prana.
However, as established above, thoughts are also believed to be part of our electro-magnetic system and can transmit its imprint in matter much as technology and software has proven through externalising natures potential. Thus, as realised Yogis says, food is influenced by the thoughts of others. Consequently, the spiritual vibration of food depends on the accumulated imprint from the level of production to processing to cooking to eating. This is why realised Yogis advocated chanting the Brahmapranam mantra or Gayatri mantra with a prayer to wash off the negative vibration as well as offer it to God in gratitude and surrender.
Most notably, eating animal products is supposed to be harmful in adding more of these subtle imprint of tendencies into the human psyche by its consumption. But, perhaps a very organic, vegan or vegetarian diet which is more Satwic might also more easily absorb the thought forms of the cook and have a more negative, tamasic effect than food cooked with love! Therefore, most important is the attitude of the cook, which ideally cooks a healthy (vegetarian) meal with a pure heart and mind.
This reason is purely due to the sensitivity of any evolved human being to the expansion of consciousness that allows him to feel others and animals as themselves and not therefore, want to hurt them in any way or form. The examples are many from Buddha to Christ to Saint Francis of Assisis to Ramana Maharishi. Ramana would not even allow flowers to be plucked but rather use those already fallen to save the plant form suffering. And the one rule he was strict about was the importance of a vegetarian, satwic diet on ones spiritual growth.
5. ECONOMICS & ECOLOGY
The last reason is purely the selfish capitalistic consumerist attitude, greed, as well as ignorance that has led MNCs such as Mcdonalds to rape the land and trees for cattle to cater to mans insatiable palate.
The media and habits have so conditioned man that he has to continue in the belief that meat is a must and necessary component of a healthy diet. Health has largely been tied in with political and media related consumerist propaganda… from drugs, to smoking to meat eating… it has created an addiction for more.
Eating is an obvious biological “must” and research has been directed to other more optional habits such as the obvious destructive habits of smoking and alcohol on health; disregarding the effects of the high level of low density lipids and other factors in red meat on heart disease, strokes and other diseases such as mad cow disease.
I guess we are not born smoking but have always eaten meat so this acquired habit is harder to kick!
AN EXTRA NOTE ON SMOKING
Smoking is habit that is more obviously directly ruinous to health. But for some people smoking is their form of pranayama! It is easy to judge others who smoke, and with a growing social consensus and censorship against smokers, it is becoming increasingly difficult, not to mention expensive, to keep up. And, for some, smoking in moderate amounts might be a relatively harmless indulgence, just as meat is for those whose occupation requires hard physical labour or who constitution might benefit from moderate amounts for their health (ie. some “white” meat for those who are strong pitta types, or those whose digestive systems and bodies have been conditioned from young on meat, or those who require a little in old age to strengthen their protein absorption levels).
However, unless one has very good genes, or can burn all effects of smoking on the pyre of their blazing Self-realisation, smoking has been clearly demonstrated by research and longitudinal effects with old age to produce deleterious effects.
For general purposes these can be explained in 3 general categories and lines of offense.
1st Line of Offense/Defense = Respiratory
With excessive, heavy smoking, the first line of defense effected is the respiratory system. During inspiration, the trachea has cilia or small hairs that, through the autonomic nervous system, naturally waft dust and other extraneous particles up to the throat and prevent them from getting lodged further down the lung. These are either coughed up and spat out or swallowed. However, with the fire, heat and fumes of smoking, the cilia and epithelium get burnt and with time do not regenerate. Thus, this irrevocable damage causes the smoke and sputum to get lodged further and further down the trachea, leading to the audible smoker’s cough. In the long term, more of the smoke and tar lodges all the way down to the alveoli or minute lung sacs. With time, the small sacs get effected by the micro-damage, leading to the sacs often fusing surrounding sacs to become larger and larger sacs. The long and short of it, is the potential condition like emphysema.
In addition, the surface area of the lung interface to the blood supply is hugely reduced resulting in less oxygen getting across and into the blood system and to all the organs and tissues! Also, less CO2 can be expelled. Thus, it reduced one’s vitality and shortens one’s life, and often can potentially lead to an uncomfortable old age or death from pneumonia.
