This is one of my pros-pros-pros for BYC: The amazing food there. It is not that there is one awesome food stand – there are many. And the food is soooo amazing. Obviously there is a connection between yoga and healthy food. You can see it on the quality the food stands offer but also on the time it takes to get the food – because at BYC rush hours (between the classes) you have to wait in a long line. For a good reason.
Right after falling in love with yoga I fell in love with healthy food. It took some time to be honest before I got really the idea, what is healthy food exactly? I remember very clearly me being in London years ago and having found this amazing place “cookies and scream” when I heard the other day a yoga teacher talk exactly about the cookie place, saying that this place proves that you can be vegan and super unhealthy at the same time. Today that might seem stupid but on that day I was really shocked. I was vegan for years, what was in some German places at that time no big fun. And then I found that cookie stand and I couldn’t believe all the cookies being vegan, what meant: I could eat them ALL. Why should I think about the amount of sugar in the cookies or fat or whatever?They just were delicious, one of the most delicious foods I had.
Okay, okay, you see I went crazy about the cookies – but then I went crazy about the yoga teacher bringing me into the idea of: even if you are vegan, look what your body really needs and watch out for your cravings! Interpreting being vegan to yoga and the niyama AHIMSA – Non Harming I always related it to not harming others (as the niyamas refer to restraints concerning others). Which kind of includes me, but first of all: others. Otherwise ahimsa would to be found at the yamas, the restraints concerning yourself, right? Not harming animals was my first and foremost reason for being vegan. And then the second reason was being against mass production – the exploitation of the earth and the people working in factory farms, the leather industry and so on. But, doing it because it is better for me? That was a point coming slowly in my every day life, it also came because of the daily physical yoga practice.
By practicing yoga on a regular basis you just will get another relationship with your body – if you focus on it or not. It will automatically happen. You become more sensitive to your physical feelings. Of course there are your muscles and bones and everything that you feel directly when you move your body. But also you will feel what you have eaten before doing yoga, even the day before sometimes. Some food will make you slow and fatigue and some will make you awake and alert. And there are a hundred more variations. For me it took a long time I got sensitive to that. And it was also no straight way. Through yoga for example I got interested in body work, in thai massage – and that brought me on another trip that let to more consciousness in my eating habits.
On my first massage training with Takis at his home in Greece he showed me how to make the most healthy bread in the world. He used only spelt, water – and time. He showed me how to make it because he new as a German I would be so into bread, I eat it on a regular basis. When Takis told me how super unhealthy bread is – I named that moment my second big shock about food. This was some years after the cookie story in London. I tried to convince Taki that he doesn’t know how good some of the whole food German breads are but there was no chance for me. So I tried – just for a short time, one week – not to eat bread. And I could feel my body being lighter and having more fluency in my yoga class.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t eat bread again. But it’s good to know this and try to live once in a while without it, eating less of what you know it is not supporting you. Luckily the good-for-you-food fits perfectly in the non-harming-others-food – isn’t that a good news? Good Life… It is amazing that I met so many health-inspiring people on my yoga way. I just met them because I was interested in yoga – and then the nutrition came as a plus. So when you had the chance taking a thai massage course with Takis in Greece you know: You cannot avoid getting the best and healthiest food from Daphne.
When I write these stories about my food relations in the past I cannot do it without laughing about me. Because today I’m a super health nut giving nutrition workshops and being all into raw food, cold pressed juices ect. But maybe that’s why I love discussing with people food relationships – because I remember my own way and how it was for me when I began to care about good food. Not only anymore because of not harming others but also to support me. And that this fits perfectly together. Seeing more and better the connection that you cannot strictly divide niyamas and yamas – for example in relationships with others and the relationship with yourself. But more how everything you do and eat and think and pray is intertwined. Isn’t that what yoga really means?
Daphne Tatsou teaches a one day post conference on RAW FOOD at BYC on July 6. Krishna Takis teaches at BYC Main Conference, plus the pre-conference Dynamic Thai Massage together with David Lutt on July 2nd.