Tuesday, April 04, 2017

This business of low metabolism

One of the most exciting and difficult habits I cultivated early on into my yoga practice was to eat only two meals daily. I would be super strict about it, though nowadays I am a bit relaxed about it, if I find anything more exciting to chew on.
But I found that this meal habit helped my body making it lighter, and I slept better and woke up promptly whenever I wished to rise up.
The scientific logic behind it appealed to me also:
* animals with low metabolism lived longer, so the rishis copied this habit
* the overworked gut got to rest between these long gaps.
* that the high metabolism animals were irascible and anxious or aggressive
* that while high metabolism is promoted as the cure-all for weight loss, it may be treated as any emergency medical aid and not something to which you become attached.. Would you use an oxygen mask or IVF drip every time, or depend on natural process?!
* That the rested stomach meant you did not feel tired. A tired stomach is a tired mind, because those of us smart enough to know of the gut-brain axis know that your gut is as much part of your emotional self as your nervous system.

The exciting hint of all this I got a whiff of, when I read Swami Satyananda in one of his books, observe how rishis stayed in high altitude caves where oxygen levels were low just to force drop their metabolism even lower -- somewhat like hibernating animals. This means they trained their body to do with less resource -- whether it was breath, food or water.

And think of it -- you really learn to make do with less. This idea of austerity is appealing because you then enjoy with more keenness everything.

Oh, btw, the argument got clinched in the favor of low metabolism when I read sonewhere that Atkins, who actually propelled this idea of high metabolism through a high protein diet, died under mysterious circumstances -- by falling at a kerb.

I think the idea is that when the body goes into a low metabolism as with unfit people it is a disease, but where yoga creates a non-demanding metabolism it is full of energy. There is a lot of difference, as berween a corpse and a person in a corpse pose!


The pose above: Is chaturangadandasana /rod pose variation. It is possibly my most difficult plank. But I was able to lift both from the ground and drop from the plank. So felt supreme:)

Health gyan: By my favorite ayurvedic author Dr David Frawley on the order of flavors on your plate: 
Sweet should be had first. Salads towards the end. Sour in the middle of the meal (YOGHURT).
Astringent stuff (like a herbal tea) towards the end. 

No comments: