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What is Right Yoga Diet?

Last Updated: 11/12/2011 3:55:58 PM

yoga diet, yoga

The Yoga Diet is influenced by Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. According to Ayurveda (meaning ‘the science of life’) both people and food have more or less Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These qualities are called ‘doshas’, and you were born with a combination of them that gives you your particular body type or constitution. There is nothing intrinsically right or wrong about any of them. What matters is that you moderate the dominating influence rather than exacerbate it, and that your diet works with, not against, your particular constitution.

The Yoga Diet is one the Five Principles of Yoga. You will soon notice that eating properly will aid your health and make you feel fit and cleaner. The Yoga Diet is a perfect complement to Yoga Exercise. Despite the fact that the Yoga Diet is not a diet in the common sense of the word, you will probably lose considerable weight by just eating only healthy foods. Even if you do not want to become a vegetarian, following these basic Yoga Diet rules as it will make you feel so much better.

  • In the unmanifested universe, energy has three qualities, known as
  • Gunas, that exist together in equilibrium
  • Sattva (purity); Rajas (activity, passion, the process of change)
  • Tamas (darkness, inertia).

Once energy takes form, one quality of the three predominates. Thus on an apple tree, some fruits are ripe (sattvic), some are ripening (rajastic) and some are overripe (tamastic). But no matter what quality prevails, an element of each of the other two will always be present as well - parts of the apple will be in all the different stages. The Three Gunas encompass all existence, all actions.

Sattvic Food

The purest diet
The most suitable one for any serious student of Yoga.
Nourishes the body and maintains it in a peaceful state.
Calms and purifies the mind, enabling it to function at its maximum potential.
Leads to true health; a peaceful mind in control of a fit body, with a balanced flow of energy between them.

Sattvic foods include:

  • cereals
  • wholemeal bread
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • pure fruit juices
  • milk
  • butter and cheese
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • sprouted seeds
  • honey and herb teas

Rajastic Food

Very hot, bitter, sour, dry or salty food
Destroys the mind-body equilibrium, feeding the body at the expense of the mind
Too much Rajastic food will over-stimulate the body and excite the passions, making the mind restless and uncontrollable.Eating in a hurry is also considered rajastic

Rajastic foods include:

  • hot substances, such as sharp spices or strong herbs
  • stimulants such as coffee and teas
  • fish
  • eggs
  • salt and chocolate

Tamastic Food

A Tamastic Diet benefits neither the mind nor the body. Prana, or energy is withdrawn, powers of reasoning become clouded and a sense of inertia sets in. The body's resistance to disease is destroyed and the mind filled with dark emotions, such as anger and greed. Overeating is also considered tamastic.

Tamasic food includes:

  • meat
  • alchohol
  • tobacco
  • onions
  • garlic
  • fermented foods such as vinegar
  • stale overripe substances

Warning: The Yoga Diet is not rocket-science. It is just about including more healthy food options in your diet. However, if you feel unsure on how to proceed or you have a medical condition which prevents you from radically changing your Diet, please consult a dietician first before changing any of your food patterns.

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