The impact a yoga retreat diet can have on your overall yoga practice, health and well-being
A yoga retreat is a wonderful opportunity to unwind, relax and re-connect with yourself. It’s an experience that can help you to find a sense of balance and peace, while being away from home and the chaos of everyday life.
By definition well-being means a ‘state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. The aim of a wholesome yoga retreat diet is to help you feel exactly this way – healthy, happy and full of energy.
Having always been passionate about diet and health I chose a degree in Food Studies and Nutrition, which allowed me to understand the link between those two concepts. Similarly, yoga has helped me to learn more about how to be mindful and to naturally make better dietary choices. As Hippocrates has said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Good nutrition can help to prevent and even cure many diseases. What you choose to eat essentially becomes a part of you.
Choosing a vegetarian diet for optimal health
A vegetarian diet is a good way to improve your health and feel good both from the inside and out. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are all packed with vitamins, minerals and many other essential nutrients required to support your bodily systems. What’s more, a vegetarian meal takes less time to be digested, absorbed and eliminated from the body compared to meat, which is one of the most acid-producing foods. There are also many plant sources of protein including beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, hemp and chai seeds, so you can rest assured that you will not be protein deficient.
Being on a yoga retreat allows you to enhance your yoga practice on and off the mat, and improve your overall well-being, not only through regular classes, workshops and other activities, but also through eating healthy and nutritious food.
So here are the 6 benefits of a wholesome yoga retreat diet:
#1 Increased energy levels
Eating a balanced vegetarian diet helps to supply your body with all the nutrients required for it to function properly. This, as a result, increases your vitality. A yoga retreat diet that provides you with adequate amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water, will maintain your energy levels throughout the day, before and after a yoga class, or any other activity.
#2 Better mental concentration
The food that you consume and your ability to concentrate on a certain task, including during meditation, are closely related. Fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole-grains contain B vitamins which are beneficial for the brain and the nervous system. Keeping hydrated at all times is also highly advisable.
#3 Increased strength and stability
A wholesome yoga retreat diet will ensure to keep you strong and able to perform more challenging asanas (postures) during classes, thus further enhancing their benefits. It will also replenish your energy stores after a physical activity and help to improve your nervous and muscular system.This would lead to a better overall stability and balance. Examples of whole foods that can help to build strength and stability include nuts, beans, quinoa and lentils.
#4 You will feel happier
According to the Ayurveda system food is classified into three different categories or gunas. These include sattva, rajas and tamas. Tamasic food (such as meat or fish) causes sluggishness and laziness, rajasic food (such as caffeinated drinks; overly spice food) creates restlessness and greediness, while sattvic food which is of vegetarian nature (such as cereals, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, yoghurt) creates clarity, lightness and positivity.
A yoga retreat diet that is rich in sattvic foods will help to create a happier and more harmonious state of mind. This in turn will have a positive impact on your overall yoga experience.
#5 Improved well-being
A clean, nutritious and varied yoga retreat diet will allow you to feel good on all levels including physical, mental and emotional. Nourishing your body with food prepared from organically grown ingredients will not only allow you to enjoy and appreciate its wonderful taste, but to also experience its many health benefits.
#6 A Better overall yoga retreat experience and improved dietary habits
If you feel that your diet is unhealthy or requires some changes, eating fresh, whole and nutritious food even for a few days may help to inspire you to continue eating well in the long term. Not only will you feel great during your yoga retreat, but you are more likely to make better dietary choices and be mindful of what goes on your plate in your day-to-day life once back home.
By learning to choose and consume unprocessed and unrefined food you allow yourself to experience the positive impact this can have on your yoga retreat experience as well as possibly your whole life!
I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to continue the discussion by sharing any thoughts and experiences, in relation to the topic, in the comments section below.