Body

Mindful Eating, Mindful Living

2020. The start of a new decade. Time to turn over a new leaf and set some goals.  Let me guess, are “manage my stress” and “lose some weight” on your list?  Consider this: you can kill two birds with one stone by committing to a practice of mindfulness.

“Mindfulness:  paying attention to the present on purpose without judgment.”  We live much of our lives without awareness, unconsciously hustling from one task to the next, attached to the Almighty Check List.  Never mind what is happening right now in front of us, we look to the outcome which isn’t even here yet.  Crazy, right?  If you are feeling frazzled, it could be that you are constantly living in a future that has not yet arrived.  That’s where mindfulness comes in.

Chances are, you are trained to produce results whether it is in your profession and/or your role in your family or your circle of friends.  Our brains respond to this “get it done now” stress by resorting to a “fight or flight” reaction which isn’t just an attitude but a very real physiological event.  You are training yourself to overreact to whatever comes down the pike.  Aren’t you exhausted??

Mindfulness is your ticket to reducing stress and anxiety.  A good practitioner will teach you practical skills that help you stay grounded in the present by simply noticing and accepting what is really happening inside you and around you instead of mindlessly resisting and covering up stress with hurried distraction, overindulgence or procrastination.

Which brings us to that “lose some weight” thing.  What better place to start a mindfulness practice than through mindful eating?  If you look at the big picture, what gets in the way of eating thoughtfully and nutritionally is often a lifestyle full of stress.  Perhaps you have lost weight (again and again) only to gain it back.  Instead of turning to another food plan alone, why not give mindful eating a try?

An easy way to start is with a raisin (or a grape.) (OK, you might want to practice this first time by yourself if you are worried that others will think you have gone cray-cray…) Turn off the TV, put the phone away  and focus on your food.  Approach it with all senses.  As you pick up the raisin, feel its texture: wrinkly? smooth?  See its color: is it really purple?  Now roll it around in your fingertips and smell it. (Yes, I said smell it…with caution. Sucking it up your nostril is not allowed.) What do you notice?

Now put it in your mouth and, without chewing, roll it around and again notice texture.  Slowly begin to bite into your raisin and notice what happens….sweetness? tartness?  saliva out the wazoo?  Chew without hurrying until that anticipated moment when you swallow.  Take a deep breath and notice how you feel?

Now a raisin is a wild and crazy experiment but imagine taking a more mindful approach to eating a meal: slowly, deliberately with as much focus on the senses as you can muster. There is a good chance that eating with such awareness will not only relax you but will also help you to notice when you are full.  Mindfulness is all about mind-body connection and that one little raisin can put you on a path to a better relationship with your food which means better nutrition, less stress about diet and healthy “what’s right for you” weight loss.

Mindful eating is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mindful living.  Practicing mindfulness skills on a daily basis has proven to be life-changing for me. Learning to be aware of and manage my over-thinking means knowing what to do and what not to do with wise responses instead of knee-jerk reactions. I live with more balance and clarity, knowing when and where I want to put my precious energy.  Instead of spending thoughts and emotions on trying to control situations and people, I have learned to let things unfold naturally and calmly, no manipulation needed.  Being a perfectionist, I am astonished at how far I’ve come, and I owe it all to Ranjit Deora’s Mindfulness Meditation program.

I spent much of my life seeking “the answer” to my ruthless anxieties, including twelve-step programs and private therapists.  While I gained something from all of them, it is through Ranjit’s simple but powerful lessons that I have found tremendous relief and joy.  Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  I am not a salesperson, I do not mean for this to be a promotional piece, but I can tell you without a single doubt that eight one-hour lessons at Charlotte Meditation have given me tools for a lifetime. Trust me, they can do the same for you and could be the best self-care you give yourself as the new decade begins.  Here’s to a 2020 full of mindful self-discovery!

~Kathy Babula~

Ayurveda: Healing with Foods and Meditation

Ayurveda, or the science of life, is one of the oldest systems of natural health care. Originating in India over 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is now considered one of the leading forms of holistic medicine available in the West.

Concept

Ayurveda treats the root cause of illnesses, not just the symptoms. With the use of special herbs, massage, specific yoga/meditation techniques and sound nutritional advice, Ayurveda enhances the physical and mental health of both distressed and healthy individuals.

Ayurveda is Safe

Ayurveda medicine and other therapies are very beneficial for patients suffering from chronic diseases. Ayurvedic preparations are safe as long as they are prescribed by a professional practitioner.

Ayurvedic Dosha ( Constitutions)

Ayurveda describes three biological humors or psycho/physiological energies called doshas. These three doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and each is mainly a combination of two elements. Vata dosha is made up of space and air. Pitta dosha is a combination of fire and water. Kapha dosha is made up of water and earth. Each of these doshas are further divided into five sub-doshas. Together, the doshas orchestrate all the activities that occur within us.

For good health and well-being, the three doshas within you need to be in balance.

Balancing Vata dosha

The characteristics of Vata include dryness, coolness, roughness, lightness and constant motion; qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Vata dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Vata are sweet, sour and salty, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet. Cooked foods, served hot or warm, are ideal for balancing Vata. Leafy greens, beets, sweet potatoes and summer squash such as zucchini and lauki squash are the best vegetables. Avoid or minimize raw foods and salads. Drink lots of warm water through the day. Suitable spices are turmeric, cumin, coriander, dried ginger and black pepper.

