In yesterdays article, I discussed how the human body can be compared to a Computer or a Car and how the various parts are interdependent on the functioning of the system.
We now come to the aspect of Nourishment & Functioning of this whole System as an integrated unit , which brings us to Medical Science of Nutrition/Diet and Yoga, calling it as ” Nourishment ” is that which gives one perfect ingredients for all-round growth. All the systems comprising physical body need specific ingredients for their maintenance & working which come from food that we eat & air that we breathe.
Food and Eating – The act of eating as per yogis is a ‘Sacred Act’ – the importance here given to eating is to Get a Full Focus on all the Senses ( Inputs ) used in the act. Yoga says that its not what a man eats ,but it is the amount that he assimilates that nourishes him.
Hunger V/S Appetitie – Civilization & its effects have made Hunger & Appetite as one & the same thing , which however is not correct, as can seen from this following example:
We know the sensation of good natural thirst calls for drinking some cool water to quench it. However now we hear people say they are Thirsty for a Cola , Soda or for other Drinks. From this it is clear that the nature of Thirst has been Perverted. Similarly Appetite is Perverted Taste ( Pressing of wrong keys or entering wrong data ). Appetite is an Acquired Habit of Eating or Drinking things which appeal to our Taste & has little to do with Real Hunger or Thirst ; we continue to speak of and think of every craving for something to pop into the mouth as hunger , while many of these cravings are as much as a symptom of Appetite, as is the craving or desire for Alcohol or Narcotics.
Natural Hunger like Natural Thirst is expressed through region of mouth – via the key for taste. When one is Truly Hungry the mere mention , of any food causes a peculiar sensation in mouth, the throat & the salivary glands start secreting saliva.
The important fact is in True Hunger , Stomach Does Not give symptoms of faintness, emptiness a goneness feeling in region of stomach which are actually a cause of Appetite – a Habit. In Hunger a person enjoys every food given to him even a dry slice of bread because the body gets its nourishment .
In Perverted Hunger it is the mind that gets its satisfaction – Appetite. The process of eating starts from the mouth. It is important that the right method for extracting maximum nourishment from the food be adopted.
One particular medical authority on food, Mr. Horace Fletcher says mastication is an extremely important process for getting optimum nourishment from food. In the natural state man enjoys mastication as do animals who chew their food with great relish & children who keep their food in the mouth & rolling it from side to side. When eating is done due to real hunger one holds the food in the mouth, chewing it well, enjoying the taste of every morsel, instead of bolting it down the throat as soon as it enters the mouth. Modern science now understands why the yogis gave importance to eating as a sacred science. First the salivary glands secrete ptyalin an important substance to digest one of the components of the food we eat, called carbohydrates , plus the mere complete focus on the act of eating activates the correct sensory keys of taste perfectly , so that the required data goes in and starts the process of what we call optimal digestion.
A SIMPLE MEDITATION – Just for Today , as you sit to eat , FOCUS on the Food. As the first morsel enters your mouth just express your gratitude in your heart to the universe for giving you this nourishment. Just savour the morsel and experience the satisfaction as it goes to your stomach. The mere awareness of this process which may just take 1 minute of your time will start the process of perfect digestion.