2nd line of offense = circulatory
The second line of offense is the caused not so much by the effect of heat on the cilia and respiratory epithelium, but more specifically the “plaque” effect of nicotine/tar on the walls of the blood systems walls; the arteries and veins. The long term effect of smoking has proven to lead to atherosclerosis and a hardening of the arteries. The result is an increased resistance to blood pressure as well as a increased blood pressure in areas that bend or curve (eg. aneurysm). This can lead to a ballooning effect and a potential hemorrhage. However, hemorrhaging can happen anywhere with an increased blood pressure.
In addition, there is greater chance of an embolism or a dislodging of the “plaque” into the blood system and getting lodged else where in a narrower offshoot of the arteries, causing a block or a clot. The blood supply is thus, stopped from reaching certain tissues or organs. In severe cases this leads to a heart attack (clock in the cardiac arteries supplying the cardiac pumping muscles) or a stroke in the brain (paralysis of related functions to that area of the brain).
Thus, smoking provides 2 major risk factors to strokes or heart attacks via clot (plaque) or hemorrhage (blood pressure).
Finally, with regards to the circulatory system, much like the explanation for “alveoli”, smoking hardens and destroy the small capillaries at the end of the blood system. This leads to poor peripheral circulation, and along with a condition like diabetes, can aggravate an associated polyneuropathy. Generally, it will reduces the sensitivity of the senses and possibly pleasure such as sexual pleasure eg. for men, due to the hardening of the arteries & tissues & poor circulation. It has also been shown to reduce fertility. This brings us to the 3rd factor.
3rd line of offence = cellular
Smoking seems to have 2 effects at the cellular level; one general and one specifically the brain neuro-chemistry.
Generally, smoking is considered to be a toxin (not surprisingly!) that contribute to free radicals and is a carcinogen. Why a cell goes hay wire and starts to behave without intelligence and multiply and spread (metastasis) nobody seems to be quite sure for a microscopic level. But from clinical studies the stats have consistently revealed a high correlation and significance between smoking and cancer. For men, cancer is usually the prostrate and for women breast cancer. The next place is often the metastasis to the spine/vertabrae. Whatever the exact cause of cancer, it seems clear that smoking, with all chemicals in cigarettes assists at a cellular level in affecting the DNA-RNA leading to a no rules barred condition of cellular growth and multiplication.
More specifically, smoking carries nicotine across the blood drain barrier and into the brain. The brain is a complex net-work of pathways and neurotransmitters. Some of the obvious ones are serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine and GABA. This last chemical plays a vital role in inhibiting neural activity at synapses (junctions between nerves cells). Often, for those people suffering anxiety, doctors often prescribe a tablet that contains the chemistry to indirectly artificially put GABA in the brain to give the patient some sense of control over those over active and irrational behaviours and areas of the brain. I don’t know what the latest research reveals but I suspect that nicotine has some similar effect on the brain. It gives us this sense of control but it is temporary. But this is the root of the problem as far as smoking goes. For as with anxiety patient, the more the drug is artificially put into our system, the less our own body & brain produces the chemistry itself leading to the viscous cycle of increasing dependency. It robs us psychologically and then physiologically of our will power and for the yogi distracts him from his spiritual practice and detachment from the world of objects.
More notably, smoking is probably worst to have immediately after eating as it is during these times that food and fat is most absorbed for atherosclerosis to take place (ie. fat plaque formation on the artery walls). But, it is often at this time, that hard core smokers most enjoy their cigarette because ironically it is when most nicotine can be delivered to the brain! Along with that a coffee, milk and (chemically bleached, carcinogenic) white sugar to top it off.
Some suggestions to manage smoking is to quit!
Well, actually I am a smoker and I understand the other reasons I use I justify my continuing it; like the way it brings me to the breath and assist me in relaxing into the moment through the slowing of the mind through the deeper breath! But, in all seriousness, I think it is good to consider some ways to limit the damage. Especially, if one does not want to quit!
For those prepared to quit, I recommend Alan Carr’s books. They have apparently proved successful with many people.
