As we end the yamas and approach the niyamas, I thought this week’s blog was best served merging the two worlds. Recently, I’ve started watching the news more. Considering I live in the hood and the news has nothing better to report on than who shot who at what street corner, I’ve started to become a bit twisted in my thinking. I’ve actually started wondering when I will get shot. I’ve started avoiding certain situations because of the imminent danger that I know is lurking around the corner. I never used to be like that, and I’m certain it is because I never used to watch the news. Reversing this kind of toxic thinking might take years, and I only hope it does not affect my overall outlook on my fellow humans.
E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G we consume is food. Everything our senses ingest affects our entire system. This is where mitahara comes in. Mitahara means measuring food, and it actually means measuring what you take in from the world. As I consume the visual stimulus and auditory violence of the news, it becomes absorbed in my system. The only way to rid myself of it is to remove it, and to purge my system… So I guess I’m going to watch Disney films for 28 days straight and I should be back to normal… Right?
Meet my fierce friend Caitlin. She’s working on an eating habit/diet/experience/lifestyle (I’m sure she would define it more eloquently) called counting macros. Basically she breaks down the nutritional content of every food that she eats and has a certain number of carbs, fats and proteins (?) that she needs to consume within the day. By doing so, she optimizes her performance as a CrossFit athlete. For some of us, this sounds insane. She has to read every label, weigh her food and give a shit about every single item that she puts in her face hole. And you want to know what? It might be the most yogic thing I’ve heard of in a while. She is so aware, so in tune with what she is taking in. Even cooler? She’s told me just how amazing it makes her feel. She can actually notice a difference externally based off of what she is consuming internally. Bringing union with the body and the mind… that sounds a lot like yoga.
Mitahara requires precision, focus, awareness and discipline- all parts of a strong yoga practice. Measuring what we take in in order to prime the system to be its best version is how we prepare ourselves to become Realized.
So what does this have to do with Sauca? In order to consume the right food, beautiful sights, pleasing sounds, nourishing smells- we must first purge what no longer serves us. For me, that’s watching the news and eating cereal- for you it might be ending your long relationship with Netflixing and chilling. Whatever toxic habits you have acquired, set a path now to end it. Maybe set a few goals or a new intention. Consider how you can begin to measure in a more mindful way, what you are taking in. Once you’ve decided what you are going to take in and what you are not, clean out your body, mind and physical space (sauca) so that you are available to the practice of mitahara.