I’ve posted a lot about the “F” words these last few months – and no, I’m not talking about THAT “F” word! The “F” words I’m referring to are “food” and “feelings” – I think it’s time to discuss another factor of the whole eating/body image thing, and that’s the BODY part of the equation. This is, after all, a blog with “yoga” in the title right? Feeling feelings and feeling physical sensations of hunger and fullness relate directly to being present in the body. That’s where yoga comes in.
I was recently sharing my healing journey with a dear friend, and I spoke a lot about how yoga was such an integral part of that process. I can remember having epic binges and still managing to drag my butt to a yoga class feeling absolutely physically awful. Why, you might ask? Because every time I did yoga, I was able to connect with a little piece of self love and compassion inside myself – a pleasant break from the self-castigation, shame, and guilt that was the typical post-binge script. Not only that, but I was also able to release emotionally whatever it was that had triggered the binge in the first place. Being made to sit still and breathe (even if my breath was shallow because my belly was so full!) connected me to those emotions that had been begging for my attention the entire time.
After a binge, sometimes that last place we want to be is in our bodies, feeling the horrible physical aftermath of the destructive behaviour we’ve just engaged in. We don’t want to move and be reminded of how uncomfortable and gross and “fat” we feel. But staying away (from the yoga mat and our bodies) isn’t going to bring us “home” to our true selves. It’s only going to increase the numbness and thicken our callus of self-loathing. We NEED to connect. Every time we connect to that place of love, we peel away another layer of the fear and the numbness is weakened. And it doesn’t need to be yoga – it can be anything that brings you into your physical self: dancing, tai chi, qigong, walking, painting. The only requirement is that it be gentle, and that it incorporates breath work and inner stillness.
One word of advice: DO NOT go to a yoga class that is competitive! Find one where you feel it is safe to be you. One where you don’t have to wear the latest yoga fashions or be a size 2, and one where you are allowed the freedom to express your emotions and authenticity.
Go forth and do yoga!
Okay, so I made ice cream. Again. I know that someone, somewhere, has the job of coming up with all of the flavours put out by the major ice cream manufacturers and I’m sure they’d pay me big bucks for this one. Though if that person is truly good at what they do, they would have already thought up this one! I took a recipe from The Veganomican, peanut-butterized it and then had the brilliant insight to add pretzels! Who doesn’t love that sweet and salty combo?
If you don’t have an ice cream maker (I got mine for $10 off of kijiji), then you can take it out of the freezer and give it a good stirring every twenty minutes or so until it’s firm.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream
Here’s the tweaked recipe:
1 cup soy milk
½ cup coconut milk
¾ cup sugar (natural, unrefined is optimal)
1 tsp vanilla
6 ounces of SILKEN tofu (I used medium regular) – this is about ¼ of a block or so
½ cup all-natural peanut butter
½ cup pretzels, broken and crunched up
Add everything but the pretzels to the blender and whiz until well mixed. Add to ice cream maker and follow according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add pretzels as the ice cream begins to thicken, but while it is still soft enough to stir (same goes for you freezer people). Once finished, then, well, then you must eat some! Enjoy!