Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ashtanga yoga and nutrition


What and how people eat is important. It reflects the society. Wrong nutrition can make ill. We are so lucky in the Western society to have enough food here. Our challenge is to make wise choices.

There is no group without eating and fasting rituals. The Muslims have Ramadan, the Christians have fast days, too. It was Friday. Not so many Christians fast on Friday anymore. This ritual got lost is my observation. Nevertheless it exists. In India I realized that some groups don't eat eggs.

I see two rules re nutrition for Ashtanga yoga practitioners:
1. Ashtanga yoga is practiced on an empty stomach. This is why it's practiced early in the morning.
2. All Yoginis are vegetarians, mainly for ethic reasons.

I'm very conscious that even these two simple rules are already fallen into oblivion. Sometimes I speak with yoginis and they have never heard about Ahimsa (nonviolence). They've never heard about any rule re nutruition, they just do asanas.
Yoginis eat vegetarian/vegan because they care for animals. The effect of practicing asanas is very limited when they are practiced isolated. A life style supports this art of this practice.
Also the second rule often plays no role anymore in modern Yoga and even Ashtanga Yoga. Yoga is a business and owners of yoga studios want to offer classes all day long till late at night.

I think  practicing Ahimsa (non-violence) is very important. It's a pointer also for our asana practice. The asanas are not performed with force. This makes the practice safe and can avoid injuries.

Many yoginis might think being thin or super thin is most important, because then it's easier to perform the asanas. A healthy non-violent diet comes first, being slim is just a consequence.

When practicing anything 7 days a week anything becomes a serious sports. 
Then it's time to think in greater detail about what to eat.
One can learn a lot form other sportive groups. Nutrition is a key to top performance.
1. A vegan diet is perfect. There are top athletes who are vegan.
2. Protein is important for the muscles.
3. Good carbohydrates give energy.

Food can support our activities, it can also make us ill. It can make tired. Food has an influence on our moods..........

Above all food is a pleasure. Enjoy your meals.

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