Combining Yoga and Nutrition for Integrated Physical Wellness

By Edward Ramos, Wellness Promoter at Wholistic Wellness Consulting

Nutrition has been an integral part of a many traditional Yogic practices since its earliest inception. In fact, a variety of vegetarian diets are discussed in ancient and medieval yoga literature. In the commentary to the Yoga Sutras, Sri Swami Satchidananda, states that Hatha Yoga was created to help the yogi achieve a steady, comfortable posture by eliminating physical and mental toxins which create stiffness and tension.

A steady, comfortable posture is desirable in order to be able to settle the mind and body down for deep meditation. However, without adequate preparation, as soon as we sit down for meditation, typically we encounter a small discomfort here or there in our body, which may then become a major distraction.

So very early in the development of the Yogic Sciences, yogis realized the importance of eating foods that do not leave toxins, are eaten in certain quantities and at proper times of the day. They formulated very specific diets that to this day have served their communities well. 

Contemporary nutritionists and advanced yogis are now promoting an alkalinizing diet, using mineral rich salts, natural spring water, fresh herbal ingredients, a variety of raw foods, and healthy sources of dietary fats.

For the avoidance of toxins, I advocate consuming organically grown and organically raised foods whenever possible; natural whole ingredients; and nutrient dense foods. I stress the importance of a balanced and varied diet including food groups that are appropriate for the individual and their given circumstances. And I remind everyone that we should always be transitioning and striving to improve our dietary choices.

When we need to focus on the physical dimension of Wellness, promoting good nutrition combined with a practice of Hatha yoga, which helps facilitate the release of toxins and the moving of stagnant energies, is an effective way for wellness professionals to help improve physical wellness in our communities.