Those who practice yoga believe that yoga is not only food for the body, but nourishment for the soul. Yogic practitioners view life force or prana as a vital source to sustain life. Prana is the energy that maintains the strength of the body and brings about health and energy. You consume prana by practicing yogic breathing techniques (pranayam) or through eating and drinking. This means that the type of food that one eats will have a direct reflection on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
The Entire Experience
To practice yoga in its entirety, a plant-based diet is recommended. This type of diet develops sattva, which is the positive quality of love, connection, awareness, and peace with all beings. Sattva supports the concept of ahisma, which means non-harming. Individuals who follow a sattvic diet don’t eat foods that are created by the harming or killing of animals. The diet also promotes foods that are grown naturally. Yoga practitioners view food and eating as the first connection with the outside world. If people don’t eat with love, peace, and connection, this can cause suffering in other parts of life.
There are a number of delicious foods that are part of a yogic plant-based diet, as well as some foods that should be avoided. Some of the natural foods that are allowed include:
• Fruits, particularly bananas, peaches and berries, as they are naturally sweet
• Vegetables, with the exception of garlic and onion
• Aduki, beans, tofu and mung beans
• Whole grains like rice, oats and wheat
• Raw nuts and seeds
• Herbal teas with water and lime or lemon
• Spices with a sweet taste to them, like cardamom, basil, turmeric, ginger, fennel or cumin
• Oils that are derived from plants, like olive oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil
• Raw sugar like molasses and maple
• Vegetarian foods that are made with love. Thanks should be given for the food before it is eaten.
Foods that those following the yogic plant-based diet should avoid eating include:
• All types of fish and meat
• Junk food
• Soft drinks
• Margarine or lard
• Fried foods
• White flour
• White sugar
• Spicy foods
• Microwaved foods
• Genetically engineered foods
• Foods that are eaten hastily or in a negative setting
The yogic diet was created to improve the function of the body and enhance mental clarity. The diet should be followed in conjunction with asana, which are physical postures, along with meditation and breathing techniques or pranayama.
Yogic Lifestyle for a Green Planet
For most of us, yoga is a form of exercise. However, the truth is yoga is an active lifestyle that goes far beyond an exercise. Yoga not only teaches us some basic and therapeutic asana plans, but also offers us information about a better and healthier lifestyle. Yogic life consists of helping others, developing healthy relationships, balanced diets with plant based foods, pranayama, philosophy, mantra, and various forms of meditation. Each of these processes makes a person’s life more fruitful.
With the many growing environmental problems in this world, we are facing many issues in our day-to-day life; solutions to global warming, air pollution, ozone layer depletion, and water pollutions are still in need. As a result, we find ourselves in an unhealthy and unpleasant environment. In fact, we are creating this unhealthy environment for our future generations.
How Can Yoga Help?
How does yoga help us in creating a green planet? Yoga, in fact, teaches us about healthier food alternatives without polluting the planet. Those who are open to the idea can opt for a diet that is for the most part plant-based. When you eat plant-based food, your body becomes healthier. Also, you will find more ways to grow and plant seedlings for making a greener earth. As a result, the substantial CO2 in our global environment will gradually decrease.
In addition, modern yoga teaches us to opt for organic food options. If each one of us ate an organic diet, the demand of organic produce would be high. This would eventually decrease the use of genetically altered and chemically treated food. Let’s face it, the use of pesticides and chemicals are a big part of contemporary agricultural techniques, and deplete the natural resources of our world. Additionally, some of today’s health problems can be traced back to the consumption of chemically and genetically altered food.
Yoga teaches us lifestyle techniques. This in turn offers us a better and enjoyable life. When your body and mind are free, you tend to think on the positive side. Yoga lifestyle techniques also make you an active person. Instead of driving a car, you opt for a walk or riding a bicycle.
Yoga practices also make a person calm, motivated, and optimistic. Therefore, yoga practice make you successful, healthy, and content with your life. Historically, yoga has aligned itself with non-violence, which teaches us to develop compassion and tolerance for others. Yogic philosophy serves us as a blueprint for building a better, green, peaceful, and happy world.
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