CAMP ZAMA, Japan – Warrant Officer Tiffany Brown-Howard couldn’t help but lean forward in her chair, engaged as she was in the topic being discussed during a mindfulness class Camp Zama’s Army Community Service hosted here March 8.
The class was offered in connection with International Women’s Day, observed that same day. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1911 and is today known as “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women,” according to its official website.
“The class was a celebration of international women,” Brown-Howard, assigned to Public Health Command-Pacific, said. “We all learned something new about the culture of Japan and how they view food.”
Brown-Howard said the class allowed the participants to see food from another perspective; point out similarities as well as differences between Japan and other countries; and also to understand where the way the attendees think about food come from. The women shared many stories about struggles with food and body perceptions over one’s lifetime.
Brown-Howard said the event was an opportunity to not only learn about the Japanese culture as it relates to food and health, but also to nurture one’s self and seek healthy ways to address one’s own needs.
“I think the participants received [the material] well,” said Brown-Howard said. “I would definitely recommend this class to others.”
Tomoko Hosono, a certified holistic health coach and guest speaker at the event, said the theme of the class was about being mindful on what to eat and how to eat, as well as fostering an awareness of self-care.
Hosono said that as she discussed things like Japanese food culture, the country’s health awareness, and how to communicate with one’s body, she saw people taking notes, asking a lot of questions, and sharing their own experiences.
“The participants showed great interest in the discussions during the class,” Hosono said.
Hosono said she hopes the class helped the participants enhance their understanding of different food cultures and of being mindful of nutrition and self-care.
A similar class for men is scheduled to take place in June, Hosono said.