Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6 Verse: “But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing yog.”
Yukta – The literal meaning in English means moderate. Not to be on one extreme or the other, not too much and not too less. So how do you decide what is moderate? In terms of food, no one can tell you, no one can tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat, and how much… only you can know, its a very personal decision.
Our mind is very interested in extremes. Right now, detoxing is so popular around the world. In reality, it’s a large problem. One cannot over eat for a long period of time, then all of a sudden fast, or juice for a week. The digestion, the body is not ready for it. Especially when we go right back to overeating direct right after detoxing. We have a natural detox system in our body and we constantly destroy this mechanism, instead of assisting it. If we are balanced in our eating, and what we eat, then there is no need to detox.
Intestinal cleaning is a big fad right now. Many people are doing these detox programs to remove junk in their digestive tracks. The problem, is when everything is removed, we are left weak, and all the good bacteria is evacuated as well. Again, very difficult for our natural system to get back to working order, when we immediately go back to our normal diet after doing this cleansing. Another example, is taking an over amount of vitamins, nutrients, supplements etc. Again, many times we go to the extreme and it is too much for our digestion. What is needed is Yukta, or moderation.
We have a natural state in our being, and too often we go on one extreme or the other. In yogic processes instead of detoxing, we assist our natural body. In shatkarmas, or cleansing practices, we use the minimalist amount of material to assist our bodies. In Sutra Neti we use a single thread. In Vaman we use just salt and water.
Another natural way to assist our digestion is breathing. If done correctly, with a straight back and open chest, the diaphragm when moving out and in, should massage our internal organs (Perastaltic movement.) Instead, when we hunch over, do not stand and sit properly, we are congesting the body and destroying this natural detox system, which we then turn to other detox methods.
If we eat too much food, then our diaphragm can’t move freely, this natural state doesn’t occur and we end up getting tired and falling asleep. Cleaning our body is very similar to living in a house. If we overload and dont clean a bit each day, then we have to hire someone to do it, and we have to take a long time to do deep cleans at the end of the season or months. If we do a bit each day, then this detox is not needed.
Fasting can be a beautiful thing, if done in the right manner. If you care for your internal system, and want to provide some rest to this during a fasting, this can be very powerful. Instead, we see some people starve themselves to the point where their insides start eating itself, then at some point eat a ton of food, and possibly vomit it back up. This is the opposite of what fasting should be.
There are other ways to naturally detox our body. Our eyes take in so much during the day. Our eyes are constantly taking pictures during the day, which are being unconsciously thrown into the visual cortex. Sometimes these images surface at night during our dreams. Trataka is a beautiful way to clean the eyes by staring at a candle flame and allowing all emotions to surface and exit the body. Another is Brahmari Pranayam for the ears, which brings awareness from external sounds to our internal body.
In order for us to get the most out of yogic practices, we must practice a more moderate life. Yukta can become a core part of our lives, and allow us to rest our minds and bodies more. Also, allowing us to gain more from yogic practices.