For those looking for reduced smoking with some damage control, here are some suggestions for the 3 levels of the problem.
i) For the respiratory level, I have found that regularly taking curd helps (ie. before smoking or in the morning). Curd is “kapha” producing and leads to more mucus as well as nourishes the epithelium and skin. By taking a bowl of curd in the morning I have found this to counter some of the damaging effects of heat and dryness that smoking causes. In addition, vitamin E, a natural product like “Slippery Elm” as well as a Himalyan products like Vasaka (as well as Flaxseed, Licorice, Elecampane, Marshmellows, Comfrey, Pippal & Guggul) can help minimise the damage on the cilia and epithelium. Another drink that helps is honey, lemon with ginger is helpful for increasing agni naturally and tulsi with green tea nourishes the throat as well as the latter being an anti-oxidant (but do not use honey if using hot water).
ii) For the circulatory system, I have been told that smoking depletes vitamin C, but have not done enough research on this. Not only does Vitamin C help with the immune system, but apparently, it might help tie up the nicotine in the blood and reduce the potential plaque formation (note Amalaki fruit has 8 times the vit C content than orange juice). Vitamin D is also important in keeping the arteries flexible (ie. eggs, salmon, cheese and plenty of Sunshine!). And, of course, any additional natural products that help reduce and regulate blood pressure. Also, as one gets older, a glass of red wine after a meal can be helpful to vasodilation and peripheral circulation.
iii) For the cellular level, I guess anything that helps to reduce free radicals or carcinogens. For this, there are numerous anti-oxidant packages out there. As far as the root cause, apart from Alan Carrs approach, it is often useful to understand the nature of the mind and see through the problem. Strengthening one’s will power through auxiliary approaches also helps. For example, getting a good Ayurvedic analysis and finding ways which not only improve health through natural remedies but also Ayurvedic foods that help strengthen one’s natural constitution. Along with this, taking up healthy exercises that counter the negative effects of smoking, such as regular cardiac aerobic workouts, which also compliments developing one’s will power.
But, from a spiritual point of view, if “pleasure” is in the senses, joy is in the mind and bliss is in the Atma or soul, then often providing a gradual substitution and sublimation of one happiness (smoking or any addiction) for another deeper one, is the most balanced and psychologically smooth approach (getting out of the cycle of “like attracts like” and the game/play of the Gunas – nature’s alternating 3 qualities).
This can be anything; through a loving sex , exercise, uplifting music, meaningful contemplation or offering the act to and with the divine. This method/way makes friends with the mind which becomes the medium through with the addiction for cigarettes can be transferred and transmuted? Otherwise, it often ends up happening due to the outcome of poor health forcing one to quit, or a decision based on foresight that re-inforces the the will power to quit. Like I said, I am looking for a solution!
Here’s the one I am on right now! I went from smoking 20-30 strong cigarettes a day to starting a detox program whilst continuing to smoke 20-30 cigarettes a day! However, I introduced some ‘light” cigarettes of the same brand into the mix, and gradually reduced the number down to 20 light cigarettes a day. I changed and reduced my diet, started exercising and listening to good music and chants, as well as singing “bhajans”! After 1 month I am now down to less than 10 light cigarettes a day and counting. I offer my smoke to the One who smokes All, and enjoy the few cigarettes I do have all the more. The process of detachment brings control automatically, and hopefully the “habit” will fall away by itself, or at least, the one who thinks he is smoking!
Alcohol has two major effects; it damages the liver (the chemical factory of the body) and it dehydrates the body, notably the brain. Ayurvedically, it also adds fire into the system and leads to anger.
The only suggestion I have for alcoholics is to visit AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)! But the usual problem with alcoholics is that they are in denial about their problem. Other than that, for all those who do like having the occasional binge, remember to leave by your bed a couple of pints of warm water before falling asleep. This will re-hydrate the brain and avoid the headache the morning after as well as reduce the number of brain cells lost from starvation!
Chronic alcoholism leads to brain atrophy and often the most marked effect is on the cerebellar lobes, which on shrinking causes loss of co-ordination and balance (Fredrick’s ataxia).
SEX – for more information and research visits:- http://yogametaphysics.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/eat-pray-love-the-way-to-sex-yoga-tantra/
AYURVEDA & DETOXIFICATION: – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, everyone has a natural constitutional type based on 7 possible combinations of vata (air & ether), pitta (fire), & kapha (earth & water). Through the purification of the 3 gunas; ie. from tamas to rajas to satwa; these doshas can be transmuted to become Prana, Tejas & Ojas. Ojas is like the “oil”, Tejas is like the “flame” and Prana like the “air & wind” that keeps the flame alight. Thus, the dosha, kapha, can be transmuted to Ojas; pitta to Tejas, & vata to Prana. But, before these take place in the body, they have to be taken into the body as the same; ie. ojas rich food eaten, clean prana inhaled and absorbed & both transformed into the intelligence and inner light of tejas.
