Eating off the (yoga) mat

Last post I closed with “more to come” about my listener, Mike, who was at my presentation some weeks ago on how we can de-stress…

Mike, (whose name I changed and if you recognize yourself here, “Mike,” I hope you won’t be offended that I’m sharing this right now) came up to me after I talked with his group. He wanted to share his discomfort at experiencing big jumps in stress levels after having returned to the US from a long stay in Thailand.                                          

He wistfully described hour long massages for half the price one pays here in the US, and fresh, fresh foods that leave one full and satisfied–unlike most meals served here where he never quite feels like he’s had enough.

He said he gained over 15 pounds since coming back to the States in February, and knew it’s been part diet–part stress levels that’s made the change in him.

Mike, even without having the same experience of leaving the country and then coming back, so many of us can sense the same pervasive discomfort in our lifestyles as you do.

There really is so much to address on Mike’s behalf, but for now, I’m going to just bite off what I can, such as, how can Mike reduce cortisol levels–that stress hormone that tends to build up the dangerous belly fat?

One very effective way is to recognize our own power.

Internal power.

Kris Carr, wellness activist and cancer “thriver” gave a lovely analogy at a recent “Wanderlust” Festival. She realized after taking a yoga class that the yoga mat she sat on to encourage alert mindfulness of her practice could also be found IN her—

her tongue, that is!

The tongue is a great yoga MAT, she said.

She explained:

Your tongue can help you choose to remain supremely conscious of the food you take in,  as well as the words you choose to speak with it–

you can choose to make conscious a mostly un-conscious practice in our truly wigged-out, distracted lives—

as in —

how we eat  (With a cell phone? In the car? In a big rush?)

how we speak  (With powerlessness? Hopelessness? Victim-like?)

If this sounds like a big over-simplification, or doesn’t seem to address Mike’s concerns at all, I can understand.

I’m just going to finish by saying that this could be considered Part 1 to a multi-hued layer of an answer to the chronic, weight inducing, nerve-busting levels of stress that so many of us experience today.

Yes, there is help…

but not the instant kind that comes from a pill.

It’s a vital and deeply transformative kind of aid.

More to share about that…

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