So I was thinking about something my teacher Dharma said to me during my yoga teacher training years ago. He said that you aren’t really a yoga teacher if you don’t talk to your students about food and their diet. (Dharma by the way, is one of the people who have had a profound influence on my food philosophy). One incident lately made me realize that I haven’t really been doing that. At one of my group classes this week, one of my longtime students who I’ll call Susan, came in with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend got up and left twice during class. I was a bit worried he was tired and was leaving because he was embarrassed to rest during the series, or that he had hurt something. After class I went over to chat with them, and I found out that he had to run to the bathroom a few times because they had eaten so much before class! I was like, “Um, well what did you eat before class?” After all, that class was only at noon. Susan said, “Eggs and stuff. But what really did it was that last pancake we had right before we walked out the door!” Wow. At first I was a bit shocked that they would eat before yoga class— but then I really started to ask myself, “Do they even know that they shouldn’t be eating before class? Have I discussed food with them enough so they have guidelines to know what they should and should not be eating?”
What is funny is that most of my yoga students don’t know that I am a nutritionist, or that I have this blog. 🙂 Sure, they notice I travel every few weeks to LA and that I’m gone a fair amount, but I never felt comfortable pushing anything on them. But now I realize that in holding back other parts of what I’m doing and what I’m all about, I may have been inadvertently not benefiting them as much as I could.
After all, as Dharma said, you must talk to your students about food. Food is energy, just as yoga is energy and promotes the flow of energy throughout the body. They are intrinsically connected, and how we eat is part of our practice. In a larger extent, all parts of our life are completely connected in the same way. If we work out all the time, but don’t give our body the most nutritious food, for instance, there is a disconnect. And if we practice yoga and eat well, but don’t treat other people with love and kindness, there is a disconnect. And if we eat good food, but work in a toxic work environment in a job we find vastly unfulfilling, there is a disconnect as well. When I work with people in my nutritional counseling sessions, I often see that when there is an imbalance with obsessing over food or there is a major issues in some way- there are imbalances in other parts of their life. These could include self esteem issues, work stress, trying to be perfect in everything, deep sadness or loneliness. The point is that the food issue can be the symptom, and the way the issue is expressing itself, but if we don’t balance other parts of our life the food issue(s) will never fully get fixed either.
So tonight at the end of my large group class, I did what I have been taught by Dharma to do to fulfill my duties as a yoga teacher- I talked to them about their diet. I explained that how they eat has a direct affect on how they feel, and their practice. I told them it was really important that they did not eat for at least 2 hours before yoga class, as their food would still be digesting, and they would not feel their best. And the importance of preparing a post workout snack to curb your hunger from eating too big of a meal. I talked about eating fresh produce and living, supporting foods, and even told them about my blog (!).
I must say that I feel good about doing that. I want to give my students all that I can give them, and why was I holding back about the info we have here on our blog community, that might benefit them, or at least some of them? It is sort of like how soon I’ll have a yoga video to offer to you guys that are interested in yoga, that has a beginner and intermediate series, as those that are benefiting from the food tips we talk about here might also like the yoga I practice. 🙂
So I encourage you to look to see where there are some disconnects in your own life. If we take a deep look, we might find some places that are a bit contradictory, or where we hold one part away from another. The more alignment we have in our lives, the more in harmony we are and the stronger we get towards achieving our goals. And the more we grow and progress, which is really what the journey of life is all about!
I feel like a student every day myself. I am so grateful for all my yoga students, and for all of YOU In our blog community, that continue to support me and help me learn every single day! Thank you so much.
See you back here soon here.
Lots and lots of love,
” Treat every other being exactly the same, with absolutely no discrimination. Treat everyone with love and kindness.”
– Sri Dharma Mittra
- dietetic technician - rd... How Food and Everything Else In Our Lives Are Truly Connected « Kimberly Snyder's Health and Beauty Blog...
