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Be Mindful, Not Mindless

The Art Of Yoga Meals

How often do we eat something and REALLY taste it? We’re often eating while working, running errands, or rushing through a meal so we can get to the next item on our to do list. We don’t take the time to enjoy food for what it’s worth – nourishment, energy, and satisfaction. Or to be grateful – we have food to eat, a safe, warm place to enjoy it, and loved ones to share it with.

I’m certainly guilty of this.

On day 1 of my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) we practiced meditation. In the middle of it, our teacher asked us to cup our hands in front of us, keeping our eyes closed. She placed something edible in our hands, and a sensory experience began.

Through touch we noticed its rough texture. Through smell we discovered its sweetness and what it might be. We touched it softly to our lips, noticing the texture once more, before placing it in our mouths to taste it. We just held it there. As our mouths started to water, the texture softened and the scent grew sweeter. Slowly, we took just a small bite, eventually continuing to chew, until satisfyingly swallowing it.

In that moment, I think I REALLY tasted a raisin for the first time. I’ve eaten countless raisins in my life - by the handful, in trail mix, and by way of my absolute favorite, oatmeal raisin cookies. Every single time it was a mindless act.

But this past experience was different…it was similar to a Yoga Meal.

"Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Soul."

There are 6 steps to Yoga Meals:

1. Have A Seat Do you ever eat while standing up, or moving about, interrupting your meal to do that one thing that simply can’t wait until your finished eating? Take a moment to pause, be grateful.

2. Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full Simple, right? Wait until your done chewing to continue conversation. It’s Manners 101, our parents taught us this growing up.

3. Be Present Remember that thing called conversation? Or just eat without distraction. DVR that episode of your favorite show, send that text after your leave the table, and that book or magazine you can’t put down can be better read while digesting.

4. Slow Down Think your food is going to run away? You haven’t even swallowed and your fork it already loaded with your next bite. Tip: Put down your utensil between bites, it will help you keep a slow, steady pace.

5. Don’t Overdo It Do you eat every meal like a Thanksgiving feast? Start with 2 “handfuls” of food. If you’ve finished, wait 3 minutes or so and evaluate if you’re really still hungry before getting more.

6. Be Satisfied Are you really hungry again? Unless you just had a snack, wait 2 hours or so before your next meal for proper nourishment.

I’ll be enjoying at least one Yoga Meal a day for YTT. For me, this will be a challenge. I always seem to be in a rush when I eat, I’m aware of that. I love food, and I’m usually excited to eat it because I spent a lot of time preparing a delicious recipe. Maybe I can learn to actually enjoy the meals I put so much love and time into making.

When’s the last time you REALLY tasted your food? Be mindful, it will change your whole experience.

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