Along with the air, we breathe, the water we drink, the sunshine, and the sleep, the food is an important creator of prana or yoga, or “life force.” The food we choose to eat daily not only influences our physical and mental health but also reflects our level of development and genuinely affects the way we interact with the outside world.
The classic yogic diet and mindful diet are pure (ethical) and vegan, avoiding any kind of foods that involve killing or harming animals. Adhering to this diet facilitates the overall development of sattva (or also known as “purity,” in Sanskrit), and not only nourishes our bodies but also our minds and souls.
Sattvic foods are known to be grown naturally and organically, in harmony with nature, and promote a sense of pure awareness, genuine love, peace, and connection with all other sentient beings.
In this article, we will discuss the various yoga poses for yoga diet and mindful diet in greater detail along with its benefits. The yoga diet as some of you might think: is not about weight loss, although if you think are too heavy and overweight, you will lose weight if you follow its precepts as per the instructions.
(Also Read: Yoga Poses for Poise and Grace)
Yoga Poses for a Yoga Diet
Pose #1: Complete Breath Standing
We will start this article with the complete breath-standing pose today. To start focus on coordinating your breathing, its rhythm, and movements while paying attention as you inhale and as you rise onto your toe tips. Also, pay attention to your exhaling as you lower both of your arms and heels to the floor.
- This pose increases one’s energy & focus
- It also strengthens the spine
- It helps in toning one’s arms & upper body
- Improves overall balance & posture
- To start, stand in the Mountain Yoga Pose. Then exhale slowly through the nose, contracting your abdomen and relaxing both of your shoulders and neck. Accordingly, let your chin sink towards your chest.
- Begin with a long, deep breath as you slowly raise your chin and both of your arms, palms facing upwards. Lifting both of your arms opens your lungs while allowing the air to flow in.
- At the same time, rise on both of your toes until both of your arms are fully extended and, if you feel steady, bring both of your hands together. Hold your breath while paying attention without judgment and count slowly to five.
- Then slowly exhale as you gracefully lower both of your arms and sink onto your heels.
- Accordingly, repeat this process twice.
Pose #2: side bend
With the side bend, one’s flexibility increases, so to change the position of both your hands to the posture of Namaste, both of your palms should be pressed together.
- This pose lengthens the spine
- It also targets the “love handles”
- This pose helps in toning one’s arms
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, and you’re your hands by your sides. Then step, both of your feet to about 2 feet apart from each other and inhale as you gracefully raise both of your arms.
- Clasp both of your hands above your head, while keeping index fingers straight in a “steeple” hand posture/position, or pressing both of the palms together in the “Namaste” position. This will help increase the stretch a little.
- Then start to exhale and bend slowly to the right. If you feel yourself leaning slightly forwards or backward, it often means you are taking the stretch a little too far. So hold for the count of 5, and then return to the center.
- Continue and repeat this process on the other side.
Pose #3: chest opener
To start with this pose, move just a little deeper into the stretch, both as you arch backward and bend forwards towards both of your knees.
- This pose tones & firm’s arms
- It tones & firms one’s bust
- It also relieves the tension in the neck & shoulders
- This pose also realigns the spine
- To start with this pose, stand in the Mountain Pose with both of your feet slightly apart. Then raise both of your arms to the shoulder height in front of you, then slowly bring them around behind your back and clasp both of your hands. Accordingly, arch backward to open the chest. Then hold for a count of about ten, while breathing in the same position.
- Then gently bend forwards, raising both of your arms behind your back. At first, don’t worry about how far you are bending, just make sure to feel the stretch, and listen to your body to avoid overstretching.
- Hold with this pose for a count of 20 as you continue to breathe, and then slowly exhale as you return to an upright position.
Pose #4: standing forward bend
To continue with this yoga pose, return to this intensive stretch. Without straining too much, try to bring your nose a little closer to your knees than you did with your previous stretch.
- This pose helps you strengthen your back muscles
- It also stretches the hamstrings
- It also tones the digestive organs
- This pose can also relieve headaches
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, with both of your feet just slightly apart from each other.
- Continue to inhale as you raise both of your arms to parallel above your head, both palms facing inwards.
- To continue with the exhale as you fold forwards from the hips. Grasp both of your elbows, and bring your nose as close to your knees as is comfortable for you. You may also bend both of your knees slightly if the stretch is too intense.
- Continue to hold this position for a count of 20, breathing in the same position.
- To release from this yoga pose or to come out of this pose, place both of your hands on the hips, and then slowly raise your upper body to the standing position as you continue to exhale.
Pose #5: Warrior II
The Warrior II is a gentle lunge yoga pose that opens the chest, shoulders, and hips, and it also tones one’s legs.
- This pose strengthens the hips
- It also tones one’s legs
- It opens & strengthens one’s chest & shoulders
- This also tones one’s abs
- To start with the Warrior II, stand in the Mountain Pose, both of your palms pressed together in front of your chest.
- Then step both of your feet widely apart. While placing both of your hands on your hips.
- Accordingly, turn your left foot out 90 degrees. And the heel of your left foot should line up with the arch of your right foot.
- Extend both of your arms out parallel to the floor and then bend your left knee. Ideally, your thigh is parallel to the floor, and your left knee is stacked over the left ankle.
- Continue to hold this position for the count of 10, slowly breathing in the position. Accordingly, repeat the same process on the other side as well.
Pose #6: neck stretch
This neck stretch yoga pose relieves one’s stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
- It helps in releasing the tension in one’s neck & shoulders
- This pose also relieves headaches
- Promotes relaxation
- To start, sit on the floor, both legs drawn up. Keep the spine straight, and then drop your head gently forwards so that your chin is resting on your chest.
- Then accordingly, roll your head to the right side, taking your right ear down towards your right shoulder.
- Continue to roll your chin to your chest again and then take your left ear to your left shoulder.
- Repeat this process about 3–5 times.
- Accordingly, drop your chin to your chest and then slowly lift your head, to release the tension from your neck. Repeat this process about 3–5 times.
After you are done with the above-mentioned poses, repeat today’s poses in a flowing dance-like sequence continuously for about a week. Then accordingly, practice the complete breath standing pose just once at the end of the entire session/routine.
- COMPLETE STANDING BREATH: Repeat 3 times
- SIDE BEND: Repeat 3 times
- STANDING FORWARD BEND: Repeat three times
- CHEST OPENER: Repeat 3 times
- WARRIOR II: Repeat 3 times
- NECK STRETCH: Repeat 3 times
P.S. If you want to learn more about mindful Living and Mindful Eating Habits, then you check this book out for great tips and tricks.