Without a doubt, if somebody were to say they thought Yoga was just stretching after they saw a student leave a Yoga class and later eat at McDonald’s or something, they probably would be correct.
Well, Yoga, in its entirety, consists of a proper diet, a yoga diet. One does not exist without the other. This is THE factor that anyone seriously considering taking up Yoga must be aware of.
If you would like to do Yoga, you’ve got to include all its basic principles of a yoga diet.
Why a Yoga Diet
When I started doing yoga some 4 years back, I did extensive research with regards to diet and Yoga. Perhaps this was fate, as coincidentally, this was around when that a co-worker had told me to check into fasting and a natural diet as a way to cure my constant fatigue.
I found a book called “The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga” by Swami Vishnu-Devananda, and this had a whole chapter on diet. What he explained here made it clear that as beneficial as most, if not all – yoga poses could be for overall health, if one remains on unhealthy foods, it defeats the purpose of exercising to begin with.
This is perhaps much more important as it relates to Yoga.
The reason why? Well, Yoga is much more than what you see. You see a physical exercise such as Meditation, Breathing Exercises and even some Poses such as the Peacock, Shoulder-Stand and the Sun Salutations – ALL these are known to have an effect on the spiritual core of one’s existence.
This is rooted in our solar plexus and forms the basis of the Kundalini (see Kundalini yoga) or life-force power at the core of all humans. Remember, we are mainly physical bodies occupying a Spiritual World.
Now keep that point in mind as I go ahead and remind you of this particular quote and renowned cosmic law: “You are what you eat …”. Now, bring it all together and you will begin to see the relationship between how what you eat matters to your entire existence – physically and spiritually.
No matter what, eat right
When you get going and seriously practice Yoga, it is advised that you also begin to watch what you eat. ALL the sages and pioneers of Yoga such as Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnu-Devananda and B.K.S. Iyengar have all acknowledged this fact.
Here is Sivananda’s quote in regards to diet and Yoga (and keep in mind he is arguably THE guru when it relates to the ‘who is who’ of Yoga).
By the purity of food follows the purification of the inner nature …
In addition here is another quote that supports his comment.
Without observing moderation of diet, if one takes to the Yogic practices, he cannot obtain any benefit but gets various diseases
-Gheranda Samhita Ch.5 v.16
Yoga is very powerful and positive, it is also contrary to the “temptations” that are all around us, therefore making that one extra step, that one extra change – eating what yoga sages coin as the Sattvic Diet will be the best way to go. (It’s interesting that a Sattvic Diet from thousands of years ago is the anti-mucus / disease-free or alkaline diet of today’s alternative health crowd)
In other words, it is your fruits, whole grain, roots, and leafy vegetables (raw and ‘properly cooked’). This is the Yoga diet and this has to be included in your lifestyle if you seriously want to practice Yoga.
Is it a coincidence
that this is the exact diet prescribed in Gen 1: 29 in the Bible?
Is it a coincidence
that this diet forms the basis of Hippocrates’ quote “let your foods be your medicine …”?
Is it a coincidence
this is the same diet that the drug-free crowd labels as the most effective for delaying aging, having brighter eyes and complexion, better muscle tone, and so forth?
I think not.
Besides, if you choose to not do any yoga and workout in any other way, you will still enjoy a ton of benefits from such a dietetic lifestyle.
They eat a yoga diet, so should you
I’ve read of several raw-vegan or vegetarian body-builders like Stephen Arlin, David Wolfe, Scott Brodie and Bill Pearl (A 4-time Mr. Universe contest winner) and German Strongman Patrik Baboumian, to name a few, who do extremely well on a similar diet, so you will be on the right track eating as such and choosing any exercise you want. If you haven’t done so, watch the documentary on Netflix called The Game Changers. It is packed with great information that will for sure interest you.
So do you want to experience everything Yoga has to offer?
Then take note – include perhaps its greatest principle for your overall health – the Yoga diet.
Your friend in the mirror will thank you that you did. Trust me.