Yoga and food

lettuce and tomatoesYoga has a lot to say about food, on a superficial level it can seem like it is all about eating certain things or excluding other things from your diet. Sivananda yoga has a reputation for encouraging people to be veggie and not to eat garlic or onions (too stimulating). Jivamukti yoga encourages people to exclude meat from their diet for ethical reasons if not health.

I’ve tried many diets over the years and have ended up not really liking to be told to eat this food or not to eat that food. Being told what to eat or what not to eat tends to bring up the inner rebel in me and eventually I rebel and can’t be bothered any more.

riceI like the approach which says, ‘work it out for yourself’.

In ‘Meditation Yoga’, Mashiro Oki says:
“A correct diet cannot be found through studying dietetics or by counting calories. To eat what is right is to eat whatever will develop your innate abilities to the ultimate and enable you to help others to to develop their innate abilities”.

In Okido yoga retreats, everyone says a pledge

“I have come to know that nutrition means to take in the suitable, not take the unsuitable, and to elminate the unnecessary.

I have come to know that it is wisdom granted by the grace of nature that my body itselft understands what is good or bad to accept into itself.

From now on, in accordance with my inner wisdom, I will strive to take in what is suitable and necessary and to elminate what is unsuitable and unnecessary.

I pledge that I will return the energy given to me by other life through serving others. ”

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© Kevin Saunders, Yogaground 2009

5 Responses to “Yoga and food”

  1. Sharla Shotwell says:

    Hey Kevin, after a recent hospital stay, I’ve been reduced to a gluten-free diet which is causing a good deal of weight loss; I’ve never been limber enough for Yoga but would like to learn some basic techniques; is there a good beginning yoga book that you would recommend, preferably one w/simple and not to deep strengthening at first? Thanks ;).

  2. Kevin says:

    Hi Sharla, you could try Donna Farhi’s ‘Yoga Mind, Body and Spirit: A Return to Wholeness ‘. It’s got quite a bit of information but is a really good intro. Let me know how you get on!

  3. sfauthor says:

    Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?

  4. Kevin says:

    Yes, I’ve used the Bhagavad Gita once or twice to compare translations. Great resource.

  5. Sue says:

    Stumbled across your post while searching through google. I read the beginning and its fantastic!