Yoga as is said to be not only based completely based on exercise but it is also supported by various other components as the Diet. As also in Ayurveda it is said that if a person consumes the right diet as per season, its properties, its nutrients and also its amount it will provide its consumer the most fruitful benefits. As also the main source of energy to our body is Diet that we consume everyday. So this diet not only nourishes our body but it also nourishes our mind too with all the nutrients and properties that are made up in it.
The right type of yogic exercises should also be complemented with the right diet to produce the maximum effect and benefit. This diet helps to nourish the mind and body to keep an individual alert and energized through the day and so that we can handle everyday stress. Food or diet that we take is the center to achieve good health as it enacts as the medicine that we take everyday the helps us to build up the immune system and resist various diseases. But also this diet helps to repair the various wear and tears inside the body. There are also certain reasons in Yoga saying that occasional fasting should be practiced as it provides the digestive system rest. At first this might seem to be hard to follow as the toxins that are present in your body will be replenished. But after this phase the body shall regain its energy and vitality. As also in terms of modern science terminology a balanced or proper diet is a diet that provides all the proper nutrients that are required by the body to live for a healthy living.
But it is not just to get a diet that gives all the nutrients but what also matters is that it should be consumed in the right amount and also in the right condition and environment. As we humans our diet is also divided into three Gunas:
- Sattvic (Purity)
- Rajasa (activity)
- Tamasa (darkness or inertia)
This division of diet is due to the energy qualities that are found to be existing in equilibrium. Also as said that fasting has a great importance in yoga. As fasting provides the body discipline, control on self and determination. Also it is the belief of the yogi’s that abstinence helps to clean and rejuvenate the body. The Yoga diet is also one of the Five Principles of Yoga since eating healthy not only does provides good health but it also helps to stay fit. Thus ‘Yogic Diet’ is a perfect complementary to ‘Yogic Kariyas’. And also in this diet it is not that a person must be vegetarian only but he can be both ways.
Thus out of these three guna’s if one of them is dominant than the other two the individual or substance will acquire its features. As this can be explained in form as if an apple that is ripe it is profound to be with the Sattvic Guna; whereas if only some amount of ripening is resulted it is profound to be with Rajasic Guna and if it is overripe it is profound to be having the Tamasic Guna. Thus in common terms a food that is pure is Sattvic, food that is stimulating is Rajasic and food that is rotting, leftovers, diseased and decaying is Tamasic.
The properties can thus be summarized as:
- Sattvic Diet: This type of food is soothing and nourishing to the body and is considered to be the best source of energy to the body. Nourishes the body and maintains a peaceful state. And produces a balanced flow of energy in the body. Such food must be chewed properly and eaten in modest amount. This comprises of fresh foods, sweets, vegetables, legumes, nuts, sprouted seeds, honey and herbal teas, uncontaminated milk or milk products, nuts and whole grains. Such food gives energy and life to the body.
- Rajasic Diet: Such type of food is very stimulating to the body and can arouse emotions; these may bring about nervousness or disease. Theses type of food damages the equilibrium of mind and body; can over stimulate body making the mind uncontrollable and restless. Even eating in a hurry or with worry will produce rajasic guna. Such type of food causes circulatory disorders as high blood pressure, hardening of arteries and uric acid diseases. Etc. Spicy, processed, hot, bitter, sour, salty foods, fish, eggs, chocolates and stimulants as tea and coffee fall in this category.
- Tamasic Diet: Any food that is overripe, decaying and dead. This state or guna diet is most toxic or poison to the body and can harm the body immediately when consumed. So this diet does not benefits the mind or the body. Such food consumes away the prana or energy destroying the resistance of body and mind is filled with dark emotions, anger and greed. Even over-eating is considered to be producing Tamasic property. Foods in this category are meat, alcohol, tobacco, fermented food as vinegar, and stale overripe food.
he Yogic Diet thus elevates an individual’s state of mind. If a person is experiencing lowered, depressed, agitating or distracted states of mind food that is consumed can immediately feel better.