For many practitioners of yoga, it’s hard to completely separate the discipline from other aspects of their lives, such as nutrition. To them, getting the proper balance from yoga not only concerns the fitness-building and stress-reducing benefits of yoga, but also includes a nutrition plan that supplies the proper nutrients to assist in the creation of both.
Combining yoga and nutrition is not a new development. Yoga instructors have been touting the benefits of proper nutrition for years. But it has become part of a new awareness recently thank to scientific studies that back up the claims regarding diet that yogis have been espousing for centuries, namely that nutrition is a big part of the quest for balance between the mind, body and spirit.
As we’ve said, combining yoga and nutrition is not a new development. In fact, there is an entire practice of yoga, called Anna Yoga, which is directed at food as it relates to fitness and a healthy spirit. But while the information concerning healthy eating may not be the same among the various kinds of yoga, some of the belief are relatively the same: consume modest, reasonable portions of food that is high in nutrients and low in toxins. These include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It is a diet that has existed among practitioners of yoga for decades but today’s doctors have only recently begun to understand and encourage.
Among yoga practioners, food is divided into three categories: Rajasil, Tamsik and Satvik. Rajasik (food of the king) is food that is overly processed or seasoned. Candy, processed foods and beverages and alcohol are classified as Rajasik foods. Tamsik foods are elaborately prepared foods that are high in sodium and usually highly spiced. Finally, Satvik foods are considered the ideal diet by yoga enthusiasts, foods that are consumed in as close to the original state as possible, meaning fresh vegetables and fruits that, if cooked, are lightly seasoned and prepared to keep most of their nutritional value.
Satvik foods are, therefore, easily digested and have exceptional nutritional value. When eaten in conjunction with the performance of the health benefits of yoga, Satvik foods are considered an important part of a well-conditioned mind and body.
Even if you are not a regular student of yoga, adhering to a Satvik diet can have great benefits.
One of the main concepts of nutrition and yoga is that the food used be as fresh as possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables and the enzymes they contain are favorable over frozen or canned foods, where the canning process has taken out many of the vitamins and minerals of the food. In addition, some instructors recommend eating a large portion of the fruits and vegetables raw to absorbe more of their nutritional value.
Green vegetables are held in special regard by many yogis, who consider vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce and cabbage to have the highest nutrients and life force. Fruit is also considered highly nutritious and full of the life force. Because of the natural sugars in fruit, they can supply a quick but nutritious and sustained source of energy without the toxins.
While many yoga practitioners shy away from meat (including fish and poultry), it is not entirely off the list for everyone involved in yoga However, yoga instructors recommend moderation in taking in meat as it may contain toxins such as lactic acid, fat, cholesterol and other chemicals that can slow the growth of muscles gained from the practice of yoga.
Finally, the way in which the food is prepared for consumption is also one of the keys to nutrition for yoga practitioners. Yoga experts recommend that you eat your meals slowly to give your body time to absorb all of the benefits and nutrients contained within. Yoga exercise, many experts believe, will help in preparing the body to use the nutritional benefits of nutritious eating. BOLA TANGKAS