Yoga is more than just a combination of poses or asanas; it is a spiritual journey and a lifestyle deep-rooted in holistic health or holistic healing. There are a few yoga practitioners who opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet, then there is another set of practitioners who adapt to a firmer diet that doesn’t involve stimulants namely caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar. The ultimate motive to opt for a yogic diet is because it encourages balance, healing, and inner peace.
Most yoga practitioners are inclined to follow the yogic diet, but the strict nature of the yogic diet keeps people away from the yogic diet.
What is a Yogic Diet & types of Yogic Diet?
Yogic Diet concentrates on the consumption of unprocessed and natural foods which promote mental, spiritual, and physical health which line up with yogic philosophy. A yogic diet is mainly based on the yogic principles of ahimsa, sattva, and saucha.
Ahimsa means non harming or non-violence. It is the concept that all living things possess a connection. The basic concept of this type of yogic diet is not to cause harm to any living things and to lessen or eradicate the consumption of meat and dairy products.
Sattva- a Sattvik diet is a pure vegetarian yogic diet including seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain, pulses, sprouts, dried nuts, honey, fresh herbs, and more. This type of yogic diet will encourage a calm heart and a clear mind.
Saucha means the practice of purity and cleanliness. The best and easiest way to encourage saucha is to eliminate or decrease impurities in your body which can be done by only eating organic foods.
For many of us, starting and adhering to a yogic diet might be a challenging task, as it is very difficult to refresh your habits and adapt to new lifestyles and changes. It is better to start with minor changes and assess how you feel about it, explore more and add more changes. The most important point is to make sure these changes do not create any stress or imbalance in your daily and personal life.
Follow mindful eating
Most of us have a habit of switching on the TV while having our food, this takes away our attention on the quantity and quality of food intake. Mindful eating is when you pay attention to the food you are intaking in a meditative way.
Include fresh seasonal foods in the diet
A yogic diet includes organic seasonal food. Try to grow your vegetables in the backyard, shop at farmers’ markets, or purchase from local farmers directly. Purchase seasonal fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed and packaged items.
Consume food at regular intervals
It is very important to note that you should allow a minimum of five hours between your meals, except for the first meal of the day. This habit permits your system to completely digest your last meal. Also, your meals will taste better if you consume them at regular intervals, and the chances of overeating can be reduced.
Consume food two hours before yoga practice or sleep
In order to evade the uneasiness of a full stomach during yoga practice, it is imperative to keep your meals small and light. It is also advised to eat at least two hours before your yoga session and sleep.
You can also sit in Vajrasana for about 10-15 minutes right after you have your meal. Vajrasana is one of the few asanas which can be practised with a full stomach, this pose improves digestion and makes you feel lighter.