‘Yogic Diet’ described by Masahiro Oki – 2

This continues from ‘Yogic Diet’ described by Masahiro Oki – 1, being a part of translation of one of Masahiro Oki’s Japanese books, which introduces ‘Daily Life Yoga‘. This part is in the first chapter ‘How to Control Our Mind and Body through Yoga‘. The translation has been assisted by Junko Furugori, Michael Cullingworth and Hiroyuki Mori.

Create Balance in Your Diet

I have said that the dietary principle is a small meal of diverse foods. I will explain about this a little more.

There are two types of food: one that cools the body and the other that warms the body. Foods that cool the body are called yin, and foods that warm the body are called yang. Yang foods are those that grow in the sea rather than on land, grow in the shade rather than in the sun, and the root part rather than the part growing above ground. These foods have the stronger ability to absorb sunlight and therefore warm our body. In yoga, we give importance to foods that warm the body.

Blood acidifies when you use the body. So, in order to maintain a weak alkaline state in your body, please make sure not to miss alkaline foods. However, the human body is designed to return to a weak alkaline state when the blood acidifies, and so you would not need to be so nervous about whether the food is acidic or alkaline. It will be good enough if you are careful not to take an unbalanced diet.

Regarding breakfast and lunch, because you do activity after these meals and so the blood acidifies. As a rule, please take alkaline foods. Regarding supper, because you are going to sleep after the meal and so the blood alkalises, you can eat meat or fish that are acidic foods. To avoid the ingested meat or fish rotting in the body, please take vegetables which contain minerals at the same time.

Don’t eat anything just before going to bed. Eating raises your body temperature, which disturbs your deep sleep.

The universe provides seasonal food for each season so that we can create balance in our diet. For instance, we can eat in spring what grows in spring, or eat in summer what grows in summer. Nowadays, seasonality in food is lost, but it makes sense to eat seasonal food. We are to eat what cools the body in the summer months and what warms it in the winter ones.

One thing you should keep in mind is to avoid eating what will rot in your body. Meat is often eaten just before it rots, because it is tastier then. However, you should not eat a lot. In contrast, smoked or dried fish works as a detoxifier.

By the way meals are not only a source of nourishment, but they are also a source of enjoyment. This is often overlooked at first glance, but it is important. An insipid meal tends to be unbalanced, and a pleasant meal balanced. A meal should be considered as medicine, but what makes it different is that it is an enjoyable cultural event.

Unlike animals, we humans have a mind-heart, so we enjoy taking a meal. That is good for nutrition. No matter how much raw vegetables with live elements have the effect of strengthening the internal organs, bringing much oxygen into the body, and enhancing the ability of neutralisation and excretion, always eating raw vegetables will rather create an adverse effect for people whose constitution is yin, and raw vegetables do not suit their body.

The basics of a good diet are not to eat too much and to eat a wide variety of foods prepared applying different cooking methods.

4 thoughts on “‘Yogic Diet’ described by Masahiro Oki – 2

  1. Hi Tomoko,

    Beautiful translation of Master Oki’s words about food and eating, digesting,
    sleeping, activity……..thanks so much……and I adore the picture of leaves with sunshine above them.

  2. This is helpful, and a good reminder of previous advice that we have had.
    No eating before bedtime! I know that is bad, but I often like a snack then.
    Thia will have to stop.

    • Thank you for your comment. I do that some time too especially when my mind is too active to sleep. In my case it is like mind’s negotiating with body to find when to give up ‘unnecessary’ thoughts!

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