Healthy food habits is one of the root cause to not only cleanse your body from toxins but also nourishes your body, keeps you fresh and energetic all the day. Yoga is the leading form of physical exercise which helps you to keep yourself young, free from diseases, and full of life. That’s why healthy food combined with the daily yoga routine works like a magic. Diet is very important in yogic practice. Your mind reflects the end result of what you feed your body with. If the food is of the purest form your mind is also in its purest state. There is a close relationship between food and mental states like inspiration and intellect. A yogi always eats the food that nurtures the physical elements and satisfies the mind.
How diet enhances the benefits of yoga practice?
Our ancient Puranas, spiritual, and ayurvedic literature mentions the sattvik food habits that must be followed. Sour, hot, spicy, salty, dry, stale food that brings the burning sensation, inflicts pain, discomfort and various diseases must be avoided. Hathapradipika and Gherandasamhita (the prominent treatise on yoga) mention that the half portion of the stomach should be filled with food, the half of the remaining that is one fourth should be filled with water and the remaining one fourth should be left empty for air movement. One must not feed the stomach to its full capacity. Excessive eating hampers the practice of yoga. One must not starve. There should not be weakness or fatigue due to overindulgence in cutting down the calorie intake.
Observe sattvik habits
According to yoga-niyama and Ayurveda, food can be categorized into three broad dimensions Tama, Sattva, and Raja. When it involves Rajasic foods, they’re believed to be hot, bitter, dry, salty, or spicy. They overstimulate the mind. Tamasic foods are bland. They include meat, alcohol, tobacco, garlic, onions, fermented foods, and overripe substances. Sattvic food is considered as the purest sort of diet. it’s believed to be suitable for those that follow a yoga regime. It helps in nourishing the body and maintains a peaceful state. You stay calm and your body gets purified. A few examples of sattvic food include fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouts, pure fruit juices, legumes, salads, seeds, nuts, milk, butter and cheese, wholemeal bread, herbal tea, honey, coconut or almond milk.
Take a break
The yogis recommend choosing one day in a week to fast. One can consider a strict fast, not allowing anything to enter the body. Or, it can include plain water and fruit juices. Whatever type you select, confine mind that the goal of your fast is to purify the body and mind. If you find once every week is unrealistic, then practice fast on Ekadashi, the 11th day of every moon, observed by yogis to be an auspicious day.
Go for fresh
If possible, always prepare a fresh meal. Frozen, prepared, packaged and left-over foods should be avoided, only consuming the freshest and the best. One can also try to grow some of the vegetables at home which gives a fresh, organic, chemical free source of food. The flavours are enhanced, quality is retained, the joy of eating the food which you yourself cultivated is astonishing.
Say no to chemicals
A yogic diet should be free from chemicals and stimulants. You must exclude alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and artificial and processed sweeteners. These foods divert your concentration, focus, and hinder your yoga regime. These substances aren’t healthy for the body and alter the mind, making it harder to consider the Divine.
Making environmentally-conscious health choices that don’t harm people, animals, or the earth takes conscious awareness. For example, if you want to stay hydrated and always buy a water bottle to serve the purpose you can instead opt for a refillable glass bottle so you can bring down the plastic waste created by numerous water bottles. Making a far better environmentally- conscious decision.
Follow the timings
You must avoid eating foods two hours before exercising. an equivalent rule applies once you prepare to go for sleep. This is often because they believe that energy shouldn’t be wasted on digestion. once you perform yoga, you want to spend energy on performing the proper postures. Also, you want to make sure that before sleeping, food is correctly digested. One should also consider some diet needs- pre or post yoga sessions or depending on the time of yoga practice. Check out the article on post-yoga diet tips- click here.