Ok world, I’ve done it! No drinking for a month. It actually wasn’t very hard. I still went out and just had soda water. I wasn’t a hermit. I still had fun with friends.
I also realize that I prefer a balance of this yogic lifestyle and also living and enjoying this physical and by nature material world. I’m right in the middle of Dharma Mittra’s 500Hr Teacher Training. If I thought not drinking would be a challange...well, let’s just say I didn’t really know what I signed up for.
No coffee, no caffeine, no eating before noon, no eating after 6pm, 45 minutes of breathwork and meditation daily, 1 hr of practice daily, no salt, no tree nuts, no coconut, basically no fun. Kidding! Kind of.
I guess this is the closest thing you can get to being immersed in ashram life, although somewhat ironically I’m still living and working most definitely not on an ashram. I am adhering to the rigorous diet and homework schedule as much as possible.
Did I have green tea earlier today? I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no.
In reality, I agree with clearing and cleaning the body to clear and clean the mind. And I also think that living on an ashram and adhering to this schedule is different than living in the middle of New York City, teaching 20+ classes per week and adhering to all of this.
There are a lot of questions coming up for me around my own lifestyle choices and how strict I actually want to be. Finding that balance and being okay with it.
I’m starting really tune in to all of these practices and their ultimate purpose, liberation, love and freedom.
What are our attachments? Food? Alcohol? Being chronically busy? The prowess of our physical asana practice? The point is not necessarily alchohol/coffee/shopping, insert your attachment, is bad and should never be done again. I think the interesting space is in our curiosity and inquiry.
What happens when we eliminate certain behaviors or substances? Can we continue to be these chill, zen AF yogis? Or do we lose our proverbial sh*t.
I’m in the middle of this exploration and the answer I’m finding is, it depends. Sometimes when I come to my mat to sit and meditate I am all for it and it feels so right, and sometimes I want to be anywhere but there.
This is our shifting nature as humans and we can honor it by allowing some fluidity I think. We can allow some moving meditation and we can allow more stillness. I think these are powerful tools I’m just tapping into. Also, I have a few “cheat” days and certainly plan to use them on coffee and jerk Seitan from my favorite Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn.
By Anna Farkas
Anna is a Brooklyn based yoga teacher and writer. She loves looking at all the sides of the health and wellness industry and shedding some playful light on tough issues. Her favorite hobby is buying plane tickets and she leads retreats internationally. She is AcroVinyasa certified and pursuing her 500 hr certification with Dharma Mitra. She will eat all the avocados in the sunshine.
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