Ashtanga Yoga Diet Plan – Support Your Practice & Lifestyle
Ashtanga yoga is a highly-structured practice that links powerful breath with a progressive sequence of postures. It’s designed to ignite an intense inner heat that detoxifies and purifies the body and mind. To reap the many benefits of Ashtanga yoga, it’s advised to observe an Ayurvedic diet that boosts the digestive system and provides enriching and invigorating nutrients that stimulate energy. Here’s an Ashtanga yoga diet plan to help support your practice and healthy lifestyle!
From a healthy state of body comes an awakened, enlightened mind. Start living yoga’s self-loving principles from the inside out. In this post, we’ll discuss what it means to observe an Ayurvedic diet to enhance your Ashtanga yoga flow.
What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic healing system developed over 3,000 years ago in India. It teaches that overall health and wellness depend on a precise state of balance between the mind, body and spirit. Because of this, it sets the perfect foundation for practicing the principles of yoga, which draw upon many of the same beliefs.
The ancient texts of Ayurveda say that food is a form of medicine. If we focus on the intake of nutritious foods and the elimination of toxic, energy-depleting ones, we can achieve a “sattvic,” or life-supporting state of existence. According to the ancient teachings, observing this sattvic lifestyle brings about vitality, clarity, and happiness—regardless of age. So how does this inform an Ashtanga yoga diet plan?
Observing An Ayurvedic Diet
A traditional Ayurvedic diet can be broken down into three different categories of food: Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic.
- Tamasic foods are stale, processed or impure, depleting the body of energy and causing lethargy and cloudiness of mind. Examples of tamasic foods are meat, alcohol, tobacco, fried or preserved foods, junk food, onions and garlic. They are considered the least healthy foods and should be avoided altogether.
- Rajasic foods are overly spicy, salty or acidic, provoking an unhealthy stirring or reaction in the body. Examples of rajasic foods are coffee, chocolate, tea, fish and eggs. These foods can be ingested in moderation, though most strict Ayurvedic dieters avoid them as well.
- Sattvic foods increase energy and bring about a sense of clarity, vitality and vigor. They are pure, rich in nutrients, and include fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, honey, herbal teas and natural fruit juices. These foods should be the cornerstone of a healthy yoga diet.
By observing a sattvic diet, yogis are fueled with the kinds of foods that provide, store and balance their energy into an optimal state. This creates the perfect platform for practicing Ashtanga yoga and experiencing its powerful benefits on an even deeper level. Not to mention the fact that a happy tummy is easier to twist!
Awareness Of Body, Awareness Of Mind
The first step to observing a healthy, life-giving Ayurvedic lifestyle is awareness. By being mindful of what we put in our bodies, honoring them as the temples they are, we notice the effects of every meal and whether it made us feel energized or depleted. We begin to redefine our relationship with food, moving from filling to fulfilling.
Ayurveda teaches each yogi to, above all else, strive for the balance of their “Prakruti,” or inner nature. You are your own best guru, so acknowledging which foods keep you aligned with your best self is the real key to observing a sattvic diet. It’s more than just checking off some boxes on a list.
Once you strike an equilibrium that works for you, your yoga practice can only stand to be strengthened and renewed. Bring life to your body and watch what it does for you on the mat.
Peace Comes From Within
If the body is a temple, a healthy diet is a peace offering. When you fuel yourself with life-supporting foods, you’re rewarded with health and happiness—further proof that peace truly does come from within.