How to Eat Like a Yogi
If you’ve rolled out your yoga mat more than once, its likely you've been able to experience some form of enlightenment that's kept you coming back for more. As your practice develops, its not uncommon to see that the concepts you learn in class begin to fuse into your every day life. After all, yoga is much more than just the physical postures or breathing techniques -- it is a way of life. Yoga teaches us to inhabit our truth and encompass mindfulness with each and every step we take.
With mindfulness on the forefront, how we feed our bodies and what we choose to put in our mouths may arguably be the most important factor of inhabiting a kind-of yogic lifestyle. We are what we eat, so what we consume to fuel our body will undoubtably reflect how we show up on our mat. Our beloved Whitney really began to live + embody the eating habits of the Sakara Life when she went through yoga teacher training. This concept stems back to mindfulness. If we commit to a decadent cheeseburger and french fries, how likely is it we will come into a headstand or feel enticed to twist into side crow shortly after? Will our minds retain the clarity for meaningful thought and purpose?
Although we firmly believe there is a time and place for all sorts of indulgences, in order to encompass the mindfulness for eating like a yogi, you have to understand what will fuel your body for nourishment and sustainable energy, for every unique situation.
What type of food will keep you satisfied, yet still light on your feet — offering you space for both mental and physical clarity?
The difficult part about understanding this concept is that there is no clear cut answer on how to adopt a yogic diet. Even the classic yogic texts such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita don’t list any specific foods to abide by. However, there are a set of ethical principles called the Yamas that Patanjali set out for us to lead a more yogic lifestyle.
The first of the Yamas is called ahimsa, which translates into non-violence or non-harming. As we encompass ahimsa, we strip away judgement, anger, and criticism in trade for the ability to create space for compassion to diffuse within us. In turn, a lot of yogis tend to adopt a more affectionate view of Mother Earth that favors sustainability and a more plant-based way of life. This is typically why vegetarianism and veganism is so popular within the yoga world, as choosing a more plant-based lifestyle usually is accompanied by a high regard for nature and appreciation for all living beings. But does being a yogi also mean that you have to be vegan or vegetarian?
This is a typical assumption -- some yogis believe that they are ‘cheating’ themselves from their practice if they slip a chicken wing or two. My answer to that? Rubbish. Every living being has its own constitution; it’s own wants, needs, and capabilities. Food that makes one person thrive may not be so energetically sustainable for another. It all stems back to a more conscious perspective, and our abilities to recognize our internal signals, hunger cues, and how certain foods can affect our mental and physical stability. What supports you best in all aspects of life, meaning what provides you with an abundance of energy and happiness is what you should put on your plate. Like a surfer riding the swell, its about finding that ebb and flow that guides you through the current while staying consistent with your truth. And this, my friends, is what a Sakara Life abundantly lived is all about.