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The Yoga of Eating

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Miscellaneous | No Comments

When I was in college my sophomore year, I made a new friend. Her name was Grace.

Yes, I see the irony.

Grace said to me, “I wish I would just eat when I was hungry, and stop eating when I was full.”

This idea fascinated me and boggled my mind.

I’d been dieting my entire life. I constantly tried to lose weight, to be smaller.

I hated this. I hated the restricting, the hunger, then losing control and overeating.

What if there is this other way? 

I decided to do something drastic (as is my way). I decided to give up controlling what I ate.

I decided to eat in a completely different way.

The Yoga of Eating was born.

The Yoga of Eating saved my life.

I came up with three gate-keeping questions to ask my body before eating anything.

The Yoga of Eating got me sober around food. Like all addictions, my food-control issues were simply a symptom. I needed to reach the underlying problem and I couldn’t get there while I was “using.”

The Yoga of Eating is a meditation to heal our relationships with food.

Join me in this meditation by reflecting on your last meal.  Do this to deepen your connection to yourself, and deepen your healing around eating and food.

Ask your body:

#1 Is it good?

Is this food something that my body wants? That I want to put into my body? Is it good food?

Just like we upgrade our dog’s food when we find out that it’s mostly corn by-product, we reflect on the quality of the food we’re eating, too.

But this questions not only the quality of the food, but how I obtained it (was I stressed? Was I even present?) and where the food comes from. Does every step in this process feel good to my body?

If I hate the grocery store that I go to, and feel angry purchasing it, is the food there really something I want to put into my body? If I don’t respect that juice company, is their product really something that I want to put into my body? This is hard to do. Trust me – I know. I still revisit this. I edited out a place I used to go for smoothies just yesterday because I can do better than that.

(If you’re familiar with the abundance scale, this is similar. Does eating this feel abundant to my body?)

#2 Is it Kind?

Does my body want to eat this? Is it kind to my body to put this food into it?

This one is really tough. My mind has a belief that XYZ is healthy so I should eat it. But – does my body want to eat this salad? To hear the answer to this question, we have to go inside. We have to slow way, way down.

We have learned so many rules about our health and nutrition that we let our heads steer our food choices without realizing it. Your body may not want to be a healthy eater (for now). Our bodies may need to rebel against the tight reigns of control.

Or, your body may want to be free from sugar and caffeine buzzes. We have to grow still enough to hear the whisper of our bodies.

#3 Is it necessary?

Am I physically hungry? Is it necessary that I eat this, right now?

If we’re bored, or actually looking to experience comfort, then we do not feel physical hunger. In The Yoga of Eating, we do not eat when we are not physically hunger out of respect for our bodies.

Not only do we refrain from eating if we are not physically hungry, we also always, always eat when we are feeling hungry.

This is the most important step in the Yoga of Eating for tuning into our bodies, to connecting to our physical sensations.

If we aren’t hungry, we simply eat that good + kind food choice later. Wait an hour.

And, just as importantly, we keep food with us for when we get hungry.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Each step in The Yoga of Eating is deceptively simple. Each question, like the meditation it is, requires honest reflection.

It’s taken me home to my body, again and again. My hope is that there is some aspect in The Yoga of Eating that helps you find connection to your body, too.

 

If you like reading what Laurie has to say, hear more from her, here.

(Originally published on YOGANONYMOUS)

Healthy Boundaries 101

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Miscellaneous, On Career Change, Stories, Tools | One Comment

I looked forward to this yoga class for days.

I rarely find myself free on Saturdays from teacher training and work and toddler-duty. But last Saturday, I waltzed into the yoga studio fifteen minutes early. I even remembered my favorite mat, a chilled bottle of water, and a zen state of mind.

To be that calm and that prepared and that early makes me a unicorn, in my book.

The studio was not ready.

The greeter at the door informed me I would need to wait. So, I waited patiently (see: zen state of mind). I felt patient for fourteen minutes and finally turned to ask the front desk, “Is it okay to go in, now?”

“Sure,” the smiling woman said to me. She had a zen state of mind, too.

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Carry On, Warrior :: Summer Book Club

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Books I'm Reading, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

I have something to tell you and it involves three miracles that happened to me, all in one day.

Three miracles, one book club.

There is a really special art supply store in Atlanta called Binders. I go there when I need a pick-me-up in the form of a pretty pen, a fresh notebook or hand-spun wrapping paper that is way too nice to actually ever use as wrapping paper. About two months ago, I found myself in Binders. I felt discouraged and adrift and lost, as a mom. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but it was something like this: I work, but I also stay home with my toddler, and I felt like I flunked both completely, that day.

The first miracle.

I have been going to Binders since I was very small. Like, seven-years-old.

