by Michael Ketterhagen
As I have mentioned before, yoga is skillful living. That living means “doing things in a way that helps us reconnect with our inner self.” This “proper” living, according to yoga, is called “yukta” living.
These “yuktas” are considered to be an important yogic lifestyle that relate to five areas of our life—eating, exercising, sleeping, engaging with the world, and beginning our day. Yoga says that adopting a lifestyle that is healthy and full frees us up to spend our energy in a joyful, not a suffering or painful, way. It means being able to connect more deeply with the God within.
Let’s look at this yogic lifestyle by starting with eating properly, the eating “yukta.”
Yoga says that in order for us to know more concretely the joy and loving presence of our core self, we need to nourish the temple in which our spirit resides. That means eating whole, fresh, live food.
When I was growing up, I remember only eating foods that we grew ourselves. Because we lived on a farm, our chickens provided the eggs and our pigs supplied the pork for the morning breakfast. Almost everything we ate or drank came from the farm. Our garden and mom’s canning supplied us with fruits and vegetables all year long. Our cows gave us raw unpasteurized milk. The chickens, ducks and the steers we raised provided us with fresh or frozen meat. We even pickled the heart and tongue of the steers we raised. Sometimes we would get freshly ground flour from our neighbors who had a small flour mill. We ate very little externally processed food.
Originally, all our food was organic, until dad started to use insecticides and pesticides on the crops and antibiotics for the animals. We ate whole, fresh and live food.
Since, then though, our modern culture has learned to process much of the food we eat. We even have meat that is called “impossible” because there is no actual beef or pork in it. It is difficult at times to even know that what we eat is actually food. We have learned how to manufacture all the tastes and “food” items in the factories. We lost contact, even, with fresh spices and herbs which were always a staple for us on the farm and are a staple in many of the “non-American” foods of the world.
Returning to this chemical-free, healthy way of eating is essential if we wish to truly move back into a joyful relationship with our bodies and clutter-free minds. It means developing a renewed relationship with the food we eat and the water and fluids that we drink.
This is the first step to moving ourselves closer to our journey towards the Source of our divine life. This is the first step in renewing our relationship and energizing our relationship with God—it will feed and nourish our spiritual growth.
I pray to the divinity in you!