Yogis believe that diet has a close connection with the mind, so they adapt a diet for yoga. The yoga diet, also known as the yogic diet, is a diet that is used to sustain the yoga practice and spiritual progress of yoga. This diet has a connection to the mind through certain food choices. Using the yoga diet to have the proper foods is a supplement to the yoga practice, helping you become healthier and cleaner.
Yoga Diet: Three Gunas
The sattvic diet is the purest of the three. This diet nourishes the mind and body to keep it in a peaceful state, which is why it is most recommended for the serious yoga student. With this diet you mind is able to function at its purest level because it is calmed and purified through the diet. The sattvic diet is the path to true health where your mind is in control of your fit body by keeping a balanced flow of energy between the two.
The rajasic diet means the very hot, bitter, sour, dry and salty foods. This diet is known to destroy the equilibrium of the mind and body. It feeds the body rather than the mind. Too much of this diet will create a restless and uncontrollable mind. When eating this diet, you may also find yourself eating in a hurriedly fashion.
This diet does not have any benefits for the mind or the body. Your reasoning becomes clouded as your prana (energy) is withdrawn from your body. You will become fatigued and your body will lose its resistance to disease. You will reach an unhealthy state of mind where you constantly feel anger and greed, and become gluttonous in your food intake.
Foods to Included and Avoid in the Yoga Diet
Foods to Include:
All naturally sweet fruits
Naturally grown vegetables other than onions and garlic
Whole grains with the least amount of processing
Beans and their derivatives
Natural plant-based oils
Raw nuts and seeds
Raw or natural sugars and sweeteners such as honey and molasses
Herbal teas and water
Cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil, turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel and other sweet spices
Foods to Avoid:
All meats and fish, including eggs
Artificial and processed foods and sweeteners
Fats and oils that come from animals
Foods that are fried
White sugars and flours
Onions, garlic and spicy foods
Old or overcooked foods
Foods heated in a microwave
Genetically engineered or modified foods
Stimulants such as alcohol and tobacco
- Ensure that you are comfortable with the shift in your eating habits if you want to follow the yoga diet with your yoga practice.
- Always consult your doctor before making any dietary or physical activity changes. Be sure that the diet change and change in daily habits are not going to negatively affect your health in any way.
- It is recommended that you choose one day to fast by many yogis. The fast can be extremely strict by not allowing anything to enter the body. It can also be minimized to only include water and fruit juices. Whichever way you decide to fast, remember that it is meant to help you purify your body and mind.