Yoga and Nutrition go Hand in Hand for Many

For a lot of people, it’s difficult to separate the practice of yoga from other portions of their lives, including a good diet. To them, getting the proper balance from yoga not only concerns the fitness-building and stress-reducing benefits of yoga, but also includes a nutrition plan that supplies the proper nutrients to assist in the creation of both.

This combination of yoga and nutrition is not new – yogis have been focusing on proper nutrition for centuries – but it has taken on a new awareness in recent years, due to scientific reports on nutrition and healthy foods that back up the ideas and tenets of yoga instructors who have included nutrition in their quest for harmony between the mind, body and spirit.

As we've said, combining yoga and nutrition is not a new development. In fact, there is an entire practice of yoga, called Anna Yoga, which is directed at food as it relates to fitness and a healthy spirit. But while the information concerning healthy eating may not be the same among the various kinds of yoga, some of the belief are relatively the same: consume modest, reasonable portions of food that is high in nutrients and low in toxins. These include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This is a diet that yoga practitioners have been subsisting on for centuries but the doctors of today have just recently began to suggest.

Among yoga practioners, food is divided into three categories: Rajasil, Tamsik and Satvik. Rajaski, which translates to "food of the king" is heavily processed or has a lot of seasonings. Candy, processed foods and beverages and alcohol are classified as Rajasik foods. Tamsik foods are highly prepared foods that are rich in sodium, highly spiced or with spicy seasonings. Lastly, Satvik foods are consumed in as close to their original state as possible - fresh vegetables and fresh fruit that, if they are cooked, are done so with only a light coating of seasoning to keep most or all of their nutritional value. Satvik food is considered the basis of an ideal diet by yoga practitioners.

Because of the way they are prepared, Satvik foods have exceptional nutritional value and are easily digested. Combined with the body benefits of yoga, a diet that adheres to the Satvik foods can help one develop and promotes a well-conditioned and healthy body.

Even if you are not a regular student of yoga, adhering to a Satvik diet can have great benefits.

Among the primary beliefs of a nutritious diet, according to yoga instructors, is that food be consumed in as fresh a state as possible. Fresh vegetables and fruits contain healthy enzymes and vitamins that frozen or canned foods do not, since the packaging process often times removed many of the health benefits of the foods. Also, some yoga practitioners recommend eating many of the fruits and vegetables you consume raw to let your body get the fully effect of the nutritional value. Meanwhile, green vegetables are particularly special to yoga experts, who consider cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and spinach to have the high amount of nutrients and "life force". Fruit is also considered highly nutritious and full of the “life force”. The natural sugars in fruit, they say, can provide a fast and nutrition sources of energy minus the harmful toxins.

While many yoga practitioners shy away from meat (including fish and poultry), it is not entirely off the list for everyone involved in yoga However, yoga instructors recommend moderation in taking in meat as it may contain toxins such as lactic acid, fat, cholesterol and other chemicals that can slow the growth of muscles gained from the practice of yoga.

Finally, the way in which the food is prepared for consumption is also one of the keys to nutrition for yoga practitioners. Instructors and practitioners suggest eating meals slowly to permit your body to extract all of the contained nutrients. And the exercises in the practice of yoga, many yoga experts believe, actually helps the body absorb more of the nutrients from the food you consume.

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