Yoga

Science of the Yogic Diet

If we consider our bodies to be the living temple for the soul, naturally we would want the body to be clean and in perfect working order. Unfortunately, we put many things into the body that make optimum health challenging because it intensifies toxicity and makes the digestive system work overtime.

The yogic diet is designed to create perfect balance in the body, therefore relaxing and settling the mind,and the body can function with more ease and vitality. In ayurveda this is called the state of “sattva”. A balanced, neutral state of being. There are three qualities in the body, tamas, rajas, and sattva. Everything we eat and think create dominance of one of these and lesser qualities of the others. Tamas is the quality of inertia or sluggishness. Rajas is the active or sometimes overactive energy. Sattva, of course is the middle, balanced ground we seek.

Now, let’s look at some of the practical reasons to follow a yogic, vegetarian, (or even better) a vegan diet. If we compare our physical structure with that of flesh-eating mammals, such as lions or tigers, we see first that our teeth were designed to do different things.Flesh-eaters have long,sharp teeth to tear flesh of bones, as well as a rough tongue to lick the flesh from the bones. They also have strong claws to catch and kill prey and excellent night vision. The digestive tract of these mammals are about 2-3 times their body length and they gulp food without much chewing. The reason for this is that the meat can pass through the system quickly before it putrefies. For plant -eating mammals,such as cows, goats, and us humans, we have flat teeth for grinding vegetables, smooth tongues, no claws, and difficulty seeing after dark. Our intestines are 6-7 times our body length to allow full digestion of the vegetation without the need to pass through rapidly. Lastly, the ph in the saliva and stomach is different and we release enzymes to begin digestion in the mouth.

So,if you think that this makes sense, here a few tips to begin transitioning from carnivore to herbivore.

1. Take your time! It took me a year to shift and not feel like I was depriving myself.
2. Give up the easiest food first until comfortable.
3. Try and avoid, white sugar, artificial anything, and refined, processed foods.
4. Chew well! Digestion begins in the mouth. Enjoy every bite.
5. It’s better to fast than to eat fast.
6. Eat modestly. We eat way more than we need and all diseases originate in the overloading of the stomach.
7. Drink liquids before or after the meal. It dilutes the digestive juices if taken while eating.
8. Eat cooked foods first and raw after(salads). Raw takes longer to digest and will back up the digestive process if eaten first.
9. Treat your temple with respect and care and in turn it will carry you through the world with more ease and vitality. Salud!

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