My Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher passed down his yoga diet wisdom because he felt that this was also an important component to living the true yoga way. He stressed that yoga was a comprehensive state of union with everything, including a positive and healthy relationship with food.
There are two important components to a Yogi diet. First, in an important yoga text, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Patanjali explains several principles in regards to a balanced diet. Second, the Indian health system of Ayurveda developed health wisdom over many centuries. Patanjali’s wisdom along with Ayurvedic principles gives us excellent diet guidelines!
Ayurveda’s main principles:
- The mind and the body are connected.
- The mind ultimately is the main factor in changing the body.
Ayurvedic food choices reflect:
- An Individual’s Body Type, called dosha*
- Life’s current circumstances and events
- The season of the year
Sattvic foods: include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
*Individual Body Constitiution(type): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
I encourage you to find your individual body type according to Ayurveda by taking a quick online test or if you are able visiting an Ayurveda specialist.
Eat and plan meals when you are relaxed.
In our fast paced society, we tend to eat to soothe ourselves. This can be very damaging to our body as we will consume more calories, and unhealthy food and drinks. However, you can learn to maintain a relaxed state of mind through breathing techniques, yoga and being in the present moment, which will naturally lead you to healthier and wiser food choices. Mindful eating, helps you to connect with your body’s diet needs and to become satisfied easier. Other ways to stay connected with a meal are eat while sitting down and avoid watching T.V. while you eat or eating while driving.
Eat your biggest meal in the middle of the day.
The sun hits the earth the strongest in the middle of the day, corresponding to the most amount of heat and digestion in your body. For this reason, Ayurveda teaches that the middle of the day is the ideal time to eat your biggest meal in order to fully digest your meal and get the maximum amount of nutrition in one day.
Ayurveda calls your digestive energy, agni (fire). A strong agni allows you to efficiently make body tissues, eliminate waste products and produce good health as oppose to letting excess food and toxins cause bodily diseases.
Apply the non-harming principle.
Following the Yoga principle of , or non-harming, you should connect with the origins of your food. Who produced this food that you are about to eat and how were the animals treated? Are you eating more meat than you need to? Think about the environment and how your food supports a healthy environment. Eat organic, local, seasonal whole foods whenever possible.
Non-harming also means, not harming yourself. Eat nourishing food, drinks, and teas that protect your organs and your body.
Eat only as much as your body needs
Eat only when you are definitely hungry. One way to accomplish this is by eating at the same time everyday. Your body begins secreting digestive juices even before you eat if you follow a food routine. Have you ever been starving when you ate lunch too late?
Taking your time chewing and tasting the food and noticing with all your senses the food’s properties you will be able to eat slower and eat the perfect amount!
I hope this helps you get ideas on ways to eat like a Yogi. Just remember, no one is perfect, practice unconditional love towards yourself. Slowly over time, strive towards a healthy diet. And if you loved the look above as mush as we do, visit 90degreebyreflex.com to shop the hottest yoga leggings, yoga capris & yoga tanks online!