We all grow up with different influences. Sometimes things that we were told in the past don’t quite permeate with us at the time, but later on in life we connect with in a more meaningful way. For me personally, as I was growing up my father used to remind me of a certain phrase, and although at the time these words didn’t resonate with me, they are now words that I try and live by; three small but very large words: Everything in Moderation.
Now perhaps you can relate to my own personal journey. I didn’t really have any desire to attach to these words as I was growing up: why would I want only one of something when I could have two?? Surely more is better?? I promptly disregarded my dad’s words and went about my merry way. Yet as time went by I realized that maybe something my dad said had actually stuck with me. I found myself practicing moderation without even realizing it, limiting myself on indulgences and feeling good about it. When I finally found my connection with yoga, moderation came to have an entirely new meaning.
But how are yoga and moderation connected? I can only share my personal experience and how I came to discover this relationship. When I began practicing yoga asana (physical poses) I started noticing a pattern. If I had overindulged in something prior to the practice, even the night before a practice, whether it be dessert or wine or (fill in the blank), my practice did not feel good in my body. I would tend towards sluggish or lethargic and I just didn’t feel right. It was almost as if my body would reject the excessive behaviour, begging me to remove it or them. This was the beginning of me learning how to nourish my body in a moderate way. I was and still am able to enjoy all of life’s pleasures, but doing so in a more balanced way has brought about so many positive improvements in my life. My practice improved, I physically had more energy, and my whole life just became more healthful. All of this simply by inviting three small words into my life “Everything in Moderation.”
I have focused mostly on things that we physically consume, but taking moderation into other aspects of our lives can be healing as well. Finding pleasure is not always based on having more things around us; sometimes less can be more.
“Moderation in all things” – Aristotle