It’s diet time again in our household. If you knew me well, you’d know I don’t need to diet to lose weight, as my husband Daniel and my housemate Rick are attempting to do. However, we have just come through a week-long period of my step-son’s nuptial activities, followed by a week of showing my visiting sister-in-law Sydney-town and Mitchell Island. Food is intrinsic to festivities and socialising. And, often not wholesome food, unfortunately. So, today I got to have my food: fruit for breakfast, steamed vegetables for lunch, and fish, rice and salad for dinner. Not a glass of wine in sight, especially now that the guys are on board. One of my favourite translators of Patanjali’s Sutra, Vyn Bailey, says that the point of yoga is to rid ourselves of accumulated characteristics we can well do without. One of them that’s mentioned in the Yama (things to avoid) is greed, which is often the very thing that drives overeating. Fr. Bailey encourages us by saying that getting rid of unwanted characteristics is far more relaxing than striving to acquire perfection:
We are already perfect – we’ve just let ourselves barnacled over.*
Eating healthily and managing portions is part of good yoga practice.
yoga-anga anusthanat asuddhi-ksaye jnana-diptih aviveka-khyateh
Eliminating impurity through continued practice of the eight limbs of yoga brings discernment and clear perception.** *Patanjali’s Meditation Yoga, translation and commentary by Vyn Bailey. **The Essence of Yoga, Bernard Bouanchaud.