How your food choices affect your yoga practice (part 3)

 In Practice

HOW AM I EATING AND HOW DOES IT MAKE ME FEEL?

There are two parts to this question:

1. How am I eating?

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that the yogi should fill two parts of his stomach with food,  the third part with water, leaving the fourth part free for the digestive process. And, that the process of eating should be dedicated to Shiva. My interpretation of this is that we should only eat to the point that we satisfy hunger, and be grateful for whatever it is that we are consuming.

These concepts of eating slowly, mindfully and with gratitude are also important in the Ayurvedic system, and are thought to help with the digestive process.

2. How does it make me feel?

The most important thing about food is that it should make you feel good both physically and emotionally after you eat it. Listen to that inner voice and do what’s right for you. No one else will.

You may have particular health, socio-economic or cultural considerations that are not conducive to what you believe is a stereotypical yogic diet. Don’t stress. Just be conscious of how your body responds to certain things, and how your conscience responds to certain situations. If you focus too much on appearance rather than general wellbeing, then this is the start of a slippery slope to neurosis about self image. If you focus too much on what others think of you, then this will only create angst.

Sure, you may find yourself gravitating towards organic brands at the supermarket, and then eventually find yourself avoiding supermarkets altogether and instead shopping at locally-owned greengrocers. Again, ask yourself why? Is it because you feel like others expect you to, or is it because you are consciously aligning your actions with your personal morals and beliefs.

‘Happiness is when… what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony’ – Mahatma Ghandi

by Melissa Baker

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