March 22, 2007

Yogic diet


Are you what you eat…. or is it the other way round? Whatever it be, there is no denying that food habit plays the most important part in the constitution of our body. Ancient Yogic texts as well as modern research have time and again confirmed the fact that food governs mind and thoughts. A healthy food habit keeps one physically fit and mentally alert.

Yogic texts and the Bhagwad Gita classify food into three groups, Sattvik, rajasik and tamasic. It’s not just the food; even a person’s life is governed by these three qualities – sattva, rajas and tamas. Of these, tamas is the principle of inertia; rajas, the principle of mobility; and sattva, the principle of knowledge.

An average person’s temperament depends on the predominance of one or other of these qualities or energy states. When ‘tamas’ predominates indolence and stupor follow and one is stiff, listless and unyielding; when rajas predominates one is active, restless and impatient and when sattva predominates one is peaceful - the mind is clear, unruffled and full of serene thoughts. During the course of the day, each one of us shifts through various moods under the influence of these 3 qualities. These fluctuating moods as we make a transition from one energy state to the other often throws us out of alignment. How then do we control this inner turbulence? The answer is - Yoga, Pranayam and a wholesome diet which will help us to combat the pressures and disturbances of life with equanimity.

Do we then eat food according to our temperaments? Don’t know for sure. But let’s just glance through the classification of sattvik, rajasic and tamasic foods.

Sattvik foods are completely natural and wholesome. It includes fruits and vegetables in their natural form. Grains, legumes, dairy products, fresh herbs, honey etc. This kind of diet brings calmness and purity to the mind and is easily digestible. It increases endurance and vigor.

Rajasik foods are mostly stimulating on nature. It includes coffee, tea, onion, garlic, excessively hot or pungent food etc. They arouse animal passions and bring in restlessness in nature. They may bring in a sense of over activeness also.

Tamasik foods are best avoided in a yogic diet. It includes meat, eggs, alcohol, pickles, and other rotten or putrefied food. Tamasik diet makes a person dull and lethargic. Chronic ailments and depression follow. Overeating is also considered tamasik.

A yoga practitioner can look at having three servings of carbohydrate and proteins daily. This would mean a large breakfast constituting of cereals and natural foods. A moderate lunch consisting of carbohydrate, protein and roughage. A light and early dinner is a must. Roughage comes from vegetables and salad. Keep tea, coffee to a minimum and minimally sugared.

Tamasik foods must be consumed sparingly and if possible eliminate it from the diet. Salad is a must and may be consumed as much as you wish. Restrict salt intake. Fatty foods should be kept to a minimum for all. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.




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9 comments:

  1. Very Interesting Diet...

    And thank You for Submitting this Article to my Blog Carniavl...

    http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_4059.html

    Regards, Roger

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vivek5:18 PM

    The yogic diet is a vegetarian one, consisting of pure, simple, natural foods which are easily digested and promote health. Simple meals aid the digestion and assimilation of foods. Nutritional requirements fall under five categories: protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fats and vitamins. One should have a certain knowledge of dietetics in order to balance the diet. Eating foods first-hand from nature, grown in fertile soil (preferably organic, free from chemicals and pesticides) will help ensure a better supply of these nutritional needs. Processing, refining and overcooking destroy much food value.

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  3. Anonymous5:22 PM

    It is believed that a person's thoughts and activities are somewhere related to the kind of food he consumes. Thus if a person opts for non vegetarian diet, it is believed that his acts would somewhere support Hinsa (violence). While the basis of yoga is related to ahimsa that is non violence, it is said that yoga cannot be fruitful if it is not accompanied by Sattvic diet. Yogic diet makes us feel fresh and is believed to help in enhancing the mind and body in a right way. But sometimes we intake a diet which makes us feel lazy and avoid our body from being accurate. Such diet is also termed as Tamsic diet that leaves our body sluggish many times. Thus such food must be avoided from our daily intake.

    Sattvic (pure) diet is light, refreshing, and easy to digest and does not leave a disturbing effect on our mindset. But it should be noticed that our emotions and thoughts also play a vital role in our diet. Even if we are having a perfect diet but while consuming it we are filled with negative emotions such as anger and terror, then they might have a negative effect on our life. Moreover while having sattvic diet one must consume it in a decent manner that is the food should be chewed properly and the intake should be in modest quantity

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:49 PM

    A vegetarian diet is better than a non-vegetarian diet for our all-round health. For the moment we are looking only at the physical aspect, and later will deal with the psychic and spiritual aspects. Vegetarianism is preferable for the bodily health because it consists of items which are easier to digest and thus much more alkaline than fish, meat and eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous10:37 AM

    "Eat to live, not live to eat". It is best if we understand that the purpose of eating is to supply our being with the lifeforce,or Prana, the vital life energy. So the greatest nutritional plan for the Yoga student is the simple diet of natural fresh foods.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous9:31 AM

    To maintain a healthy balance, get more of the beneficial nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and less of potentially detrimental nutrients, such as saturated and trans fats and cholesterol.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ashok9:35 AM

    Vegetables are a crucial component of a well-balanced diet.Fruits are cholesterol-free and low in fat, sodium and calories.Dairy products provide calcium, Vitamin D and potassium.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hritik9:00 AM

    consuming more fiber will help, drinking enough water (around 60oz. a day is ideal) will keep you hydrated and make going to the bathroom/wiping more bearable and less irritating. if that much water is a lot less than what you taking in now, you will have to urinate much more often but that does go away as your body gets use to the water. some fruits have fiber, as well as contain a lot of water. fruits, vegetables and whole grains give you a lot of fiber

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  9. Raveendra12:09 PM

    RESULTSoF Unhealthy Eating Habits--
    Lack of nutrition. Obesity. Can cause diabetes.
    One can suffer from heart diseases.
    Prone to all kinds of diseases.

    ReplyDelete

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