Yoga is a holistic practice that also takes into account our eating habits. Well, why would it not? The aim of yoga is to achieve Samadhi, or Bliss. But first, our physical bodies need to be healthy. And where better to start than from what we put into our bodies?
Still not convinced? Think of the body as a well-tuned race car. If you put good quality petrol into it, the car will work well. But if you put diesel into it…
I’d rather not think about the consequences!
Similarly, what we put into our bodies has an effect on our lives. I’m sure all of you have eaten something bad and gotten food poisoning?
What we put into our bodies is not the only thing that matters. How we do it also matters! Let’s take a look at a few ways to start consuming food the yogic way.
- Take stock of your present eating habits. Are you eating mostly processed or junk food? Or maybe eating too many calorie-ridden foods when you are leading a sedentary lifestyle? Maybe you consume a lot of sugary foods? It is important to identify what needs to be changed before making any positive dietary changes.
- If you are not already vegetarian, try to reduce the amount of meat in your meals, and at the same time incorporate more vegetables, especially leafy greens, into your diet. Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and contrary to popular belief, the human body’s protein requirements can be fulfilled through plant proteins alone.
- Try to prepare your own meals as much as possible. Eating out is of course the more convenient option in today’s modern lifestyle, but at the end of the day, when we eat out, we cannot really tell what and how our food is being prepared. The menu may look healthy, but every single detail matters, for example, the type of oil being used, as well as how much oil is being used. By cooking your own meals, you have complete control of exactly what goes into your body.
- Take time to chew and appreciate your food.Many people think that digestion begins in the stomach, but it actually begins in the mouth. If we just gobble down food, it goes down to our stomach in large chunks, which means our digestive system will need a longer time frame to fully process everything. Besides that, when we chew our food, we mix saliva into it. Saliva contains various enzymes that help in digestion, and it also moistens food so that it can be easily swallowed.
- Water, water, water. The average human body is around 60% water. Although it is not recommended to drink a lot of water during meals because glugging water during meals severely hampers your stomach’s digestive powers and causes insulin levels to fluctuate significantly.Water is needed throughout the day so that our organs can function properly, and that includes our digestive organs. Water is also very important to detox the body – a lack of water can cause chronic constipation.