8 Ways to Follow a Yogic Diet
Whether you are an experienced yogi or a beginner looking to improve your lifestyle with yogic techniques, following a yogic diet could greatly benefit you. From weight loss to improved peace of mind, practicing a yogic diet comes with a myriad of potential benefits. To learn more about how to follow a yogic diet, continue reading below.
The Benefits of a Yogic Diet
There are many potential benefits that come along with practicing a yogic diet. Based on the primary principles of Ayurveda, the Indian holistic whole-foods-based systems of healing, a yogic diet can help improve both mental and physical health. Some of the commonly recorded benefits of a yogic diet include:
- Faster metabolism leading to weight loss
- Healthy digestion
- Healthy weight, normal BMI, and proper blood sugar levels
- Improved mood and feelings of calm
- Increased energy and excitement for daily life
- Less risk of chronic illness
If you are feeling sluggish, tired, or dehydrated in your everyday life and are tired of getting bogged down by these sensations, consider adding a yogic diet to your current yoga practice.
One of the best ways to follow the principles of a yogic diet is to first and foremost stay hydrated. Drinking a lot of water, particularly in the morning upon waking and in the evening before going to bed can ensure a healthy body that is prepared for the strenuous physical activity of yoga practice.
While drinking water of any temperature is a great start to your yogic diet endeavors, Ayurvedic medicine suggests room temperature water for faster absorption. For added flavor, consider squeezing a lime or lemon into your water vessel.
No More Meat
Since the yogic diet suggests avoiding foods with a bitter and salty rajasic or tamasic flavor, another way to begin following a yogic diet is to stop eating meat. Rajasic and tamasic are two of the main food qualities, including their energetic effects and tastes. In Ayurveda, any food that quickly and greatly increases energy is considered either rajasic or tamasic. Food that can be eaten without limit is usually sattvic, or anything light, airy, and refreshing. Sattvic foods are often cooling and calming.
Eating meat also involves the violence of eating another once-living being, and is therefore antithetical with leading a peaceful yogic lifestyle devoid of doing harm to others. Instead of meaty dishes, consider healthy vegetarian options like tofu, tempeh, or thick portobello mushrooms as the center of your meal.
Eat Onions and Garlic Sparingly
Onions and garlic are two delicious foods that should be eaten sparingly according to the principles of a yogic diet. This is due to their natural tamasic and rajasic bitter, salty, and pungent qualities. Since tamasic and rajasic foods are known to increase the body’s acidity, they can only be eaten in small amounts of other dishes during mealtime.
Drink Lots of Tea
A yogic diet, sometimes also known as an Ayurvedic diet, believes in the three Doshas. These Doshas are all individuals and depend on a person’s personality, biological makeup, and emotional properties. They include:
- Pitta: A hot and energetic Dosha based on fire, water, and oil
- Vata: A cool and flowing Dosha based on space and air
- Kapha: A heavy and slow Dosha based on grounded earth and water elements
According to each Dosha, yogic diet methods suggest that tea is consumed based on an individual’s specific categorization. Since caffeine is considered prohibited, Ayurvedic Dosha teas or herbal teas are the best type of teas to consume. Consuming tea at least once per day is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to begin consistently following a yogic diet.
Cut Out Caffeine
Another way to begin to follow a yogic diet is to cut out caffeine. Caffeine intake from coffee, artificially made sodas, and even tea can encourage the overproduction of adrenaline in the body. This is seen as a stimulant that hinders the mind and the digestive system, creating unnecessary stress reactions and therefore encumbering the mindful qualities of mediation and yoga practice.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is oftentimes referred to as Madya in the Ayurvedic and yogic diet practices. It is said to increase the rate at which the human heartbeats and therefore make artificial exhilaration where there otherwise not be any.
In addition to its effects on the adrenal and nervous system, alcohol is also generally unhealthy for the internal organs including the liver, spleen, and stomach. Avoiding alcohol or minimizing your alcohol intake to one glass of wine per week will help get you on track to following a yogic diet.
Embrace Raw Foods
Embracing raw foods is one of the most ancient and noble ways to follow a yogic diet. By rejecting processed foods and opting for healthy, locally grown, organic, plant-based foods instead, you will be avoiding chemicals, refined sugars, saturated fats, and palm oils that clog the digestive system. These foods cause many maladies such as inflammation of the body, overproduction of insulin, and excessive fat storage, eventually leading to sluggishness and poor health.
There are many delicious raw foods available including:
- Fresh salads
- Raw nuts
- Raw cacao
- Sprouted hummus
- And more
By embracing raw foods you will be one step closer to compliments your yoga practice by fully following a yogic diet.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is one of the most important ways to implement a yogic diet into your everyday life. You can be mindful during meals by practicing the following:
- Don’t watch television or read while eating
- Eat slowly
- Focus on how your food feels
- Sip your beverage instead of gulping
- Smell your food before each bite
- Thoroughly chew your food
Once you learn to eat and drink mindfully, your entire yoga practice will join in with your yogic diet to align in a mindful and purposeful lifestyle, bringing with it benefits and calm contentedness.
Enhance Your Self-Practice
To continue enhancing your self-practice of physical yoga and following a yogic diet, consider taking a look at the many resources offered by ZentasticFit. ZentasticFit.com has a variety of professional yoga teachers and holistic coaches offering yoga, Ayurveda, nutrition, and other forms of fitness to aid you on your wellness journey. Find an instructor you like and book a class or schedule a one-on-one, online session at a time that works for you—all from the comfort of your home!
By Shasta Fay