International Yoga Day: 7 Tips For Mindful Eating In Yogic Diet
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As the world celebrates International Yoga Day 2023, it is very important to remember that practicing yoga as a physical activity alone is not going to give you the same results as practicing yoga as a holistic lifestyle. Following a yogic diet is equally vital, so making sure you follow the tenets of Ayurveda is essential. One of the cornerstones of a yogic diet is mindful eating, a principle that alligns a yoga practitioner with nature and food for best results. 

For those who don’t know, mindful eating is a principle of the yogic diet that emphasizes a conscious and present-moment approach to eating. It involves developing a heightened awareness of the entire eating experience, including the food choices, the act of eating, and the body's response to the food. 

By practicing mindful eating, you cultivate a deeper connection with your body and food, promoting a more balanced and harmonious relationship with eating. It can enhance your overall experience of nourishment and contribute to a healthier and more mindful approach to your diet and wellbeing. This also aids yoga practice by keeping your entire system clean and pure so that you can reap the best results from your yoga sessions. 

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So, what are the key aspects of mindful eating and how do we practice it perfectly for a yogic diet? Here are some tips that will help you out. 

Be Aware

Mindful eating involves bringing full awareness to the present moment and paying attention to the food you are about to eat. It encourages you to engage all your senses, noticing the colors, textures, aromas, and flavors of the food. So, switch off the television and eat your meals in a silent, calm environment. 

Slow Down & Chew  

Mindful eating emphasizes slowing down the eating process and chewing food thoroughly. By doing so, you can fully experience the taste and texture of each bite and allow your body's natural satiety signals to kick in. This again requires you to switch off all distractions, including that of conversation, while eating your sattvik meals. 

Connect With Food

Mindful eating encourages a deeper connection with the food you consume. This includes being grateful for the nourishment it provides, acknowledging the effort and energy put into growing and preparing the food, and developing a sense of appreciation for the abundance of nature. So, make an effort to know the ingredients you are using to cook food, whether it be fruits, vegetables, whole grains or proteins. 

Tune Into Hunger Cues  

Mindful eating involves listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues. It means eating when you're truly hungry and stopping when you're comfortably full, rather than following external cues or eating out of habit or emotional reasons. So, avoid overeating or overindulgence. 

Practice Ahimsa 

Mindful eating in a yogic diet encourages you to eat plant-based foods because these foods do not include any butchery. Practicing ahimsa and sattva are key parts of a yogic diet, so mindful eating should include removing rajasic and tamasic foods that are sourced through himsa or generate too much heat in the body. 

Make Conscious Food Choices

Mindful eating involves making conscious and informed choices about the food you consume. It encourages selecting foods that are nourishing, whole, and aligned with your personal well-being and values. So, source fresh and seasonal ingredients for your meals from locally grown vegetables, fruits and more. This will also attune you to your environment and community properly. 

Gratitude & Mindful Blessing

Before you begin eating, take a moment to express gratitude and offer a mindful blessing for the food in front of you. Recognize the effort and energy that went into growing, harvesting, and preparing the food. Cultivate a sense of appreciation for the interconnectedness of all beings and the nourishment provided by the earth. This practice helps foster a mindful and grateful mindset, deepening your connection with the food and the broader web of life.