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Bhagavadgita says:

            YuktaharaViharasyaYuktachestasyaKarmasu
            YuktaswapnavaBodhasyaYogoBhavatiDukha

                                                                        …. Gitaverse 6:17

 

He who is moderate in food and recreation, who is moderate in work, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness, attains Yoga, which destroys all his sorrows.

 


The Yogic concept of food takes into consideration the total dimension of Human existence. Apart from the atoms and molecules, from which our gross body is made, we all possess Prana, Mind, Intellect, Emotions and Spiritual Dimension. Yoga is that process by which we bring an integration of the entire personality at all these levels. The stamina of the body should be developed, the Prana should be calmed down, the Emotions should be stabilised and the Intellect brought under control

A ‘Balanced Diet’ according to Yoga, is the diet which restores balance at all these levels. Such diets aid in Holistic way of Living.

Yoga classifies food into the following three categories:

Tamasik Food


YaatayaamamGatarasamPooti
ParyushitamCayat
UcchishtamApicaaMedhyamBhijanam
Taamasapriyam

That which is Stale, Tasteless, Stinking, Cooked overnight, Reused and Impure is Tamasik Food.

Energy and Vitality are almost absent in such foods. Degeneration and accumulation of excessive matter cause diseases like Obesity etc.

Rajasik Food

KatvamlalavanatyushnaTeekshna
Rookshavidaahinaha
AahaaraajasasyeshtaaDukha
Shokaamayapradaaha

Foods that are katu-bitter, amla-sour, lavana-saline, atiushna-steaming hot, teekshna-pungent, rooksha-dry, vidaahinana- burning are Rajasik foods.

Definitely, these diets create brilliant energies and keep all vigorous men restlessly striving to fulfil their uncontrolled passions and desires. Hence, in their final reactions, they lead them towards a life productive of Pain, Grief and Disease.

 

Satvik Food

Aayuhsattvabalaarogyasukha
Preetivivardhanaaha
RasayaahaSnigdhaahaSthiraaHridyaa
AahaaraahaSaattvikapriyaaha

Those foods which increase the Ayuh- Life (Vitality), Sattva- Purity, Bala- Strength (Stamina), Arogya – Health, Sukha- Happiness and Preeti- Cheerfulness and good appetite are considered as Sattvik food.

There is a very popular Yogic saying ‘You are what you eat’. It may be interpreted that the human body and all its components are made directly or indirectly from the food that it’s fed. Doctors and scientists of modern times have now added a new corollary to this old adage i.e. ‘What we eat, directly affects our brain and behaviour’. Eating highly refined and processed foods lead to colon cancer, haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and gall stones, alcohol, carbonated beverages and caffeine containing drinks such as coffee may lead to bladder cancer.

Our ancient Yoga Masters including Patanjali, Matsyendranath, Gorakshnath, Gherand, Swatma Ram and others advocated Sattvik diet of pure fresh foods, comprising mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pulses. They also taught abstinence from Tamasik diet of animal flesh and animal by-products, which in modern times may also include stored, canned and frozen foods. Their slogan is ‘Eat food as close to their natural state as possible’

Essentials of Yogic Diet

yogic diet
Diet consisting of ‘Sattvik Foods’ should be preferred as it not only claims to help to promote longevity, health and happiness but also helps the practitioner a long way in maintaining a clear and un-wavered mind.
yogic diet
Rajasik and Tamasik foods must be avoided. Rajasik food is said to produce excitement whereas Tamasik food is known for creating dullness. Both make the consciousness dull and impede spiritual progress.
yogic diet
Tend to eat light, nutritious and Sattvik food, especially during meditation.
yogic diet
Yogic food should be wholesome, palatable, and congenial and should not be eaten merely to gratify the senses.
yogic diet
The practitioner must avoid those foods which are known to induce injurious effects and should strictly restrict to the recommended foods.
yogic diet
Yoga practitioner must use a variety of wholesome and unrefined foods and vegetables prepared in a simple manner.
yogic diet
Yoga practitioner should be above taste, deliciousness and palatability. He should shed all cravings for any particular diet.
yogic diet
Practitioner must moderate the quantity and quality of food. Artificial hunger/thirst must be curbed and restrained. He should learn to fill half of his stomach with solid foods and 1/4th with fluids. The remaining quarter must be empty for free flow of gases. Overeating must not be allowed under any circumstances.




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