A transformation happened within me during the month I spent at the ashram getting my teacher’s certification. My system and tastebuds have become super sensitive. While at the ashram I ate mild sattvic food. And now I’m unable to have any alcohol or meat. The smell assails my nostrils and I’m unable to eat it. Perhaps the food at the ashram was mild and therefore did not smell very strong, and that is why my senses are trying to adjust to the strong smell of alcohol and meat.
Yesterday at a friend’s house I decided to break into wine after a long period of abstinence. The wine tasted fine and I thought I’ll stop at one glass. However, one glass soon turned into two and that’s when I finally stopped. (Note: could not bring myself to eat the chicken that my friend had prepared. However the rest of the food was finger licking good.) I walked home and slept and thought that perhaps my tolerance to alcohol was still intact, ashram or no ashram. However, it was in the morning when I woke up, listened to my morning stotras and then went into my practice that I realized that my tolerance might be intact, but my body wasn’t happy. When you drink your metabolism slows down because your body tries to metabolize the alcohol first. Call it a mental block or some wierd phobia developed in the past month, but I could still feel the lingering effects of alcohol on my system. The suryanamaskars went smoothly, but when I went into the asana practice my head felt heavy and all I felt like doing was lying down and breathing deeply. Then came the onslaught of queasiness. I tried to breath deeply and fight the feeling. I tried the Adhomukha Swastikasana. But that sluggishness and nausea just wouldn’t go away. I finally decided to just tolerate the feeling and observe what was happening.
However, I’m wondering at this change in my body and mind. 2 glasses of wine induced some kind of hangover in me. This was not something I had aimed for and it caught me by surprise. Initially I was uncomfortable with this change as well because I had no say in it. But my lesson from this morning was that I will not force my body either to eat meat or to eschew it. To drink or not to drink. Let your body be your guide and you will know what it needs at different stages of life and at different times. Don’t deprive your body and it will not deprive you.