Guilt free chocolate eating… a Valentines Yoga Meditation…

chocolates-

 

 

If you know me at all you know that I am not about depriving oneself of anything.  I know for some who have embraced a different path however this time of year may be difficult; what with the items in the picture above being presented in abundance.  I offer this suggestion on how to enjoy this treat at this time of year with the knowledge that you are doing a good thing.

 Mindful Eating.

This mindful eating exercise may be especially pleasing to some because it involves chocolate.  If you have food issues there’s no need to fear; this exercise is waistline friendly as we only need one or two pieces of chocolate, or at best three.

In order to complete this exercise you will need one or two squares of chocolate, alternatively a couple of chocolates or a small chocolate bar cut in half.  It’s Valentines weekend so I imagine that you may be able to find some quite easily.

Step one:

Examine the  chocolate be aware of the packaging and the smell that comes through the paper. 

Feel the anticipation; open the bar or box and watch how the wrapper comes away, how it crinkles and crackles; then reveals the chocolate within.  Notice how the chocolate looks, observe the texture, the aroma, any imperfections made in its manufacture.

Break up a square and breathe in the aroma. Look at it carefully, observe the sheen, the decoration on it, the way it has broken off from the bar.  You don’t have to stare at it just look at it for what it is.  How does it feel in your hand, smell it again; the sweetness

Take a bite or place the square in your mouth.  Feel the sensation as your tongue savors the flavor of it. What can you taste?  What is the texture like rolling around in your mouth?  Pay close attention to the changing texture and taste.  Notice how it starts to change from what was once a solid.  Can you focus on all the characteristics until the chocolate has been eaten and all that remains is the lingering aftertaste?  Did you enjoy it? Can you feel the flavor that’s left in your mouth?

Step two-the comparison step

Take the second piece of chocolate but eat it how you normally would.  Which for most of us means to pop it in your mouth give it a couple of chews and then gulp.  Did you experience any difference?  Did it taste the same; worse or better?

Which one was better the first time or the second?

I’m willing to bet all my Valentine chocolate that the first experience was much more pleasurable and satisfying! You may have even been content with just the one taste. All your wants or cravings for chocolate may have been satisfied.

After number two you most likely felt like doing number one over again.  Its ok you can it’s Valentines after all.

Love yourself.

XOXOX Danielle

Be My Yoga Valentine?

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As we come upon another gift giving holiday a rather significant one for me (it also happens to be my wedding anniversary 16 years!) I started to ponder the idea of love and charity.  As Valentines Day approaches I see the stores become a sea of red white and pink, and listen to my offspring tease my partner about the pressure of having Valentines Day and our Wedding Anniversary on the 14th, and how is Dad going to show Mom that he loves her? Not vice versa so much, I am not getting pressured on what it is I am going to do for him or them for that matter, they know that Mom will kiss Dad, put up some red and white stuff around the house bake cupcakes and boom the holiday is over.  But my real question is what’s with giving stuff to show your love???  Why don’t we perhaps just be more charitable??? How about some Non Bendy Yoga Valentines?

Instead of giving your loved ones more stuff why don’t you..

Donate things you don’t need. Some of the easiest items to donate include clothes, books, utensils, shoes, and toys. Charities with thrift stores will sell these items to raise cash for their charity. Day cares, hospitals, and churches may also accept donated items. Donating older items you don’t need anymore is a great way to practice charity for those who have a tight budget. Recently on a Cold Day I gathered up some of the books that have been passed onto me, some of the extra mugs that were taking up space in the kitchen and a couple of boxes of tea and dropped them off at the local Women’s Shelter.  That felt like love.

Volunteer. Our time can be as valuable as money or donated items. As a volunteer, you are working to further to goals of whatever organization you choose. Often times, volunteers are needed for community projects and by helping, you are helping your community. Volunteers can also serve those in need more directly by working with children, in soup kitchens or in retirement homes. Serving warm soup in weather like this feels like love.

You can also be charitable in your everyday life. If you see someone who needs a hand, help them out. This may include giving someone a battery jump, helping someone move, or helping someone with directions. Or giving a hug or an ear if they are having a crappy day. These situations happen at random, but by keeping an eye out we can find instances where we can demonstrate charity.  That really feels like love.

Kids and grownups learn by example and by showing charity you set a great Non Bendy Yoga Example.

Happy Valentines Day XOXO

Danielle

www.balafonyoga.com