Seek universal balance in food choices and yoga

Building quality dietary habits can also be a mindful practice in providing a solid ground that complement your yoga practice. The practice of eating food is commonly known as Bhoj Kriya. The dietary habits of an individual is one of the most important measurements of health risk. That being said, dietary habits are inherently individual, depending on different body’s internal landscape, life histories, food availability and familiarity, cultural norms, taste preference and more.

In Hindu tradition, all food is first offered to God prior to consuming. This offering is carried out through a ritual (“Prasāda”) in showing a humble gesture to the mercy of God as the creator of food. Such offered food is then considered as karma-free, pure and spiritually nourishing and thereby raising the offerees/worshippers’ consciousness.

According to Yoga Philosophy, there is an intimate connections of food choices with yoga; what we eat will not only affect our physical well-being but it also serves as a medium to influence our mind, thoughts and emotions.

There are three broad food dimensions:

The Sattvic diet (pure, balanced and harmony)

  • Sattvic diet purifies the body and calms the mind. It is believed to enhance longevity, health, energy, mental clarity and spirituality.
  • Sattvic foods are fresh, nutrient-dense and juice.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, cow milk, whole grains, honey, roots and more.

The Rajasic diet (over-stimulating and spicy)

  • Rajasic diet stimulates the body and mind into action causing anger, irritability, jealousy and hyperactivity
  • Rajasic foods are fresh but heavy and may include spices.
  • Eggs, meat, fish, chili, pepper, onion, garlic and more.

The Tamasic diet (lethargic, bland and slow)

  • Tamasic diet increases laziness, sleepiness, confusion and causes disorientation and doubt
  • Tamasic foods are not fresh, processed, undercooked and overcooked.
  • Fermented food, fast food, undercooked or fried foods, liquor, mushroom, medicine and more

Theoretically, there are three distinct dimensions, but in reality, these three dimensions may present in single kind of food, but in different quantity and thus, making one dimension dominant over others.

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– Bee