Eat to live not live to eat.
We are what we eat’ is an old wise adage. However, in today’s busy life, we hardly pay attention to the things that we put inside our stomach. It is only after our body starts reacting to certain food or start showing symptoms of obesity, malnutrition and irritable bowel syndrome that we being to pay attention to our poor diet. When it comes to eating our animal companions are wiser than us. They eat only those items that they know is good for them. They do not eat beyond their capacity. And they poop when the body is ready instead of waiting for the movie or the match to end. It is interesting to see that human beings are the only animal who suffers from constipation and other bowel disorders.
Yogis in ancient India are quite aware of the connection between the gut and the mental, emotional, physical and energy body of us. The proper diet habits and foods that are to be eaten are entailed in the Vedas, Upanishads as well as in the ancient literature of Yoga and Ayurveda. Yoga recommends a habit of ‘mithahara’, which is eating moderately. Hatha Yoga recommends eating only when one is hungry and forbids over eating.
The diet proposed by Yoga is called Sattvic diet. Such a diet helps in enhancing the Sattva Guna in the body. Sattva is the state of the body and mind where it exists in its purity, positivity, creativity and vitality. According to the Indian Sankhya philosophy three qualities or Gunas decide the behavior of the body and the mind – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Rajas is the quality of animated passion and hyper- activity and Tamas is the quality of destructive chaos and dark inertia. Yoga helps the practitioners to develop the Sattvic quality within. A Sattvic diet is a key factor that helps in this process.
Sattvic diet proposes the body to eat seasonal foods that are geographically available. Such pure, natural vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, grain and dairy are most appropriate for our body. Processed, canned and imported food from other parts of the world or from another season would work against the natural season within the body. Here the human body is in harmony with nature and her changes and is not fighting it.
Sattvic diet is thus nourishing as well as relaxing for the body and the mind. It helps the practitioner to retain energy, sharpens memory, improve concentration. Sattvic diet ensures an overall healing.
At Omkar Yoga Studio, we are happy to give you Sattvic diet advice and dietary methods. Join us!