* If you have a compromised immune system already, this one may not be for you.
If you eat healthy food, and move moderately, you should have healthy, adequate muscles. If you want your muscles to be stronger, you have to challenge them. You can’t just pick up a weight one day, and expect your muscles to be permanently strong. You have to apply consistent, manageable, extra weight or endurance challenges to develop a truly strong, robust, healthy muscle system.
I treat my immune system the way I treat my muscles. If I eat healthy food and I am exposed to typical daily germs, my immune system should be adequate. If I want it to be stronger than adequate, I have to challenge it. My immune system is not a precious thing held in a box until needed; I need it 24/7. And I have to add consistent, moderate challenges in order to keep it in top fighting condition.
I don’t wash my fruits and vegetables unless I can actually see dirt on them, and that’s about the grit on my teeth, not the dirt.
Because I buy organic, I know I’m eating earth, not chemicals. The chemicals are too poisonous, but the earth is not. It’s my home, and I want to be strong and resilient on it.
I drink a triple shot mocha every day because 1. Love it, 2. Addicted to it, 3. It is my number one daily “dirty” food, because of the chocolate syrup. Almost everything else that I eat is organic. But every single morning, I throw down a little bit of poison, and my immune system gets a work out. Because of that, my whole body doesn’t freak out if I have beer and pizza. I can feel everything working a little harder the next day, but I’m not miserable just because I ate some junk food.
I am a firm believer in moderation, and I see it working in this theory. I get sick once every 2 - 3 years, and it is always mild and quick to leave; many of my most severely “healthy” food eating friends are sick 3 - 6 times every year. They are living too clean on a dirty world, and can’t cope.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika would not recommend dirt-eating, but 500 years ago, they consumed a lot of dirt (and microbes) as a matter of daily living. Lysol spray and hand sanitizers hadn’t been invented yet, and everything and everyone was dirtier; they just didn’t know it. Your own human body ate boogers and dirt when you were a baby because it knew instinctively that a more resilient, robust, healthy immune system would be the result.
This is known as the “hygiene hypothesis” and there is some interesting evidence that a little bit of dirt goes a long way to reducing inflammation, allergies, asthma, eczema and all the other diseases of “affluence”. Although we are protected from some of the most deadly germs, we aren’t strong enough to combat the day to day. Modern life means many of us aren’t being exposed to enough of the germs that cause these ailments, so our bodies have become hypersensitive not only to them, but to microbes in general. There are 10 to 20 times more bacteria in you then human cells - they belong there.
Today, at the very least, try to go outside and touch the earth, with your feet or your hands. If you are buying fresh, organic food, try to resist washing it. If you’ve been eating clean since our program began, maybe it is time for a little junk. Go easy, but get dirty.
#practicalpradipika @airstreamyogi @camputopiayoga @allisonrissel @shineon.yoga
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