Those who practice yoga are aware that this philosophy is not only associated with meditation techniques and asanas to achieve a good psycho-physical balance favouring body, mind and soul. What can be achieved from yoga, as taught at the courses organized by YOGAMEA, is a feeling of either overall relaxation or a strong energy charge based on the asana sequences, posture and breathing techniques that are applied during the class.
To maximize the benefits of yoga, teachers recommend a nourishing diet to help maintain healthy joints and muscles which will aid in performing pain-free and correct asana postures. An example of energizing food is Golden Milk, a turmeric-based drink – a natural anti-inflammatory – specifically for maintaining flexible joints.
The yogi diet: recommended foods and which to avoid
Let’s review the foods to avoid as well as those that are especially beneficial for getting the most out of yoga. This beneficial diet will be served daily to those attending the yoga teacher training courses and yoga retreats. The daily diet of yoga practitioners should be for most part a fair quantity of foods which give our body energy and a sense of lightness and be detoxifying at the same time: a diet regime which can be easily adopted in the medium and long term to eventually become a true lifestyle.
First of all, meat must be avoided. In fact, all yoga masters were and are vegetarians regardless of the type practiced. Meat is difficult to digest, weighing down the body and hardening the joints. Alcohol and animal fats are also to be avoided, like dairy products and eggs, even though the perfect yoga practitioner can keep them in the diet with moderation. An example? We at Yogamea recommend yoghurt for breakfast especially for women, given its benefits for the intestinal flora.
It’s a green light when it comes to grains, they strengthen the vital energy and increase body resistance. Brown rice, millet, barley, corn, oats, buckwheat and also spelt and kamut contribute to good health. Added to legumes and cooked vegetables, it makes for an appetizing dish to have for lunch. Abundant fruit (fresh or dried) and green leafy vegetables complete a yogi’s diet, combined with spices, seeds and herbs which provide the necessary vitamins and minerals as long as they are strictly organic.
Finally, the “trinity roots” can’t be left out of the diet of those who practice yoga – ginger, garlic and onions: these are very useful elements to aid in freeing up the energy needed during the exercises and practice of yoga.
The perfect yogi knows not to eat late at night and that the time limit for dinner is sunset, even though it may seem utopia when considering our everyday hectic lives. The reason?…..to give our body the chance to recover and regenerate during sleep.
If we work until late and as a consequence have dinner late, dinner should be frugal and based on fruit and vegetables and perhaps wholemeal bread. Surely with the arrival of spring it will be easier to follow a lighter regime, but the Yogamea diet recommendations are also suitable for a short period of detoxification, even though it should become a true lifestyle to follow 365 days a year.
The importance of breakfast
Breakfast is when food should be remembered as fuel for the body, even if today it’s often consumed in a rush without taking into account the wide variety of food and drink choices. A balanced breakfast is important and that is why it should include whole grains, breads and pancakes with added fruit to satisfy our sweet cravings and proteins in the form of tofu and legumes. Thanks to the latter our basal metabolic rate will rise giving an immediate feeling of energy.
We close with this quote by Swami Sivananda: “Eat with moderation what you like and is easily digested. A simple diet is the best.”