Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emotional Eating

I was going to write a long treatise on emotional eating and raw food. The more I thought about it, I said to myself, "No." People need practical help, not just something to think about. I will say that if you are struggling with raw, don't ignore the emotional angle. Food is suppose to simply sustain us. It's where we get our energy.

But for most of us, it's emotional comfort. It's home. It's love. It's safe. It doesn't talk back. It's satiating. A lot of raw vegan food doesn't do that. When we get upset, angry, frustrated, we turn back to what feels good. I've been having my own challenges with that as well. I have turned to my yoga to help.

Below are two meditations that have helped me, and I hope they help you all. Emotional eating affects everyone, not just someone striving for a raw vegan lifestyle. Share these meditations with those you love.

Still Heart Meditation
Perform before and after each daily meal.

Sit in a chair with palms facing up on your lap, head erect, neck long, and shoulders relaxed. Your back is straight and knees in alignment with your feet. Gently breathe in and out as you visualize an emerald or green malachite stone over your heart center. Inhale the breath of life into your nostrils until it reaches and fills your heart.

Breathe out anxiety. Breathe in serenity. Breathe out anger. Breathe in joy. Breathe out fear. Breathe in reasurance. Breathe our insufficiency. Breathe in abundance. Breathe deeply until your thoughts stop racing and all worry has left your mind. Finally your emotions will settle into a calm place of a still heart.

When you are rooted in that place of balance, place your palms over your heart, and say, "Thank you."

Perform the Still Heart Meditation before and after your meals and you will eat in a balanced state and make Ma'at (see below) consciousness a firm habit in your life. You will gain control over your desires. You will not overindulge in food. You will support your heart, the gateway to Heaven on Earth.

(Ma'at was the Ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. - Wikipedia)

Meditation for a Calm Heart
Originally taught by Yogi Bhajan Sept, 1981

Sit in Easy Pose with the spine straight. Either close the eyes or look straight ahead with the eyes 1/10th open.

Place the left hand on the center of the chest at the Heart Center. The palm is flat against the chest, and the fingers are parallel to the ground, pointing to the right. Make Gyan Mudra with the right hand (touch the tip of the index (Jupiter) finger with the tip of the thumb. Raise the right hand up to the right side as if giving a pledge. The palm faces forward, the three fingers not in Gyan Mudra point up. The elbow is relaxed near the side with the forearm perpendi­cular to the ground.

Concentrate on the flow of the breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then suspend the breath in and raise the chest. Retain it as long as possible. Then exhale smoothly, gradually, and completely. When the breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible.

Continue 3-31 minutes.
To end: inhale and exhale strongly 3 times. Relax.

This entire posture induces the feeling of calmness. It creates a still point at the heart center.

If you are upset and not sure how to react to a stressful situation, sit in this meditation before deciding how to act. Then act with your full heart.
Physically, this meditation strengthens the lungs and heart.

Try these everyday. Three minutes is all it takes to reset yourelf!
Go easy and love yourself, always.



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