So glad you posted this, as it is related to my question in your last blog! I’ll post here again hoping to get your response:
Thank you for your refreshing blog, Kimberly! Your writing is insightful, well-researched, full of common sense, and mostly, shows a genuine desire to impart knowledge for the betterment of humanity through health! I am now an avid follower!
A couple years ago I decided to take up dance again and make it my life-long journey (Kathak, which is a Northern Indian Classical dance, if you’ve ever come across it during your travels in India). The dance is highly impact-intensive and requires hours of stamina and expending of intellectual energy – in addition to portraying multiple characters, the dancer must calculate and dance complex mathematical rhythms, sing, AND play an instrument at the same time!
While lately I’ve been incorporating more organic, raw foods in my diet (including your Green Smoothie!) for more energy, I’m wondering if you can recommend certain foods that would help build endurance, repair tissue, minimize muscle aches and strengthen and protect joints. Also, should I eat certain foods at certain times before and/or after dancing? Should I avoid certain foods that would weight me down, even if they’re raw and natural? And lastly, what forms of yoga do you recommend for strength, flexibility and stabilization?
Thanks again for your blog, and I look forward to your response!
I just replied to your blog on the other post. Check it out! xx Kimberly
Kim, I love your book and all of your advice. I use it in my own life and to help learn more about nutrition for my clients I coach. I wanted to ask you if you have any recomendations for a great smoothie for kids. I make your green smoothie all the time and love it, but do you think kids would enjoy it? Thanks!
What are your thoughts on intermittent/periodic fasting?? I love your blog and value your opinion!
I think periodic fasting can be very beneficial, as it gives the organ a break and lets the body “catch up” on cleansing and detoxifying. It is important to do it under supervision though, if you are unsure of what to do or expect. It is important to prepare for the fast a week or so before, cutting out things like caffeine, dairy, etc. so the body is not overwhelmed with too much detoxing at once. And the number of days you fast are the number of days AFTER the fast where you slowly start to reintroduce other foods. Most people screw up their fast by not breaking it correctly.
You are the greatest, girl! How lucky your students are to have you for their teacher. On that note, when is your yoga dvd coming out?? I’d love to buy it if you make one 🙂
If you don’t mind, I have a question:
I bought some South River-brand misos, and I was wondering if you could suggest how much is too much in one day. I’m eager to open them, but I tend to go overboard if I like new things a lot.
(I don’t count calories or anything, but I have to portion fat and salt to an extent or I eat wayyy to much. 4 years 95% raw vegan and I still always crave fat and salt lol)
My plan was to set myself a limit on salt per day… do you have a suggestion please? I don’t know if I should trust the RDA, haha.
HI Marcheline! Thanks. 🙂
Yes, miso has a lot of salt. I use salt sparingly, in recipes as needed and I never add it to food directly. I hope you are using only the Celtic or Himalayan sea salt! I would not overdo the miso- and I wouldn’t have it every single day. 🙂 Salt from the other sources I just mentioned is more beneficial. xx Kimberly
South River miso uses sun-dried, unrefined sea salt. The Eden brand of Celtic, I believe. Do you have a specific number of milligrams I should try to stay under per day?
Me LOVE Dharma! He likes to spend time talking about how if you “eat bad food, your poop get hard and splash in the toilet,” but “if you eat nice vegetarian food, poop goes in the toilet like an Olympic diver.” Pure awesomeness.
Ha! My favorite is when he says, “If you eat fried, dead, or overcooked food, you feel fried, dead and overcooked!”
Great post, as always! 🙂
I think Dharma was in a documentary I watched last night called “Enlighten Me”?? It was about yoga, too ironic that you are talking about him today right after I saw the movie (if that was him).
HI Lauren, That is so funny!! I haven’t seen that documentary yet, but he is in it!!! What are the chances? 🙂
Great post. Glad you told your class about your blog, it is a great blog to follow! 🙂 I agree with you in that you need to eat properly to feel great! Exercise and food do go hand in hand! I have noticed that the more raw I eat the better I feel and faster recovery I get from my workouts, which is great 🙂
It’s Christiane! I had to ask…is that picture of your teacher (Dharma) at the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, California? I used to go there all the time to the meditation gardens. If you have not been, you really should go! Also venture across the street to my favorite restaurant, Swami’s Cafe. I would always go there after a surf. Ahh, my old neighborhood! Thanks for sharing everyday!
