My students know I’m human. I always joke that I’m “Not Your Typical Yoga Teacher”. It’s true. I start my day with coffee…. I’m not afraid to admit that I just “enjoy a really long savasana” on the morning when I’m not awake enough for anything more than Meditation and Mellow Breathing Time…..I fall in tree pose WHITE TEACHING constantly. I laugh through it…. I enjoy desert occasionally…. and I have always been 100% real with my students about who I am.
I chose to write this article today as much for myself as I am writing it for my amazing students. “Kicking the sugar habit” is a huge theme in my life right now. It has been a huge struggle, but I know it will be worth it in the end…..Yoga, help me.
So without further adieu….
Four Ways Sugar is Dulling Our Vibe….
Sugar Causes Inflammation Throughout The Body…
Inflammation leads to Pain and pain obviously slows us down. I discovered this the hard way recently after waking up with soreness throughout my body one morning with no other explanation besides the coveted piece of moms birthday cake the night before (after weeks of no sugar and feeling great).
Sugar Highs Lead To Energy Lows.
We may feel great after that candy bar or can of soda…. that is because sugar gives our bodies artificial energy… and when that energy runs out our body has nowhere else to go but down… Enter…Dun Dun Dun Dun…. the dreaded crash. When our bodies experience that sugar crash we feel exhausted… we struggle to function and we begin searching for our next source of energy…. yep… you guessed it… more sugar.
The Artificial Energy That The Sugar Is Giving Our Bodies Tricks It Into Thinking It Doesn’t Have To Produce Its Own Energy
When we introduce artificial energy producing products into our body, it actually tends to get a little lax and starts to believe that it has enough energy within the system so it does not produce more. This can actually lead to a lack of energy overall because our bodies begin to depend on the outside source of energy (the sugar) to sustain its levels.
Sugar Leads To More Sugar
It’s true. it is scientifically proven and widely known that consuming sugar causes us to crave more sugar… As hard as it sounds to say no to that sugary snack…. You’ll thank yourself for preventing yourself from having to say no to it over and over again.
Six Ways To Kick The Sugar To The Curb For Good
Be Realistic and Be Gentle With Yourself
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day… You don’t have to give it all up and vow to never ever ever have another piece of cake ever again. Let’s all just pause and take a moment of silence in honor of our fallen promises on this one. Set yourself up for success. I know for myself, the second I tell myself I can’t have something it is all I want! Take it slow. Maybe give up m&ms today… give up ice cream tomorrow… Pick the one thing that you struggle with the most and try challenging yourself to give it up for 3 days.. and then a week… Baby Steps…
Practice the Art of Letting Go
Come on yogis… Pull out that Ujjayi Pranayama now. Take a moment, set a timer even if you have to and spend that time practicing deep breathing. Allow yourself to practice a very simple, even and uniform breath in through the nose… out through the nose… and just watch the tension in your body fall away. Each time you find your thoughts getting carried away off into candy land just bring your attention to the breath. Notice the sound of the breath… notice the way the breath feels within the body… maybe even notice the surface below you. How does the chair you’re sitting in support your spine and sitz bones?
Practice Literally Standing Your Ground
Take a moment to stand tall. Feel the earth below your feet. Feel the spine grow long. Feel the heart open as the shoulders drop open as they relieve stress and tension. I always tell my students in Mountain Pose… Know what you stand for… Don’t just stand here… but really know what you stand for. Grow roots. Stand tall… Grow Tall. Take that moment to feel the strength and courage within you. You are strong enough. You are worth it. You can do this.
Drink Something Cozy
Have a hot cozy cup of tea or black coffee. I think, often, when we are looking for sweets to satisfy a craving we are really just looking for pleasure and comfort. I find often that even the feel of a hot mug of black coffee or tea in my hands gives me a wonderful sense of peace and comfort and I am much more able to easily let go of that sugar craving.
Meditation is sooo important. Oh My Goodness. Develop a Daily Meditation practice and you will truly watch all of your tension melt away and all of your inner strength return. Meditation is simple. Simply settle into the present moment. We do this by practicing the breath and being aware of what is going on within us. Begin to notice the sensations in the body. Feel the heartbeat. Witness thoughts as they come..be accepting and non-judging…and let them go. Practice non-attachment. Each time a distraction comes to mind breathe deeply and let it go. Come back to the breath each time.
Do your Asana Practice (the physical postures of yoga), take a walk or even break a nice sweat. Exercise releases endorphins (one of the feel-good triggers in our brains) which makes us happy and reduces cravings. The simple fact is… when we feel well… we eat well.