Hey YBCers! It's Madison, here! Candace and I have been talking about ways to start a conversation within the YBC community. We want YogaByCandace to be a place of shared ideas and learning. And so, YBC is starting up a new discussion series that will take place on the forum. Each month, we will post a question, and after you all have had the opportunity to chat about it, we will pick some highlights and share the results on the YBC blog and our social media accounts
This past month we kicked off the series with a topic that can sometimes get controversial:
"If you practice yoga, should you adopt a particular diet?"
The question of food is important because food nourishes us. When we get on our mat, we are facilitating an act of self-love. We are finding balance in both body and mind. We face a similar opportunity to manifest self-love and balance when it comes to our diet. Food has a profound impact not only on our physical wellbeing, but our psychological wellbeing as well.
But though the importance of food is pretty uncontroversial, the specifics can get a little more ambiguous... What diet should you adopt to further your yoga practice? Do you really need to adopt a specific diet at all? Here is what some YBCers had to say:
No, I don't believe in the "should" part. But I do I think there are great options for people to pursue a specific diet that complements with their yoga practice, such as Ayurveda or practicing vegetarianism or veganism as part of ahimsa. Disclosure: I did not change my diet, but I enjoyed learning about these concepts for a more holistic view of yoga.
I think that's an interesting question. For me, the answer is more complicated than a yes or a no; it goes back to what you set as your intention when you practice yoga. If your intention is to lose weight and become overall a healthier person, then the answer is yes, you should have a particular diet - one that focuses on having a healthy, balanced diet. If your intention is something like mine which is "I will accept and love myself for who I am, for all my flaws and all of my strengths, for that is what makes me human," then you don't necessarily need to follow a specific diet. My finicky diet isn't due to yoga but to my illnesses and I wish more people knew that. "Yes, I'm into yoga. My super organic and hormone-free diet isn't!" I should get that on a shirt
As I recent vegan, I feel that it aligns with the philosophy of yoga in many ways (ahimsa and all that). So for me it works, especially because it's cleaner and healthier. I just feel much better doing less harm to animals and the environment. But I don't think it's good to force it upon everyone or force it upon yourself. I don't think that's sustainable or healthy.
So basically I think any diet can work for a yogi, as long as it is healthy. In yoga we are taught to take care of ourselves. And what we put in our bodies is no exception.
I personally think that one should not adopt a particular diet, at least not because of feeling pressure from all the posts/comments/content portraying "true yogis" in a certain way. However, I think that as you embark in your yoga journey, this will bring a lot of changes to your life and how you view the world.
As you become more connected, more grounded, you will start prioritising health, harmony and well being (for you and everyone/everything else around you) and this will probably lead to a diet change too.
In the beginning, when I started yoga, I immediately thought "ok, I probably should also become a vegetarian, start drinking juices , etc". I tried doing that but the sudden change and this feeling that I am doing it just to "fit in" made me a bit uncomfortable. Now, after over one year, of yoga, I can see true changes starting to happen. I learned what is best for my body, what I really like and to accept that my diet might not be everyone else's diet; and that's ok!
That's just my experience with it. I am in no way an expert, in either yoga or nutrition (I suppose just loving food doesn't count, right? )
We'd love to know your thoughts. Do you follow a particular diet as a yogi? Do you think everyone who practices yoga should follow a certain diet?