If you want to live the Yoga lifestyle, eating Yoga foods are an essential component to the stretching, breathing and meditation exercises.Yoga foods and how they can affect a yogi’s physical and mental health have long been a hot subject for debate and research. There exists such a vast and sometimes bewildering array of literature currently on Yoga foods and the yogic diet. Here are some general guidelines about Yoga foods and the Yoga diet.
Typical Yoga Foods
Due to its ancient Ayurvedic origins, the yogic diet once consisted mainly of esoteric Indian foods and spices. Today’s Yoga foods have gone mainstream with a strong emphasis on a mostly vegetarian diet of whole foods, grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, including more exotic yoga foods, such as wheat grass, ghee (clarified butter) mung beans and ginger.
To follow a Yoga foods diet, it is recommended that a variety of Yoga foods be eaten for maximum health benefits and that every Yoga meal should have a mix of the six major tastes; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. By doing so, one can prevent unhealthy cravings for junk foods.
A modern American diet usually contains the sweet, sour and salty but is lacking the pungent, bitter and astringent Yoga tastes.
The Importance of Yoga Foods
The importance of Yoga foods and their place in Yoga philosophy is central to the Ayurvedic belief that everyone is born with a different Ayurvedic mind and body type known as dosha. This personal dosha is a unique combination of the three doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Yoga foods play an important role in keeping each part of our dosha in balance with its other parts, a fundamental precept of Ayurvedism.
Doshas are thought to dictate exactly which Yoga foods are the most suitable and have the most value for our individual body types.
Choosing those Yoga foods which work best for us will promote good physical health and increased spiritual harmony.
Most practicing yogis often experiment with different foods in order to determine which foods are the most beneficial for them.
Benefits of Yoga Foods
Yoga foods help rid the body of harmful toxins and also can aid in weight loss in addition to keeping intact the balance of mind and body,
Yoga foods aid the digestion process by improving absorption, assimilation and elimination. Yoga foods are nourishing and healthy whereas fast and processed foods are known to have very little nutritional value and are usually high in fats, sodium and sugar.
A steady intake of Yoga foods can help alleviate bowel problems, indigestion and other intestinal disorders.Cooking with Yoga foods will provide delicious and satisfying meals for the whole family and will accustom children to a healthier approach to eating.
There are numerous Yoga cookbooks and websites available that describe various Yoga foods in detail, methods for preparing Yoga foods and many, different recipes to try for your eating pleasure. There are also many websites that offer recipes for Yoga foods.
Whether you are a practicing yogi or simply interested in enjoying a healthier life-style, substituting Yoga foods for your more usual fare introduces a fresher and more wholesome element to your current way of eating.