Balancing Pitta Dosha:

The characteristics of Pitta include sharpness, heat, and acidity; qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Pitta dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Pitta are sweet, bitter and astringent, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet.

Cooling foods are wonderful for balancing Pitta dosha. Sweet juicy fruits, especially pears, can cool a fiery Pitta. Milk, Rice, coconut  and milkshakes made with ripe mangoes are soothing, Pitta-pacifying foods. Drink sweet lassi to help enhance digestion or drink room temperature water.

Spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel offer healing wisdom.

Balancing Kapha Dosha:

The characteristics of Kapha include heaviness, softness, sweetness, cold, stability and unctuousness, qualities that are opposite to these in diet and lifestyle help restore balance to Kapha dosha.

Dietary recommendations:

The three ayurvedic tastes that help balance Kapha are pungent, bitter and astringent, so include more of these tastes in your daily diet

Light, warm foods help balance Kapha. Clear vegetable soups with beans and diced vegetables, stews made with vegetables, dhal soups and grain/vegetable are good for balancing Kapha.  Stay away from too much salt. Drink warm water through the day.

Use spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, dried ginger, asafetida (hing), cloves and fenugreek.

 

Guru Ranjit Deora is a meditation master teacher, a holistic thinker and a life coach who enjoys helping people connect with their true selves and find happiness within. In his lessons on Mindful Meditation, the India native focuses on the mental dimensions of this ancient practice, bringing the benefits of joy as well as improved overall health.

Phone: (704) 277-6049.  Email: rdeora@charlottemeditation.com

This content was originally posted on our site in 2013.

Learn Mindful Eating through Meditation

Are your New Year’s resolutions already falling by the wayside? It’s very easy to write off your goals, continuing your old habits of 2018. Was losing weight on your list? While setting specific goals of pounds dropped is a valid approach, if you want to take care of yourself by reaching a healthy weight or living a healthier lifestyle, you may want to begin by establishing a habit of mindfulness meditation.

“Mindfulness meditation?  What does that have to do with success in weight loss when I can just (pick one) join a pre-packaged food plan/ drink those special milkshakes/ stay away from carbs/ go ‘Paleo’?”

Perhaps you have heard of “mindful eating”. Learning to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger are the key. Physical hunger has cues such as your stomach growling and your body feeling low on energy. The hunger itself grows slowly over time and the food you eat is satisfying to you. Emotional eating involves very specific cravings which, when acted upon, cause lingering feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction. But how do you cultivate the awareness necessary to know the difference?

The answer is simple: through mindfulness meditation. “Are you kidding me?? How on earth can sitting every day in meditation, letting my thoughts come and go, help me lose weight?” It all boils down to clarity, being aware of not only what you are eating but why. Only you have those answers for yourself and, in order to retrieve them, you must be relaxed and peaceful inside.

Meditation = relaxation = clarity of thoughts = knowing the cause of your suffering = knowing what to do and what not to do with confidence and success going forward.

It’s that simple.

So perhaps your weight loss journey begins by first establishing a meditation practice instead of resolving to lose 20 pounds. Through a foundation of meditation you will connect with yourself, discover what makes you “tick,” and gain the self-understanding that is necessary to achieve any goal. Losing weight and being healthy are important, but inner peace and clarity are the essential first steps.

Tantra Yoga: Relax Your Mind and Improve Your Love Life

Tantra – A loving and kind meditation

Love yoga, perhaps the most popular and yet most misunderstood of yoga teachings today, is a vast ocean of ancient wisdom for enlightening the Mind and Body.

Tantra can give you a new perspective, a new way of looking at yourself and at life, a new way of living in harmony with existence…for Tantra is not an intellectual proposal, it is pure experience.

Tantrica, Tantra or Sacred Tantric Practice, in its purest form, describes both the processes and methodologies for the resolution of all conflicts of opposites.

The word Tantra in Sanskrit, the sacred language of  Vedas, derives from the root word tan, which translates as “to extend, expand, spread, continue, spin out, weave; to put forth, show, or manifest.” Like the universe we inhabit, Tantra is continually expanding, spreading, and manifesting itself like a “cosmic weave,” made up of different energies. We are part of this weave, as are our forefathers and foremothers, all life, and every type of energy and matter. This includes thoughts, actions, and all physical matter.

Tantra says yes to life. It is not a belief or a faith but a way to live life wholly. On this path, pleasure, vision, and ecstasy are celebrated rather than repressed. It embraces and enhances all forms of creative expression, such as movement, breathing, meditation, massage, healing, dance and music.

This content was originally posted on our site in 2013.

Guru Ranjit is presenting a Couples Yoga Session as a Valentine’s Day Special!

February 14th, 2019 (Note New Date!)
6.30 pm to 8.00 pm

Charlotte Meditation Studio
725, Providence Road Suite 300
Charlotte, NC
725-277-6049

These are some of the concepts that can be realized through the session:

  • Love is not about better communication, it’s about connection.
  • You will never attain a closer relationship with your man by talking to him like you talk to one of your girlfriends.
  • Male emotions are like women’s sexuality. You can’t be too direct too quickly.
  • There are four ways to connect with a man: touch, activate, sex, and routines.
  • Men want closer relationships just as much as women do, but not if they have to act like women.
  • Talking makes women move closer; it makes men move away.
  • The secret of the silent male is this: his spouse supplies the meaning in his life.