Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cutting knives with forks, vege diet, exercise, pranayama and yoga

Last Sunday I saw a documentary movie "Forks over Knives". It was an eye-opener, a new wake up call, a eureka moment! The last time I had this moment was exactly 5 years ago as I stood on the side of a cold, smoggy New Delhi road puking my guts out after a severe asthma attack. I thought I was going to die and it started me on the path of yoga. "Forks over Knives" inspired me to go "cold turkey" vegetarian only since last Sunday. I had anxiety pangs, meat withdrawals and on two occasions I cheated a bit, but all in all I stuck with the plan of mostly plant diet.

I have had several shorts stints of vegetarian diet since last year in May when I had the pleasure of meeting Geetaji (Ms. Geeta Iyengar). The Iyengar family is strictly vegetarian. But each time I would give up. Today is my 9th day and I remain committed to remaining vegetarian and I think I can keep going at it.

I have also been practicing pranayama and my second class with Jen on Thursday evening felt even better. I realized I had been practicing Ujai 4 for the last many days on my own. I would say that makes me feel the best. I also increased my exercise regime, with short bursts of intense cardio, interspersed with brisker walking and more yoga stretches at gym.

On Friday I went for my physical exam and my blood pressure was was 98/68 from the typical 140/90 type. My pulse was 88, when its usually in the high 90s. The nurse was shocked. The doctor checked it again and it was 98/70. He suggested dropping dosage or stopping one of my BP-meds all together. I suggested waiting.

I am not sure if its just one thing, but even a few weeks of diet, regular exercise and yoga practice is making a difference in my health. My energy levels are higher and stress levels lower. "Long interrupted practice", is my mantra for diet, exercise and yoga! I will keep repeating this in my head as I travel to Hawaii/Maui tomorrow AM. I will be packing my own fruit salad as lunch to take on flight - a first!

Change happens slowly - one step at a time. A deep inhalation, a pause, followed by a deep exhalation - Shubh Ratri, Good night - Namaste!

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