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Eat Like a Yogi: A Yoga Diet Based in Ayurvedic Principles

Extend your yoga practice to the table by applying Ayurvedic principles to keep your body nourished and your mind clear.

In this way of thinking about nourishment, what you need as an individual may be very different from what someone else needs. And what you need at this moment in your life may be very different from what you needed five years ago or will need five years from now. Perhaps the ancient sages were relying on wisdom when they chose not to lay down a yogic diet for all to follow. Just as you learn to listen to your body on the mat, so you must listen to your body at the table.

I did not say no, I’m saying how

One of the concerns that people often share is that living a healthy lifestyle will not allow them to enjoy their favorite foods. Nothing could be further from the truth! We don’t say no, rather we educate ourselves on how to enjoy our favorite foods.

Notice what time of day you eat –  this makes a big difference!

Eat what is in season where you live.

Do not think that, we are telling you that a food is good or bad, rather think about how to enjoy your food, so it will not build up qualities that could create and imbalance within your constitution.

Enjoy your favorite food! Let it help you to feel stimulated, cleansed or loved and nurtured…but if you find those foods feed your tendency to become imbalanced, watch out. It might be time to take a vacation from that “go to” comfort food. You can try to add spices to adapt it to be a better medicine for you, or try to use a seasonal veggie or fruit so you can stay in better constitutional balance with better overall health in body and mind.

Clearly, with such varied perspectives on what feeds the body and spirit, developing a diet that reflects your ethics and honors your physical needs can be challenging. In the end most yogis would agree that part of the practice is to develop awareness about what you eat. It’s worth spending time educating yourself not just about the possible diets you could follow but also about the origins and properties of the food you buy. And it’s essential to listen to yourself so that you’ll know what kinds of foods might serve you best in each moment. But, as you explore the parameters of your own yogic diet, allow for some flexibility. “Remember, yoga is about freedom, including freedom from your own strong beliefs and ideas,” Kraftsow says. “So don’t get caught in them.”

Admittedly, extending your yoga practice to the dinner table is not an easy task, mostly because the classic yogic texts such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita don’t list any specific foods for following a “yogic diet.” And even if they did, it’s highly unlikely that the foods prescribed in India thousands of years ago would be appropriate today for each and every one of us.


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