The day you decide and take up yoga as your way of life, it is the day that you decide to improve your health and start respecting your body. It is the day you lay foundation to a life full of good health, happiness and longevity.
There is another aspect that comes to you as a virtue of yoga. From the sense of focus and mindfulness of the body – is the sense of making healthier food choices. Well!! This is the result of the feeling of being uplifted and focused that you get from yogic practice.
Yoga not only teaches you to control your physical and mental movements for numerous health benefits, but also teaches how to eat through the yogic food system. The art of ‘yoga’, which was performed by the ancient yogis, concentrated on certain foods that were not only healthy, but also allowed them to stay light and alert, so that they were able to perform the yogic asanas – the yoga postures.
So, what is the yogic food system that we must adopt along with practicing yoga?
The yogic food system has divided foods into three categories and follows certain principles:
- The Sattvic Diet: Satvic means pure. It includes foods that are best consumed in their purest forms like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The main reason and the idea behind these type of foods is to keep the body light and satiate hunger without compromising on the body’s natural ability to be alert and conscious.
These are foods that heal, provides comfort, are juicy and smooth and increase s longevity, intelligence and strength.
2. The Tasmic Diet: it includes foods like onions, garlic and meats. These are foods that cause great harm to the mind and the body and are considered impure.
3. The Rajasic Diet: The word itself means Royal. It includes foods like hot peppers, salt and coffee. These foods can give rise to ill health, grief or discomfort.
Yogic teachings says that we should eat more of Satvic foods so that apart from staying healthy and light, we keep our digestive and immune system working optimally for best results from the yogas that we perform.
These food habits also emphasizes another aspect – the timings of the meals. All meals are advised to be taken between sunrises to sunset and avoid eating mainly after the sun has set. The timings of the meals should be set and should not be altered as it get sets the body to get accustomed to the inputs that it is going to get through meals at certain timings of the day.
Another important aspect to be followed with all of it is that the meals should be half filling. The quarter of the remaining half should be filled with water and the last remaining quarter should be left empty. The main reason behind the same is to aid proper digestion and keep the body light.
The yoga culture advises people to avoid all sort of Tasmic foods. As yoga teaches us to follow non-violence or Ahimsa, no meat is to be eaten. It is said that such foods makes the body heavy and the mind dull.
The Yogic Food Management
Good health is a conscious and dedicated commitment that emphasis of the foods we eat, the physical activities or the yogic exercises we are involved into, our mental well-being and proper rest and sleep. Yoga teaches us to be consistence with all our behaviour.
The main purpose behind following a yogic food style is to keep the body light and healthy, so that we can absorb the best outcome from the asanas we perform. Unless you are a strict vegetarian, adopt of eating white meat and not more than once or twice a week. But, if you are building muscles and losing weight, you can increase the frequency to three to four times a week, as white meats are the best sources of proteins that the body needs in such cases to repair an built muscles.
The most important aspect of adopting foods habits along with practicing yoga is to consider Satvic foods. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are any time better and a lot healthier than any other food. These are the foods that will help you doing asnanas. It helps in getting the body get rid of toxins and makes your hair and skin glow and become healthy also.
Yogic guidelines for healthy eating and well-being
- Noted below are some valuable yogic food adaptation and guidelines that we all must follow for optimal health and overall well-being:
- Eat small, eat at regular intervals and chew your food properly. Helps in proper metabolism and keeps you energized at all time.
- Eat a variety of Satvic food – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses. It provides the body with vitals and essential nutrients and minerals.
- Avoid Tasmic food at all and consume the least of Rajasic foods.
- Practice Yogic exercises on a regular basis. The following are the best few yogas for overall wellness and good health:
Vajra Asana: Best for flexibility, body movements and digestion.
Padma Asana: Provides ultimate relaxation to the muscles and whole body.
Kapalbhati: Breathes in
Gomukh Asana: Stretches the spine and assimilates all discomfort and pain from the body. It helps you sleep and relax better.
Tadasana: Simple, yet very effective asana helps you main a great posture and balance of the body.
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The Art of Yoga
“Yoga” is a form of art. It is an art of practising a life long journey of exploration, awakening, discovering, healing and experiencing divine joy. It is a science of discovering our own self that hidden inside us.
People around the world thinks that Yoga is an art of practicing some exercises that brings good health. But actually, Yoga is much beyond just simple exercises, it is about life. An amalgamation of the mind, body and soul to bring total wellness and not just physical well-being.
In an effort to let the world discover the true benefits of the ancient tradition, every year on the 21st of June, since its inception on the same day in 2015.
Our present Prime Minister says that –
unityof mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being.
Let us work towards adopting the International Yoga Day.
*/ The article is authored by famous Dietitian Sheela Seharawat. She is the founder and chief mentor of Diet Clinic Health Care Pvt. Ltd. Also, she is one of the youngest successful entrepreneurs of India./*
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