Teaching Yoga – Should Yogis be Vegetarians?

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Teaching Yoga – Should Yogis be Vegetarians?

By Sanjeev Patel, CYT

Not all Yogis are vegetarians; but you will notice – the longer they practice, the healthier their diets are. There are so many advantages of a vegetarian lifestyle; this diet will help you attain a high standard of health, keen intellect, and serenity of mind.  Every level one Yoga teacher training course should include information about healthy dieting.

Proper diet is one of the main philosophical points of Yoga. The vegetarian lifestyle is consisting of pure, simple, natural foods, which are easily digested and which promote health. Simple meals aid the digestion and assimilation of foods. Nutritional requirements fall under five categories: protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, and vitamins. Eating foods, first-hand from nature, grown in fertile soil (preferably organic, free from chemicals and pesticides) will help ensure a better supply of these nutritional needs. Processing, refining, and overcooking destroy much food value.

There is a cycle in nature known as, the “food cycle” or “food chain”. The Sun is the source of energy for all life on our planet; it nourishes the plants (the top of the food chain), which are then eaten by animals (vegetarian), which are then eaten by other animals (carnivores). The food at the top of the food chain, being directly nourished by the Sun, has the greatest life-promoting properties. The food value of animal flesh is termed as a “second-hand” source of nutrition, and is inferior in nature. All natural foods (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains) have, in varying quantities, different proportions of these essential nutrients. As a source of protein, these are easily assimilated by the body. However, second-hand sources are often more difficult to digest and are of less value to the body’s metabolism.

Many people worry about whether they are getting enough protein, but neglect other factors. The quality of the protein is more important than the quantity, alone. Dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds provide the vegetarian with an adequate supply of protein. The high protein requirement, still being used by many Health Departments, is based on antiquated data and has been scientifically disproved many times in the laboratory.

A healthy motto is: “Eat to live, not live to eat”. It is best if we understand that the purpose of eating is to supply our being with the life force, or Prana, the vital life energy. So, the greatest nutritional plan for the Yoga student is the simple diet of natural fresh foods.

However, the true Yogic diet is actually even more selective than this. The Yogi is concerned with the subtle effect that food has on his mind and astral body. He, therefore, avoids foods which are overly stimulating – preferring those which render the mind calm and the intellect sharp. In the classical view, one who decides to become a Yoga teacher should avoid ingesting meats and fish.

© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications

Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

//www.yoga-teacher-training.org/

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