The practice of yoga may help you achieve strength, flexibility and a strong core, but optimal health goes much deeper. As the saying goes “you are what you eat”, yogis believe that diet plays an integral part to yoga and overall wellbeing.
The yogic diet which is an ancient practice, focuses on consuming whole, unprocessed foods that are nutritious and easy to digest. According to Ayurveda, there are three broad dimensions, Tamasic (slow, lethargic, bland), Rajastic (hot, spicy, fast) and Sattva (pure, harmony). Tamasic and Rajastic foods include alcohol, garlic, onions, overripe substances and even tobacco.
It is believed that Sattvic food is the most suitable for those who want to practice yoga wholly. It helps to nourish the body and maintain and peaceful state—meaning your mind and body will be purified.
What are the health benefits?
1. Improved digestion
2. Boosts metabolism
3. Increases energy
4. Reduces risk of chronic diseases
5. Improves your mood
How to follow the yogic diet?
1. Your diet should be free from chemicals
Avoid foods that contain stimulants and chemicals, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, artificial and processed sweeteners which may divert your attention and hinder your yoga practice.
2. Consume a vegetarian diet
A high-quality protein diet obtained from legumes, green leafy vegetables and dairy products are easily digestible and will not pollute your internal system.
3. Eat two hours before asana and sleeping
Avoid eating foods two hours before exercising and sleeping. This enables you to spend your energy performing the right postures during yoga instead of being given to digestion. The same applies as food needs to be properly digested before sleeping.
4. Fast one day in a week
Opt to fast once a week—and consume only fruit juices and water, to purify your mind and body.
Will you try the Yogic Diet? Let us know in the comments!
Sources: The Refinery, MindBodyGreen, Yoga Journal, Times of India