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Thread: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

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    Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Vannakkam all:

    from http://veda.wikidot.com/yama-niyama

    YAMA 9 — Mitahara, Moderate Appetite

    "Be moderate in appetite, neither eating too much nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs. Enjoy fresh, wholesome vegetarian foods that vitalize the body. Avoid junk food. Drink in moderation. Eat at regular times, only when hungry, at a moderate pace, never between meals, in a disturbed atmosphere or when upset. Follow a simple diet, avoiding rich or fancy fare."

    There are two problems with this. One is money, and not being able to afford the best and healthy alternatives. Junk food is easy. Don't buy it. I confess we do eat a bit of it around here. The occasional ice cream. I am also a consumer of coffee, although it isn't mentioned here. Of courses various diets are often due to preconditioned programming and the older you are the tougher it is to change. I actually know a few Tamils now who will partake of brown rice on occasion. This is a change from just 20 years ago, and a good western influence, in direct contrast to most western influences.

    I think that with all the yamas, it is how hard one tries.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 24 June 2010 at 04:16 PM. Reason: addition

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Namaste EM,

    Mitahara = Eating less

    Actually, Most of us are victims of overeating. We must eat only what is required to keep our body fit. Eating more makes us prone to diseases and makes us unfit for yoga.

    Mitahara is not only interpreted as "less eating" but also "eating right food only" as you have mentioned in your post. Among all the sense organs, two organs are very hard to conquer i.e. the tongue and the skin. However, it comes easy for some & very difficult for others. I have seen people mad after eating meat, spicy food, alcohol etc. etc. ... though they very well know that this habit is leading to a painful death ... but they have so weak will-power that they feel that they are helpless. Conquering tongue has been easy for me by God's grace.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Vannakkam Devotee:

    So true. Obesity may already be the world's number one health problem. Take a look at the chart here: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/he...health-obesity

    For most people, health takes a crisis in order for habits to change. Even then it often doesn't. I know two stroke victims that haven't altered their lifestyle one iota. I was personally worried about weight gain, but fortunatly in my retirement it was mostly due to bulking up from a lot more physical labour type work. Fat turning to muscle from moving loads of topsoil with a wheelbarrow. I gained about 30 pounds, but I've always had the will to diet if need be. Choices are the real problem. High sugar, high carbo, and no exercise. What did you expect?

    I recalled how disgusting some of my former staff parties were when there was food. It seemed like a pig-out contest. I ended up sneaking off just so I didn't have to watch pigs at a trough. We'd go out for lunch at the end of the school year, and I'd order a chef's salad or something, and get stared at as if I was the one that was 'out to lunch'.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Namaste,

    This is one yama that I am on top of, for the most part. My family and I have become much more conscious of what we are eating over the past several years, not that there was ever a problem or anything. My biggest weakness that remains is drinking sodas like Coke and Pepsi. I used to drink it pretty much everyday, but I've cut back to two or three times a week. I plan on cutting back even more than that and eventually eliminate it from my diet. But besides that, I eat moderately and a vegetarian diet.

    It is amazing how big of a problem obesity is in my country, the United States. There have actually been a good amount of studies and literature about it, but it seems like the people just keep on eating. I read a book a couple of years ago called "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. It centers around the following piece of advice: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." If only more people would follow that advice.

    Jai Sri Krishna

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Namaste All

    On several occassions, Shri Ramana on being asked as to what was most helpful for pracising yoga successfully, replied: Mitahara.

    Especially, the Hindu understanding is that the essence of food becomes the mind, the medium part becomes blood and the gross becomes the body. Considering this, the importance of Mitahara cannot be over emphasized.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Does one eat to live or live to eat?

    That said, yudhiṣṭhira asks a question to bhīṣma-ji - common people consider fasting as tapas. Is fasting however really so or is tapas something different?
    bhīṣma-ji offers the following: people do regard fasts measured in months or fortnights (14 days) or days as tapas. Yet in the opinion of the good such is not tapas.
    On the other hand fast is an impediment to the acquisition of knowledge of the Self. The renunciation of acts and humility ( as measured in the worship of all creatures and consideration for them all i.e. non-injury) constitute the highest tapas.


    Note bhīṣma-ji talks in days & weeks ... Hence his information does not violate the recommendation of ekadaśa's ( 1 + 10 or the 11th tithi) vrata¹ of fasting for the day.


    Yet, let me ask our HDF friends - why do you think bhīṣma-ji suggests that long fasts are an an impediment to the acquisition of knowledge of the Self?

    praām

    1. vrata - rule, will , command , law , ordinance ,
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Short fasts like ekadashi are good for health, because of detoxification, hormonal balancing and psychological benefits. Longer fast are not good though, after 72 hours of fasting the body will go in starvation mode. It's not good for health and as Krishna says in the bhagavad gita that tapas that brings injury is tamo guna. Krishna also says that while eating and sleeping according to the needs of the body yoga will destroy dukha.

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Namaste em ji and all,

    Thanks for the topic, but I feel I totally fail in this code of conduct called mitahara. I don't eat much (in fact I suffered under-nutrition for a long time), but I have a very erratic diet habit. Well, in delhi sun I don't feel like going out, so usually I eat only 1 time at 10 in the night, Even the food I eat is really tamsic, instead of water I only drink coca-cola. My food must have lots and lots of green chilly. I eat a lot of potato chips and other junk food to compensate for lack of regular diet. Can any one help me how to get rid of these problems ? I have seriously damaged my health.
    When the light has risen, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence; Siva alone is there. That is the eternal, the adorable light of Savitri, - and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence (Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-18). :)

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    First of all, don't be worried about your habits and try to keep it simple. Don't look for what the latest research says about health. Healthy eating is basically common sense.

    Most important of all, do not go to the other extreme and become a health nut. Moderation is the key.

    Patato chips, coca cola and other junk food are obviously bad for your health, but you don't have to avoid them completely. Just don't eat them regularly. Start drinking water, green tea or water with a squeeze of lemon. Too much soda is bad for your digestive track, your teeth and your blood.

    Spicy food is not at all bad for health, most spices like tumeric and pepper have proven health benefits. Don't eat so much spice to the point it becomes uncomfortable. Spices are there to enchance the taste of food, not to replace the taste.

    Eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, dairy (and/or eggs). Add a limited amount of salt and spices, avoid empty calories as much as realistically possible.

    How often you eat is not really a big deal. Yogis often eat only once a day, but they are very efficient in their use of energy. If you are sedentary, eat two meals a day, if you have an active lifestyle, eat three meals a day. Professional athletes and people who do strenuous physical work for hours a day may need more frequent feedings.

    You also say you are undernourished, if you are also underweight or overweight it may help to do exercise. Also if you have a normal weight, training has a lot of health benefits. Consider doing a sport, yoga and strength training (in moderation).

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    Re: Yama 9, Mitahara, Moderate appetite

    Vannakkam isavasya:

    It is really the simple things to change first. There are certain things that are harder. Going off coca-cola will have more to do with the caffeine withdrawal than the sugar. Such companies put addictive substances in their products just to get you hooked. Harder things would be replacing white rice with the more nutritional brown rice.

    But if you start, you will feel better reasonably quickly. One of the things I did when I realised my job was going to be sedentary was to walk a lot. There were a lot of taller buildings with elevators, and I vowed off elevators. Even now, when traveling in India, if I get to a hotel with an elevator, I usually take the stairs except when packing heavy suitcases. That habit has stuck with me. So if you can, rather than bus to work, why not walk? It's a pretty simple adjustment.

    Regarding junk food, buy bananas or other fruits instead. Best of lucj with making some small changes.

    Aum Namasivaya

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