However, everyone has a basic constitutional type that is natural and does not change (7 temperaments).And, there can be imbalances in their dosha type due to an unhealthy life-style, disease etc.. and this can be remedied through Ayurveda. In addition, it can later be used to purify your dosha type, once balanced, into the Satwic version of it; such that one is living in harmony with nature; theirs as well as the environment.
Thus, for those drug addicts, x-chemo patients, post operative patients, smokers, heavy drinkers & meat-eaters , I have provided a simple detox procedure below. However, it is probably good to get familiar with the terms below as well as get more information from the establish authorities (mentioned at the end of this post) and books on the topic.
i) The 3 Doshas - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosha
3 Gunas => 5 Elements => 3 Kapha (stomach), Pitta (small intestines), Vata Doshas (colon)
=> 7 variations of Pitta, Kapha, Vata, Pitta-Kapha, Pitta-Vata, Kapha-Vata, Tri-dosha
Note correspondence to Prana (Vata), Tejas (Pitta) & Ojas (Kapha) as well as to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) of Chi or Qi, Yang & Yin; and 3 Treasures; Jing, Qi & Shen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Treasures_(traditional_Chinese_medicine)
ii) The 8 Dhatus – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhatus_%28Ayurveda%29
iii) Ama (undigested “toxic”) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ama_%28ayurveda%29
iv) Panchakarma (5 treatments with 3 stage:- Preparation, Principle, Post-procedure) http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchakarma, http://chakrapaniayurveda.com/panchakarma2.html, http://www.panchakarma.com/
v) A SIMPLE DETOX PROGRAM (steps) – just a simple outline
In Ayurveda, most diseases and imbalances start with an “vata” imbalance, and smoking not only brings in toxins, but “vata”. However, without going too much into the process of disease in Ayurveda and the variations between dosha types, I am just going to suggest a basic detox program irrespective of one’s dosha type. This is because all dosha imbalances, types and treatments have to address the initial issue and clearance of “Ama” or “toxic”.
The word “Ama” means indigested and leads to a clogged up, potentially toxic condition within the body. All Ayurvedic treatments begin with decreasing Ama, before any constitutional dosha balancing; ie. one cannot change dosha until amma is down.
The general order of treatments is as follows:-
1. reduce amma
2. reduce dosha imbalance of vata first
3. reduce doshan imbalance of dosha type
4. transform guna to satwic version of constitutional type
5. healthy (generally vegetarian) diet, life-style, yoga etc..
6. Go from a Rogi (disease) to Bhogi (enjoyer) to a Yogi (master)!
NOTE: according to Sathya Sai Baba (perhaps he is joking), but he implies that a Rogi eats 3 meals a day, a Bhogi twice meals a day, and a Yogi once. I can only think that as ones body-mind complex is transformed, more quality prana is directly absorbed from the food, air, nature and the sun.
ie. outer to inner transmutation of Spirit into matter; begins with more food, and then less food is required as the life-force and nadis and satwa guna transmutes matter. Thus, in the table below transformation from 2 lower levels are through middle medium of fire/prana (3rd level) and increasingly governed by the 4th & 5th levels (mind & Spirit).
————- HEALTH MODALITIES – HOLISITC ———–
5 LEVELS => MAINSTREAM VS ALTERNATIVE => SYSTEM => ELEMENT => PLANET (5 Mahapurusha)
3rd.Bio-vibrational-pranic => Acupuncture VS Pranayama => Pranic/Vibration (Fire)
2nd.Bio-chemical =>Allopathy & Nutritional VS Ayurveda, TCM, Naturopathy => Endocrinal (Water)
1st.Bio-mechanical => Surgery & Massage VS Psycho-somatic => Musculus-skeletal (Earth)
NOTE: Both mainstream and alternative therapies can often be applied congruently unless contra-indicated. Thus, depending on the condition and constitution being acute or chronic, or gross of subtle, weaning off onto alternative or higher levels of healing does not mean denying or suddenly stopping the use of bio-medical therapies. A holistic approach with perspective is required.
Also note that in ayurvedic astrology of jyotish, the 5 elements relate to the planets and can indicate temperamental types, elemental imbalances or strengths (ie. Mahapurusha Yogas – eg. 5th ether – Jupiter – Hamsa yoga – sanguine; 4th air – Saturn – Sashi yoga – melacholic; 3rd fire – ruchaka yoga – choleric, etc..)
