As soon as one enters a fitness centre, the first question that they tend to ask: do I need to compromise on my diet to shed those extra kilos? The same goes with several yoga centres, including ours. People are always concerned about the reforms they have to make in their daily dietary patterns to get their body in shape and master those asanas.
One of the most common apprehensions that one may face is how different should a yogic diet be from those prescribed for other fitness activities.
When you hit the gym, your instructor may give you a list of dos and don'ts. ‘Switch to brown rice, avoid fast food, burgers, fill yourself with protein powders etc..’ These are the common things that you may hear amidst those exhausting treadmill workouts.
But the same does not go when one decides to follow the path of yoga. Healthy eating and a structured diet is something that is very important for a yogi. Most centres, however, do not provide clarity on what could constitute as the perfect yogic diet.
In order to get full benefits from your yoga practice, traditional yoga recommends raw and alkaline food to its practitioners as opposed to the acidic food they tend to eat on a daily basis. This is quite essential because what you eat may have a high influence on your blood's pH level. A healthy pH level that is not very acidic is required for a healthy body. The pH range for a healthy body should ideally be more than seven. Only then can it be categorised as an alkaline body.
Alkaline foods — raw vegetables like leafy greens, fruits and nuts—raise the amount of oxygen that your blood takes in. A healthy alkaline diet is essential in balancing the body and mind according to Gheranda Samhita, a classic book on yoga. Such a diet is even recommended by the yogis in the Himalayas from where the divine practice of yoga originated thousands of years ago. The ultimate goal of adopting such a diet is to keep the body young and prevent it from decaying, the chances of which are high if one consumes an acidic diet in large quantities.
If one decides to follow the path of becoming a yogi, adapting to the strict discipline of consuming an alkaline diet may be a huge challenge in cities. We live in an acidic world where one may not even have the freedom of choosing water that is high in alkaline level. Here is where the role of a guru comes in. The type and quantity of alkaline diet that needs to be consumed is largely determined and instructed by the guru to their disciple.
Yoga strictly focusses on a vegetarian diet. Any sort of non-vegetarian diet, alcohol, drugs and smoking has no place in the life of a yogic practitioner. If one adopts such a diet while practising yoga it makes them only a whimsical practitioner who has not understood the ground realities of yogic scriptures.
Hence, one may conclude that going the alkaline way will not only enhance your purpose to build yourself but also makes you strong and powerful in all aspects and understand the true principles of yogic practice.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)