The day you decide and take up yoga as your way of life is the day that you decide to improve your health and start respecting your body. It is the day you lay the foundation for 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 you 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 types 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, provide 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 say that we should eat more Satvic foods so that apart from staying healthy and light, we keep our digestive and immune systems working optimally for the best results from the yogas that we perform.
These food habits also emphasize another aspect – the timings of the meals. All meals are advised to be taken between sunrise 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 sets the body to get accustomed to the inputs that it is going to get through meals at certain times of the day.
Another important aspect to be followed with all of it is that the meals should be half filling. A 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 sorts 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 make the body heavy and the mind dull.
The Yogic Food Management
Good health is a conscious and dedicated commitment that emphasizes the foods we eat, the physical activities or the yogic exercises we are involved in, our mental well-being, and proper rest and sleep. Yoga teaches us to be consistence with all our behavior.
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 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 built muscles.
The most important aspect of adopting food 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 do asanas. 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
- Eat small, eat at regular intervals, and chew your food properly. Helps in proper metabolism and keeps you energized at all times.
- Eat a variety of Satvic food – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and pulses. It provides the body with vital 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 the whole body.
Kapalbhati: Breathe in the
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 that 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 the art of practicing a lifelong journey of exploration, awakening, discovering, healing, and experiencing divine joy. It is a science of discovering our own self that is hidden inside us.
People around the world think that Yoga is the art of practicing some exercises that bring 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 –
Let us work towards adopting 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 in India.
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