Diet and fasting are a valid part of yoga. Because we do not aspire to living in an ashram and because we like beer – we allow for dietary differences between ourselves and other yoga practitioners of more purist intent.
Nourishment is important – eating a balanced diet of the right sort of food is vital to success in yoga. Too many of us rely on refined, prepared foods and fail to inure ourselves to the discomfort of hunger. Being hungry teaches us to appreciate our food and be grateful for it. Fasting is also a part of yoga and is recommended (with medical consent) as a way of increasing one’s capacity for the activity.
There are three ‘Gunas’ or states of Prakrti (the manifest world). Foods can be categorised under these – for example, beer and mushrooms are regarded as Tamasic. This means heavy, lifeless – not life-giving. However, at Yoga for Blokes we take a holistic view. Western science has proven the humble mushroom contains anti-virals which help combat colds. The life giving properties of beer can never be understated. Ales, lagers, meads, stouts, ciders and bitters impart a certain intellectual and social effervescence to those who partake – and shouldn’t be dismissed as an impairment to self-growth.
Lentils are an essential ingredient: use them wisely and sparingly. Pulses like this can induce flatulence, but the fibre in them is beneficial to digestion; they are a secondary source of protein in a balanced diet. Mixed pickle can vary in terms of spiciness. Brown rice is a great source of fibre and vitamin B. Carrots add sweetness and vitamin A.
Pasties don’t have to contain meat, there are some good vegetarian ones available. Pullin’s bakery produce nice Cheese and Onion pasties! best taken with pickles and Black Rat Cider. This sort of meal provides a savoury taste spectrum; the carbs/fats in the pastie absorb and help metabolise alcohol in the beverage. Black Rat is a dry type of cider. However, DON’T start doing Sirsasana or Adho Mukha Svanasana after eating this sort of meal. Stick to Baddha Konasana or Gomurkasana.