As a yoga teacher trainer, I guide my trainees through a module on yoga therapy. I talk about how to use yoga to heal injuries, diseases and disorders. It’s great. I love it. It is one of my favorite parts of my course. But even before I run those classes, I teach about yogic nutrition.
If I look at my experience of how I actually help people heal with yoga, it is always coming back to the principle that food is the most powerful means of healing and balancing the body and mind. Nutrition is the primary and fundamental means that heals us. If you have that right, then all other modalities like yoga therapy will work much more effectively.
If you look at what yoga has to say about food, you may realize why some modern-day yoga practitioners look a little tired and drained. It’s because they practice like yogis, but they don’t eat like them. I have some friends who like me are senior teachers, and are my age, but look a lot older. To me, it seems obvious they haven’t studied yogic nutrition. If they had, and integrated it into their life, then they would look at least ten years younger and have more energy. In this article I am going to let you know some of the secrets of yogic nutrition for healing and a healthy long life.
Yogis eat alkaline.
You don’t have to read far into my Teacher’s book on Yogic nutrition to find out that eating alkaline foods is essential to healing and health. I spoke about this in my article on MindBodyGreen called How to Balance Your pH to Heal Your Body.
If the acid content of the blood becomes excessive, this upsets the heart, liver and kidneys. In the heart, acidity increases the thickness and viscosity of the blood, making circulation more difficult and indirectly weakening the heart. In the liver, excess acidity requires more work to detoxify and clean the blood and the liver therefore becomes weak. Because glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver, someone with a weak liver will feel weak and have less energy. In the kidneys, acidity increases the different waste materials found in the urine sediment, which can lead to kidney stones.
To eat alkaline, start your morning with cucumber. Fresh, raw, organic cucumber is massively hydrating and alkalizing and rich with silica. Silica is a beauty mineral that is essential for connective tissue, is important for hair, skin and nails. Furthermore, cucumber is the number 1 kidney food, because it has erepsin, which is an enzyme that breaks down protein caught up in our system.
Also, eating alkaline requires you to cut out all refined and processed sugars completely. Never ever eat anything with corn syrup, agave, maltose, or aspartame in it.
For more on exactly how to alkalize click here.
Yogis take very pure salt.
Himalayan Crystal Salt and Sea Salt help to balance the water in our body. Inside, we are more chemically like the ocean than a river. If you add a pinch of really high quality salt per gallon (3 liters) of water then the water becomes much more effective at hydrating.
Adding a pinch of high quality salt to your water creates a ratio of between forty to thirty parts-per-million total dissolved solids, which then means you’re not having an aggressive pulling out of minerals from your body.
Yogis drink the most pure spring water available.
The great water expert and researcher Viktor Schauberger said, “More energy is encapsulated in every drop of good spring water than an average-sized PowerStation is presently able to produce.” The mysteries and power of water are completely unfathomable to the average person. Some people actually think all water is the same. I say there is more knowledge in a single drop of good spring water than an average high school diploma is presently able to produce.
Since ancient times, yogis have been drinking the purest spring water. You’d be amazed at how close natural springs might be to where you live. If you don’t want to spend the time spring water hunting then I highly recommend you get an excellent water filter. Don’t drink tap water because sodium fluoride is poison that deadens your central nervous system and is toxic at a cellular level. Chlorine disinfects the water, but oxidizes you, which is aging and kills off the good bacteria in your system that is essential for your immune function and digestion.
Yogis bless their food.
If you look at the research of Masaru Emoto, it becomes clear that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of matter. When we direct our attention to our food or water through blessing thoughts or words before eating or drinking, it becomes micro-clustered at an atomic level.
When you take a moment to bless your food or water the positive vibrations of your thoughts interface with the water molecules to create geometric shapes and patterns. This makes the food and water significantly more nourishing for your spiritual body and your physical body.
Yogis eat herbs.
Herbs have such an intense flavor because they are powerful at a nutritional level. The ancient Yogis were aware of the power of herbs and this is central to the healing system they created called Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda some of the main herbs are:
- Ashwagandha, which is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and has immune-boosting properties. It also has compounds that are a defense against cancer and other immune system-related diseases. It helps improve vitality and combat insomnia, cancer, arthritis and diabetes.
- Boswellia, which is an excellent pain remedy. It is naturally anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It has been used to treat both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, gout, and general aches and pains.
- Coriander, which is used to treat indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, fevers, respiratory infections and allergies. It is also a natural chelating agent, and has been used to help remove heavy metals from the body.
- Ginger, which helps treat indigestion and nausea to more serious chronic problems such as arthritis and migraines.
- Turmeric, is has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and helps strengthen the immune system.
- Neem, which acts as an anti bacterial, anti parasitic, anti fungal, and anti viral.
Yogis eat raw.
When eating for longevity and higher consciousness, we need to eat a diet high in minerals. Magnesium is one example of the minerals that are found in higher ratios in raw food. When foods are cooked, many of the minerals are destroyed, or altered, rendering them useless. Furthermore, the compositions of the enzymes in raw foods are not broken down, but they are broken down when food is cooked. (For more information about magnesium, see 11 Miraculous Ways Magnesium Heals Your Mind & Body.)
A mainly raw food diet is especially beneficial for people with immune disorders. Raw foods allow the body to cleanse and clear accumulated toxins. The less we interfered with God’s creation, the more the food comes directly from nature, the more alive with this creative force it will be.
Yogis eat good fats.
One of the most common questions I get asked as a naturopath is What is the ideal ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats? This is probably the biggest question in the field of nutrition and to help answer this question I wrote Why Carb Diets Can Ruin Your Health.
Yogis eat nutrition dense foods high in good fats such as coconuts, ghee (purified butter), and raw soaked seeds high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. These foods give us energy without requiring much effort to digest. They are foods that feed the brain, the nervous system and the skin, while at the same time keeping the blood sugar and insulin levels low. This low blood sugar and low insulin keeps us young and allows us to live a long healthy life.
For a list of other good sources of nutrient dense foods that will heal you body and mind, click here.