I have never, in my entire life, run into anyone I know at Binders. That day, I ran into someone I know, who was in town from Athens, Georgia. We spoke our polite greetings and she mentioned she was in town to hear an author speak. She and her friends drove two hours, and took a full day off from their duties as wives and moms and employees and entrepreneurs, to see this writer. My ears perked up. An author, speaking here in Atlanta? “Who?” I asked. It was a woman I’d never heard of:

Glennon Doyle Melton.

 

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How to find the answer you’re looking for.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Immediate Relief, On Career Change, Stories | No Comments

Here something to think about: consider a decision you’re facing. Truly, take a moment to come up with a crossroads you face in your life, right now. Do you have it?

Now, consider this: what if the answer to your decision is already there?

The answer is already here.

What if you don’t have to figure this out, you just have to see the answer in front of you? And it is there, you’re just not seeing it.

In the past year, I’ve learned that the answer is always right in front of me. Usually, it’s been there for a while and I blew right past it a long time ago.

How to find this answer?

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Self-Sabotage

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Miscellaneous, Stories | No Comments

You know what picture I should’ve put up for this post, about self-sabotage? My picture. Because I’m the poster-child for self-sabotage.

I’m truly an ace when it comes to sabotaging myself.

I had this great story I wanted to write about. I sabotaged myself last week, crushing my productivity (not to mention my mood) in this self-sabotage that I fell into, having to do with my daughter and my husband, when he asked me, why does our daughter like me so much better than she likes you? And with that, the self-sabotage began. There’s way more to the story, and I got myself out of it. But I’m not going to write about it.

Becauseafter I pulled myself out of that self-sabotaging spin cycle, I did it again. Two days later. I found another even better story from my life. I was talking to my friend, Pam, about yoga coaching. I caught myself saying I’m just not a natural [yoga coach] like she is. That thought is incredibly sabotaging. I got myself out if, again. I’m not going to write about that story, either.

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It’s called “Yoga Fire.”

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Stories | No Comments

It’s called “Yoga Fire.”

This class is brand-new, and incredibly special to me.

It all started one embarrassing Saturday morning, when I walked into a yoga studio for the first time.

I was ten minutes late for class. I was incredibly nervous (I’d thought about going for months). I rolled out the mat I’d borrowed from a friend. I could not remotely keep up with what was being said (I’d never heard the words “downward facing dog” in my entire life, until that day). The class lasted an eternity, it seemed. I considered walking out every single minute that I stayed. It was not until class ended that I noticed no one else was wearing shoes. I had my New Balance sneakers on the entire time.

It was SO embarrassing. Eventually, I went back. Slowly, I began learning yoga.

I took my next step toward this class when I opened my coaching practice in 2009.

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meet me at yoga church

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Miscellaneous | No Comments

Here is what I would love:

you and I plan on seeing each other this weekend at Yoga Church.

We would meet there early, like 9:30 a.m. We would catch up on our weeks – what was hard, that situation where you got your feelings hurt, this new nanny I’m so excited about. The good and the hard. All the while, we sit on our mats, waiting for class to start, next to each other (of course) towards the front (I’m proud to be dorky so, of course, I love the front row). We’d have our journals to the side of our mats. Our yoga props – bolsters, blocks, blankets, – all ready for us to play with during class.

You don’t go to yoga very often.

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Into the darkness. Finding light.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Miscellaneous | No Comments

This past month has been really interesting for me. I can honestly say it’s been unlike any other month in my entire life. If I picked one starting point, for when things really started getting interesting in my life, it would be my weekend in Charleston.

I went to Charleston to hear one of my favorite poets and speakers, and to spend time with two quality women. This was about one month ago. These two women are moms, with kids older than mine, who are true friends to me. [My definition of “friend” derives from the great John O’Donahue: a friend is someone who wants for you what is good.]

Very quickly, it was clear that the genesis for the trip – the poet – while magnificent and hilarious and Irish, was not quite the teacher for me, anymore. We sat in a gorgeous old church, on Friday night, listening to him, and I just kept spacing out.

The girls felt similarly. It became clear that the main attraction was really just spending time with each other.

And, something else.

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Gone, girl.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Immediate Relief, In My Kitchen, Miscellaneous, On Career Change, Style + Fashion | No Comments

It’s a sale.

Get it?

I’m clearing out my Shop. Until this Friday at noon EST, you can get any of my one-of-a-kind classes and programs, developed from my years of experience teaching and private coaching with clients from around the world, my study at the feet of teachers much wiser than myself and of course, the lessons from my own life.

After this Friday, February 20th at noon – in the spirit of letting go – all of my existing programs and products are gone. Forever.

I even brought back Feast: heal your relationship with food, like the generous sweetheart that I am.

Buy while you can here.

Get yours before it’s all gone, girl.
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