Yogis believe that diet has a close connection with the mind, so they adapt a diet for yoga. The yoga diet, also known as the yogic diet, is a diet that is used to sustain the yoga practice and spiritual progress of yoga. This diet has a connection to the mind through certain food choices. Using the yoga diet to have the proper foods is a supplement to the yoga practice, helping you become healthier and cleaner.

Yoga Diet: Three Gunas

Foods affect different areas of the brain differently, thus food is an integral part of meditation. Yogis believe there are three kinds of diets: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.

Sattvic Diet

The sattvic diet is the purest of the three. This diet nourishes the mind and body to keep it in a peaceful state, which is why it is most recommended for the serious yoga student. With this diet you mind is able to function at its purest level because it is calmed and purified through the diet. The sattvic diet is the path to true health where your mind is in control of your fit body by keeping a balanced flow of energy between the two.


Rajasic Diet

The rajasic diet means the very hot, bitter, sour, dry and salty foods. This diet is known to destroy the equilibrium of the mind and body. It feeds the body rather than the mind.  Too much of this diet will create a restless and uncontrollable mind. When eating this diet, you may also find yourself eating in a hurriedly fashion.


Tamasic Diet

This diet does not have any benefits for the mind or the body. Your reasoning becomes clouded as your prana (energy) is withdrawn from your body. You will become fatigued and your body will lose its resistance to disease. You will reach an unhealthy state of mind where you constantly feel anger and greed, and become gluttonous in your food intake.

Foods to Included and Avoid in the Yoga Diet

Food not only nourishes your body, but your soul as well. The sattvic diet which is highly recommended for students of the yoga practice includes foods that are grown harmoniously with nature. When eating the yoga diet, avoid foods that are obtained by killing or harming animals, and include naturally grown and ripened foods, which are prepared with love and positive intention to increase the flow of energy.

Foods to Include:

  • All naturally sweet fruits

  • Naturally grown vegetables other than onions and garlic

  • Whole grains with the least amount of processing

  • Beans and their derivatives

  • Natural plant-based oils

  • Raw nuts and seeds

  • Raw or natural sugars and sweeteners such as honey and molasses

  • Herbal teas and water

  • Cinnamon, cardamom, mint, basil, turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel and other sweet spices

Foods to Avoid:

  • All meats and fish, including eggs

  • Artificial and processed foods and sweeteners

  • Fats and oils that come from animals

  • Foods that are fried

  • Canned foods

  • White sugars and flours

  • Onions, garlic and spicy foods

  • Old or overcooked foods

  • Foods heated in a microwave

  • Genetically engineered or modified foods

  • Stimulants such as alcohol and tobacco

  • Ensure that you are comfortable with the shift in your eating habits if you want to follow the yoga diet with your yoga practice.
  • Always consult your doctor before making any dietary or physical activity changes. Be sure that the diet change and change in daily habits are not going to negatively affect your health in any way.
  • It is recommended that you choose one day to fast by many yogis. The fast can be extremely strict by not allowing anything to enter the body. It can also be minimized to only include water and fruit juices. Whichever way you decide to fast, remember that it is meant to help you purify your body and mind.

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