Nowadays, most people are too busy to take the time to really think about and absorb a meal: to brainstorm what to make; research what’s in season; cook the food with love; sit down with our loved ones; chew mindfully; consider who or what had to suffer or work for that meal to come together.
The premise of the Western world seems to be, ‘If you’re not busy, you’re not important’. So there is this pressure of keeping up with the rest of the modern world and other people’s level of success: personal, social, financial. A ‘quick fix’ with the latest, trendy superfood or taking a ‘magic pill’ (i.e. supplement or medication) has become so socially acceptable that I imagine we don’t even research what’s in them or how it will affect our systems. We simply believe that it will solve our problem until unfortunately other symptoms arise. Perhaps we’ve become a little too trusting of our health in other’s hands that we forget to look inwards for signs.
Despite knowing it for thousands of years, we’ve lost the notion of balance and moderation. We’ve also known for aeons that prevention is the best medicine, but we are too busy to listen to our body and have become comfortable being uncomfortable (e.g. constant bloating or joint pain). For all of these reasons, the yogic diet is just as relevant today as it was upon inception. The yogis didn’t have a scientific understanding of the body but they knew that whatever we eat is food for the soul. Food generated prana (life force) to sustain the body and bring ultimate vitality. The yogic diet is directed toward sattva (awareness, love, peace and oneness with all living things) and ahimsa (non harming). Awareness in the capacity that the food you consume is grown, prepared and eaten mindfully, harmoniously and with good intent, without using processes that harm the earth, its creatures or yourself. Even though the yogic diet is targeted at attaining higher spiritual awareness, I believe that anyone following the basic premises of eating fresh, organic produce, prepared with love will only benefit from this ‘diet’. I say ‘diet’ in inverted commas because it is a lifestyle or way of living that guides the practitioner to longevity and vitality. It’s a positive cycle of eating with love, to love yourself and others.
“And he knew that food was Brahman. From food all beings are born. By food they live and into food they return” – Upanishad 3.2 (1)
By Alyssa McLeod
mindbodygreen. 2016. The Yogic Diet: 10 Foods to Enjoy & Avoid - mindbodygreen.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5870/The-Yogic-Diet-10-Foods-to-Enjoy-Avoid.html. [Accessed 31 October 2016].