285 – Develop a healthy respect for your food

Eat your food with bhavana (feeling), as a blessing. When you eat your meal, develop respect for what you are eating. Pause and think where your food came from. Where did the wheat grow for your bread, how was it harvested? How many persons were involved in the process? Were they happy when they were involved in the task? Were their stomachs full? The vegetables on your plate where did they grow? Did they receive sunshine, or did they grow under plastic?

In India, many people go to their villages during harvest time and help the big farmers. They are given free meals and they are allowed to take wheat, rice and lentils for the whole year. The fruits were they picked by hungry and exploited children who were given unfair wages? This sadhana has to be done occasionally only, but we can offer prayers for all of them before eating. By introspecting on our fare, we become aware of how much energy goes into the procurement of our food and we are more appreciative of what we are eating.

Food is prana

Food is considered a source of prana. Since all food is composed of the five elements it is harmonized, nourished and enhanced by a pure and healthy diet. Pure foods are fruits, nuts, cereals, lentils, and vegetables. Non vegetarian food causes stress in our mind and system. Occasional fasting is also very effective, and a fruit or raw food diet is helpful in recharging the prana and relaxing the body.

According to Yoga food is described as sattwic, rajasic, or tamasic. The effect of these foods on our body and mind is similar to the qualities of the gunas. All three gunas compose our body and mind. They are present in different proportions in each of us and the predominant guna predetermines our personality. We can plan our diet by deciding which guna will dominate. Most vegetarian food is sattwic; however the way it is cooked now makes it non sattwic. Deep fried and overwhelmed with spices. Plenty of garlic and ginger is added. We have to stay with a simple diet of lightly cooked food, minimum oil and spices. Smaller portions of food, with rajasic and tamasic foods can be added. It will be easily digested.

Reference: Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

Aim Hrim Klim

 

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