I have begun eating in a new way these past few weeks. You see, over the years, I have gotten into some bad habits. I would eat while reading, messing around on the computer, standing up in my kitchen, etc.
It’s not so much that I don’t like to eat. Quite the opposite, in fact, I love to eat! What I don’t like is taking the time to eat. I would quickly shove food into my mouth which would cause me to over eat, have digestive upset, stomach bloat and weight gain.
I decided I needed to make a change. I needed to set sacred space around my meals. I am talking all meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. First off, I needed a dedicated space to take my meals. You would think that my dining room table would be the most logical space for this. How boring is that! I decided to try something different.
As you can see from the photo I’ve set up a breakfast tray on my yoga mat looking out at my spectacular view of down town Saint Paul. When I took my yoga training many years ago we would eat our meals on our mats and I loved the practice of sitting in easy pose while I ate. My sit bones are connected and grounded to the Earth this way. For me, it is easier to be mindful when I’m grounded.
Coming to my mat for a meal is very similar to how I approach my yoga practice. My whole body and mind prepares for my yoga practice with the simple act of approaching my mat. The same goes for my meals. Once I began to do this I found it easy to continue. I like the idea of setting up my space, which prepares me on an emotional level to eat. Once my space is prepared I place my hands above my meal and I chant OM Yum Yum. Silly, but an effective prayer. When I finish my meal I say thank you. I than place my hands over my tummy and take a few breaths to end my meal.
This does take time and effort. Yet, the commitment to the practice keeps me from mindless eating. I’m not going to nosh on food unconcsiously if I have to set up my space to do it. The key is commitment. I can eat what ever I want as long as I take it to my sacred space. This makes me think before I put it in my mouth.
This practice may not be ideal for everyone. I live alone and am self-employed so my time is more flexible than some people’s. My purpose in writing this is to give you food for thought. How can you bring the sacred to your own meals and thus bring mindfulness into your life?
Della is a yogi, psychic and healer. You can find out more about her and her services here.