By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Anyone can practice yoga and not eat a specific diet. Yet, devoted yogis have paid close attention to their diet, as a part of yoga practice, for centuries. For the whole health benefit of yoga, one must pay close attention to nutrition.

Discussions about yoga, and yoga benefits, are mostly centered on the movements of the practice. The focus on holistic nutrition is often swept aside. Yet, this is an essential element of whole body health. In a society where pre-packaged foods are easier to find than fresh vegetables and fruit, no wonder we have the health problems we do.

Paying attention to what you put into your body helps you listen to your body as well. The foods that are encouraged in yoga nutrition are whole foods, mainly of lacto-vegetarian origin. Whole foods are those that are as close to their natural state as possible. No alterations or pre-processing has been done to them.

Basically, they are the simplest, most natural form, of the food available. Whole foods should be eaten close to their original source, and in season, when possible. Buy foods in their natural form, not packaged. Know the source of your food, and make sure it is as chemical and additive-free as possible.

These processed, packaged, and “spoiled,” are classified in the yoga diet as tamasic. Foods that contain excessive spices, or salt, are also classified as tamasic. These foods cause lethargy, laziness, and an intolerant temper. Sound familiar?

Have you ever felt this way after eating a meal high in salt and preservatives? You did so for good reason. These foods do not support the body’s functions or the mind’s balance. They do the exact opposite. Reason becomes foggy and emotions grow dark. Eating too much, which is nearly encouraged in our society, is also classified as tamasic. Isn’t your well-being reason enough to look at a different way of eating?

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Yoga Diet – Yoga Certification
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