Yoga
for Men

Combining the Very Best - Ayurvedic and Macrobiotic Principles with the Meditaranean Diet


Here we have the best of the west, near east and Far East. Ayurvedic and Macrobiotic systems attempt to promote balance by combining different nutritional qualities.

In Ayurveda, we first must determine our body type. In the last chapter we have presented three different archetypes represented by Annie, Oscar and Manny and a test which helped you determine your own.

The Ayurveda diet promotes balance by incorporating all of the tastes into the meal. According to Ayurveda there are six tastes, sweet, sour salty, bitter, astringent and pungent. At least one meal of the day should have all six tastes.

The Western diet has become very much weighted to the sweet, sour and salty tastes, so in general we all need to move toward a better balance. However there are certain distinct differences amongst us so the following is only a general guideline for how you might want to weigh your dietary choices. These recommendations are designed to bring our bodies back into balance.

For Annie our Vata we would recommend:
Increasing: sweet, sour, salty, heavy, oily and hot.
Decreasing: pungent, bitter, astringent, light, dry and cold.

For Oscar our Pitta we would recommend:
Increasing: sweet, bitter, astringent, cold, heavy and dry.
Decreasing: pungent, sour, salty, hot, light and oily.

For Manny our Kappha we would recommend:
Increasing: pungent, bitter, astringent, light dry and hot.
Decreasing: sweet, sour, salty, heavy’ oily and cold.

Ayurveda recommends that all archetypes should eat in a settled environment and always sit down when eating. It is best to be silent when chewing, so if you decide to converse during a meal, first put down your utensils, finish chewing and then speak.

It is best to avoid very cold drinks because they can affect our optimal health balance. Beverages should be consumed at or slightly below room temperature. If you are drinking water you may want to warm it in the microwave for about 10 seconds just to take the chill out. You may also want to minimize the amount of beverages you consume with your meal because they may interfere with the proper digestion and mastication of the food. When you are hungry you may want to take a drink of water. It may be that you are thirsty. If the hunger still persists you can take a snack.

Breakfast should be light, your lunch should be the largest meal of the day and your dinner should not be eaten too late or too close to retiring. Eat only when you are hungry and always leave about 25% of your stomach empty to aid digestion.

Our approach is not to take the teachings of the Macrobiotic and Ayurvedic school literally, but to use the general framework for making healthier eating choices. The Macrobiotic diet, which is similar to the Ayurvedic diet is based upon balancing yin and yang forces that must be in harmony to achieve good health. The most balanced foods in the Macrobiotic diet are brown rice and whole grains.

Our recommendations for a modified Macrobiotic/Ayurvedic diet include the following weightings for the food groups:

25% Grains (sweet)
35% Fresh Green Vegetables and Fruits (bitter and sweet)
25% Soybeans & Sea Vegetables (bitter and astringent)
15% Fish and Seafood (sweet and salty)
Garlic and light seasoning (pungent)
Dressing with vinegar or lemon (sour)

The macrobiotic diet advocates consuming foods that are in season and avoiding processed refined products. We also suggest reducing the consumption of meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs and relying on fish as the protein source. However we understand that making drastic changes can be quite intimidating so it is best to start eliminating your attachment to foods gradually.

The Macrobiotic diet also recommends eliminating or at least reducing consumption of sweets, sugar, alcohol, coffee, caffeinated tea and strong spices. Again we would agree with these general recommendations but caution that they be adopted gradually. You can give yourself a bit of leeway to allow yourself a treat in moderation.

In this chapter we discussed the ancient teachings of Ayurveda and Macrobiotic approaches to eating and longevity. We believe in taking a broad interpretation of the teachings and have liberally adopted their program to fit our modern lifestyle. We discussed proportions of food groups in the diet and advocated a relaxed approach to dietary change.

In the next chapter, Dr. Andrew Weil renowned author and nutritional expert will discuss the benefits of organic foods

© 2008, Bruce Eric Van Horn

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If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. - Hippocrates

Author, CPA, MBA and yoga instructor Bruce Van Horn founded Yoga for Business, Inc., a company devoted to organizational and individual wellness. He presents a daily Yoga Workout routine that provides a complete physical, mental and spiritual workout. He is the author of Yoga for Prostate Health and Yoga for Men, designed for all levels of experience with yoga.. He has renamed (Asanas) positions in Yoga using terms from business to help you identify with the movement and focus your attention. He is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Complimentary Medicine at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Bruce also leads a volunteer yoga program designed for cancer patients and healthcare workers at Beth Israel Medical Center. He lives outside New York with his wife Michelle who is a Reiki Master. Bruce has two daughters who have asked that he refrain from headstands at the town pool. His website is www.yogaforbusiness.com If you have any questions, feel free to write: E-Mail.



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