I have always been bigger than the "average girl". Even as a child when I was a dancer, a gymnast, a cheerleader, a soccer player and an all around active girl. I was still considered "fat". When I was twelve my mother took me to weight watchers and they told her "watch out because she is big boned". That phrase stuck to me and now, as I type this article, I look down at my keyboard and at those big boned wrist that they measured 21 years ago. I can still feel the measuring tape they wrapped around my wrist. As a teenager I had problems with my teeth and jaws. They hurt often and it made eating difficult. I compensated by not chewing properly and swallowing food whole. I learned not to eat until I was absolutely starving because my adolescent brain told me that eating would only make me bigger.
In Ayurveda (the science of life) chewing is one of the most important action one can do in on the path of health. The body forms new cells, grows hair and nails, circulates blood on a daily basis. This formation is the basis of a vital strong and healthy person. These materials that form on a daily basis are called Dhatus (ie: (Stanya) breast milk, breast, (Raja) menstrual cycle, (Sira) vessels, (Kandara) tendons, (vasa) muscle fat/good fat, (Twacha) 7 layers of skin, (Snayu) small nerves, (Sandhi Banda) ligaments, and Spinal fluid). If the Dhatus don't grow to the specific ideal quantity then there is a disturbance of functions. This is when a person becomes dis-eased or unbalanced. When a body chews their food it is called Ahara Rasa. This is process of the nutrients from the food being release and distributed through the body. Nutrients will either be digested, undigested or eliminated through waist. That which is digested takes the nutrients for that dhatu. The undigested will go to the next dhatu and then what is needed will be digested and what is undigested will go to the next dhatu, and so on and so on. BUT, when we do not chew, and swallow it whole, as I learned to do as a child it bypasses all of those dhatus. Thus depriving the body of necessary nutrients and creating a blockage in the gastrointestinal lining of undigested food creating an unbalance of the body and making it harder to shed weight.
I believe that we are all set on a path to experience and learn. I just happen to be a teacher and when I learn from my experiences, I teach them to those who crave to listen.
Yes, I am fat. Yes, I am a yoga teacher. Yes, I have learned and its not too late to change my ways. Its not too late to start giving my body the nutrients it needs to thrive int his world. My mother would always tell me to chew my food 100 times. It took me 21 years to actually implement it. Im the kind of person that has to figure it out for herself, but its never too late.
Here's to the yoga of food.
Be in the moment.
Savor every bite.
Give your body the nutrients it deserves.
Chew. Chew. Chew.