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 The Art of Eating 
by Linda Frank

As a practitioner and teacher of the many facets of yoga, I have
discovered the magic in the use of the breath. All of us have the
tendency to take our breathing for granted, but without it I wouldn’t
be writing this article at the moment.....in fact, I wouldn’t be doing
much of anything.

In yoga we learn to breathe correctly from the diaphragm, and to
monitor our stress levels through the breath. Are we in a hurry and
therefore driving too fast and getting ticketed? Yes, I’m guilty of
that, but I finally got ‘it� after my last ticket. No matter how much
in a hurry I am, I’m now working on ‘Making haste slowly�. I do this by slowing down my breath. How many of you, when behind a slow moving car or in a line at the bank hold their breath? And then get more irritated? Next time, try breathing in and out of the nostrils, counting each breath from 30 to 1, letting the exhalations be a little longer than the inhalations, and guaranteed, you’ll become more relaxed.

How many of you eat while you’re doing some of the following
activities? Listening to the news, engaged in animated conversations
at a social gathering.......while driving........in other words, not
really paying attention to what you’re putting into your mouth. As a
result, you’re probably overeating, not chewing the food properly, and consequently, not digesting the food well.

I’ve had wonderful opportunities at Yoga Trainings and Retreats to
learn better eating habits which I would like to share with you. The
following are optimal practices for eating.

1) Sit while eating, not in your moving car seat, but in a place which
has a lovely, quiet atmosphere.

2) Before indulging give thanks for your food, the people and things
in your life.

3) Notice if you’re feeling stressed by witnessing your breath. If
you're breathing rapidly, slow it down, may be with your eyes closed for a few minutes to help calm your nervous system.

4) Eat in silence.

5) Chew your food slowly.

6) When you’re at a gathering, see if you can still practice some of the tips. Such as sitting in a secluded area, and if sitting with others, make sure they are of the optimistic nature.

Even if you take a couple of these suggestions to heart, you will soon
discover the importance of mindful breathing and eating. They both go hand in hand, or rather hand to mouth quite nicely.

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