We apply the principles of Mindfulness to eating our food and call it “Mindful Eating” Of course it is important what we eat but we already have this information and know which food nourishes our body. According to the ancient Ayurveda system of Medicine, food has been divided into three categories according to their effect on our body’s energy. These 3 types are 

  1. Satvik Food- Satvik food is the food that contains the energy of Sattva a term in Sanskrit meaning pure, vital, and conscious. Satvik diet includes seasonal foods and fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, organic vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nonmeat-based proteins. All food that is cooked at home with love and devotion is considered satvik food. This can also be referred to as the Yogic diet.
  2. Rajsik Food- This includes food that gives quick energy and if consumed in moderation these foods are neither good nor bad. The energy created from this food is stimulating so they are also called stimulant foods such as coffee, tea, homemade sweets, biscuits and dark chocolate.
  3. Tamsik Food- This food brings lethargy and is called sedative food. According to Ayurveda consumption of Tamsik food is harmful to the mind or body. Example of this food is processed and canned food, alcoholic beverages, blue cheese etc.

Mindful Eating includes the practice of Mitahara from yogic literature meaning “Moderation in eating”. A diet plan is useless unless people’s behaviour changes around food. Now when we are spending so much time indoors we are less active and consuming negative news along with food. We learn to pay attention to our food while eating that is only possible when we remove all distractions and have exclusive time for eating. Mindful Eating is process oriented rather than outcome is driven for losing weight, although while developing awareness around eating habits will lead to many benefits for maintaining a healthy body. In a yogic way we describe the most outer sheath of the five subtle layers of the body is called “Annamaya Kosha” meaning Food Body so we are what we eat, if you ate Banana and Yoghurt then after digestion and absorption it became part of every single cell of your body so you are that banana and yoghurt in your food body.

Along with paying attention to our mind with meditation and nourishing the body with mindful eating, we must energise the body with regular practice of yoga. Yoga comes from Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning union of body, mind and soul. It is much more than making those fancy poses with your body. The ancient practice of yoga is thousands of years old and has stood the test of time. Patanjali The Father of yoga has described in the eights limbs of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi a systematic way of practising yoga for maximum benefit.

Covid 19 situation is the way it is and we must accept it non judgementally knowing this is a situation beyond our control and mindfully see our role in the bigger picture, then we can not only look after ourselves but also support others who are struggling to find solutions. Yoga and Mindfulness practice can create calm in the storm.