Yoga is more than poses and asanas. Yoga is more of a culture than that of an exercise regimen. People often regard yoga as something that deals with stretching, meditation and breathing practices but yoga is much more than that. Yoga is something that connects our physical, mental and spiritual practices. And hence, it needs some preparation. One cannot simply do yoga whenever they feel so. One of the main prep up factor for Yoga is diet. A healthy diet is crucial when practising yoga as it requires a huge amount of energy and strength to do it. Yoga diet not only helps in developing a mindful eating practice but also supports and nurtures your yoga regime. Connecting to International Yoga day celebrated on the 21st of June, Let us discuss some yoga oriented foods and its benefits.
According to Ayurveda, the whole range of food can be classified into three broad categories. This division is completely done according to the taste. Tama, Sattva and Raja are the three categories. These three qualities are present in everything, but in different quantities and thus, making one quality dominant. Tamasic foods are bland. They include meat, alcohol, tobacco, garlic, onions, fermented foods, and overripe substances. They overstimulate the mind. Sattvic food is regarded as the purest form of diet. It is alleged that Sattvic food is appropriate for those who follow a yoga regime. It helps in nourishing the body and preserves a peaceful state. Sattvic diet includes nutritious foods that are high in fibre, vitamins, healthy fats, and natural sugars to keep you satisfied and grounded. Here is a list of foods that can create a perfect balance for your yoga regime.
Chia seeds are rich with fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium and more calcium than a glass of milk! When wet they get a gelatinous, slimy texture that needs thorough blending but is great for pulling waste through the digestive tract. In yoga terms, this means reduced inflammation of muscles, regulated bowel function, strong bones and a healthy heart.
Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, iron for healthy blood, vitamin B2 to help with energy production in cells, and magnesium for blood sugar control. Extremely high in fibre and iron, quinoa is great for our digestion and blood circulation. Quinoa is a super grain that could impact protein for energy and concentration. Quinoa can be added to salads, cooked in stir fry’s or paired with steamed veggies.
Almonds promote bone health, immune system function, have anti-inflammatory properties, regulate blood pressure, enhance digestion, prevent cancer and boost energy. These are all important qualities we want for a healthy yoga food – strong bones, blood and bowels are vital to maintaining the energizing prana we try to cultivate in our practice.
Berries are rich with disease-fighting antioxidants and are also high in fibre. Berries can help keep hunger at bay and keep everything moving. The natural sugar in berries will help you get through your practice without crashing. Adding berries in yoga diet will help in restoring the energy from within.
Avoid coffee completely and replace it with lemon water. Warm lemon water will help keep the joints and muscles healthy. Drinking lemon water every day on an empty stomach will aid in the boosting metabolism and this will help to lose weight. Lemon water will also improve the digestive system and this will let the body feel light.
Along with all these diet plans, choose one day to fast in a week. Avoid solid foods on that day and include fruit juices and water.