Kristina Poudyal shares her 5 Yogic Tips for the Raw Vegan Lifestyle. Kristina Poudyal grew up in Slovakia, is half-Czech from her mother’s side, attended school in Austria, and then moved to the United States for six years. After going raw vegan in 2015, she spent six months in Vietnam and five months in Nepal teaching English. She is now based in Vienna, Austria, with her Nepalese husband.
Kristina Poudyal is a certified detox specialist and combines her knowledge about food with the ancient yogic practices to inspire people to take their health and life into their own hands. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Presenting Kristina Poudyal’s 5 Yogic Tips for the Raw Vegan Lifestyle
1. Focus on positive pranic foods. There are three types of foods, according to yoga: positive pranic, zero pranic and negative pranic foods. Positive pranic foods give us prana, which is life energy. Zero pranic foods neither give us nor do they take away prana but can cause lethargy in the body when consumed in large amounts. Negative pranic food takes away our life energy, and that’s why it is suggested to avoid these all together.
Most fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts and seeds are positive pranic foods; however, we should avoid all negative pranic food and minimize zero pranic foods. Among the most positive pranic foods are ash gourd (winter melon), lemons, dates and coconuts. The zero pranic foods are potatoes and tomatoes. The negative pranic foods are onion, garlic, eggplant, green chili peppers, coffee, tea, vinegar, hing, alcohol, tobacco and nonvegetarian foods. Onions and garlic can be used as medicine but should never be eaten as a daily food. Eggplants are very harmful to children as they can impact their brain development and, so, their intelligence. Of course, no one has died of eating these, but, in yoga, the understanding is very deep and, therefore, it is best to avoid negative pranic foods completely.
2. Eat two to three meals per day. It is important to leave sufficient space between our meals, according to yogic science. When we keep grazing all day long, we never give our digestive systems a break. People below 30 can have three meals per day and, after that, two will suffice. Our minds and bodies work the best when we don’t have food inside the stomach. Luckily, on a fruit-based diet, digestion is much quicker compared with eating cooked foods so it can be achieved gradually. People are often scared about not eating enough on a raw food diet; however, the body is intelligent and, when we give the body food only at certain times, it learns to utilize the maximum of it. When we eat too many meals per day, the body knows it will get more food, so a lot of it is wasted and not utilized properly. The amount of food depends on how active a person is, but it is best that the last meal of the day is eaten at least two hours before going to sleep. When we eat before sleeping, the body cannot digest food properly nor can it rest properly. By leaving gaps between our meals, we can achieve much more focus and mental alertness as we give our body time to cleanse itself between our meals.
3. Don’t stand while eating! Many kids in India have been told not to drink or eat while standing. This also comes from the yogic understanding of our energy system and how it functions when we consume food. It is important that we never stand and eat and actually create time and space when we are to eat. In Western culture, barbecues and parties have made eating on the go normal; however, when we eat, we should be in a peaceful atmosphere and focus only on the act of eating. No TV, cell phones or even talking should interfere with the information we are giving the body while eating food. When we stand or watch TV while eating, the body is confused and does not assimilate the food as when we would be focused only on the food itself.
The yogic tradition not only talks about postures on the yoga mat, as people in India have been taught to sit cross-legged on the floor, using their right hand and no utensils when eating. This is the best way for our energy system to connect to the earth as we want the food to assimilate in the right way. By sitting on the floor cross-legged with our left leg closer to our body, with the left heel covering the perineum and the other foot in front, we are creating the right flow of energy in our body to be able to take the food in the best way for our health and mental well-being.
4. Cold food, no—chewing, yes! Though nice-cream is often the first thing people get excited about when going raw, it is advisable to eat fruit fresh and within 4 degrees of body temperature. Of course, you can wait for your nice-cream to thaw a bit, but, generally, the cold temperature of the food causes our body to cool. People who are already prone to feeling cold should ensure fruits and vegetables are eaten at room temperature before they are consumed. Imagine, in nature, there were no fridges, and we would eat fruit that has been exposed to lots of warmth and sunshine. Fruit is easy to digest; however, when it comes to vegetables, we have to be more careful in eating it properly and chewing. In the yogic culture, it is said that we should chew our food 24 times. The science behind this is that digestion starts in the mouth and, therefore, when we eat veggies, we should make sure to chew them properly in order to avoid digestion issues. When we chew our food properly, we are giving our body time to recognize the food and be ready to take the right action to digest and assimilate the food into our body properly.
5. Adopt a spiritual practice. Fruit can make a huge deal in our physical well-being; however, according to the yogic science, we are made up of five layers: the physical body, mental body, emotional body, energy body and bliss body. When we adopt a fruit-based raw vegan lifestyle, we affect our physical body in a big way, and it also has an impact on our other bodies. If we wish to see transformation within ourselves on a deeper level, however, it is best to learn a spiritual practice as a complement to our healthy lifestyle. It is important that this is taken from a qualified teacher (guru in sanskrit) who understands our energy system and can help us enhance our life in ways that we have not imagined possible. Yes, we can heal with fruit, but we all know that our subconscious programming and lots of karma can be a bit hard to deal with. That’s why we can benefit tremendously from a powerful yogic practice. Such practice can be learned, for example, at Inner Engineering to not only feel physically in top shape but also achieve mental balance and emotional stability, which are often very hard to deal with on our healing journey.
Once we transition to raw foods, we not only start healing physically but also start detoxing on an emotional level. Thought fruit takes care of many things in our lives, we cannot resolve everything with food alone. Most people in today’s society use food as an emotional suppressant. So once we start eating raw foods, we won’t be able to suppress our emotions with the heavy “comfort” foods as fruit is light and raises our energy upward. Many people go through emotional ups and downs, which are part of the journey; however, there is something we can do to help balance our mind and emotions.