Sattvic, Rajasic & Tamasic Food

By Patricia | February 12, 2009
The 3 Food Groups In A Yoga Diet

Yoga is so much more than a workout. Yoga is about toning and stretching exercises that are great for the entire body; it is about pranayama breathing techniques; meditation; and correct diet for the body. In fact yogic diet is one of the five main principles of yoga. Eating healthy and according to the principles of yoga, will make you feel healthy and clean, and look after your complete well being. Sages believed in a philosophy, which is that energy has three basic qualities –

  • Guna – this energy maintains equilibrium
  • Sattva means purity; Rajas means passion
  • Tamas means darkness

Food and diet can be categorized into three groups:

Sattvic Food: The following are the characteristics of Sattvic diet.

  • It is the purest form of food.
  • This is the best food for yoga practitioners.
  • It brings peace to the mind and is nourishing for the body.
  • Sattvic food is great for overall fitness and for a balanced energy flow.
  • Sattvic food includes cereals, honey, herbs, sprouts, seeds, nuts, legumes, butter, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh juices, and whole meal bread.

Rajasic Food: The following are the characteristics of Rajasic diet.

  • This food is salty, dry, sour, hot and bitter.
  • It is not good for the mind-body balance.
  • It tends to excite and over-stimulate the body, and makes the mind restless.
  • Rajasic food includes chocolate, salt, eggs, fish, tea and coffee, sharp spices.

Tamasic Food: The following are the characteristics of Tamasic diet.

  • This food is not good for the body or the mind.
  • It brings in a sense of inertia, clouds the power of reasoning, and sucks out the energy.
  • It destroys the body's resistance to diseases.
  • It also invokes feelings of anger, jealousy and greed in people.
  • Overeating is a Tamasic behavior.
  • Tamastic food includes meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods and over ripe foods.

Yoga and diet:

According to yoga, one must eat the right kind of food to achieve a balance between the soul, mind and body. Sattvic diet is best for yoga practitioners. But Tamasic and Rajasic foods are not good for the body and mind, and are best avoided.

Sattvic diet is nourishing, energizing and easy to digest. If you consume Sattivic foods that are mentioned above, then you will feel more energetic, alert, active, calm and spiritual. Yogic food generally comprises of lacto-vegetarian ingredients, which include cheese, milk, curd, honey as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. You must also cut down on meat products as the proteins in meat take too much time to digest and aren't good for the liver and kidneys. You can gradually stop eating poultry products and fish. You must include whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. You must also drink two liters of water in a day, and include fluids like milk, soya, fresh juices in your diet.

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