The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. Headshot

A Yoga Mat For Your Mouth

Posted: Updated:

Yoga is union. Mindful eating is also yoga -- in the sense that eating unites your body and mind's intention through a moment of eating presence. Create an eating mindfulness placemat that you could carry with you like a yoga mat, from table to table, from setting to setting, whether you are eating in or eating out, as a kind of portable eating mindfulness space of your own.

Sketch out a placemat that includes a visual diagram of mindful eating. For example, draw a picture of the eyes to denote the mindfulness of the appearance of food, with an arrow pointing to a nose for the mindfulness of smell, with an arrow pointing to a picture of the tongue for the mindfulness of taste, with an arrow pointing back to your mind (to remember to "open your mind before you open your mouth").

Or, to awaken the eating zombie, include mindfulness call-outs to get your own attention, such as:

"Eating is Movement, Pause the Flow!"
"Redefine "Enough" - Mindful, not Mouthful!"
"Mindful Eating is Self-Synchronization"
"Eating is physiologically inevitable, but mindfulness isn't - wake up!"
"Who's eating?"

You can also include various pointers on craving control, fullness, process of eating. If you have already formulated your Philosophy of Eating, you can summarize it on the placemat as well ("Eat to live, not live to eat!" or "Eating changes both body and mind, the total of who I am. What I eat and how much I eat changes who I am physiologically. Why I eat and how I eat changes who I am psychologically.")

You can decorate your mindful eating placemat with your own design of a food pyramid that begins with mindfulness.

Your mindful eating placemat can also include mindful emotional eating harm-reduction tips on how to shift from mindless emotional overeating to responsible emotional eating such as "when eating to cope with emotions, remember that emotional eating does not have to mean emotional overeating."

Or you can "Photoshop" pictures of your children whose well-being, in part, depends on your modeling of healthy eating habits. Get creative and laminate the results. Feel free to email me a picture of your mindful eating placemat. I'll be sure to post it on my site. Share your mindful eating know-how with yourself and the world!

p.s. come to think of it, there is a business model in this; eating yoga placemats, anyone?