For the practice of yoga, it is essential to give attention to the diet. Food affects the mind.
The right type of food and the right quantity, eaten in moderation:
- Leads to a healthy body
- Increases clarity of mind
- Keeps the Prana level in balance
- Makes the body feel light and energetic
The yogic diet is vegetarian and wholesome.
Fresh vegetables and fruits(squash, carrots and spinach: high in Prana)
Meat, egg, or fish
Nuts, whole grains, and lentils
Foods which produce a foul odour (such as garlic and onions)
A small quantity of milk and milk-products
Spices and sweeteners
Alcohol, carbonated beverages
A Yoga practitioners diet is balanced, healthy, and includes all the nutrients in the right proportions.
Cooking rules related to Prana
Do - consume food within 3-4 hrs of cooking
Don’t overcook food
Do - play a tape of devotional discourse or chanting, while cooking.(this enhances the quality of the food’s Prana)
Don’t cook or eat food when you are angry!(negative state of mind interferes with the Prana in the food)
Do - offer the food to God before eating, and be grateful(gratefulness brings fullness)
Indulging in unhealthy food, makes the body lazy, and the mind dull. Many illnesses occur due to the intake of the wrong food, at the wrong time.
Note: Prana is the universal life force. It's an essential aspect of Yoga. It's the vital energy needed by your physical and subtle layers of your being.
Food is a basic need for the supply of energy to the body and mind, for maintenance and growth . However, there is a tendency to neglect our health and to over-indulge our taste buds! For proper digestion, the advice from the ancient texts is to leave ¼ of the stomach unfilled. The human body is biologically designed towards a balanced vegetarian diet .Eating the wrong foods will drain the energy at all levels, leaving you dull, lethargic, complaining, with reduced or no concentration etc.
Meat takes 36-72 hours to digest, whereas vegetarian food takes 3-6 hours. Amongst the people having a meat diet, there is evidence to support a higher incidence of disease states - such as heart disease, colon cancer, appendicitis, diabetes, joint and muscular problem.
For sincere spiritual seekers, it is important to be vegetarian.Food is a key to good health and the practice of yoga influences the choice of food. For more details on yoga and food visit www.ayurvedic-cooking.com