In any home of the Yogi you visit, you would be hosted with wholesome vegetarian diet as there is no space for non-vegetarians. Yogis are Veggies. In their kitchen you could smell the delicacy of rich green vegetables that include spices, herbs, organic raw honey,sprouted bread; I mean wholesome vegetarian diet, having very little or no space for non-vegetarians. However, many new yogis are still skeptical of whether they should stop eating non-vegetarian altogether? Often this issue is raised over the dining table with both sides giving weight to their own version.
Yoga principles do not allow eating animals as it is violent and secondly meat-eating deters them from reaching deeper states of meditation and has negative impact on the body. On the other side of the table, many feel they do not feel healthy without adding non-vegetarian when they are on the Vegetarian diet.
Eating is no doubt one of the most prominent acts of yoga practice, as when the body is nourished, it creates the foundation for generating a balance between the mind and emotions, and healthy relationship is established with food.
In these opposing versions, a yogi is one who follows a strict yogic diet which is based on some simple rules:
Yogis Follow Sattvic diet
In Ayurveda and yogic philosophy, there are there qualities or gunas in nature: Raja, Tama, and Sattva. Raja means hot or spicy, Tama means slow or lethargic and Sattva means pure or harmony. Rajasic foods arouse the mind and induce the passion while on contrast, tamasic foods do the both, ignite the passions and add nutrient content in the body. The food constitutes tobacco, garlic, onion, and meat, fermented or overripe food. Sattvic food is a pure diet which harmonizes the imbalances in the body, produces nourishment to it and helps it to retain a peaceful state. A Sattvic diet leads to true health, peace, and calmness in the mind and generates a balanced flow of energy.
Sattvic food consists of
• Fresh fruits and vegetables
• Wholemeal bread
• Fresh Juices
• Butter and Cheese
• Sprouted seeds
• Herbal tea
Vegetarian Diet has more nutrients as compared to Non-Vegetarian diet
People consume Non-Vegetarian diet to fulfill the body needs of protein level, but studies have proved that meat contains the worst quality of protein; it is generally dead or dying. Animal protein contains the vast quantity of uric acid and other toxins that gets broken down by the liver; while some of these toxins are removed, rest gets deposited in the joints and tissues which lead to arthritis and cancer. Uric acid obstructs yogis to reach the higher meditative stage as it causes irritation in the bloodstream.
Meat also increases the level of cholesterol which can cause heart disease; it is also not easily digestible. Actually, men have to digest food in 24 hours while women within 18 hours. Dairy products, leafy green vegetables, legumes, and nuts contain high-quality protein, as they contain cellulose which does not pollute the body, and is also easily digestible and utilized by the body.
A Yogic diet is free of chemicals and stimulants
In yogic diet, there is no space for caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. These substances are not generally healthy for the body and distract the mind from the achievement of the divine.
Vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart diseases
A vegetarian diet decreases the risk of heart disease, cancer, hypertension, obesity and lot more. Naturally grown fruits and vegetables are easily digestible, rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and are less in sugar and calories. Vegetarian food also builds your energy level. On the other hand, Non-Vegetarian food cause sluggishness in the immune system, drain your energy and weigh you down.
Vegetarian Diet is best for the mind
Veggie dies is best for the mind. The food when consumed increases the potentiality to either assist in the process or it can also create an opposite impact and generates negativity. Sattvic diet is best to calm the mind and which builds the clarity and lightness. It also constitutes food that could help you live a calm life. It consists of grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and more naturally these foods are grown, healthier they would be. As per Ayurveda, the best meals are those that are grown in harmony with nature. Fruits that are fallen from the tree or fresh milk from cow are Sattvic. Other food item includes nuts or seeds which are not salted or roasted, grains which are less roasted and herbs are like tulsi, saffron, gingko, and ashwagandha.
Taking the yogic practice to the dinner table is not easy as there is no prescribed yoga diet, but there are ingredients that build clarity and lightness, which helps in keeping the body nourished and light. Yoga diet consists of seasonal organic products which if goes further should be prepared and eaten with the positive attitude, love, and gratitude to increase and sustain prana.
However, retaining a diet that would keep your body light and mind clear does not necessarily mean having the only sattvic diet. The diet that is best for you and conjures to your yogic practice depends on your body constitution. As you follow the physical demands of your body, so should also listen to your body demands when you are on your dining table. You should be aware of what you should possibly adopt in diet and what you should not. But it is also not necessary that you have set parameters on daily basis, be flexible and eat to cherish your tongue. So it’s time for flexibility.