Even if you’re not affiliated with yoga, I bet there have been times when you run into a yogi and the first thing you ask is, “what do you eat in a day?” But let me tell you, the answer is way more complicated than you think.
It might be difficult for some of you to bring the principles of yoga from your yoga mat to your dining table. Yoga is a lifestyle and a yogic’s diet is its lifeline.
So what it is that a true yoga practitioner must eat?
You must have also heard that a yogi’s diet is always linked to something called sattvic foods. Following a sattvic diet is the simplest way to practice ahimsa in life which is one of the greatest notions of yoga.
But what are sattvic foods? And why is it considered the best for yogi’s diet?
Sattvic food includes fresh fruits, juices, vegetables, grains, herbs, honey, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Everything must be organically grown, unprocessed, additive, and preservative-free. It promotes health, endurance, strength, and relaxation. It energizes your mind and soothes your digestive system.
This is not it. Everything is kept moderate- nor too sweet, nor too salty, nor too spicy.
Sattvic food is not only limited to its food components.
The idea here is that each bite is savored.
Each bite is eaten slowly and chewed well.
Each bite is fulfilling in itself.
Now you tell me, why shouldn’t it be called an ideal diet?
Yoga enthusiasts call the rajasic diet the devil’s advocate. And I agree. It can be the greatest perpetrator of your body.
There is something called a rajasic diet as well. It includes meat, fish, chicken, bacon, eggs coffee, chocolate, black tea sweets, food additives, colorings, spices. Everything is above average- too spicy, too sour, too bitter, too dry, and too salty. All foods produced by harming living beings are considered Rajasic in nature.
But what is actually its consequence? What happens when you adopt a Rajasic diet?
They instantly boost up the level of toxins in the blood. A Rajasic diet can aggravate Pitta and Vata which are considered to be the two ‘doshas’ in Ayurveda.
Yes, these foods are a great source of energy but nothing in excess works well, isn’t it? When taken in excess, rajasic foods can cause hyperactivity, anger, irritability, hypertension, restlessness, and sleeplessness.
The contrast between the two is uncanny
As sattvic food consists of fresh green vegetables such as spinach, green beans, steamed vegetables with moderate spices; rajasic food consist of pungent vegetables, excessive intake of potato, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower
As sattvic food consists of fresh fruits and vegetable juices; rajasic food consists of wine, soda, alcohol, and coffee.
As sattvic food consists of fresh fruits such as pomegranates, apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes; rajasic food consists of jams, jellies, flavored and preserved foods.
As sattvic food consists of fresh or lightly roasted seeds and nuts; rajasic food consists of fried food, roasted and salted food, and mustard
As sattvic food consists of honey, jaggery, and raw sugar; rajasic food consists of brown or black chocolate.
While it is important to indulge in yoga practices for your wholesome well-being, it is as important to choose the right nutrition to fuel up your yoga practices.
Yes, a sattvic diet may not be the right choice for everyone, I won’t force you to adopt it. Amidst a busy lifestyle and a hectic schedule, it might be difficult for you to adapt to that strict yoga diet.
In my opinion, the right yoga diet is what makes you feel good emotionally and physically. Whatever eating habits you may inculcate, make sure that it ensures your holistic well-being. I want you to look for these characteristics in your diet as well as in your entire yogic journey.
Don’t you think it is better to listen to your body’s needs and eat accordingly rather than following a restrictive plan that keeps you unwell?