Yoga and Nutrition — Mindful Eating

kat14

This month on the blog, I'd like to focus on yoga and nutrition.  In my own experience, my interest in food and nutrition developed as a result of my yoga practice.  Yoga influenced me to cultivate awareness, to listen to my body, to practice mindfulness, and to take these practices off my mat and into my life.  When I began practicing these qualities with my diet and nutrition, I realized how disconnected I was from Eating Mindfully.I was often eating on the go, eating when I was upset or stressed, eating while reading, eating while on the computer, eating while thinking about what I had to do that day, eating what was convenient, eating what was going to give me a short term quick fix or failing to eat at all.  When I began letting the practice of mindfulness shine on my relationship to food, I began to realize how negative it was.  I wasn't eating to heal or to nourish or to love myself, and worst of all, I had no idea how to.

I began to take an interest in nutrition.  I began to pay attention to my mood when I was eating.  I began to notice digestion.  I noticed the relationships between what I put in my body and how I felt about myself.  I learned how to be a better cook.  I noticed that when I put the effort into preparing a meal, that I was more likely to appreciate it when I was eating it.

A friend recommended a book to me, "If the Buddha Came to Dinner", by Hale Sofia Schatz.  Its central premise revolves around the question, 'If the Buddha came to dinner what would you serve?'  Chances are, it would be fresh and organic, prepared with love and attention, nutritious and delicious, it would be eaten slowly, in moderation and enjoyed.  We might even say a prayer in gratitude to the farmers and the cooks.  And here's the crux, is this different then how you eat every day?  If so, why?  Aren't we all Buddha?  Can't we all imagine how amazing we'd feel if we ate like we'd serve Buddha every day at every meal?

So, how do we get there?  To Buddha meals all the time.  Or at least, most of the way there?  Each week on the blog, I'd like to explore a way we can practice Mindful Eating.  This week, the focus is on cultivating awareness.  I'm not going to ask you to change anything.  Just to practice awareness around your food.  Notice when you eat, what you choose to eat, how long it takes you to eat it, how it feels on your tongue and in your mouth, how it makes you feel.  That's it. It's a first step, but a huge one.  I'll do it with you and check back next week!

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