Conscious Eating

Do you know where your food comes from?  

Running this morning- I was listening to a Super Soul Sunday podcast in which Oprah interviewed Michael Pollan, author of Cooked, and he posed this question.  Pollan goes on to discuss  gardening, our connections with others that work tirelessly to bring us our food, loss of the time when we knew intimitely who grew our food, or grew our own food- and then challenges us to be more conscious about where, and from whom, our food originates.

Farmers Markets always lure me in, even if I’m not physically hungry. I find satisfaction in looking into the eyes and shaking the hands of those that worked tirelessly to sow the seed and care for the very fruit, baked goodie, lotion or soap, or flower you buy from them.  

Living around farmers, I see their passion, I hear when weather, soil, animals, pose challenges; and I taste when things go right, and feel the disappointment when things are not so great.  

My husband raises chickens in our backyard, and there is no doubt the appreciation we have for these animals that bear eggs we consume,  as shown through my husband's constant care and attention, as well as,  the expenses involved, not to mention the occasional “chicken hug." The act of eating eggs from our own backyard is our way of reaching back to cultural past ways of being~when everything you ate grew in your own backyard, (as well as, these eggs are just tastier.)

My best friend opens her garden to me every summer- and graciously allows me the opportunity (I would never have had as a self described “black thumb”) to water the garden in her absence.   And just like Pollan says at the beginning of the podcast- a garden is never perfect: bugs come, drought comes, the sun scorches, plants yellow from the bottom up. But when I pluck a cucumber from her garden, after understanding the effort and care that went into its growth- there is something that is unlike when I pluck one from the top fridge at the grocery. I can’t waste it. Now that I grasp the care and work involved in growing the food I eat,  I can not eat mindlessly- I truly taste the cucumber, even dream up ways of preparing it next. (even a cucumber :)

And then there are the many spiritual connections in these transactions,  my friend and her garden, me to her garden, me to my friend, us to the elements: water, soil, sun- earth. Instead of just living on the earth, we invest in it, ingest it, and have a more palatable understanding of the infusion of earth in us.

Then thoughts move to yoga (as they usually do for me).  And I am wondering- do you know where your yoga comes from?

At DRISHTIQ many of our teacher trainees are now teaching in our studio.  I have the luxury of taking class from them, watching them grow in their journey- uniquely.  Touched by their own circumstance, the sprout and growth of their own voices, uniquely cultivated from their own life soil, and fertilized by their experience in yoga and beyond.  And I am reminded of how important it is to be authentic, comprehensive and CAREFUL in our own training of these yoga teachers ~ now we reap what we sow.

Likewise, these teachers love and enthusiasm for this studio gives birth to a new spiritual connection uniquely ingrained in this community.   We all grow. And as a result, the harvest of new practitioners touched is immensely gratifying.

Stop at the Farmers Market, grow a garden, experience the richness of knowing where your food came from. Develop deeper connections to all involved in the process of this life giving transaction.

Our lives and physical bodies become richer because of this, we become more mindful, consciously engaged in our lives in this more spiritual level of being~ through our connectedness/consciousness we transcend the limitations of our minds.

Our practice of yoga, the seed planted, our willingness to take that seed out into the world and into our everyday spiritual practices (like eating) off our mat, an idea worthy of harvesting.