This is a guest 2 part post by Kat Shaw. Kat is the most amazing woman in the universe. True. She is the Edinburgh Raw Food Group organiser at www.meetup.com/Edinburgh-Raw-Foodies and has her own website which includes details of her forthcoming yoga & raw food retreat in Costa Rica www.kat-yoga.com/retreats
There are many different yoga styles, Hatha, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, Bikram, Jnana, Raja, Iyengar, Prana Flow, Vinyasa flow and more exploring physical postures with a similar philosophical spiritual approach; and each person who practises yoga will have a different journey in their yoga sadhana. If you’ve never tried yoga, a class is the best and finding a yoga teacher you connect with who’s willing to share their journey with you.
My own personal yoga practice is Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga which follows 8 limbs (paths).
The term Ashtanga Yoga is derived from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras “Yoga has eight limbs”. The eight limbs are a systematically organised path that leads to inner freedom and happiness and this is all I’ve ever wanted and I’m willing to put in the work to be there.
According to the sage, Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:
Yama [moral codes, restraint]
Niyama [self-purification and study, observances]
Pranayama [breath control, extension]
Pratyahara [sense control, internal focus]
Samadhi [absorption into the Universal, ecstasy]
Ashtanga yoga starts on a very physical level and over time its fine-tuned like anything that is practiced singing, football, violin, golf, guitar, meditation, archery and art, anything. For me, raw food preparation and eating is a part of the first two limbs, Yama and Niyama, and the last limb, connecting to Samadhi through the Universe’s energy that connects us all.
The first four limbs—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama—are considered external cleansing practices. According to Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga’s yoga guru), defects in the external practices are correctable. However, defects in the internal cleansing practices—pratyahara, dharana, dhyana—are not correctable and can be dangerous to the mind unless the correct Ashtanga yoga method is followed.
It has come to me through my daily practice over time, to connect more to the Universe’s energy from practicing the 8 limbs, starting with Asana; this works for me and makes me feel grounded, connected, open-hearted and stretched in all bodies. Asana on the yoga mat, positive thinking on and off the yoga mat, mantra on and off the mat, chanting off the mat, meditation, positive writing, awareness and observances these actions are everyday practices like brushing teeth. This gives me a closer connection to my Universe, Source and path to Samadhi, which is already here, perfect. I’m a lucky lady 😀
“eating a raw food diet helps keep and maintain the internal and external pathways for spiritual growth open and clear”
Through asana (posture) physical practice on the mat and through mental practices off the mat, both are as important as each other to reach a state of ecstasy, enlightenment, consciousness or oneness. I truly think it comes through huge amounts of everyday constant gratification and making the choice of seeing, hearing, sensing, tasting feeling a positive and love-filled life.
I believe asana helps keep a persons body lubricated, connected, strong, light, cleansed from toxins and fuelled with energy; and mindfully eating a raw food diet helps keep and maintain the internal and external pathways for spiritual growth open and clear and flowing and this is important to me. Raw food vibrates at a higher consciousness level which connects me to everything. Intuitively I feel this. I feel clarity in all bodies – physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically and spiritually.
Over time and through study I have learnt we live many lives, this life particularly is so special because we are physical, we touch, we see, we hear, we taste, we sense, we smell which makes us Present, I am so grateful for this. Through getting that little bit older I am extremely grateful for the life I live, which makes me love getting older, wiser, more full of love, life and abundance. Maintaining a raw diet connects us energetically to higher vibrations which employs gratitude, love, awareness and observing and this is yoga.
Part 2 of this gorgeous post will follow tomorrow…
This blog was written by Raw Food Scotland's previous owner, Emma Calvert. You can reach her at her new website, https://missmanifestation.com/