The mind and body are governed by the foods eaten. Imbalanced and improper diet is responsible for mental insufficiency, blocking of spiritual awareness and weak body. For this very reason Yoga gives prime importance to the diet. Yoga prescribes that the diet should be of mind and body nourishing. To attain this, the diet should be of natural (vegetable) foods and well balanced. Yoga insists on moderate eating, leaving quarter of the stomach empty and eating only when hungry.
Yogis’ natural food is grains, vegetables and fruits – all fresh. The natural foods ensure clear and sharp mind in addition to supple and lean body. Such a state is perfect complement to Yoga exercises.
Three Gunas (qualities) of Yoga Diet
Energy has three Gunas (qualities). The three Gunas exist together in every object. These are: Sattva (Purity), Rajas (Activity, Passion, Change), Tamas (Darkness, Inertia).
It is pure. Sattvic diet nourishes the body, maintains the body, calms and purifies the mind and makes the mind work with maximum potential. Sattvic foods:
Cereals Wholemeal bread Fresh fruits and vegetables Pure fruit juices Milk Butter and cheese Legumes Nuts Seeds Sprouted seeds Honey Herbal tea
Bitter, sour, hot, dry and salty foods are known as Rajasic. It derails equilibrium of the mind and body and feeds the body at the cost of mind. If the food is more Rajasic it causes over-stimulation to the body, excitement of passions and restlessness in controllability to the mind. Rajasic foods:
Hot substances like sharp spices and strong herbs. Stimulants like coffee and tea. Fish Egg Salt Chocolate etc
Tamasic food is non-beneficial to the mind and body alike. It dismisses the energy, presents sense of inertia and darkens the reasoning power. It further damns the body’s power of resistance against diseases and fills the mind with evil emotions. Tamasic foods:
Meat Alcohol Tobacco Onions Garlic Fermented foods Stale or over-ripe items Over-eating of any item
Proper die constitutes the following items:
- Wholemeal bread
- Pasta, rice or potato
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Pure fruit juice
- Sprouted Seeds
- Herb tea