food, yoga



Spoonriver Brunch

Perfect timing: the 11am meal that I ate, just proceeding a yoga teacher-training lecture on Ayurveda, is a meal that upset my stomach, albeit to a small (as in, fleeting) degree.

The meal, pictured at right, included a pineapple-coconut scone, a chèvre, mashed potato, sweet potato and walnut pesto omelet, with a salad that included strong onions and basil vinaigrette. Most likely, what upset my stomach was the meal’s richness: I’ve been avoiding eggs lately, pesto is chuck-full-o-nut fat, and this omelet probably had a fair amount of butter in it, as well.

If I discount the general richness of the meal, here’s my ayurvedic analysis: I ate this meal during a pitta time of day, and my constitution is primarily pitta. As such, it would have been best to avoid salty, pungent and sour food, and include sweet, bitter, and astringent foods.

So, the sweet pineapple, coconut, potatoes, sweet potatoes, walnuts and bitter greens were a good idea, but the pungent chèvre and basil, and slightly sour sprouts and onions may have been a bad call. Evidently, by some sources, the eggs (specifically the yolks) weren’t a balancing choice, either, though they don’t seem to fit into one of the aforementioned taste categories, unless we assume that they’re always served with a large dose of sodium.

Ayurveda is the art of self-healing. It’s a way to examine why a person may feel out of sorts, at any given time, and what he or she can do, with diet and activity, to try and fix the problem.

What it appears to mean, for me: I run hot, by nature. So, at hot times of day (noon) or hot times of the year (summer), I may need extra help, in the form of foods or physical activities, to cool me down, or ground me. At cooler times of day or the year, my nature craves more heat.

Had I been attending a yoga class at 11am, rather than eating that absolutely delicious omelet, the poses that would have had the most balancing effect for me would have been heart openers like camel, boat, half-moon, or triangle; any twisting postures;  or the ultimate cooler, corpse pose.