Q1. Do I need to consult a yoga teacher for my diet chart?
It is found that man is the best teacher of himself through his own personal experience. Therefore it is recommended that he enjoys his freedom of food and set his own limitations. Moreover a number of factors play a role in the proper selection of one's individual diet. They are age, size, weight, habits, tastes, metabolism, climate, availability, resources, occupation, lifestyle, physical activities and social customs. For example, a human being should change his diet according to his growing age keeping in mind his medical history and his circumstances.
Q2. Is there an ideal diet for a yoga practitioner?
There is nothing called an 'ideal diet' as such. But a balanced diet is always preferred and recommended. Proper intake of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals, roughage and the so-called trace elements should be taken care on a daily basis. Moreover having a wholesome diet in a correct proportion taken from a wide range of natural food is always good.
Q3. Will vegetarian food serve as an ideal ingredient for my diet?
A preferred meal for any yogi is Lacto-vegetarian food. This includes whole-grain cereals, pulses, legumes, wheat-germ, gram flour, oilseeds, vegetable oils, nuts, roots, tubers, green and fresh vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, honey, sugar, milk, ghee, butter, sweet buttermilk, sweet curd and germinated grams. A permutation and combination of these above given natural food in a correct proportion is the best meal for a practitioner.
Q4. Do I have any specific timings for having my food?
The meals taken round the clock must be followed religiously on a daily basis. It is always better to avoid eating too often at irregular intervals. The best way of eating is to space out proper timings in a day and to follow that regularly. Even taking food at long intervals can be extremely harmful for the body as the stomach remains empty for a longer time.
Q5. Does light eating in between proper meals help?
Generally, two wholesome diets are sufficient for most people. Sometimes junk foods like nuts, chocolates and snacks taken in between the meals can disturb the digestion process as they will get consumed by your digestive system and you may lose the appetite for your main meal.
Q6. What is the best time to eat before going to bed?
The ideal time to go to bed is 2 hours after having dinner. It is not advisable to take dinner too late at night or going to bed as soon as you finish your meal. Also going to bed empty stomach is not recommended. But keeping your stomach light is advisable.
Q7. Can I eat something just before or after my yoga sessions?
Taking food right before or after vigorous exercise or hard work is not encouraged. It is better to rest for a while and then take a proper meal.
Q8. Why is being a vegetarian stressed so much while practicing yoga?
There is no hard and fast rule that a practitioner should become a complete vegetarian while practicing yoga. A normal diet which is balanced is what matters the most. However, as a yogi progresses in his path of yoga, he soon realizes that killing is unethical and therefore changes his diet automatically.
On medical ground, a vegetarian diet is recommended due to many reasons. Most important among them is that, Asanas and Pranayama give an automatic repulsive force to body and mind that refuses flesh-based diet in order to bring cellular quietness. Therefore, simple vegetarian dishes do not irritate the system.