Some of us grew up with food, the endless family gatherings where everything was centered around food, what dishes will you bring or will you prepare days or weeks in advance and the far journeys your mom or aunt will take just for that particular type of dish. I remember those gatherings, and I remember food was always abundant in my home, since growing up my parents spoilt us with whatever gluttony we want to devour. During my school years overseas and hitting puberty there was certain food I realized I couldn’t keep eating just to satisfy my sense of taste, however I never had the proper education to teach me what is good for my body and how to treat it well.
Through reading and slowly learning about proper diet and nutrition over the years I began to change my eating habits and I realized that I could not have done so without my increased self-awareness that I attained from my yoga practices. I like what Denise Benitez owner of Yoga Arts in Seattle said, this I could relate to my own experience “When we practice yoga, although it may look easy, there is some mild discomfort. You bring your body to a physical edge that’s just a little bit challenging. And people who regularly practice yoga develop the inner resources to stay with a little bit of discomfort. They develop a softness inside and an ability to stay mindful. So that when you go home after yoga class and open up the fridge and see a chocolate cake, you have the resources to stay with the discomfort of not eating that chocolate cake.”
Sri Ramana Maharshi, widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Indian gurus of modern times was questioned by a Western lady about the Sattvic diet that he adopted throughout most of his life. Pleading to Maharshi that a concession should be made in a strict sattvic diet, Maharshi stated that the weaker the body the stronger the mind grows. The quality of food influences the mind. The mind feeds on the food consumed. Habit is only adjustment to the environment. It is the mind that matters. The fact is that the mind has been trained to think certain foods tasty and good. The food material is to be had both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet equally well. But the mind desires such food as it is accustomed to and considers tasty. (Sri R. M) He further elaborate that we must be aware of not only the physical food that we take into our physical body but the sensory food that affects all our senses that we digest for our mind.
With two weeks left in my yoga course, I hope I am able to take practice what I consumed not only the physical food but other aspects that I have accustomed my senses to, hopefully I have more awareness to filter all the external sensories that influence me on a daily basis, whether is negative or positive.