A good well-balanced diet that offers your body a great basis for practice. How do lessons learned on the yoga mat translate to pleasures of the table? Eating is perhaps the effect that a balanced, calm mind is much easier to come by if you commit yourself to nourishing your body properly, just as you commit yourself to Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. Admittedly, extending your yoga practice to the dinner table is not an easy task. But while there is no prescribed menu for yoga enthusiasts.
During the instructional theory course, we have learned the 3 Gunas in relation to food, foods that are considered SATTVIC FOODS include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains. In contrast, TAMASIC FOODS (such as onions, meat, and garlic) and RAJASIC FOODS (such as coffee, hot peppers and salt) can increase dullness or hyperactivity, respectively. But maintaining a diet that keeps our body light and your mind clear does not necessarily mean eating only Sattvic foods. What is best for us and what in the end will best support our yoga practice is informed by our constitution and our current state. Both need to be considered.
What we need as an individual may be very different from what someone else needs, as in “no one size fits all”. Just as we learn to listen to our body on the mat, so we must listen to our body at the table. As for my case, I did try to just eat vegetables, fruits, fish and milk with cereal and those food court vegetarian food for 1 week. But it did not work well on me. Without meat I do not have sufficient energy, my brain shut down and my yoga practice did not improve. I found that to keep my energy up, I needed to step away from strict diets and simply listen to my intuition.
It is worth spending time educating yourself not just about the possible diets you could follow. And it is essential to listen to yourself so that you will know what kinds of foods might serve you best in each moment. But, as you explore the parameters of your own diet, allow for some flexibility. Yoga is about freedom and self-discipline.
Our body does not need too much protein or fat. It can use only a certain amount of protein. If you consume more than your body needs, it will convert the extra protein into fat. (Fat is the most efficient way for our body to store any excess). Cultures that live the longest and healthiest lives, eat the lowest amounts of protein.
Good Healthy Proteins include:
A. sprouted grains such as wheat sprouts, barley, oats, millet, and buckwheat
B. sprouted legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, green peas, black beans, etc.
C. other sprouts: broccoli, radish, etc.
D. soaked nuts and seeds (just a handful a day);
E. dark leafy greens (spinach, parsley);
G. fresh vegetables and especially their juices (carrots, celery, spinach, etc.)
H. the amazing wheatgrass juice.
Fellow Yoga Enthusiasts, let us keep our bodies vibrantly alive and internally clean! We shall develop good healthy eating habits.
Nicole (200hrs Nov 2013 weekday)