It happened by accident. I was 19, in my first yoga teacher training, living at a yoga ashram, where the menu was vegetarian/vegan. Up to this point in my life I had a very rough relationship with Lyme disease for about a decade. It was just over three weeks into the training and I noticed every symptom that had been present or had always lingered, was gone, actually gone. My curiosity and digging went deeper. You see, only a few months before this whole shift, my mother had passed away from cancer, this healthy, active, powerful woman, withered away by disease and pharmaceutical chemicals; it was then I decided there had to be another way, for us all, healthy and sick. From the perspective of yoga, ahimsa, non violence, it made sense to begin a return to home, literally, to the earth.
From the time I was a little girl, I was allergic to dairy and artificial sugar, I joke now that my system was just intelligent to know better, I didn’t need those things to thrive, and was better off without them. Now if those things are consumed, the result is obvious in my skin and energy level, it just doesn’t benefit the human body.
I began experimenting with cleansing and detoxing in the hopes of becoming clear of the years of antibiotics, and during that time I sought out studies in the fields of nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Through experiencing the process of shifting to a mindful diet, conscious eating and sustainable sourcing, I saw my immunity build rapidly from where it had been; seasonal colds, digestive discomfort, the regular pains that a standard American diet provides(btw- you can shop at a health food store and be eating counter productive to our bodies natural healing and thriving abilities.) On a physical level I knew eliminating all animal products from my system, gave all functions the room to optimally perform, but it wasn’t until recently that I started to feel the absorption of the moral necessity of eliminating animal product. And that’s just it, necessity, this is where my practice of yoga asana, and the more challenging practice of incorporating mindfulness in daily life began to converge. On my mat, in my practice, whatever happens, all I need to see me through is my breath and body, and when it comes to the food I eat, it becomes simple when I bring it down to what I really need, and what can I do without. I’ve never been one to say, ‘oh I could never live without,’ or ‘how do you do that, I could never.’ Those mindsets keep us in the passenger seat of our own life, making decisions based on social and complacent comfort instead of seeing ourself as the powerhouse of earth bred life force that we are- already enough, and capable of anything we need to live good and well.
With the support of community, seeking knowledge, and realigning with the basics of what earth provides is a medicine, know that I have experienced it, that has no compassion; it’s always worth trying, for every body and mind.
Something someone one said to me sticks with me to this days- “see yourself as a child, ask the never ending ‘whys’ in all you do, never stop exploring, be curious, and every time your body and brain align- follow that intrinsic wisdom, build your wellbeing from a life lived well, open ended in possibilities and through experience informed.”