Friday, September 17, 2010


In the past I have mentioned that Yoga is an 8 Limb Practice.

  1. Yama : Universal morality
  2. Niyama : Personal observances
  3. Asanas : Body postures
  4. Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana
  5. Pratyahara : Control of the senses
  6. Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
  7. Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
  8. Samadhi : Union with the Divine
In the West many have adapted this attitude that Yoga is just the Workout, the act of stretching. This is an ancient Science that has deeper meaning than most people are able to grasp. The first Limb, also known has Yamas, has 5 Yamas in total, and the first of the Yamas is Ahimsa. Ahimsa also known as non harming/non violence is the reason behind the Yogic diet being Vegetarian. A Vegetarian Diet, is rich in Prana (life force), nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre and all without killing a living being. While there are many famous Western Yogis who proudly eat their burgers before their asana practice, knowing the issue of factory farming in North America, it is hard to believe that chakras can become balanced, shakti can spark, or kundalini can rise, no matter how fierce your Scorpion Pose may be. Should we have this Ceaser like mentality of washing our hands? Especially when the "meat" in question has more chemical preservatives than food content? These chemicals are toxic to the body, and made up of components that bring on various illnesses and disease. When the actual purpose behind the asana practice is to be able to sit in meditation (samadhi) for long periods of time, thus deepening our spiritual side, shouldn't we consider foods with less chemicals? Many people have the perspective, we all will die someday, why not enjoy our food, meaning various meat products? Ultimately, it is an individual choice, and ideally, if we made all our dietary choices based on nutritional content, the marketing gimmicks of our chemically laced fast food chains will serve no purpose. While it is an individual choice, a devotee to Yoga, who is eager to grow the spiritual side of the practice, and adapt the Limbs of Yoga deeper into daily habits usually eats a vegetarian diet to abide by the principal of Ahimsa (non harming to all living things). This Limb of Yoga helps us to see from a Universal perspective rather than an ego or self perspective. Only when you are ready to take that next step will you truly experience the Science behind this Ancient practice we call Yoga....till then, Happy Stretching.

For this post, McNasty comes into play because recently a few people have been keeping their McDonalds Happy Meals, and Hamburgers on the shelf. Literally, on the shelf, and observing that it doesn't decompose. The fries, the bread, the meat, everything just gets hard, no bugs want to nibble on it, and no mold forms. Karen Hanrahan (wellness educator) kept her McDonalds burger for 12 years and it didn't decompose. Nonna Joann purchased a Happy Meal and a year later it did not decompose. Food is supposed to decompose, normally flies would deposit larvae on old moldy meat and eventually that hatches into maggots. If flies ignore your food, if it does not decompose, then how could our bodies metabolize these types of meals? If you still want to claim you have a Yoga practice and eat your McDonalds, knowing that supporting a corporation like this is part of the factory farming issue, or if you believe that you didn't harm the animals yourself, just make a mental note, that you are willfully harming YOURSELF. The human body was designed to have food that acts as fuel and medicine. When you deliberately eat food that is considered "junk food" that contain chemical compounds that could easily embalm us from the inside....for reasons like:
  • the fat, citric acid and sodium content are unreasonably high in McDonalds fries for preservative purposes, and reason for their never spoiling life span.
  • the calcium/sodium proportionate found in the buns is also unreasonably high and reason for their never spoiling.
  • The beef has a higher fat content which is up to 54% of its caloric content which adds to the lack of moisture.
  • The factory farmed meat has stress hormones/adrenaline due to stressful situations killing and horrible growth hormone diets, these can affect our body.
Those of you who want to maintain your "stretching" practice with the Hip name "yoga", hey in North America, anything goes. Those of you who want to deepen your practice and embrace Ahimsa, by non violence/harming to yourself and your family, stop going to McDonalds. Stop eating foods that are more of a Lab experiment and replace those fast food choices with real nutrient rich foods that your body can metabolize. For anyone who represents McDonalds and thinks my opinion warrants a legal battle, take it up with Patanjali who wrote the Yoga Sutras because I am just a Yogini who wants to deepen my yoga practice and the yoga practice of others. ~Om Shanti
Picture: Photo by Karen Hanrahan "12 year old burger from McDonalds that did not decompose"

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