13 Aug Mindful Eating
When we talk about Yoga, it doesn’t only mean Asanas and Pranayamas. Yoga is a holistic approach to good health. At The Yoga Institute, we strongly believe that Yoga is an experiential science. And what can be a better experience than Food? The food that we eat plays a major role in determining our overall health, growth, and progress.
Jaisa anna, waisa manna…if we keep indulging in packaged and junk food, that’s exactly how our mind and body is going to turn out to be. The modern generation wants everything at lightning-fast speed, right from their internet connections, to their rushed breakfast on-the-go and even their quick and instant cooking meals. The idea of slow cooking now seems quite ancient.
In this ‘to-go’ and ‘takeaway’ culture, time is everything and very little attention is paid to the way one chooses what and how to eat food. Let’s take a look at what Yoga says about Mindful Eating:
Positive preparations: The whole process of mindful eating starts even before the actual process of eating. You must see to it that you prepare your meal in a very positive state of mind. Your mood and energy at the time of cooking are going to get transferred to your meal. So always ensure that your mind is filled with positivity and gratitude during the cooking process. You can also keep chanting mantras or simply be in a happy mood by humming or singing.
What should my meal include? We recommend a Sattvik meal that would help to keep the body and mind clean and healthy, as it is very easy to digest. A sattvik diet also helps to increase immunity, body strength, health, and vitality. Ideally, your meals should comprise of fresh, healthy, and local seasonal fruits and vegetables. It should include cereals, greens, whole grains, legumes, ghee, and dairy products.
Mitahara: Be mindful of how much food your body needs and how much you eat. It is advised that you fill half your stomach with solid foods, 1/4th with liquid, and 1/4th must be left empty for the gases to freely move around.
Chew well: Chew your food well. Instead of swallowing big morsels of food, chew it for at least 20-30 times before you swallow it. This will not only make the swallowing process easier but also help to get all the nutrients out of the morsel and aids the absorption. Eat your food slowly and consciously, with all your awareness.
No distractions: When you are eating your food, there shouldn’t be any distractions like Television. Eat at one fixed time and in a quiet environment with a mind full of awareness. We nourish our bodies not only with our food but also with our minds through our senses. For example, your food won’t give you any nutritional value if you eat it while fighting with someone.
Engage the senses: Use all your senses to engage with your food. First, hear the crackling sound while preparing the food, then see the beautiful colours, smell the aroma, use your fingers to eat and touch the textures, and finally use the tongue to taste the food. When you engage all 5 senses with your food, you are automatically mindful about eating.
Listen to the body: Don’t eat just because it’s mealtime, eat only when your body feels hungry. You must also never overeat or eat past your stomach is full. This generally happens in a typical Indian household, where we force our guests to eat more. You might think that it a sweet gesture but technically it is wrong. Always listen to the body’s signals.
Complete attention: When you are eating your food, simply eat your food. Don’t complicate the process and divert your attention by multitasking. Give it all of your attention and enjoy your meal with complete awareness.
Incorporate the Yoga Way of mindful eating and notice the amazing health benefits that will be bestowed upon you.