The link between the body, the vital and nervous being, the emotions and the mind is well-recognised nowadays. The food we eat, and the way we eat it clearly affects our mood and our mental status. Similarly, stress, tension, emotional disturbance all impact the ability of the body to digest food. The mechanism behind these interactions is the release of chemical neurotransmitters and hormones triggered by the emotional state. Similarly, there is a direct link between the breathing, the emotions, the mind and the body. The breath, or Prana, varies based on our mental or emotional state. Through conscious modulation of the breath, it is also possible to bring a sense of peace to the mind, quiet the emotions and enhance the feeling of well-being in the body.
All of these subtle interactions are illustrated in the process of digestion. When we eat food in a state of upset or negativity, we tend to not digest it well. This in turn builds chemical reactions in the body that can trigger bad moods as well as physical discomfort. Thus, the mood creates a self-perpetuating and increasing response in the body which then plays it back on the mind, the emotions and the vital being. To escape this endless loop, the Mother provides a solution.
The Mother observes: “It is particularly noticeable that all the digestive functions are extremely sensitive to an attitude that is critical, bitter, full of ill-will, to a sour judgement. Nothing disturbs the functioning of the digestion more than that. And it is a vicious circle: the more the digestive function is disturbed, the more unkind you become, critical, dissatisfied with life and things and people. So you can’t find any way out. And there is only one cure: to deliberately drop this attitude, to absolutely forbid yourself to have it and to impose upon yourself, by constant self-control, a deliberate attitude of all-comprehending kindness. Just try and you will see that you feel much better.”
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Disturbances of the Body and Physical Consciousness, Rest, Quiet, Goodwill, pp. 86-88
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