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The Relationship Between Yoga and Your Diet

Updated on December 26, 2015

Yoga and Your Diet

While it is definitely possible to practice yoga without going on a special diet, you will find that people devoted to yoga practices have been paying very close attention to diet for hundreds of years as a part of practicing yoga. In order for you to get all the benefits of yoga, it is important that you consider your nutrition. Today many people talk about the benefits of yoga, mainly based on the movements that are done with yoga. However, often people forget about holistic nutrition, which is very important as a part of yoga practice and it is essential. So, yes, yoga and diet do go hand and hand, and understanding the basic principles behind a yoga diet can improve your health and the entire yoga experience as well.

The Idea of a Yoga Diet

Simply study about yoga and you'll find that that it focuses on taking then entire part of a person and bringing it together to achieve a great emotional, physical, and mental balance. In fact, yoga diet is actually one of the main principles of yoga. When you eat right, it helps to improve your health. You'll feel clean and fit when you eat properly, and a great diet helps to compliment the yoga exercises and meditation that you engage in. Simply eating the right foods can definitely change the way you feel and improve your life.

When you pay attention to the things that you put into your body, you'll not only feel better, but you'll be in better tune with your body as well. A diet for yoga is very simple and mainly encourages you to go with whole foods that are very natural. Avoiding foods that have been processed or that have chemicals and additives in them is very important as well.

The foods that you eat actually can affect your body and the way that it feels. In fact, the wrong foods can cause bad temper and laziness, while the right foods can provide you with energy and aid in the way that your body functions. While it may not be easy to change your diet, it will provide you with great benefits that are long term. Once you learn to change your diet you'll find that you increase the benefits that you experience when practicing yoga.

Understanding the Three Gunas

When it comes to a yoga diet, you'll find that understanding the three gunas is imperative. Gunas are basically three qualities of energy and they exist all together, but usually one of the three gunas is going to predominate. There is the Sattva guna, which stands for purity, the Rajas guna, which stands for change, passion, and activity, and then the Tamas guna, which stand for inertia or darkness. Within a yoga diet it is important that you eat mainly the pure, or Sattvic foods; however, eating some Rajas foods is okay, since they do provide energy. However, Tamas foods are foods that should be avoided.

Sattvic Food

Sattvic Food - You'll find that Sattvic foods are the purest out there and that they are the best foods for people who are students of Yoga. It helps to keep the body peaceful and provides nourishment. This food helps to keep the mind calm and pure as well and these foods lead to true health. Some of the best Sattvic foods include the following:

-fresh fruits

-fresh vegetables

-cereals

-cheese

-butter

-fruit juices

-whole meal breads

-milk

-honey

-herbal teas

-nuts

-legumes

-seeds

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Rajastic Food

Rajastic Food - These foods are usually very dry, bitter, hot, sour, or even salty. Rajastic foods can help to provide energy, but too much of it can be bad and it can excite the body's passions and make the mind uncontrollable and restless. Foods that are Rajastic include the following:

- fish

- salt

- hot herbs or spices

- chocolate

- eggs

Tamastic Food

Tamastic Food - Eating foods that are Tamastic are not good for your body or mind. There is no energy with them and it takes down the body's natural disease resistance. Also, it can bring on anger and other dark emotions in the mind. The following are some of the Tamastic foods to avoid:

-garlic

-meat

-overripe foods

-vinegar and other fermented foods

-alcohol

-onions

-tobacco

Tips for Eating a Quality Yoga Diet

Eating a healthy yoga diet is not difficult; however, it may take some changes in lifestyle. Here are a few tips for eating a quality yoga diet.

Tip #1 - Eat Fruits and Veggies that are Fresh - While cooked vegetables and fruits are okay, you get the most out of fruits and veggies when they are fresh. Cooking will destroy enzymes and vitamins in the veggies, so make sure you eat some that are raw each day.

Tip #2 - Drink Water - You should have a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day, and more is great. Also, include juices fro vegetables and fruits as well to get more fluids. Eating fruits and veggies that are water rich can help with body hydration too.

Tip #3 - Don't Eat Foods that are Processed - You should really work to avoid processed foods if you are on a yoga diet. Avoid foods that include sugar, white flour, fast food, and any foods that are in bottle, jars, or that are pre-cooked.

Tip #4 - Eat Slowly - Eating too fast or overeating is just as bad as eating the wrong foods. So, make sure that you take the time to eat slowly and enjoy the meal. Chew everything very well and your body will feel much better.

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