Hello and welcome to episode 2 of What I Ate Wednesday!
This month I’ve been doing my 300hr Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training in the city where it all began: Mysore, India. This post is coming to you one Wednesday late so at this present moment I have just finished the training and feel like a rung out sponge. It was mad and magical in so many ways, and completely different to my equally wonderful 200hr Teacher Training three years ago (has it really been three years? Has it?!?). More details in a future post, but for now…
My alarm goes off at 4.30am. It’s dark, but already warming. I apply my 3 breath rule (no staying in bed longer than 3 breaths after the alarm or will likely not leave at all) and peel myself into a standing position, taking a second to figure out which muscles ache the most today. Face gets a splash of water, teeth get a once over, and the Hamstrings get a quick lather of Tigre Balm. Legging on, Yoga mat engaged; its 5am and time to head to the Shala to start practice at 5.10.
I remember I used to find it devastatingly hard to go to morning yoga without anything in my stomach. For years I’d stuff in a hasty banana, reasoning that I needed the energy. This was before I learned that practicing on an empty stomach first thing in the day is one of the best possible things you can do for your digestive system, energy levels, and general wellness. Even my innocent little banana gave the body a job to do instead of channelling all its focus into the Yoga. I was wasting beautiful morning Prana on digestion! Additionally, my body was using the simple, fast sugars from the fructose to power on though, instead of tapping into the amazing mental energy gained from the practice. It also meant that by the time I was finished, I wasn’t actually as hungry as I should be and would happily just have another light snack instead of a nutritious, substantial breakfast. As any yogi will tell you, after a fasted Asana session a hearty breakfast tastes like all your birthdays happening in your mouth at the same time. Yumyumyum.
SO – after a strenuous 2 hours of Ashtanga, I’ve been filling my belly with a beautiful big bowl of the most gloriously fresh papaya, coconut oat porridge, nuts and seeds. Every day, I sit on the bench on the terrace and look at the low sun seeping though the palm trees as I eat this. You’d think I’d be bored of this combo after nearly a month, but this bowl is genuinely so delicious that I never want anything else! Even when we go out for weekend brunches of Pancakes or Indian Masala Dosas, I’m secretly missing my zen morning papaya fest.
After breakfast, we have classes on Yoga Therapy, Prenatal Yoga, Yoga Philosophy, Aruyeda, and Anatomy all the way up until 12 O’clock, at which point we scurry off to find something delicious for lunch in one of the local cafes. Today I had one of my favourite orders at Café Sattva, a veggie Thali plate of steamed veg salad, dahl, veg curry, and chutney. It was fabulous.
After lunch is nap time, followed by another physical yoga class at 4pm. This finishes at 5.30, by which point I’m predictably starving again so wolf down a couple of handfuls of these amazing roasted chickpeas you can buy from the street vendors all over the city. I’m trying to make my snacks more densely calorific and protein based instead of just fruit, which has been awesome for my energy levels and muscle recovery this month!
Evening class closes at around 7.30pm with meditation, chanting, or pranayama breathing exercises, at which point I’m super zen sleepy and ready for bed. Tonight we wandered down to another favourite café, Chakra House, where I had a bowl of their amazing pumpkin cashew soup with a massive salad on the side. Totally hit the spot.
9pm, pyjamas and mosquito spray on, I’ve been making a pre-bed cocoa most nights; yogi-style recipe of pure cacao, coconut milk, a little natural sweetness from stevia leaf. Goodnight.
That’s it for this round! Next month will be spent in Bali teaching yoga and zenning it up in Ubud, yet another Yoga Mecca of the East. Expect dragon fruit, coconut curry, and buddah bowls galore!
Peace, Love, and Papayas,