What should a yogi eat or what does a yogi food look like? As we sow, so we reap. This saying comes true even in our food habit and it applies to yoga and its practice as well. Thus a yogi should eat the food that enhances the practice of yoga asana and helps in controlling the mind and soul. Inappropriate food habit creates problems in body which become huge obstacles in yogic path keeping one away from the benefits of yoga.
According to Hatha Yoga Pradipeeka, a classic Sanskrit manual on Hatha yoga, yogic food is defined as “Pushtam Sumadhuram Snigdham Dhatupraposhanam; Manobhilashitam Yogyam Yogi Bhojanamacharet” which translates as “yogic food should be healthy, hygienic, fresh, rich in minerals, and soul satisfying.” This kind of food is known as Sattvik food.
The book categorizes food into three different types – Sattvik, Rajasik, and Tamasik.
Sattvik food like fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals, dairy items etc. help in building strength and stamina against diseases, enrich the minerals in body, and build body cells. This type of foods is easy to digest thus keeps the digestive system free of problems. When food is digested properly, the essential ingredients in it are well soaked into our body. Sattvik food is helpful in keeping the mind and soul in a calm and controlled state that it is easier to stay mindful and concentrated. Sattvik food habit creates a perfect harmony in body systems and aspects. A harmonious situation in body systems and aspects gives a feeling of comfort on all levels and takes the yogic practice to next level. Thus the Sattvik food is the best and should-have food for the yogis. Although Sattvik food is the yogi food, one should be very mindful in eating it in right amount and appropriate way otherwise it can have an adverse effect in our body. As the saying goes, “We eat to live not we live to eat”, we should be very mindful of what and how much we should eat.
Rajasik and Tamasik foods are not very good for yogis as they create imbalances in our body systems and aspects. These kinds of foods create problems in body systems and cause different diseases. One should stay away from the stale, acidic, spicy, oily, and extreme foods. Non-vegetarian foods, alcoholic drinks should be avoided for a balanced state in our mind, body and soul for a perfect harmony in our body.
Thus, either as a beginner yogi or a seasoned yogi, a good food habit is essential for an enhanced yogic practice. Taking in Sattvik food helps us stay healthy and comfortable. Healthy life is always full of energy and positive attitude which is very essential for a successful and happy life.