When you think about nourishment, what comes to mind? Do you think about fruit salad, green juice or a warm cup of herbal tea? Or do you suspect that nourishment is so much more than what we put in our mouths?
Project yourself to a time in your life when you felt wonderful. Maybe it was a simple moment in the sunshine, a professional achievement, a major life event or a glorious moment on your Yoga mat. Whatever it was, take yourself there now. Imagine how you felt, how the world around you looked, the tastes, the smells and the sights - find that pure joy again.
This moment wasn't just « feel good ». It was essential for your health.
These life events fill you up on a soul level. The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a world renowned health coaching school, have a term for this. They call it « Primary Food ».
Primary foods come in many forms and are interrelated. Think of a pie chart divided into slices. Each slice represents a component of life, such as relationships, spirituality, home cooking, physical exercise, career, finances, creativity and fun. Good health is the synthesis of a balance in all areas. For example, when we feel content with our family life, when we feel supported by our friends, when we feel inspired by our jobs, when we have a spiritual practice and when life holds challenges that make us feel skillful, we receive nourishment.
In these times of flow, sometimes physical food is far from our minds. Being so engaged in the present moment provides all the energy we need. When it does become time to eat, when the heart is full, the food choices we make are generally good ones. If we are in a healthy emotional state, a place of trust and self kindness, we can live our relationship to food and eating in the most deeply nourishing way.
Yoga, for many of us, is a key to approaching this state of inner balance. There are of course times in our lives when our jobs are stressful or a close relationship becomes strained. Yoga can help to draw us back into the present moment, demonstrating all that we have to be grateful for. Yoga can provide an outlet for stress or sadness. Yoga can provide nourishment in the form of self love that perhaps was missing. The connection of body and breath hits the reset button in our hearts, opening us up to receiving soul nourishment on all levels.
Go back to that moment where you felt wonderful and let that emotion spread through you once more. Then, go out and create more moments just like these, simply by bringing your attention, mindfully, to positive and nourishing quality of your surroundings. Not only will you feel good but the nourishment you receive will lead to a lifetime of good health.
Come nourish your heart, soul and body with us this September in Ibiza during our Wild Heart High Spirit retreat with holistic nutritionist and whole foods chef Sarah Britton of My New Roots.