Yoga and Diet: For a Healthy Mind and Body

A better life should always have balance. When you are doing practicing Yoga, self-discipline is very important to get the best results and benefits of Yoga. Whether you have mastered all the asanas or just starting learning them, it is also important to follow their diet and eating habits. These are the essential parts of Yoga lifestyle.

Yoga and Diet

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Generally, we agree that what we eat affects our well-being including our thoughts and emotions. Yoga does not classify foods into carbs, proteins, and fats but their effects foods on the body and mind categorized into into: rajas, satva, and tamas. These diets are based on ayurvedic principles.

Rajasic foods bring about restlessness or activity, while Sattvic foods are what we feel energetic, light and happy. Tamasic are foods that makes us sluggish.

Types of Yoga Diet

Rajasic Foods

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Rajasic foods stimulate our body and mind into action. However, taking more of these foods may result to restlessness, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, irritability and even anger.

Rajsik comes from the dining practices of Indian kings that consisted of at least 56 dishes that were served at their dining table. Some of the meals are prepared differently where some are roasted while others are fried, some are highly-seasoned foods and other foods are curried.

Take note that Yoga practitioners believe that this diet is undesirable because they make you gain weight and more fats. This will make you feel heavy after a meal and arouse passion.

Spicy foods, fried foods, coffee, tea, garlic, and onions are samples of Rajasic foods.

Satvic Foods

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Foods in this type of diet is cooked with lesser amount of spices and seasonings. Foods should be fresh, nutritious, and appealing. They should be cooked simply. This diet is highly recommended for Yoga practitioners.

Satvic foods helps purify the body and relaxes the mind. Those foods that are eaten within three to four hours are considered as satvic foods.

Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits, grains, nuts, and fresh milk are samples for satvic diet.

Click here for a sample Satvic recipe.

Tamasic Foods

yoga and diet

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Tamasik diet is prepared with a lot of salt and spices, chili, pepper, and other seasonings. Any non-vegetarian foods are considered tamasik. It is believed that this kind of foods can make a person quarrelsome, noisy, temperamental, and intolerant. They bring our disorientation and confusion. Thus, these tamasik foods are not recommended for Yoga practitioners.

Foods that are reheated, stale, with artificial preservatives, and oil are considered tamasik foods.

Principles of True Yoga Diet

#Yoga practitioners support satvic diet because it promotes a diet for healthy lifestyle with clear minds, happy disposition, happy feelings, and peaceful.

Sattvic diet is rich in Prana “a universal life-force that provides life to beings in animal and plant kingdoms. The diet avoid processed and canned foods, and foods that are prepared with chemical  sprays or fertilizers.

#Yogis choose vegetarian diet. Leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes and dairy products are abundant with high quality proteins. Their residue is cellulose and therefore, does not contaminate our body. They are used by the body easily and efficiently, most importantly, easily digestible.

#A good Yoga diet must have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Foods should always prepare fresh meals. Practitioners avoid left-over foods, packed and and frozen foods.

#Yogis eat at regular intervals or two hours before yoga poses or sleep.

This is to train the body discipline by eating at regular periods so that nutrients and calories are used properly. When one avoids eating foods two hours before yoga poses or sleep, it helps the body performs in its highest capacity, while the interval time before sleeping helps in digestion and keep our mind relaxed.

#Yoga practitioners  choose a day of fasting every week. Fasting can be strict as it prevents anything to enter the body. Whatever day of fasting you choose, your main goal is to cleanse mind and body.

#Yogis should perform ahimsa.

Ahimsa is a Buddhist practice of nonviolence to all living things. This can also be used in the foods we eat. It supports our awareness not to harm and destroys other people, our environment, and animals.

The most important element of Yoga diet is to eat with the right disposition and love. It recommends to take time eating your meals and connect to the planet on a higher degree. It makes you become conscious of the foods that provides you with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals rather than focusing your mind on food cravings that help you gain weight.

Want to know about the types of Yoga? Click here.

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