Sukhasana To Eat Mindfully: The Science of Eating On Floor

Sitting on the floor to eat might seem like a thing of the past in a world full of high-top tables, bar stools and adjustable chairs. However, this practice, often referred to as Sukhasana, continues to hold a special place in various cultures around the globe. This dining posture has deep roots in Ayurveda, Indian traditions, and even modern health science. Beyond its cultural significance, there are substantial reasons why this age-old custom remains relevant in the modern era. Let’s explores the idea of sitting on the floor for eating, the benefits of Sukhasana, its connection to Ayurveda, and its enduring role in fostering well-being. 

According to Ayurveda, which means "Science of Life," the body and mind should be in balance and harmony. It places great importance on the way we consume food, considering not just what we eat but also how we eat it. Ayurveda advocates sukhasana as an ideal way to partake in a meal. Sukhasana is believed to optimize digestion by aiding in the secretion of digestive juices. Sitting on the floor with legs crossed and spine straight aligns the digestive organs, promoting a more efficient digestive process. It is also thought to prevent overeating, as the limited space on the floor discourages excessive food consumption. 

Nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar suggests, “Sit in sukhasana to eat your food - 

• Allows for an improved posture as your spine is aligned and the shoulders square. 

• Improves focus and attention to the act of eating and prevents overeating 

• Better blood flow to the stomach and improved assimilation of nutrients. 

• Keeps the body young and mobile, retains lower body strength and stability.  

In addition to sitting down, eat with your hands. Try this for at least one meal every day. 

P.S. Yes, you can sit cross legged on a chair also. If not possible, you can start by folding one leg only.” 

Moreover, Ayurveda recognizes the grounding effect of sitting on the floor. It connects us to the Earth's energy, fostering a sense of stability and calm during meals. In contrast, dining at a table with elevated chairs can sometimes lead to hurried and mindless eating.  

In India, the practice of sitting on the floor to eat is deeply intertwined with cultural and traditional values. It reflects a way of life that celebrates simplicity, humility, and a connection to nature. 

Modern research supports much of the ancient wisdom surrounding sitting on the floor to eat. Studies suggest that this practice can help improve posture and reduce the risk of orthopaedic issues. It promotes flexibility in the hips, knees, and ankles, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with sedentary lifestyles. 

Additionally, eating in sukhasana may aid in weight management. It encourages mindfulness, allowing individuals to savour each bite and recognize feelings of fullness more effectively. This can prevent overeating and support a healthy body weight. 

There's something spiritual about eating while seated on the floor. It is the embodiment of a whole, mind-body-soul approach to eating. This ancient technique has its origins in Ayurveda and Indian traditions, and it serves as a portal to the benefits of mindfulness, better digestion, and communal bonding. Taking part in this age-old custom could provide the much-needed sense of stability and fulfilment as we try to make sense of the modern world. So, let us regain the insight of sukhasana and treat each meal as a trip that nourishes not just the body but the mind and spirit as a whole.