New Years #2
AYURVEDA RESOLUTION #2:
Sit down to eat your meals and wait at least 5 minutes before you get up from the table. Again sitting to eat is more important than what you eat.
The first Ayurveda principal of eating at the same time (when to eat) is followed up by where and how to eat. At a table without the distraction of your phone or other device! And maybe a lit candle. The lit candle is representative of Agni, the digestive fires that stimulates digestion.
The gut is intricately connected to the brain. You have heard the expression gut feeling. Standing to eat, eating in your car, at your desk or in front of any device is a stressor and this stress effect the brain-gut axis (BGA)and has pathophysiological consequences on digestion. Exposure to any of these stressors affects the autonomic nervous system which affects the brain gut axis and both of these leads to the development of different digestive issues, all of which are pre cursors to ama (toxins) in the body. When you sit down to eat it allows relaxation in the mind and body and the function of the autonomic nervous system is regulated allowing for the proper digestion of food, through many systems in the gut, muscular contraction, the immune system, blood flow and peristalsis etc.
The practices of sitting down also has the possibility of positively affecting the breath which offer the possibility of reducing inappropriate activation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
When there is inappropriate activity of the ANS , the vital life-force , prana, is affected and it results in heightened bowel dysregulation and digestive disturbance. Of the five life-forces, the most important for the healthy functioning of the body is “Samana,” a life-force that is responsible for digestion and balancing two other major life-forces, “Apana” and “Prana.” When “Samana” is disturbed, the food ingested cannot be digested properly. This leads to over digestion (atijirnatvam), nondigestion (ajirnatvam), or wrong digestion (kujirnatvam) and this improperly digested food settles in the body and leads to diseases . If “Samana” becomes dominant, it leads to gastroesophageal problems, including epigastric pain, hyperacidity and gastric reflux. Ajirnatvam and heightened sympathetic activity (disturbed ANS) results in IBS-C constipation).Disturbed “Samana” causes an imbalance in “Apana,” and excess Apana along with parasympathetic dominance manifests as IBS-D diarrhea In other words, heightened parasympathetic activity results in IBS-D and heightened sympathetic activity results in IBS-C.
This is a small glimpse at why sitting down to eat is important to your health. It is also a simple Ayurveda principal that you can every day to accomplish better health.