I’d be a big, fat liar if I said I ate with complete 100% awareness with every meal. Yes, I practice yoga. Yes, I go to India to train. Yes, I’m a yoga teacher. But also… yes, I’m human! There are times where I’ve eaten a meal so quickly I barely even saw it on the plate! Not always, but certainly this happens (my partner will surely agree). But to be totally clear here - this is not my recommended way of eating and thankfully not my normal way of eating. But it happens!
Despite tendencies of inhaling my meals, for every meal, I’m super mindful of what I’m ingesting. (FYI - this doesn’t always mean I make good choices! But at least I’m mindfully making poor choices and have no one to blame but myself...) When I’m in a very present state of mind, I ask myself the questions; “How is this food good/not good for my body? Am I actually hungry right now or bored? How will this meal make me feel?” You see, most of the trouble I see today with people’s eating habits, my own included, is the lack of awareness of what is being eaten and the effects it has on the body.
Just like the power of an asana cannot be experienced in the body if it is not practiced mindfully, (e.g. a person who can do a handstand without awareness is working purely on the physical body. Active work on the non-physical body, to bring balance, will not occur), the power of the food we ingest cannot be experienced without eating it mindfully.
I’ve done every diet under the sun prior to my yoga days. Fat free, paleo, carb free, no sugar, juice (aka starvation) diets… You name it, I’ve done it. But interestingly enough, my practice has helped me to feel more in tune with what my body needs and as such I eat that. And this is not just raw carrots and pieces of lettuce. I love my carbs, I love my dark chocolate treats and I’m always up for a smoothie! I’ve come to realise it’s never been what I was eating that was a problem, it was how I was eating it... with zero awareness. In my opinion, if we can slow down our eating, chew a few more times and actually taste the food - then our bodies will love us for it. This is how mindful eating can heal the body. The rest (i.e. the health benefits, the weight-loss, the confidence) will be sure to follow.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post and how you feel it could apply in your life. Is this this something you can relate to? Be sure to share your thoughts and feedback!
Sending much love and huge hugs,