The most common preparatory exercises for modern yogis are;
- lifestyle habits
- looking after your body
- looking after your mind
Diet can have a profound effect on the outcome of your practice and the resulting personal and spiritual development.
Preparing your body + mind with appropriate breathing and warm up techniques will have a significant increase in the positive outcomes of your yoga practice.
The best time to practice...
is on an empty stomach. To make the most of your practice, it really is best to try and practice asana with as little food in the body as possible.
The main reason is that the mass and pressure of food in the stomach + intestines will limit the movements of the lungs and diaphragm, therefore decreasing the bodies ability for our bandhas (energetic + muscular contractions). This limits the potential for dynamic breathing which has a knock on effect to the stability of our demanding asana practice.
Also put into perspective how much energy the body directs to digesting + processing food. All of this energy and focus could be utilised for the powers of your practice but instead is diminished on digestion + excretion.
To get the most from your practice, try to follow the traditional recommendations for early morning practice when the belly is empty.
Vegan / Vegetarian?
While you do NOT have to be a vegetarian or even a vegan to follow a yogic lifestyle, it most definitely fits in with the first Yama, Ahimsa. (the yamas are moral codes for being a yogi).
Ahimsa translates to kindness, non-harming - so quite easy to see how Ahimsa can translate to vegetarianism/ veganism.
A sattvic diet consists of pure, clean + wholesome foods. Foods that give you life, strength + energy. Sattva is a sanskrit word meaning 'quality of purity + goodness'.
Yogis make use of a sattvic diet to support the practices of anushasanam. Anushasanam is the governing of one's subtle nature, quietening the mind - not just for the health of the body.
Organic foods are most definitely recommended where possible. For their purity, vitality + energy.
Sattvic foods should be;
- Freshly prepared
- Light in nature
- Easy to digest
- Mildly cooling
- Not disturbing to the mind
Sattvic food also refers to how the food is prepared.
This means that the persons state of mind when making the food should be positive and the food is best prepared with a state of love + awareness.
This is because the emotions + energies of the person preparing the food is passed on to the food.
Take a moment to reflect on a time when someone made you dinner but they were in a foul mood. They did everything exactly as they normally would, but their emotions have coloured the food. This is what i'm talking about!
Sattvic eating is next. Not only must you select and prepare you food with sattva in mind, now you must eat it in a sattvic state.
- An attitude of gratitude
- Chewing food thoughftully, completely
- Eaten in modest portions
There is so much more to yoga than a few down dogs and a couple of lunges - it really is a lifestyle. It is an integrated practice designed to bring humans to a higher state of consciousness and being.
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Want more info?
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