Recently I began taking yoga classes at “Yoga Body Shop” in Johnson City, New York. I have been taking “Hot Yoga” classes and let me tell you they are hot! The room is around 100 degrees and the work out is definitely a butt kicker. Well at least for this newbie. I have yet to have Blake as an instructor nor have I met him. However I find his blog post below intriguing. Please read on and share your thoughts if you care to.
My thoughts on optimizing your “Biological Human Machine”
Written by Blake Hickey: Yoga Body Shop
First and foremost we need to take the time to realize how blessed we are to be in control of the human body. Look at yourself. A blob of differentiating cells all performing their own tasks to keep themselves alive, combining and working together to make up you. The self. Look at your hand. I mean really look at your hand. That hand isn’t “you”. It is something that you control. You have the opportunity to experience life in a vehicle that is capable of so much. Some would say that your vehicle is evolutions greatest design. Every movement you make, every thought you create, every interaction you experience is because you pilot the vehicle known as the human body. Is there a way that we can enhance our reality that we experience with this body? I think the answer is yes and I believe there are three specific things you can focus on to begin the process of transforming your biological human machine into its optimum state.
One thing that I am certain of is in order to achieve the most optimal state of body and mind you must give your body the nutrients it needs. Your body needs specific vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in order to run at its most efficient state. Being in a yoga studio throughout most of my day, I hear many people talking about ways to stay healthy and fit. Many times I hear people talk about calories. Calorie counting is not an effective way to optimize your body. What kind of calories are you counting? If you have a 1500 calorie diet consisting of flour, pasta, dairy, sweets and your occasional soda filled with high fructose corn syrup would you be better off compared to someone who ate a 2000 calorie diet of lean fats, grains like quinoa, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and nothing but water? Of course you wouldn’t. Your body would be lacking in the vitamins and minerals it needs and you would essentially be walking around “sick” all the time. In order to optimize your human body you need to feed it the right amount of nutrients it needs. My theory on nutrition is to think simple. I myself follow more of a paleo lifestyle which basically states that you eat natural growing fruits, vegetables and meat. I believe our bodies evolved to intake these natural foods and didn’t evolve to eat processed pasta, processed bread and chemically filled sugary drinks. If you give your body the nutrition it needs and craves you will begin to see not only physical benefits but you will also notice a higher mind state. Remember, your brain needs specific nutrients to operate at its maximum capacity as well. The key here is to explore your food. Try new things. Have fun with it. Actually taste your food. When you eat your food, sit down and focus on what you are eating. Notice how you feel directly after you eat and two hours after you eat. Calories here don’t matter as much as the quality of calories you are consuming. I always try to remember that everything I put into my mouth can either make me better off or worse off.
Another way to make your experience in this human flesh vehicle as enjoyable as possible is to exercise. Our ancestors evolved by constantly moving from one area of resources to another. We survived by hunting and gathering. There were little to no time periods during our waking hours when we could rest, unlike today where so many of our professions require little to no movement. Our bodies evolved to be in constant physical stress. That need to exercise is still programmed into our DNA. There is no debating that exercising is a healthy part of any lifestyle. It not only benefits your physical body allowing you to be more versatile and capable but also, it helps your mentality as it decreases depression, reduces stress and increases brain power and creativity. Exercise also Increases relaxation which leads me into my final way to optimize your human machine.
After putting your body through physical stress and then feeding it the nutrients it needs it is now time to begin the final step to this process. This final step is rest. So many times I hear how people average about five to six hours of sleep a night. This can have negative effects on your wellbeing especially when you consider long term. Appropriate rest is essential to repair your body and mind. Your body needs to shut down and focus its energy on repairing instead of moving and thinking. Also, I believe dreaming is more than we believe it to be. I don’t know exactly what our brains are doing during that time but I know we all do it and that it is important. Enjoy your dream time. You need it.