BENGALURU: Google conducted an experiment and found that when people eat in silence, conditions like diabetes and hypertension come down.
Hence, they regularly have silent dinners at their headquarters. We should keep in mind that food, along with digestion, will also positively impact at a physical and mental level.
The link between yoga and ahara (diet) is by prana. Without prana, there is no yoga.
Doctors advise us to take vitamins, minerals, carbs, but what about prana? Life is dependent on prana, it determines our lifetime, and also gives us the energy to heal during illness.
It is energy, vitality and power. Keep your energy flow in good condition. Annam (food grains) gives prana, which is required for digestion.
The Pancha pranas – prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana – have a vital role in digestion.
It brings in the energy fuel and governs the intake of substances. Samana is near the naval and governs the process of digestion.
It is the most important aspect in the consumption of food. Improper digestion results in non-absorption of nutrients and leaves toxins in the system.
We start our meal with good-quality ghee, so when the ghee goes in first, you put the fire up. But instead, if you intake a lot of unnecessary stuff, it puts the fire down.
Toxins in the system will put down the fire. That’s why, cooked food must be taken within three hours before the food loses temperature.
In the aspect of food and digestion, yoga also has certain disciplines to follow, only then will you get full benefit from its practice. The first discipline in yoga is ahara.
Follow a moderate diet. If you eat in silence, your system will tell you if you are half-full. Re-heated food should be avoided at any cost. Ayurveda says you should be ready to eat when you are hungry.
Practise pranayama religiously, after which you will feel hunger and not something that the brain will instruct you to do.
In ancient days, proper sitting postures were recommended while eating. Yoga in the morning before breakfast will leave you ready for you first meal of the day.
Do 10-15 pranayamas and then go sit at the dining table. Yogic texts and teachings attach great importance to ahara as they make life healthy, happy and pave the way for liberation.
Practice of yoga makes digestion better and provides the clarity to take the right diet regimen itself. Because yoga complements ahara and vice-versa– S Shridharan is a trustee and teacher of Krishnacharya Yogamandira.