Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Types of Diet >>  Yoga Diet

Yoga Diet

It is essential that the practice of yoga is complemented with the correct foods for you to maximize the benefits of yoga. It is also necessary for you to nourish the body and mind to stay energized and alert throughout the day. An essential aspect of the practice of yoga is the yoga diet. In general, it is important that you eat moderately and have a diet that is well balanced. The yoga diet comes under the five principles of yoga.
You will realize that eating properly will improve your health and enable you to feel cleaner and fitter. The yoga exercises are perfectly complemented by a yogic diet. Although the yogic diet is not exactly a ‘diet’ in the sense of the word, a considerable amount of weight can be lost only by eating healthy foods. Even if you do not really want to become a vegetarian, there are some simple yoga diet rules you could follow that will enable you to feel much better. There are three qualities of energy in the unmanifasted universe. These are the gunas that exist in equilibrium; of these, sattva is purity and tamas is inertia or darkness. Once a form is taken up by energy, one of the three qualities will predominate. For instance, on an orange tree, there will be some fruits that are ripe (sattvic), some that are ripening (rajastic), and some that are overripe (tamastic). However, whatever the quality that prevails, there will be the presence of the two other elements as well.

Sattvic food is considered the purest diet and the most suited for a serious practitioner of yoga. It brings nourishment to the body and helps in keeping it in a state that is peaceful. It also purifies and calms the mind, allowing it to function most efficiently. Therefore, it helps in bringing about a mind that is peaceful and is able to control a fit body through which the flow of energy is balanced. Some of the sattvic foods are cereals, whole meal bread, vegetables and fresh fruit, butter and cheese, legumes, seeds, nuts, sprouted seeds, milk, pure fruit juices, and herb teas and honey. Rajastic foods are salty, dry, sour, bitter, or very hot. They tend to destroy the equilibrium between the mind and body and feed the body without considering the mind. Having too much of rajastic foods will stimulate the body excessively and cause the mind to become uncontrollable and restless. Some of the rajastic foods include hot substances like strong herbs or sharp spices, stimulants like tea and coffee, fish, eggs, chocolate, and salt. A tamastic diet brings no benefits to either the body or mind. Energy, or prana, will get withdrawn and the reasoning powers will become clouded. The resistance of the body to diseases also gets destroyed filling the mind with dark emotions like greed and anger. Some of the tamastic foods include meat, garlic, onions, fermented foods like vinegar, stale or overripe foods, alcohol, and tobacco.

Yoga diet recipes and menu plans statistically show that the risk of diseases like cancer, kidney diseases, stroke, and heart attack can be brought down. Vegetarians also have a higher resistance to diseases and are not as likely as meat eaters to suffer from obesity. It has also been shown by studies that a balanced vegetarian diet is very healthy and provides all the minerals, proteins, and other nutrients required by the body. It can be quite difficult to switch to a yoga diet overnight. Therefore, you should do it gradually and not immediately. The principle of a yoga diet that is primary is to increase the amount of vegetables and fruits you are taking in and eventually make the switch to a completely vegetarian diet. There are some tips you could follow that can help you in making the change. You should include plenty of leafy and green vegetables to your diet, while reducing your meat intake. If you have a particular unhealthy food that you really like, you should not get rid of it immediately. You could instead set a certain limit to the food and decide when you will have it. Gradually reduce the size of the portion till you can go without having that food.

You should also make sure that you regularly take in some good protein foods like cheese, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Also make sure that you eat raw vegetables or salads every day. If you cook your vegetables, you should prepare it as fast as possible to retain their goodness. Refrain from taking junk food. Even though potatoes are vegetables, it is not part of a yoga diet. Each day you should try to have fresh fruits and avoid foods that are not natural like refined cereals, cakes, and bread. You should also learn to replace tamastic and rajastic foods with sattvic foods.

Along with a yoga diet for weight loss, you should also include the practice of some yoga postures to effectively burn calories. Some of the effective yoga postures for weight loss are Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Ardha Kapotasana (Seated Half Pigeon Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulder Stand), and Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose). These yoga postures are quite challenging and concentrates on increasing the number of calories burnt. Performing these poses and other types of yoga like Ashtanga yoga, power yoga, and Bikram yoga are also very effective in improving the blood circulation. They also help in making the mind stable. If you are pregnant or face problems like stiff knee joints, heart disorders, slip disc, or other health disorders that are serious, it is essential that you consult a doctor before performing the yoga postures. For the yoga postures to be most effective, you should make sure to practice them regularly. It is also essential that you practice the yoga poses under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

While you are following a yoga diet, a control chart can be used to track your progress. This will enable you to understand how far you have gone and how much you have achieved. Therefore, with yoga dieting and a proper exercise program, you should successfully be able to lose the amount of weight you desire.
Submitted on January 16, 2014