by Uplift Flora
For many of us, yoga helps us find balance in our lives. Yoga is not only beneficial for our bodies; it also helps to center our minds. The asana practice relieves physical discomfort. When our bodies feel well, we can begin to find the space within that is peaceful and still.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to reach sattva – enlightenment – stillness. Within us, that place exists. How we tap in depends on how we support our minds and bodies. Superfoods can help!
A superfood provides a high concentration of vitamins, nutrients, or beneficial compounds. Plant-based superfoods are a gift from nature. By utilizing superfoods and nootropics daily, we can support both body and mind. The better we feel, physically and mentally, the higher our quality of life.
Let’s discuss five superfoods and how they can assist us in our yoga practice:
- Turmeric for digestive support
The third limb of yoga, asana, is the most well-known. The stretches and postures of yoga practice help us align and keep our bodies healthy. But our bodies don’t always feel up to the challenge. Constipation and flatulence can throw a wrench into any twist or forward bend.
It is often said that the gut is our second brain. If our digestion is sluggish, it effects our mood and our mental clarity.
For this, there’s turmeric! This delicious golden spice can reduce stomach discomfort. Compounds like curcumin are anti-inflammatory and may help the complex muscles in the digestive system move food efficiently. Consuming turmeric may also reduce flatulence. Compounds in this superfood root reduce the production of stomach acids that cause excess gas.
Next time you plan to skip yoga class so you don’t accidentally toot on the mat, try drinking some vegan golden milk. Turmeric and ginger may help to reduce bloating and built up gas. Then, you can sink deep into your paschimottanasana and marichyasana D with no fear!
2. Cocoa for happy lungs
The most popular yoga classes today are vinyasa flow. The definition of “vinyasa” is “a method of yoga in which movements form a flowing sequence in coordination with the breath.” Whether it’s ujjayi or another type of regulated breathwork, pranayama is an essential component of the yoga practice.
The fourth limb of yoga, pranayama helps us channel and focus the energy moving through our bodies. After all, breath is life. Healthy and functional lungs will aid us with these exercises.
Superfood cocoa powder contains alkaloids like theobromine which may improve the capacity and flow of breath. Every cell in our body needs oxygen to function. The stronger our lungs, the more we support the functioning of all aspects of our physical bodies.
The cardiovascular system is the superhighway that delivers precious oxygen to every nook and cranny. Flavonoids found in cocoa beans may improve blood flow and pressure, making it easier for the oxygen to be delivered.
3. Nootropic mushroom lion’s mane for mental clarity
Now we’re getting into the deeper levels of the yoga practice. Our bodies feel good, we’re aligned, and our breath is flowing with our body. We can start to meditate and focus our attention inward. The yoga philosophy tells us that we are made of five sheaths, also known as koshas. We discussed supporting the dense material of our physical body, the “anamaya kosha.”
As we travel deeper within, we reach an energy body, an emotional body, and a wisdom body. Finally, we reach our essence, the bliss body. To find these deeper aspects of our being, we need unbroken mental focus. Then, we can feel the energy moving through us, channel it, and support our internal world.
Superfood lion’s mane mushroom is of incredible benefit to those with a regular meditation practice. Nootropics like lion’s mane help to rewire the brain and support a calm mood. Consuming nootropic mushrooms may be the extra boost you need to find awareness and stillness and travel deeper into your internal sanctuary. Next stop, bliss!
4. Ashwagandha for calm energy and focus
The fifth limb of yoga is pratyahara, which means “withdrawal of the senses.” This aspect of the practice may be seated meditation, yoga nidra, or something else depending on the individual. Dharana is the sixth limb and is defined as concentration on a single point. These two limbs require the practitioner to limit distraction and silence the monkey mind.
Two common obstacles to meditation are an overactive mind or, conversely, being under stimulated and falling asleep. We need to find the balance here between energy and focus.
Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic superfood root that has been appreciated for thousands of years. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to regulate and combat stress. In today’s world, we need to fend off stress to find our bliss! The unique ability of ashwagandha to increase energy while focusing the mind makes it a perfect aid to the meditative aspects of yoga.
5. Dark leafy greens for peace of mind
Sattva, complete stillness, is the goal of the yoga practitioner. The waves of life can crash upon you, but you are protected. Once you find your bliss within you, you are unshakeable. Getting knocked back down is part of life, too. Yoga is a practice because we can expect to tap in and out of that space. Asana, meditation, and superfoods are all tools we can reach for to help us support our peace.
Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and watercress have high levels of magnesium and support the healthy functioning of the body. Chlorophyll, the reason why these plants are green, has bioactive properties that may reduce anxiety and increase feelings of overall satisfaction.
Incorporating more greens or a rich green drink blend into your daily routine can be an easy way to improve physical health and mental fortitude.
Finding Balance with Yoga and Superfoods
We practice yoga for our minds and our bodies because it feels good to feel good. Incorporating more of these natural remedies may be the assist you need to go that little bit deeper. Whatever it is you are seeking through your yoga practice, superfoods and nootropics can enhance and motivate you to focus, breathe, and just be.