I don't believe this is a phenomenon unique to the yoga world, where there's a good deal of karma-consciousness. For instance, look at this post on celebrity personal trainer Jillian Michaels:
The weight lifting, protein shake drinking, tough-stuff Jillian always keeps spare socks and blankets in her car for homeless people she encounters around LA. Who do you know who does that?
I read something recently in an Elephant Journal Post, 5 Life Changing Lessons From Ayurveda:
"In a more general sense, negativity begets negativity—the downward spiral of addictions of all kinds is a powerful example of samanya vishesha in action. Fortunately, the converse is also true. The more I implement positive choices in my life, the more positive choices I am able implement. Reflecting on the principle of like increases like inspires me to continue to make positive choices in each moment of my existence."
This is so true.
Exercise creates a domino effect in your life of positive changes, transforming your life and being for the better. As Tara Stiles puts it, you become a space maker; you create space in your life by practising ease of movement.
For instance, say you start doing 20 minutes - just 20 minutes of yoga - first thing in the morning, everyday.
From those 20 minutes, your physique and mind becomes stronger, your lungs work better, you become healthier, calmer, more productive. Perhaps you lose a bit of body fat, lower your blood pressure, fit into those jeans a little nicer. After this short burst of positive movement, you probably start to eat a little better; become concerned with nourishment rather than punishment. You feel great. You look great. You have space. In return, you are happier.
This is being a good person, and living life fully.
This is the domino effect of wellness and goodness from one small, 20 minute dedication to positive movement.
And then we have something else. It goes like this:
You need something grounding and comforting. You choose pizza; a big ol' greasy, cheesy, refined flour pizza, maybe with meat and extra cheese, maybe not; at this point, it doesn't really matter.
You start eating it, and it sort becomes hard to stop. You feel full, and satisfied and grounded; you get a rush of dopamine from all that stodgy, oily food. It's nice, but you feel a bit too heavy, you know, a bit too sluggish, and all you want to do is sit in front of the TV and not move.
Yeah, I'm sure all of us have been there at some point. Maybe you never left.
But, you see, it doesn't really fill you up. You could probably do with something sweet after all that salty, fatty cheese. Or maybe you just have a taste for more dense, junky foods; that dopamine hit isn't as good the next time round; you need it sooner, sweeter, greasier, bigger, more...
So, this becomes a regular occurrence. You become tired, and bloated. You don't want to move. Your trousers feel a little tighter, you're retaining a little water; your skin gets a sheen like it's assimilating oil, rather than youthful glow and your face looks puffy and tired. You're moody and irritable, and, you're finding it very, very hard to help yourself.
You feel like shit. You look like shit.
(This doesn't happen to people in sitcoms on TV does it, when they eat junk food?)
This, my friend, is the Domino's effect.
Tell me, which do you choose?