I believe that eating mindfully is simply an extension of my yoga practice, off the mat. Yoga has taught me to be present, and to know that my body will feel different from one day to the next, and to listen to what it has to tell me. These lessons naturally extend to food and eating. Yoga and mindful eating allow me to acknowledge that there is no one right or wrong way to eat, that everyone’s eating experience is unique. It’s about observing my, and others’, food preferences in a non-judgemental way.
With a more intimate understanding of my body through yoga, I make food choices to support my health and well being. And as in yoga, mindful eating is about learning to respect my inner wisdom. I choose food that will be satisfying, nurturing, and nourishing for my body, and soul, in that moment. Mindful eating is about being aware of the interconnectedness of all of us, earth, plants, animals and humans. It’s about being fully present as I chop, peel, and wash food. It’s about cooking with joy, in a leisurely and peaceful way, infusing the food with love. It’s about taking a moment to prepare the place where I eat, setting a beautiful table.
Before I take that first bite, I pause, to look, smell, breathe in and appreciate food I have in front of me. I contemplate the gift of this food, and show gratitude to the earth, the sky, the rain and the sun, and to all those who played a part in allowing this food to be here, now, for me. Mindful eating allows me to savour each bite of the food I choose to eat, and to listen to my body’s cues about hunger and satiety, and eat just what I need, not more. I acknowledge that this food is giving me energy to practice being yet more mindful, to practice my yoga on the mat, and to be more loving and understanding and compassionate to all.