Mind for Life

HEALTH
THE BENEFITS OF BOTH NUTRITION AND YOGA FOR ACHIEVING OPTIMAL HEALTH
By Karthika Thomas
Counsellor/ Yoga Instructor at Mind For Life
How both nutrition and yoga play key parts for good physical and mental health
Everyone is aware just how important nutrition is in our lives. Nutrition refers to the process of nourishing the growth and repair of body tissues with materials that are required for a living being’s survival. What you eat directly affects your emotions and mood in general.
Have you had days when you crave particular foods or drinks, you quickly order take away then eagerly await to eat what you ordered? Just after eating the food you wanted, it put a big smile on your face. The food you ordered satisfied your hunger pangs that resulted in your elated mood.
Eating right and healthy is the most significant aspect of nutrition. ‘Nourishment of the body tissues forms the basis for the nourishment of mind and emotions’ (Macy, 2008). According to the ancient historical books of Patanjali Yoga and Bhagavad Gita, Yoga and nutrition go hand in hand. As mentioned earlier, your elated mood results in a calm and balanced mind that is a necessary component in developing a regular yoga practice. When you have a calm mind, it is easier to commit yourself to doing the traditional Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Hatha yoga asanas (Poses), Pranayama (Breath control) and meditation.
The traditional books on Yoga also mention the vital role a yogic Sattvic nutritional diet plays, to enhance your expertise and control of yoga asanas. Sattva means pure quality/purity therefore this particular diet, according to Ayurveda and Patanjali Yogic texts and scriptures, includes eating sattvic foods consisting of pure nutritious food which are easily digestible that enhances the wholesomeness of mind and body. Foods such as land and sea vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, legumes, and sprouted grains, may be consumed when following a Sattvic diet. Additionally, a Sattvic diet helps to promote a calm and understanding mind. Furthermore, Sattvik nutritional food intake also helps to achieve the right connection and balance between the mind, body, and soul.
Some important benefits of nutrition partnered with a regular yoga practice include:
To sum up, incorporating good nutrition with Yoga greatly assists all-round holistic health and wellbeing. It is strongly advised that you consult with a registered Nutritionist to tailor an individualised diet plan that works best with any health concerns you may have to support adequate healing along with a regular Yogic practice.
So why not take full advantage of the therapeutic benefits of yoga combined with a healthy and nutritious diet. Your body and mind will certainly thank you for it!
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