Yoga and proper nutrition-rich food have been significant for living a salubrious lifestyle for ages and continue even in the 21st century. According to ancient scriptures such as Gheranda Samhitha and Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, our food should be Mitaahara, ie, in moderate proportions composed of organic fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. One must avoid overeating and eat only for nutrition rather than to reach satiation.
‘Jaisa aan vaisa mann or tann’- the way you eat and the food you choose can influence your mind and body. Yoga and good nutrition work hand in hand and thus, embracing holistic nutrition and the asanas of yoga ameliorates both the physical and mental well-being of an individual. Adhering to a Yogic diet can certainly be challenging but not an unattainable pursuit. The energy of the food that we ingest has a profound impact on every aspect of how we feel, behave, and think. It improves digestion, creates a balance between mind and body, increases energy, helps with stress management and even detoxification.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Ira Trivedi, Celebrity Influencer and Founder of Yog Love, shared, “As we know, yoga is a physically demanding practice and calls for enough nutrients to fulfil the energy requirements of the body. Therefore, adding the right nutrients to a regular diet has a far-reaching positive effect on our yoga practice and overall health. Many of us do not know that meat is second-hand energy, and you do not necessarily need to consume animal flesh to obtain protein and other vital nutrients. Instead, being veggie makes you live longer. A sattvic diet prescribes eating locally and easily available fresh fruits and vegetables. One must abstain from storing food for more than three days and refrain from eating frozen foods.”
Asserting that apart from consuming the right thing, the right time also matters, she suggested, “Every individual is different, as is their schedule, so one must adjust their meal times according to what suits them best. Furthermore, eating on time and maintaining a regular eating schedule helps your body digest food and absorb nutrients better. It is important not to fill your stomach just before yoga practice, as it can put pressure on the abdomen and affect blood pressure. One must also avoid fasting for more than 4-5 hours for a stable blood sugar level.”
Practising yoga every day has many benefits and adding a sattvic diet based on the principles of yoga and Ayurveda is the icing on the cake that will maximise your overall health benefits. Ira Trivedi revealed some of the benefits that will inspire you to roll out your mats every day and fill your bowl with veggies:
1. Improves Digestion
Yoga asanas such as Gomukhasana, Vajraasana, Seated Twist and other asanas stimulate the digestive organs to function more efficiently. Likewise, whole grains and fruits that are rich in fibre improve your gut health and deliver nutrients to the entire body. During digestion, energy is transferred from the food we eat to our bodies. Yoga and proper food combinations relieve a wide range of digestive discomfort and lay the foundation for optimal health.
2. Stress reduction
Stress is creeping deeper into our lives in this hectic lifestyle. But yoga works as a solution and helps us engage with our parasympathetic nervous system to bring calm to both the body and the mind. Shavasana, child pose, Cat-Cow pose, and other asanas have a stress-relieving effect and sometimes also work as therapy for healing. Alongside this, nutrients also play a major role. Nutrient deficiencies and exposure to toxic and food allergies jerk a person into the deep end of stress. Our bodies will experience less stress if we improve our diet by consuming organic fruits and vegetables and avoiding chemicals, extra hormones, and artificial components. In this post-pandemic world where everyone is clutched in the spiral of work and stress, yoga and a nutritious diet should become an essential part of people’s lives.
While performing yoga asana, our body releases toxins through our skin when we sweat. Proper diet, not exercise, is the most important factor in our physical health and wellness. The food we consume is responsible for contributing to or decreasing our toxic load. Ingredients such as lemon, ginger, and cilantro help in detoxifying our system as they are natural detoxifiers. The less you intake toxins, the better you’ll feel.
4. Improve your mood and metabolism
A blend of both yoga and good nutrition increases spirituality in the body. It brings mindfulness and makes one aware of their decisions and actions. A person becomes resilient and easily surpasses the uncomfortable feeling of having junk food. The yogic diet consists of ample raw food, and thus our body spends more calories on digestion. This helps in improving your metabolism and gives you the wings to attain peace.
It is no secret that good nutrition combined with a healthy lifestyle is the elixir of life in this post-pandemic world. However, switching to a healthy lifestyle isn’t always something that happens overnight. It requires a diligent effort to bring eating and yoga to the table. Sometimes it becomes difficult for us to eat the way we want to or practise yoga as much as we would like to in our daily lives. And it is perfectly okay if it happens occasionally, but don’t miss the rhythm and just remain calm, composed, and beautiful in this transformation journey.