However, for detoxing the body (ie. the 2nd & 3rd level), here are some simple suggestions for a general detox.
Detox – Getting rid of the Ama (eg. Nicotine!)
A very general 7 step outline for a detox. And, remember that if your condition is chronic it might take a few more detox sessions and fasts to get all the toxins and nicotine out of the body. They say that every 7 years all the cells in our body are renewed! But I think with a “yogic life-style”, this can be shortened and the actual clearing of toxins or nicotine can take place in a relatively short period of time depending on your condition.
7 Parts to a simple detox
These 7 steps can be followed at your own rate and pace depending on your tolerance. Note that like “pain” is one’s friend to reveal limitations, your own uneasiness or dis-ease will reveal the pace at which you should detox.
1st – simplify diet eg. rice, mung dhal & steamed vegetables (easy for agni to digest and lets agni burn up amma).
2nd – add a little bit of ghee &/or seseame seeds oil (with raisins) can be used to absorb ama; especially use the latter if one has high cholestrol levels. This is because “ama” gets deep into the tissues and is fat soluble. ie. oil-ation helps to extract the ama out.
3rd. Do some gentle aerobic exercises (yoga or jogging) that help you to sweat the fats, toxins and ama out of the body.
4th – take BITTER herbs eg. alovera & echinacea => mangita & neem = DRY OUT Ama
5th – take PUNGENT herbs eg. cayene, ginger => BURN UP Ama
eg. Ginger Universal Medicine … all 3 phases of digestion, absorption & elimination (can be used in the food, as drink or with a juice fast. “Tri-phala” – good for general constitutional balancing and digestive tract.)
6th – Vegetable, Coconut Water & Juice FASTING …. once week for Kapha, twice month for Pitta, once month for Vata. Drink lemon juice, ginger and honey to kindle agni (ie. after earlier steps have been used to expel ama)
7th – Start eating “good foods ” that are “Ojas” rich foods; butter milk, ghee, honey & soaked and peeled almonds. In fact, eating 5-10 soaked, peeled almonds every morning is extremely healthy for the brain and health. Avoid too much fried, re-heated (old) and junk food. And if you are serious about yoga, avoid too much garlic, onions, salt, meat (esp. red), excessive cheese and mushrooms too! Also, best to eat a light (fruit) breakfast after sun-rise, heavier lunch & a light diner before or around sun-set; presuming of course, you are not a Yogi and probably only eating one full meal a day?!
Note: that with these 7 steps of simplifying diet, light exercise, taking food bitter herbs, then with pungent herbs, fasting and eating well, can all be practiced by any dosha type.
For more on how to build up your constitution after a simple detox, please refer to the other post on herbs & Rasayanas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasayana) – http://yogametaphysics.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/remedials-healing-the-yoga-of-herbs/
To learn more about how you can co-ordinate these for your constitution and use methods of treatment, please refer below to examples of authorities on the subject.
Authorities in the West:-
I recommend Dr David Frawley’s correspondence courses and books (eg. the Yoga of herbs, Ayurvedic Astrology etc.. as they help inter-connect all foods and herbs to doshas as well as planets and timing)
Avoid guilt, pride & OCD – extreme is not the means!
As a last comment on yoga & ayurveda, is to remember that these health practices are good for health, but are a “means” and not an “ends” to the Here & Now – ie. purpose of Yoga – Consciousness & Bliss or SatChitAnanda. By catering too much to the body, and rituals of the body, can substitute the actual self-work of mental purification and self-inquiry (ie, Self-knowledge); with an obsessive identification with the body, or a subconscious control pattern of the ego’s needs. For example, in the case of obesity, bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorders.
So my position on physical Yoga & Ayurveda is moderation in food, sleep, exercise, yoga, food and health & so-called self improvement regimes. If one is really obese or toxic from chemotherapy or x drug abuse, then I can understand it … but generally, it is only a means for a healthy and happy life, or a preparation for peace of mind and contemplation; not another practice to get busy with or too identified with as a concept of the “illusory self”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXB4waFHZ_E&feature=related (All Natural Detox)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0T8Oh6Q-wU&feature=related (Foods that detox the body)
http://www.healthcaremagic.com/ask-doctor-online?pid=2?f=yes (Ask a doctor on line)
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