Of the many Sanskrit words that have persisted over the centuries in yoga culture, one that often gets overlooked is prana. Prana means life force, a pretty broad and vague term.
It’s easy to see a connection between yoga and prana. During yoga, you improve the abilities of your body while connecting your mind and controlling your breathing. Yoga makes people feel better, both mentally and physically – in other words, it improves our life force.
But for ancient yogis, prana begins with an ideal diet. The food you put in your body is sustenance, and your body can transform based on what you put into it.
For passionate yogis, there are different diets that can be used for prana, elevating your practice and improving your overall health.
Vegetarianism has been a diet for a long time, and it will probably never go out of style. Back in the days of the original yogis, finding consistent sources of meat wasn’t as easy as going to the grocery store and buying your favorite cut.
But there’s plenty of science that backs up the vegetarian diet. Many type of meat today are full of hormones, and while not enough time has passed to perform long-term studies on the effects it does seem clear that many of these hormones are bad for you.
A vegetarian diet is an excellent way to begin a cleanse since you’ll cut out all those hormones and introduce healthier food options.
For those that don’t think a vegetarian diet is intense enough, the vegan diet could be the answer.
Veganism is a style of life where you don’t eat anything that isn’t plant derived. This means that you won’t eat any meat or meat-based products, such as eggs and milk.
This is a healthy lifestyle, and the more yogis you talk to the more you’ll learn that it’s very popular!
A recent fad, the Whole30 diet is more like an introductory diet. During the program, you’ll only eat foods that are “whole,” so you won’t be eating anything with grains, artificial sugar, legumes, dairy or alcohol, among other ingredients and foods.
The point of Whole30 is to improve your awareness of what you’re putting into your body – the essence of prana. Not everybody stays on this 30-day diet after it ends, but it should improve your understanding of foods and their effects.
Nuts, Fruits and Veggies Diet
Ancient yogis didn’t have access to the same types of foods that we have today, but we can create a diet that is closer to what they would have eaten.
If you don’t want to follow a strict diet, just focus on eating specific foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Nuts, beans and seeds are also good for this type of diet, and all types of spices should be used when cooking.
The Intuitive Diet
One of the first things you should learn before trying yoga is to listen to your body – you don’t want to get hurt while on the mat!
This is the essence of an intuitive diet. If you do a yoga pose that hurts, then you should avoid it in the future. Similarly, if you eat a food that doesn’t make you feel good, you should avoid it.
At the same time, foods that give you energy and improve your happiness should continue to be consumed.
This type of diet might not make you lose weight like other diets would, but you will be building a healthy lifestyle that’s ideal for your body.