Diet for a Yogic Planet

Today I did a little workshop on "Detox Yoga" (if anyone is interested in the sequence, let me know and I will post it) and after our asana practice we talked about food and eating habits from a yogic perspective. I thought I would share the information I compiled (from various different sources, mostly my TT manual). Enjoy, and remember: we are what we eat!

The Yogic diet
  • In general: Eat Vegetarian, Sattvic & Pranic foods (emphasis on light, energetic foods that grow in sunlight, such as fruits and nuts. Eat naturally sweet foods, and use limited amounts of salty, spicy or bitter ingredients as condiments).
  • Yogis emphasize regular meals of moderate quantities (as a rule of thumb, your stomach should be 1/2 full of food, 1/4 full of liquid, and 1/4 empty after a meal). Eat your main meal at midday when the digestion is at its peak, and keep your evening meal small and light.

Yoga Good Foods:
  • Clean water (lots and lots of it!)
  • Fruit, vegetables, whole grains
  • Beans in moderate quantities
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Plant-based, natural oils and spreads
  • Dairy products (free range) especially milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese
  • Natural sugars
  • Sweet spices (ginger, cinammon, cardamom, fennel, cumin, coriander, turmeric, mint, basil...)
  • Herbal teas and fruit juices

Yoga Foods to Reduce or avoid:
  • Meat, fish and eggs
  • Artificial, processed or canned (except natural fruit) food
  • Animal fats and oils
  • All meat & dairy products from factory farms
  • Excess garlic & onions
  • Fried foods
  • White sugar and white flour
  • Artificial sweeteners and condiments
  • Artificial beverages or juices
  • Alcohol, tobacco or other stimulants
  • Overcooked or over-processed foods

It's not just what we eat that is important, but also how we eat. So here are a few Mindful eating habits:
  • Eat at regular times, but only eat if you are hungry.
  • Eat only what you need, give unwanted food to others or return it to the Earth.
  • Prepare food or seek food prepared with love and consciousness.
  • Give thanks or feel gratitude before a meal. Recognize all the human efforts and resources that it took to get this food to your table.
  • Eat slowly and quietly. Practice chewing fully and savouring each bite.
  • Keep only peaceful or positive emotions at your table to improve harmony and digestion – don’t eat when you are angry and don’t let negative discussions or arguments ruin your meals.
  • Share the gift of food generously and often.
  • Keep your mouth and teeth clean.
  • Make changes gradually – don’t diet or binge.
  • Eat to live, don’t live to eat. :)