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Food Therapy in Yoga

What is food? Everybody knows the answer to that question. Also, at this informative and trendy world at this point most of us know what yoga is. However, what most people do not know is food therapy in yoga.

The human body takes energy from various sources to remain alive and function properly. Air, water, sunlight all acts as important things to keep the body alive and functioning well. However, food is the greatest source of energy for our body. Almost all the nutrients and vital elements that we need, we get from our food. We grow due to the energy and essentials given by the food, we heal due to that, we can reproduce doe to that. Food is the most essential need of living beings without which life is impossible.

Yoga is an ancient technique that are used for various beneficial purposes. The field of yoga is very widespread. Yoga touches everything if we understand it enough. Originated from the ancient India, the technique has flourished and spread out in the world. Due to its visible benefits and advantages, yoga is the trend it is today.

When the knowledge of yoga spread throughout the world, it started to get integrated into that culture. The people started to change the techniques to give birth to new variations. The people studied yoga, mastered it, and changed it to gain the maximum benefit they wished. One such variation is food therapy in yoga.

“Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine.” Hippocrates

Food is the thing that makes us, food is the thing that makes us who we are. Food gives the body energy to multiply its cell. We know the importance of food and what is food but what is food therapy and what is its connection to yoga.

As, the name itself suggests food therapy is the technique to heal by using the foods that we eat. People may get confused and there is film boundary so it can easily be misunderstood. Food heals our body we know that, and food therapy is not eating healthy food or balanced diet. It is the process of eating specific food for tackling specific disease or to remedy for specific type of problem in the body.

There is a similar technique, in ancient Hinduism where the plants, herbs and other provisions are turned into medicine. It is called as Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the ancient healing system used in ancient India, where primarily herbs, plants and foods were used as medicine to heal the body. Ayurveda is a very vast subject and need years of constant practice and learning to master completely.

There is a special connection between Ayurveda and yoga. They are the fragments of the same society and in a way are the missing piece of one another. Collective used as one, they tend to provide with the best and amazing results.

Now here we can see there is some similarity between food therapy and Ayurveda. While Ayurveda uses herbs, plants, and food to heal. Food therapy focuses on healing through the food only. The food can be diet planned, food with specific features or even food with healing and immunity-boosting agents.

Role of food in yoga

Food is the reason we are alive today. Every being in the world need food. Necessarily, not everyone in the world eats like we do. The definition of food may be related to taste and type for humans, while for plants it may just be related to the quality of nutrients. Yoga defines food as a something that sustains us.

We should not eat food as per our taste but as per need of our body and quality of the food. Another thing about food that yoga strictly tells is that a person immersed in yoga never should eat food more than needed. Eating what much is needed is the way of the yogi. Too much to eat gives more disadvantage than advantages to the body.

Yoga classifies food into three types:

Sattvic food

Sattvic food are those food that holds the quality of sattvic among the three qualities. Sattvic diet is also called as the diet of the yogi. Sattvic diet are completely vegetarian and are known to make the people calm and steady. Freshly cooked food, vegetables, fresh fruit comes under this category.  Sattvic food are food obtained without hurting or killing any living animals. The food is easy to digest and has no negative impact on the body.

Yogis prefer sattvic food because of the life they chose and the rule they must follow. Aside from rules, sattvic food do not raise sexual desire, anger, rage and promotes calmness, steady of heart and positive vibrations and attitude.

Rajasic food

Rajasic food are the food that holds rajas quality. These foods do not give negative energy to the body but are known to give high energy to the body. The high energy sometimes deviates the mind towards temptation. Rajasic food are not as bad as tamasic food, but they also necessarily do not do anything good to the body. The high energy foods give rise to anger and hate. Another thing rajasic food do is that they dwell heart here and there and give rise to sexual desire. Due to this yogi and the person practicing yoga tries to avoid Rajasic food.

Hot, spicy foods with lot of oil and spices, garlic, onion, ginger, are the examples of rajasic food. Pickles and chutneys also come under Rajasic food.

Tamasic food

Tamasic food are the food that holds the quality of Tamas. These foods have huge amount of negative energy and is bad for the mind and body of the person. Tamasic food induces sleep, range, violence and all the negative emotion in the person. The human body also have tough time digesting these types of food. Yogic people stay away from Tamasic food and suggest others to do it. Dark meat, alcohol, fermented foods come under tamasic food. They give rise to confusion, violence environment and negative thoughts. People should not consume Tamasic food, if have the habit of should also minimize it as much as possible.

