Felicia Tomasko Helps You Take It All In
She said it herself, but it bears repeating: Felicia Marie Tomasko’s workshop, Ingest, Digest, Rest – Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Digestion was perfectly timed for the evening of the last day of the conference. After five days of constant wisdom ingesting, I think we all needed to hear about how to take time and let things settle. And Felicia, being a yoga and Ayurveda expert, had tons of helpful advice about how we can take simple steps to aid our digestion, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
What follows here is my attempt to digest all that Felicia had to say in her session this evening, and to summarize for you, dear readers, just some of her awesome tips for better all-around digestification:
No, that’s not a real word. It’s late…you’ll have to cut me some slack.
1. Drink hot water with lemon. I’ve heard this before, that you’re not supposed to drink ice water, that it’s harder on your system, that room temperature water is better, but Felicia explained why this is the case so well that I am now going to live by it religiously. It’s advised, she said, because in order to have healthy digestion we want a strong digestive fire. What does ice water do to fire? That’s right, folks – it puts it out.
2. Eat When You’re Eating. Again, not totally new advice, but Felicia reminded us that we are ingesting not just what we eat, but HOW we eat. And what we ingest becomes a part of us. This means, if I’m eating in a blind hurry and not breathing and not noticing, then I am becoming, well…at worst, frantic and, at best, numb to the present. And neither of these are what I would like to become. Ever.
3. Pay Attention to What Happens AFTER You Eat. Keep a food diary, make up a little food song, record a voice memo (I loved all of these suggestions, especially the one about making up a song), do whatever you have to do to notice how you feel after you eat what you eat. It will be the best measuring stick for what you should and should not be feeding yourself.
4. Move Around. Digestion, Felicia says, is not static. It is a process that is constantly changing, constantly in flux, so movement can help us to digest, not just physiologically, but mentally and emotionally. Felicia gave the example of how you can be stuck on a problem and then get up to go for a walk and magically have the solution appear. That, my friends, is digestion.
5. Sleep Well. Sleep is one of our primary times for digestion and detoxification, so adequate sleep and quality sleep are very important to the whole human system. Felicia suggested sleeping in a darkened bedroom free from electronic equipment. (This one has always been hard for me…I will not admit to the number of nights I fall asleep while watching something on my laptop, which is balanced on my or my fiance’s belly. But it’s a lot.)
6. Meditate. “Meditation,” Felicia said, “is like the sorbet between courses.” It is the place where we integrate what we’ve learned. It is the time when we pause the constant influx of thought and information that usually bombards our system. Amen, sister.
7. Connect to the Earth. Stand on the ground with your bare feet. Touch a plant or a tree. Gaze up into the sky for a period of time. Do anything you can to remind yourself that there is something larger out there than you and the contents of your mind. Sigh. I think this might have been my favorite of all the incredible advice she gave. It’s so sweet, and so simple, and so achievable.
8. Exhale More. The exhale is the place of relaxation and digestion for the spirit, so if you need a little more of that, see if you can’t make your exhales just a little bit longer than your inhales.
Phew! That is a paltry re-hashing of what was a really wonderful and information-packed session by Ms. Tomasko. If you want to get fully inspired by all of these tips and a whole lot more, just head on over to Felicia’s YogaHub profile page and check her out!
[tags]Felicia Marie Tomasko, virtual world yoga conference, Ayurvedic Tips, Healthy Digestion[/tags]