The Principles of Ayurvedic Nutrition
Food Yoga: two words that attract you, speak to you but you do not know yet how to combine them? The practice of yoga is not limited to the physical practice of postures (Asanas) or meditation. As a reminder, the word “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit “Yuj” which means “Union” 😉 Yoga is therefore a true philosophy of life. The philosophy of yoga invites us to lead a life in consciousness where we remain connected to the “self” in order to better remain connected to the Other and more broadly to the World that surrounds us.
According to Hippocrates, “food is our first medicine” , so it is no coincidence that, after breath and movement, Yogis also attach great importance to the quality of what they put on their plates.
In this article, Clélia from the blog dugreenetdulove.com proposes you to discover the main principles of yoga nutrition and how the food practice acts on your physical and mental energy.
Discover our article on ayurveda the medicine of tomorrow, which also talks about nutrition and the practice of yoga.
Yoga Nutrition takes into consideration the holistic aspect of human existence and therefore our dimensions: physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual. Yoga is the process by which we bring about an integration of these different planes. A balanced diet is therefore one that establishes balance at all these levels.
The Yogi chooses to eat his food according to the effects of different types of food on our system. Foods are classified according to their properties associated with those of “3 gunas”: TAMAS, RAJAS and SATTVIC. The term “gunas” could be translated as “qualities”. To summarize:
- TAMAS corresponds to the following properties: dark, inert, inactive, heavy, lazy, material,…
- RAJAS corresponds to the following properties: energy, activity, change, passion, dynamism, egoism, agitation, excitement, movement, attachment,…
- SAATVIC corresponds to the following properties: luminous, balance, harmony, openness, clarity, purity, well-being, inspiration, wisdom,…
This type of yoga food includes, according to the principles of yoga, stale food, food that is more or less spoiled, stale, tasteless or even putrid. It also includes food that has been heavily processed, products containing artificial additives, and food that has been heated too high or cooked too long. This type of food can be found in many modern meals, this food may seem satisfying in the short term but it consumes a lot of energy, especially on the digestive level, so be careful with your health when you consume this type of food.
This yoga food is of no use to nourish the body or the mind. Eating this type of food makes the body sluggish and drowsy and reduces the immune power of our body, filling the mind with dark emotions like anger and greed. This diet brings feelings of heaviness and lethargy. The sedentary lifestyle or tamasic behaviors give us a penchant for these foods. In summary, this diet is not recommended for improving your lifestyle and if you want to improve your mental and physical.
It emphasizes instant gratification but will not be suitable for a balanced lifestyle and must be compensated with other modes of eating, incorporating vegetables and fruits in your meals.
Overeating is tamasic.
Meat, fish, alcohol, overcooked, burned, fried, barbecued, stale or full of preservatives, fast food, refined sugar, soda,…
In the principles of yoga, rajasic yoga food refers to foods that are hot and dry, spicy, bitter, sour, excessively salty in nature. These foods are cooked with sauces to increase their taste appeal.
These food products invite us to eat more, focusing our attention on flavor, distracting us from the body’s signals of satiety, which has an influence on your digestive system in particular. This yoga food is considered to disturb the balance of body and mind. This yoga diet activates the nervous system and accelerates the metabolism. It stimulates the body and agitates the mind while exacerbating the passions. The rajasic yoga diet can cause nervous and circulatory system disorders.
In the yogic tradition (which concerns yoga), this yoga food practice is considered the food of the Rajas – the Kings. It is said that this diet arouses energies that make men vigorous, restless and in search of fulfilling their passions and uncontrolled desires.
Eating too fast is rajasic.
Food rajasic :
All very salty or spicy foods, cooked with rich sauces, but also: eggs, onions, garlic, peppers, soft drinks, chocolate, coffee, tea,…
Sattvic yoga food consists of fresh, fragrant and tasty foods (fruits and vegetables).
These foods are moderate and mild in taste, natural and whole (unprocessed). Good quality, neither over nor under cooked.
This is the purest and most appropriate yoga diet for the yogi (yoga practitioner). Eating sattvic yoga food products increases vital energy, strength, health, happiness, cheerfulness and good appetite. This yoga diet perfectly nourishes the body and keeps it in a peaceful state. Not only does it nourish the body, but it does not negatively affect the general energy state. This yoga regimen does not pull energy from the body, make it heavier, irritate it or push it beyond its capacity. The satvic foods bring lightness and vivacity to the body. It also purifies the mind, allowing it to function at its fullest potential.
Thus a meal with this type of food will allow the digestive system to function properly and it is a good practice to stay healthy!
To eat in conscience in peace is sattvic.
This yoga diet includes fresh and dried fruits, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, raw and lightly cooked vegetables, whole grains and seeds, legumes, nuts, fresh herbs, herbal teas (some add honey),…
This yoga diet is a good answer for people suffering from digestion problems or wishing to adopt a healthy and balanced diet!
Depending on the source, the classification of foods varies a little bit from one yoga category to another. Some people put all animal proteins in Tamasic foods for example.
Personally I believe that what feeds you with joy is what feeds you best. Listening to your body and its needs is, in my opinion, the best way to eat, whatever it is.
Clelia is a holistic therapist. She accompanies people who want to advance on their personal evolution path and bring more harmony and flavor to their daily lives. As an explorer of the laws of Life, she travels the world in search of knowledge and experiences that connect the body, the mind and the universe. She shares practices and knowledge about well-being on her blog and social networks. Clélia also leads workshops and seminars in France and around the world.
Now that you know more about the nature of the yoga universe, practice yoga, meditation to complement your habits and healthy lifestyle, online classes (yoga classes in replay) are available on the Yogom website! For more information on nutrition in the world of yoga, books are available, we leave it up to you to discover and choose those that seem the most complete, feel free to share them with us on social networks.