A new year is an automatic moment most reflect and set goals to improve their health. For many, this involves goals to lose weight through healthier eating. However, when considering your relationship with food, the desired result should be more than weight loss. Truly improving your health occurs through consistent dedication to long-term change in your eating habits.
How does healthy eating correlate to yoga? As the most novice yogi knows, two of the most fundamental truths of any yoga practice are mindfulness and intention. Both are equally important practice when eating. Being mindful of what you eat, while you are eating it can help prevent overeating and drive healthier choices. Where do you start? Check out the summary below of tips on mindfulness and intention when eating from Baron Baptiste, creator of Baptiste Power Yoga and author of Journey into Power.
- Before eating…Ask the purpose of this meal or snack: a result of hunger, or to act as a distraction?
- Appreciate your food. Thankfulness is deeply spiritual and will change your relationship to food significantly. It is impossible to experience gratitude and be unconscious at the same time.
- Listen to your body. Your body will tell you when enough is enough, but you have to be listening. Following your body’s clues is a direct path toward learning to eat mindfully.
- Be aware of unhealthy cravings. Commit to pausing before unconsciously indulging. Is this an emotional want or a response to your body’s needs? Interrupting the emotional want with some movement–meditation, yoga, or a walk—often redirects your focus and eliminates the craving.
- Engage your whole self during prep. Being mindful around food, at all stages of preparation, is a powerful force in altering your attitude toward it. Be totally present and aware while peeling, chopping, mixing, and cooking your meals. Notice the colors, textures, and tastes of the items you choose to eat.
- Become aware of your eating environment. Eating while multi-tasking? Or do you sit down and relax while eating? What effect do both have on digestion? Eating when anxious tends to trigger adverse symptoms in your digestive tract. Eating in a calm, quiet atmosphere, sets a tone for healthy digestion.
- Be intentional when you add to your food. The dressing on your salad, sugar in your coffee and butter on your bread all often go unnoticed. They seem insignificant when you use them but be mindful of how they add up.
- Pay attention to internal cues after you eat. How do you feel after consuming foods? Relate your bodily sensations, like tiredness, lightness or even discomfort, to what you’ve eaten. This helps establish the cause-and-effect of what you are consuming so that you can mindfully choose foods in the future.
As you strive to continue a resolution of healthier eating, remember that true change happens over the long-term, and not just at the new year. These tips by Baptiste Power Yoga founder, Baron Baptiste, are intended to help you be mindful of your daily choices but change only occurs when you consistent over time.
Yoga Body Shop is a Baptiste Affiliate Studio, proudly practicing the yoga methodologies developed by Baron Baptiste. The fundamental purpose of Baptiste Power Yoga is to awaken and empower you to live fully. Click here to hear more about the yoga practice directly from Baron Baptiste himself.
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