Mitahara (Moderate or Balanced Diet)
Diet plays a very important role in the entire scheme of Yoga. Almost all the texts of Hatha Yoga Tradition invariably talk about food a great deal and recommend having the correct kind of food, if one has to succeed in the practice of Yoga.
Gorakshanatha has emphasised a great deal on eating the right kind of food or Mitahara. There are many sayings about food and eating which are attributed to the Great Yogin Gorakshanatha. According to him, success in yoga depends on the right food or Mitahara. If you eat less than the body is full of energy and one can carry out the practices with enthusiasm. Only such practice can give success. If one eats more, then there is laziness and heaviness which prevent the efforts and practice of a yogin. So, the yogi must always have Mitahara or a moderate and balanced diet.
What to eat?
It defines Mitahara as pleasant and sweet food. A yogin should eat only half stomach full of such food and fill one-fourth of the stomach with water or liquid and keep the remaining one-fourth empty. One should eat with an attitude as if the eating was a sacred act of offering the food to Lord Shiva.
Hatha Yoga pradipika gives a list of foods suitable for yoga aspirants. The recommendation contains food items like wheat, rice, barley, milk, ghee, sugar, honey, dry ginger, patola fruit, five vegetables, mung and pure water. The food items mentioned in this list are Sattvic in quality and are conducive to the practice of yoga. It says that the yogi should eat nourishing and sweet food which is mixed with Ghee and Milk and which is pleasing and suitable.
Nisha Yadav ( Yoga expert )
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