What is The Yogic Diet?

If you’ve ever been on a journey to lose weight or get healthy, you’ve probably run across innumerable diets for different kinds of lifestyles. But did you know there’s a diet specifically for practitioners of yoga, called the Yogic Diet?

Hardcore yogis know that overall physical and spiritual health and wellbeing is only half-achieved by what you do with your body on the outside. Equally vital to achieving holistic wellness is what you put inside of your body. 

What is the Yogic Diet?

Designed by yoga teacher Yogi Bhajan, the Yogic Diet emphasizes the importance of Sattvic or pure foods. Rajasic, or “forceful” foods, like meat and alcohol, are forbidden. 

But the Yogic Diet (also called the Sattvic Diet) is not the same as a vegetarian or vegan diet. It goes deeper than that to prohibit chemicals (as in processed foods) and stimulants (as in coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and processed sugars). It also emphasizes the freshness of foods, discouraging frozen, prepackaged, or leftover foods.

The diet also encourages periods of fasting. The goal of fasting is to purify the body and mind and release oneself from the reliance on food. One can fast for hours up to days and choose a water or juice-only fast, or a total fast. 

When you eat is also a factor of this diet. On this diet, you should aim to eat two hours before asana and sleep in order for the body to perform these actions to the best of its ability.

Finally, the Yogic Diet encourages ahimsa, an observance of nonviolence when it comes to what we eat. Consider the impact of the meat you are eating on the life of that animal. Consider the effect of the plastic water bottle you are drinking from on the environment.

What are the benefits of the Yogic Diet?

There are many benefits to practicing the Yogic Diet as you can probably infer! Here is a list of the top benefits you can see from following the Yogic Diet:

  • Improved digestion
  • Boosted metabolism
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced risk of disease and chronic illness
  • Improved mood

How to follow the Yogic Diet

Of course, everyone should follow this diet in a sustainable way that works for them, but if you want to follow the Yogic Diet like Yogi Bhajan, here are some quick tips.

  • Do eat:
    • Fresh fruits and vegetables (minus onions and garlic)
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes
    • Nuts
    • Dairy
    • Sweet spices
    • Plant-based oils
  • Do not eat:
    • Processed foods
    • Meat, fish, and poultry
    • Eggs
    • Alcohol
    • Onions and garlic
    • Added/artificial sugar
    • Fried or spicy foods

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