A Yogi's Guide To Enjoying Alcohol
Where I'm from in the U.K., a ladette is a young woman who behaves in a boisterously assertive or crude manner and engages in heavy drinking sessions.
Do you remember ladettes from your teenage days? Maybe you were even a ladette yourself? Drinking heavily, keeping up with the boys, being boisterous, lad-ish and not at all ladylike.
Born out of the Britpop era, people like Kate Moss, Nicole Appleton, and Patsy Kensit were all ladettes!
I grew up with this culture, and famous ladettes in the media were my role models, epitomizing cool. Downing pints, playing drinking games, stumbling home, and passing out were all requirements for a great night out.
With this culture informing my late teenage years, it took a long time for me to realize that being a beer-swilling, cigarette-toting ladette was not actually cool.
Years of subliminal brainwashing stating that "Alcohol is only for adults," or "You have to be cool to drink," or even "Alcohol makes you funny" made me desperate to carry off this perceived version of cool. What actually ensued was a drunken mess, and eventually I became a high-functioning alcoholic.
I couldn't continue in this fashion, so I decided to quit alcohol completely for a number of years. This worked well for a while, helping me to recover from my addiction, but after a long while of sobriety I felt as if I was depriving myself of something that I enjoyed.
I needed to find a new norm, which came in the shape of acceptance and mindfulness. I now occasionally enjoy a glass of red wine or Champagne. I don't beat myself up for doing so but neither do I embark down the road of no return and become an alcoholic ladette once again!
I wanted to be able to enjoy a glass of wine and still be a yogi, recognizing I am a human being delighting in the experiences of this joyous world.
Here are my tips for mindfully drinking like a yogi:
1. If you feel like having an alcoholic drink, make sure it's something that has potential health benefits in small quantities, such as red wine.
2. Be mindful of your state of mind; if you are anything less than content, stay away from the alcohol, and go and do some yoga instead!
3. Be mindful as you drink, savoring the taste and sensation of the alcohol with your senses.
4. If you don't want an alcoholic drink and you are attending a social event, make sure you have your drink of choice ready in your mind. It's so easy to unconsciously agree to a glass of wine because you can't think of anything else to have. I love sparkling water with mint. So refreshing!
5. Don't succumb to peer pressure because you feel like the odd one out for having only one drink. Honestly, you are the hipster here.
6. If you are with heavy drinkers, don't be afraid to accept an alcoholic drink to appease demands for you to drink too. You don't need to drink it if you don't want to; people don't notice.
7. If you do have a glass of wine, make sure you follow it up with a glass of water to rehydrate.
8. Remember, one unit of alcohol, a small glass of wine, takes three hours to completely leave your system.
9. Have something to eat with your drink and make sure you don't drink on an empty stomach, to minimize the effects of the alcohol.
When we abstain from something that we enjoy, it can cause discontent in our lives. It doesn't always have to be all or nothing. Life is all about change, a constant state of flux.
Allow yourself to experience the things that you want to experience at any given moment with mindfulness and self-acceptance; this way you will always feel content.
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