HI Christiane!! How are you girl?
Yes, that is Dharma at the Encinitas Center. I have been there and I love it there also! Dharma is my teacher, but Paramahansa Yogananda is my Guru.
I hope all is well with you and you are having a great year so far. 🙂
I’m sure your students will love knowing about you blog and you will inspire them in many new ways. Have a great weekend!
HI Laura, thanks love. You too! 🙂
Wow Kimberly! This is such a timely post. I have been doing better in the areas of exercise and nutrition since the beginning of the new year, but I have had this feeling that I could do better in other areas of my life. This post validates what I have been thinking/feeling. Thank you.
What a beautiful post!
You are so wonderful person and the inspiration what you can give to all of us is just amazing!
I’m so excited about your yoga video. I hope that could help me to start yoga as well.
Hi Kimberly, Thanks so much for all you do! You are smart, gorgeous and your spirit shines through in your writing. At 63 years old, I’m just beginning yoga and putting your advice on nutrition to use. I feel wonderful and I’m losing weight. Your recipes are fantastic and I have only one question: When will you release a cookbook and when will you release a yoga video?
I look forward to each of your blogs and am thankful for finding your name and website.
Love and light to you!
Bravo on an educational resource to the public!!
It would help a great deal if you would please list a typical daily food diary. Just one day would be fantastic, but more would be great as well. What do you eat in a typical day? I’m not interested in portions so much as content. Thank you!
Hi Trina! I’m so glad you like my blog, thank you.
I have a policy of not talking about how I eat on the blog. Why? B/c I think of it as putting someone on training wheels before getting them to ride a full bike. If people get excited about this and don’t transition at all, they just make drastic changes to their diet, it is actually quite dangerous. Lots of toxicity can get kicked up too quickly that can’t leave the body. Therefore, I put my clients on at least a 3-Phase transition plan. There is a lot more to properly following the diet that people may think, and it is absolutely key to make sure someone cleanses and transitions along the way. The reason most people fail on a really healthy or high percentage raw diet is because they haven’t taken the steps to make sure they are cleansing out, and getting rid of old cravings and poisons along the way. It is way too much to put in the blog! But I do offer personalized nutritional consultations, and one day soon I’ll have a book which will have way more info. 🙂
Hope to see you back here soon!
yr yoga articles are GREAT!!! Keep them coming. Also, PLEASE open a smoothie shop in the Boston area….
My absolute favorite post so far. Kudos Kimberly.
Bravo for speaking about your blog in class. Sometimes it does sound weird to me when a teacher is self-promoting in class. But this is different. our food tips are amazing so you should share it with as many people as possible.
Plus, I think I only find weird because I feel weird doing it myself. I have to get over that because its an ego thing. We want to look humble. But that desire to look humble is in itself ego, right?
Its just as Arjuna was afraid to appear on the battlefield in all his glory – he didnt want to alienate others with his brilliance. But he had to. And so do you.
Hi Sarah, Wow!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for your amazing words. I think you are amazing too and I can see we are so closely on the same page with philosophy. Maybe we can practice yoga together sometime in NY. 🙂 And so funny about the Gita analogy- I was just reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s commentary on the Gita, and the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna.
Id love that.
Reading this post I had another confirmation of what I think about yuo.
You are a really Kind person, rich inside and beautiful outsite for that.
You are kind and humble even if you reached such a great goal in your life and your work.
You are so inspiring.
Every time I listened about “star diets” , “star beauty programs” I just skipped from them becouse I just felt like this was not normal people stuff.
I involuntary stumpled upon your blog and now I am really fascinated by your lifestyle, your smile and your energy. Your beauty energy! Thank you for sharing it with the world.