Updated: May 18, 2019
The most essential food for a yoga practitioner is air. Air is made of a mixture of gases (78.9% nitrogen, 20.94% oxgen, and 0.97% other gases). As breath is life, air of higher quality and oxygenation should be sought after wherever possible as it is more highly charged with prana (life force). Air can be found anywhere. However, higher quality air can be sought around rivers, mountains, lakes, the sea, and large open spaces. Yoga at the Valley Springs Ashram has naturally higher air quality being both next to the river and close to Waiwera. These areas tend to have higher levels of negatively charged ions. This ionisation may have other varied health benefits (headache relief, clearing nasal blockage and other respiratory ills, increasing haemoglobin and iron in the blood). This is one of the reasons I like to incorporate a good pranayama session in our yoga practice.
Injurious foods and beneficial foods
Injurious foods and foods to avoid include; meat and meat products as these are acid forming foods, denatured and chemicalised foods such as white bread, sugar and white rice, highly spicy or salty foods.
Highly beneficial food for a yogi includes eating more alkaline-forming fruit and vegetables, including milk and milk products in your diet, eating uncooked raw foods as and where possible, and including some whole grains (including uncooked whole grains).
Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic foods
Sattvic foods are considered pure foods, foods that have not undergone large amounts of processing. Most sattvic foods are also alkaline forming (which stops harmful bacteria invading our system). Sattvic foods are fruit, vegetables, milk, butter and grains.
Rajasic foods are spicy and strong tasting foods. These foods stimulate the nervous system and include meat, fish, eggs and alcohol.
Tamasic foods are putrefied, overripe or rotten and impure in someway. Examples of tamasic foods include tobacco and alcohol.