Indian Food is NOT Yoga Food – Secret #3 of 7

In 2006, I spent 3 months in India studying yoga.

I practiced with the late Sri K PattabhiJois in Mysore. I spent time at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, and I met some really cool, old-school yogis at random temples and markets.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to over 20 countries in my life, and India stands out as both the best and the worst.

I witnessed amazing traditions, total poverty, ancient ruins, and tragic slums all crammed together in a huge land mass that somehow always feels crowded, even when there’s no one around.

And the food? Well, Indian food tastes amazing. I’m a huge fan of the cuisine, but for yoga and flexibility, it’s death!

Let’s take a closer look…

Nearly every traditional Indian dish includes wheat and dairy, two of the most mucus-forming and inflammatory foods commonly eaten worldwide (and of particular prevalence in India).

Lots of mucus = lots of stiffness. Mucus acts like glue smeared throughout your body, gunking up your joints. Inflammation acts like a skin rash—except on your insides—and it’s a disaster for joint health (among other things).

The combination of mucus and inflammation? Let’s just say, “It’s not good!”

So why do many yoga teachers recommend that you drink milk, eat yogurt, and snack on chapatis? Probably because they’ve never tried giving them up.

With that in mind, here’s another experiment I’d like you to try. Give up wheat and dairy for a week and see how much more flexible you feel. Your skin will probably clear up, and your digestion will improve too—but since we’re talking about flexibility here, those are just welcome side benefits:)

Mobility-wise, most people notice a huge difference within three days sans wheat and dairy, and the changes can be truly remarkable.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh great, another crazy vegan trying to turn me into a tree-hugging hippy…”

… well, think what you like. I’m not a hippy, I’m only slightly crazy, and this isn’t about the cows! (Ok, I do believe the animal industry is fundamentally screwed up, but doesn’t everyone at this point?)

After your one week trial, if you just can’t go another day without Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, then at least you’ll know why your hamstrings are so stiff and your nose is congested when you wake up the next day.