A Yogic Diet is a diet that is conducive to the practice of Yoga and its spiritual process. According to ancient yogis, the diet has a very significant relationship with the mind. It is said that our mind is formed of the subtlest part of the food i.e. the finest food particles create our minds. Thus, it is important to keep a check on the food we eat for a better and healthy mind and body.
Apart from that, a Yogic Diet is a balanced diet which influences both body and mind. Diet is basically of three types:
1. Sattvic Diet
It is a diet that includes the food that has the quality (guna) according to the Ayurveda and Yoga literature. The Sattvic foods are considered to be pure, essential, natural, vital, energy-containing, clean, conscious, true, honest, and wise. It has the potential to unfold the love and compassion in an individual. It includes foods like fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. These foods provide a feeling of contentment.
2. Rajasic Diet
Rajasic foods are foods that are hot, spicy and salty. These foods act as stimulants or irritants. Consumption of these foods makes the mind more Rajasic i.e. it tends towards anger, hatred, and manipulation. It makes us more agitated and prone to temptation. It includes foods such as sour apples, millet, corn, sour cream and milk, fish, shrimp, etc. Also, all the moreish and tempting foods are a part of this category.
3. Tamasic Diet
Tamasic Diet is considered to be the opposite of the Sattvic food and has features like negative heavy, dull, depressing, spoiled, dark, unclean and weak. It consumption induces sleep and a dulling effect. It includes foods such as watermelon, onion, garlic, cheese, pumpkin, etc.
But a Yogic Diet contains a lot more, so here are some of the features of Yogic Diet related to what to eat and how to eat:
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The Yogic Diet fully consists of vegetarian food i.e. plant-based diet. Animal proteins contain high amounts of uric acid and other toxins that are difficult to break and eliminate, which leads to problems like arthritis and cancer.
So focus and shift to plants based protein sources like nuts, legumes, dairy products, and leafy greens, since they are readily digestible and absorbed by the body.
Yogic is Sattvic
The Yoga literature includes only a Sattvic diet as the Yogic Diet. It the purest diet for practicing yoga. It nourishes the body and calms the mind and improves body functioning. The Sattvic diet includes breadfruits and vegetables, milk, butter, cheese, nuts, legumes, etc. So switch to the Sattvic foods.
Go for fresh foods
According to the Yoga literature, you should always prefer freshly prepared food. Avoid the consumption of pre-made, frozen, packaged and stale food. The fresher the food the better it is. Fresh food stimulates your mind and keeps your body more healthy, fit and active.
Choose chemical-free food
Always prefer organic food items rather than the ones made synthetically. Stay away from the foods that contain caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. These artificial substances are not good for our body and mind. These foods alter the mind and thoughts, thus making it difficult to concentrate on the Divine.
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Fast once a week
If possible do fast once a week for the purification of your body. It may be a strict fast not allowing anything into the body or it may include water and fruit juices. Doing this will eliminate the toxins out of your body and purify the body and mind. If not once a week you may fast on the 11th day of each lunar month i.e. the Ekadashi, it is an auspicious day as considered by the yogis.
Include good fats
A Yogic Diet is always incomplete without ghee, coconut oil, soaked nut, and seeds. Fats make the food appetizing, digestible and satisfying. Additionally, it also heals the mind, improves memory and neural conductivity.
Eat at regular intervals
Train your body to eat at regular intervals. According to the yogis avoid eating food two hours before practicing asana and before sleep. Eating two hours before gives sufficient energy for the process of digestion and improves body functioning.
Additionally, Vedyou also brings you a list of the foods that should be avoided when following a Yogic Diet:
- Meat and fish of all types, including eggs
- Processed and/or artificial foods, junk food, artificial sweeteners, soda
- Animal fats, margarine
- Fried foods
- Canned foods, except naturally canned tomatoes and fruit
- White flour, white sugar
- Garlic, onions, spicy foods
- Stale or overly cooked foods
- Microwaved foods
- Alcohol, tobacco, stimulants
- Foods that are genetically engineered
- Foods that are eaten in a rush or a disturbed environment
So shift to the Yogic Diet for the better practice of Yoga Asanas and keep yourselves healthy, active and fit.