After breathing and ingesting water, eating is one of the most basic vital actions that keep our hearts beating as well as one of the most fundamental aspects when it comes to our health and general wellbeing. If you happen to be a disciplined and dedicated yoga practitioner, it is crucial to understand that your time on the table should be seen as equally important as your time on the mat. One’s body is one’s temple, and yet it is surprising to see how modern society has neglected this unarguable truth; turning their backs on such an elementary facet of existence.
There are no ancient texts or set of instructions that explain and illustrate what a suitable yogi menu looks like. Even if there was some guidance on the topic, every individual’s body is unique and therefore it would be impossible to find a diet that suits all. When it comes to the ancient Indian medicine system of Ayurveda, which is perhaps one of the closest guidelines one may find for providing proper nourishment for one’s body and a stable support for yoga practice; a suitable diet according to this system will not only depend on a person’s vikriti or constitution, but also on the person’s prakriti or current state. Meaning that an appropriate diet will not only vary from person to person, but it will also change throughout a person’s life.
Food is the base for a strong body and calm mind. An Ayurvedic diet or a diet that enhances your yoga practice should therefore include foods that nourish your body and promote lightness and clarity; while being in line with your personal values and perception of yoga. Another important element to take into account when outlining your food menu is your corresponding dosha or mind-body type; providing your corresponding dosha, you can consequently build an eating plan that will best support your mind and body.
Generally speaking, the best way to approach choosing your ideal diet is to consume fresh foods that are prepared consciously, while also including all Ayurvedic tastes of salty, sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and astringent in each meal. Trying to include all the colors of the rainbow in your plate is often suggested too. Paying attention to the cravings of your body is another way to make sure it is getting all the necessary nutrients. Lastly, it is also relevant to eat in line with your own values and view of yoga. If you are into practicing the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, for example, go ahead and make food choices that are in accordance with this: decide for local rather than foods that have been shipped from the other side of the world, limit or stop your consumption of meat products, beware of foods that are packaged in plastics or harmful materials, come up with a simple system that helps you recycle waste food like composting, and so on.
Remember that yoga is all about finding unity and freedom, and one of the first things to do in order to achieve this is to live consciously. So, practice awareness while you choose, prepare and eat your food; and even in moments when circumstances do not allow you to choose the ideal meal, simply be aware of it, be thankful, and enjoy.