Conscious Eating Guidelines
Yogi Bhajan explains in a lecture called Bhoj Kriya: How to Eat Consciously for Good Health, “If you do not mix saliva in every morsel of your food, you are eating poison.” We gulp our food. It is totally unconscious. We break up the food with the teeth and swallow. The problem is that digestion begins in the mouth. Your saliva breaks down starch into simple sugar. Poison becomes nectar by simply eating small bites, chewing consciously, mixing your saliva and tasting the sweetness.
In the same lecture, Yogi Bhajan says, “When you swallow food that is not chewed properly, it swallows your strength, your life. Then nothing is left of you. Slow eating is one of the best meditations on this Earth.” Finally he says, “Your life will be long and your power will be great if you taste every morsel of the food you eat.”
Guidelines for Preparing Food
- Prepare the food you (and others) eat with love and care. An important ingredient of the yogic diet is the vibration that is put into the food. When you chant and have a positive projection as you are preparing food, you enhance the nourishment and healing power of the food.
- Eat in a relaxing, pleasant environment. This helps with the digestion and assimilation of the food.
- Serve food gracefully. The act of serving others instills a consciousness and sacredness to the eating experience.
- Take a minute before you eat to be grateful. Blessing food adds prana, or life force. Prayers don’t always have to be eloquent and inspired. Shakti Parwha Kaur said, “I’ve heard Yogi Bhajan say things like, ‘Thanks a lot, God. We were really hungry and you gave us food. Please bless it and bless us.’” Remember the Giver.
Guidelines for Good Digestion and Elimination
Yogi Bhajan said that most people eat like animals—chomp, chomp, gulp. The alternative is to eat like angels, small bites, chewed thoroughly, mixed with the saliva in the mouth, tasting the sweetness and only then swallowed.
Yogis have known for thousands of years that one of the easiest keys to health is slow conscious eating. It takes practice. You have to retrain yourself. Eating is something you have done for your entire life without thinking about how it is done. Changing this habit will take some serious reprogramming. It starts by counting your chews.
- If you can’t digest it, don’t eat it.
- Eat only what you can eliminate within 18-24 hours.
- Stop eating before you feel full.
- Rest after meals: nap after lunch, walk after dinner.
- Don’t eat after sunset.
- Chew more than you think you need to. The stomach has no teeth.
- Have regular eating times, and eat only when you are hungry.
Kundalini Yoga for Digestion
A great way to get relief from over-eating is sitting in Rock Pose (on the heels). Sit is Rock Pose (Vajar Asan) for a few minutes after dinner. It is said that one can digest rocks in this posture.
Another kriya for digestive problems is Vatskar Dhouti Kriya.