The Yogic Diet: Food for the Soul

Yogi drinks Natural BeverageWhether or not you’re an avid fan and practitioner of yoga, you know it involves integrating spirituality into your everyday life. From how you breathe, to what you think about, to what exercises you do and where you do them, there’s a yogic way to them. It’s not surprising that there’s also a spiritual way to eat, and that’s by taking the yogic diet.

When you go for a yoga and meditation retreat with Vagabond Temple and other organisers, you’ll find that you have to lay off the chips and steak for a bit—or for good, if you enjoy it that much.

Ethical Food

Because yoga teachings focus on the spirit of things, the diet follows the same principles. This means that it’s mainly a vegetarian menu. Despite criticisms that say it can’t sustain the body and provide enough nutrition, celebrities like professional cricketer Shane Watson swear by it, saying the practice, including the diet, reinvigorated their lifestyle and performance.

The yogic diet involves a few days of fasting, and then eating ethical food items that often include fruits and vegetables. In a retreat, there is a set amount of food for participants, and a schedule to match. Some yogic diet staples in retreat programs include:

  • Steamed or raw vegetables, except onion and garlic
  • Fresh fruits, especially those that are naturally sweet
  • Salad

Outside of a retreat setting, the menu may have additions such as:

  • Whole grains, like rice, oats and wheat
  • Tofu
  • Beans, mung, aduki
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Spices like ginger, cinnamon, mint, basil and turmeric
  • Plant-based oils like olive, sesame and sunflower

Detox is the purpose of fasting periods, and yogis just take natural beverages during this time. Apart from water, other variants include:

  • Herbal teas
  • Sugarcane juice
  • Coconut water

Conscious Eating

Vegetarianism has links to spirituality, as it nourishes the body without harming animals. Integrating spirituality into one’s daily life is acknowledging the spirit and purpose within everything.

Everything in the yogic diet reflects this belief. It’s a menu for those who are looking for actual food for the soul. Do you see yourself trying it out and sticking with it?