Each and every food we consume has a direct effect in our body. We may not necessarily see the effect with surface view but looking closely we can certainly see the effects. Food can both kill and heal.

As we can see above what yoga tells on food. Yoga needs proper balance diet and proper food. This is where food therapy comes into play. Food therapy enhances the ability to choose better foods that you specifically need. The dietary and food requirement varies from person to person. Each person has a unique body, and similarly need unique food and food therapy.

Importance of food therapy in yoga:

  • Enhances yoga

The biggest benefit of food therapy in yoga is it enhances the result of the yoga. Yoga is so, well integrated into the lives of the people that there is yoga to almost very thing. Yoga for depression, yoga for weight loss, yoga for hair growth, yoga for confidence building, yoga for breathing and so on. We can keep listing the types of yoga for various purposes and it will go on and on.

According to people and watching the world-wide craze for yoga, we can conclude that yoga and yoga techniques work.However, what if there is a way to maximize the efficiency of yoga and obtain even better results than you had hoped. Well, my friend if you are hoping that food therapy is there. If you have set up certain goal to achieve with yoga food therapy will take you beyond.

  • Body strength

Food therapy will help you to find out what type of food you need to eat. Once you figure out what your body lacks and need. Then with the continuous effort and eating your body will be full of nutrients. Combined with yoga you will build up the needed strength. Food therapy and yoga will act from the core of your body and fill you up with the strength you never know were possible.

  • Health

Health is the greatest wealth one can own in their lifetime. Without good health, the stacks of money, Jewlery and the tasty food become completely useless.

Yoga is the ancient technique that was solely developed for the medicinal purpose. Physical, mental, spiritual all wounds and scars are healed by Yoga. Similar, food therapy is also a technique devised to enhance the health of the person who follows it. It uses the available food as medicine to cure various conditions. When these two-health beast as morphed the result will be astonishing. Yoga postures and techniques backed by the healthy food of the food therapy will make you one healthy person.

  • Active and energetic

People of today due to their busy schedule are very inactive and dull. They work all day sitting in a chair. These types of activity make the body dull and slow. The body becomes further dull and slow if you keep involving into these types of activities. At one point the body starts to become fat. A fat body is home to various diseases and conditions.

If you want to get rid of all this and make your body active and energetic then you should consider yoga and food therapy. Maintaining good level of energy, setting the positive mood, positive attitude are the biggest advantages of yoga and food therapy.

  • Better nutrient absorption

The aim of eating food is to use it to obtain energy and to absorb nutrients from it. Food therapy with yoga aids in the better absorption of nutrients. Food is filled with a lot of types of nutrients. We can always choose healthy food if we want or even grow ours.

However, choosing healthy and nutritious food is only the half of the job. The other half depends on your body. Your body’s ability to absorb the essentials from the food is what matters. These mostly depend on the type of body of the person and their metabolism. Food therapy with yoga can help your body to absorb the nutrients more efficiently from the body.

  • Free from diseases

Disease is the state of the body where the body cannot perform normally due to various circumstances. Disease in a body is basically caused by two ways. One is that a foreign body infiltrates the body and makes it their host e.g., virus, fungi, bacteria. Another is that the body parts become weak due to various reason, and they are not able to function properly.

Both of these conditions can be avoided with food and yoga to a great extent. Yoga with food therapy will definitely make your immune system highly active, that in time will protect from virus, bacteria, and other foreign body. Also, the yoga will make the body parts active, get rid of the external fat and make it healthy.

  • Glowing skin

Skin is the largest sensory organ of our body. Skin also acts the mirror to the body. If the body is healthy then the skin will have a quite different and radiant glow. On the other hand, sick and unhealthy person can also be recognized with looking at the skin to some extent. Practicing yoga and adding the touch of food therapy will give you a radiant and beautiful skin.

  • Reduced signs of aging

Aging is the natural process of living. Every living being that is born on this planet ages and eventually perishes with it. Aging is normal, and if accepted and done right at a certain age it can be gracious. However, the unhealthy environment today, fermented, and processed food, and lack of exercise are making people look more aged than they actually are.

Aging is natural but looking a lot older than you actually are bad. Practicing yoga daily with food therapy will keep your young and radiant look for a long time. However, it cannot stop ageing forever, but for a long time. You will need to have lot of dedication but it will be worth it.