You may have noticed since your yoga practice has become more regular that you naturally find yourself gravitating toward a type of diet that gives you nourishment, energy, lightness, and flexibility. A yogi diet is a balanced way of eating that ancient yogis believed had a huge influence not only over your physical wellbeing, but also over your thoughts, and ultimately your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. With continued awareness about the body through yoga you may find that vegetarian foods become a natural choice. This way of eating helps you maintain that same energized, light feeling you achieve through yoga.
Eat ‘life-force’ in abundance
Like all living organisms in the universe the foods we eat possess qualities and energies that affect our mind, body and soul. Yogic food is known as ‘sattvic’, which simply means ‘pure essence’. These foods are considered abundant in ‘prana’, the universal life force that gives energy to all beings in both the plant and animal kingdoms. When you eat a pure diet the food and life-force found in these foods bring you physical strength, a good mind, health, and longevity. They calm, purify and lead to a peaceful mind in control of a fit body, with a balanced flow of energy between them leading to a peaceful state where higher consciousness becomes accessible. Enabling you to keep an open mind to possibilities, think more positively and be far more kind to others and ourselves.
Eating a sattvic diet means you get to enjoy the plant kingdom in its total abundance. Whole, real foods, found in their natural state dance together on your plate, offering their vibrancy to you. Foods, which are pure, light, soothing and easily digested, become your staples. There are whole grains beautifully arranged around lots of olive oil and vegetables. There are fresh fruits and natural sugars scattered through meals offering us the taste of sweet in perfect proportions, handfuls of nuts and seeds to bring texture and healthful benefits, nothing is too stimulating nor is it boring, this way of eating is vegetarian food alchemy in its most beautiful form.
Maintain a consist energy flow
As you step into a yogic way of life and find calmness through sattvic foods you need to find the balance of energy and fire in your body with the addition of rajasic foods. Rajasic foods have less life-force energy than sattvic foods but they are essential in moderation to help stimulate our body and the mind, giving you the energy to get things done. These foods help push you beyond our normal capabilities creating energy to go out and reach your goals. They are best eaten in the morning and before noon as they can often disrupt normal cortisol levels and create energy imbalances.
- For maximum energy before your morning class: Avoid eating for at least 1 hour before your morning yoga practice. The key is to find the balance between nourishing yourself and becoming full. If you eat too much before a class, the heat and energy will go to your digestive tract instead of your practice, and it can become uncomfortable to twist, invert, or engage the bandhas (muscle contractions).
- For maximum energy before your evening class: And if you practice in the afternoon or evenings and are famished before class, try snacking on nuts or nut butters and low-acidic and soothing fruits like bananas, peaches, mangos, or berries, at least 20 minutes before class.
A Happy Gut
- Eating probiotic rich, fermented foods such as miso and sauerkraut and drinks like kefir and kombucha will introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and help the balance of good healthful bacteria against the bad bacteria, which can inhibit your absorption of all these amazing nutrients you will be eating, cause bloating or give you hazy brain fog.
- You need an army of soldiers for your immune system and your healthy bacteria act as the soldiers in the fight for you to keep the bad guys out and the good stuff in, so eating plenty of pre-biotic foods such as asparagus, banana, oats and apples to continue to feed your probiotic bacteria and keep your soldiers fit and strong for battle against the bad guys should be a daily occurrence.
Keep Calm & Drink Water
We all know that drinking water in an essential daily habit. Staying hydrated helps your muscles recover more quickly post-yoga. It also helps flush out the toxins that you eliminate during a yoga class through twisting, sweating and breathing deeply. Here is an easy way to work out how much water you should drink eat day: Divide your body weight in kilos by 30. This number equals how many litres of clean drinking water you should consume daily. Easy!
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