Yoga & Food - For A Healthy And Balanced Lifestyle

According to yogic principles, yoga & food are interrelated. Yoga places great emphasis on food. In fact, in yoga we find a whole branch called Anna Yoga dedicated to food. According to yogic principles we become what we eat. The effects of an improper diet manifest themselves in unwanted appearance, incorrect thoughts, behavior and action.

Food Classification In Yoga

In yoga & food one finds that the emphasis is not placed on minerals, proteins, or vitamins. Instead food is classified according to three Gunas (qualities).

  • Sattavic food is the one that promotes clarity and calmness of mind. It also promotes long and healthy life. This food is fresh and sweet and the most beneficial to our body. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, honey, nuts, seeds and fruits qualify as sattavic food. According to yogi principles, food that has been treated with chemicals and fertilizers do not qualify as sattavic food. This obviously means that in today's world only organic food qualifies as sattavic food.
  • Rajasic food helps feed the body and promote activity. However, it also makes the mind restless. Yoga practitioners are required to avoid rajasic food. Spicy foods, coffee, tea, eggs, garlic, onion, meat, chocolate and fish are some of the foods included in the rajasic category. However, rajasic food is recommended for those who lead a hectic lifestyle. Those who are looking for peace of mind should avoid this food.
  • Tamasic food promotes dullness of mind and makes the body sluggish. Alcohol and meat are considered tamasic food. According to yogi principles, meat is a stale food that should be avoided.

Another important point to understand about yoga & food is that cooking can change the nature of the food. In other words sattavic food can become rajasic or tamasic food when cooked with spices or stored for a long period of time. For instance, when honey is cooked it becomes rajasic food. Similarly when fruits are stored for a long period of time they become tamasic. Grains, on the other hand, remain sattavic even if stored for a long period of time.

Vegetarian Diet

According to yoga & food approach, vegetarian diet is the best diet. Fish and meat products are specifically prohibited in yoga. According to Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali, eating meat violates the principle of non-violence. If it is proteins that we are looking for in meat, then you should know that proteins can also be derived from nuts, legumes and dairy products.

Yoga And Food For Cleansing

Another interesting fact about yoga is that it also helps to cleanse our body of toxins. There are many postures and breathing techniques in yoga that help to cleanse the body and promote a balanced and healthy body.

Talking about the subject of yoga & cleansing, even food is used in yoga to help cleanse our body. According to yogic principles, fasting helps cleanse our body of toxins and provides rest to cells. Moreover, certain foods are easy on our system and help cleanse our body of toxins.

Yoga & food help the practitioners of yoga achieve a healthy lifestyle.