You can downward dog and chaturanga like a champ. But is your eating yogic? We’re not talking about the Ayurvedic, vegetarian eating plan that’s often associated with yoga. Rather, we’re encouraging you to bring the “spirit of yoga” to the table. This is one of the ways you do yoga “off the mat.” As you revamp your health routine this new year, consider yoga-fying your diet with these five tips.
Tune In to Cues of Hunger & Fullness
One of the best things yoga teaches you is how to get into and aware of your body. When it comes to eating, you can use that awareness to check in before, during and after a meal. How hungry are you before you start eating? Just a little? Ravenous? How full are you? Have you had enough, or have you eaten until you’re uncomfortably full?
Eating mindfully is a lot of work! It’s easy to eat while distracted — whether you’re watching TV, looking at your phone or eating while multitasking. To be mindful means clearing those distractions and being intentional about eating. Set the table and take time to enjoy the food with your eyes and nose, as well as your mouth.
As you bring more awareness to your body and start noticing how and when you eat, observe without judgment. You’re just collecting information and learning more about yourself. Once you do that, you can start to adjust how you approach food, but there’s no point in just being judgy (e.g., “I shouldn’t have eaten that”).
Do this by being grateful for the food you eat and your body that carries you through life, rather than focusing on the “shoulds.”
Stretch Your Limits & Challenge Yourself
In a yoga class you learn to hold poses that are not necessarily super-comfortable so that you can learn how to ease into discomfort. In food, notice habits you’d like to develop, and approach them as challenges to practice: Start eating breakfast daily, or challenge yourself to buy and prepare new-to-you vegetables.