The Body Ecology Diet, by Donna Gates, is a diet that is aimed to help individuals restore and maintain the inner ecology of their body. This diet focuses on eating cultured foods, good fats and reducing carbohydrate and sugar intake. While there is no specific exercise plan, Gates recommends that dieters be active because this helps oxygenate the body. The book states that you do not need to be a slave to the gym to achieve the health benefits. Instead, individuals need to focus on completing activities that they look forward to participating in. Due to Gates’ recommendation of avoiding gym machines, below is a list of yoga-inspired exercises that you can incorporate with the Body Ecology Diet.
Exercise #1: Downward Dog
Begin this move by starting on your hands and knees. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart while your knees should be hip-width apart. Roll up on to your toes and lift up your buttocks, making your body form an upside-down letter V. Your head will be situated between your arms and you will be looking at your feet. Make sure to evenly distribute your weight between your feet and hands. To go deeper into this stretch, push your heels towards the floor and lift your butt further into the air. Aim to keep your back flat and head relaxed. Hold for 30 seconds.
Exercise #2: Spinal Twist
The Spinal Twist is a wonderful exercise that elongates the muscles of the back and the outer thigh. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you with your arms down by your side. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot over your right leg at your knee. Keep your back straight and rotate your torso to the right so that your right arm crosses the front of your body. You will want to rest your right elbow against your left thigh right above the knee. Place your left arm behind you for support. You can make this stretch deeper by rotating your upper body further. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Exercise #3: Pigeon
In the Pigeon, you will want to begin in Downward Dog, which is described in Exercise #1. From Downward Dog, bring your right leg underneath you, keeping your knee bent. Align your knee so that it is at the center of your chest. Keep your left leg stretched out behind you. Sit up and keep your upper body straight. You can place your arms along your side for balance. You can make this stretch deeper by pushing your hips towards the ground and lowering and stretching your entire upper body out in front of you. Your chest will be touching your right leg’s upper thigh, your forehead may touch the floor and your arms can be stretched out in front of you. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Complete these yoga-inspired stretches along with other physical activity that you enjoy most days of the week to achieve maximum benefit of the Body Ecology Diet.