The Food You Eat Can Influence Your Yoga Practice, Here's Why

9 months ago
pixabay Dieter Robbins
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
The practice of yoga is ancient and was designed to improve every part of our being, and beyond. The deep breathing techniques, stretching, holding, and balancing allow you to heal from the inside, out. You can help your practice greatly by eating the right foods. The Ayurvedic way of eating has been implemented since yoga's inception so many centuries ago. See what foods will support your yoga practice, and why. I am a yoga teacher, a vegan foodie (with killer recipes) and spiritual being who guides people to find the light within themselves.
Food for Energy
Beans are a complex carb, a protein and are a great alternative to meat (for those vegetarians out there). Lettuce, kale, and watercress along with fresh herbs can offer up a great deal of energy for your yoga classes and beyond. They are high in fiber, have a high water content, and loads of different nutrients. Your mom was right, Eat your damn greens, you know they're good for you.
One of my favorite new additions to my vegan kitchen is Jicama, a root vegetable from Mexico. Jicama's fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has no calories and doesn't metabolize in the body. Inulin is a fructan and promotes bone health by enhancing absorption of calcium from other foods, protecting against osteoporosis. It also has a role in the intestines as it promotes “good” bacteria growth. This helps your body maintain a healthy colon and balanced immunity. Thanks to its low glycemic index, jicama is a great food for diabetics, and low in calories for those who are looking to lose weight.
Here are just a few more amazing things I'm loving about Jicama. It is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, containing over 40% of your daily value per serving. It has antioxidant properties that rid you of free radicals (commonly caused by stress) which protects the body from developing cancer, getting colds or infections, and ridding inflammation. There's plenty of potassium in Jicama too, promoting heart health. It also has essential vitamins such as; folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.

A great recipe for Jicama is Rainbow Jicama Salad which contains mango, avocodo, pickled jalepenos, and some other goods. Check out this easy yogic recipe that will help promote energy and focus throughout your day. It's totally vegan and gluten free too so it's a great meal to eat before or after your yoga class.

Ayurvedic Breakfast
Many will tell you that it's a good idea to fast before yoga. This makes sense as some of the poses can interfere with the digestive process. In the East, where both yoga and Ayurvedic derived from, they eat hot food for breakfast. They eat things that may seem a little strange to us like soups or food with chili in it. There is a reason for this however. The body wakes up cold, which includes the digestive system. When you warm up the digestive system in the morning, you gain essential health benefits throughout the day. These benefits include an increase in body temp which increases your metabloic rate. If you want to lose weight, this is a great way to do it. It aids digestion so you have more energy and think more clearly.
Still, you may think hot soup is a bit bazaar for your morning breakfast so the next best thing is oatmeal with seasonings that ignite the digestive fire. Cinnamon, cardomom, and nutmeg are super tasty on oatmeal with zero calories but helpful for digestion. 
Lentils for Detoxifying
Just like yoga can detoxify you, you can also get similar benefits by eating lentils. They promote a healthy digestive cycle, keeping you regular. There's a lot talk right now in the health industry about the gut to mind connection. A healthy gut allows you to focus better and you don't have that bazaar foggy feeling.
My Barley Lentil Soup is easy, tasty and a delicious way to incorporate lentils into your life.
Yogic Desserts that Lighten the Heart
A few of my favorite deserts that are good for the soul and healthy include Chocolate Chia Coconut Pudding and Apple Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. They are totally vegan and incredibly delicious.
Nicole Aracki creates courses for those who seek to enrich their lives with health through food, self-love, and spiritual practice. Watch out for her next course, Fierce Yoga.
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