To be honest, I never knew what Gunas was before this course. Guna is a Sanskrit word which is the concept of “quality, peculiarity, attribute, or tendency.” It is mainly made up of three gunas, namely rajas, tamas and sattva. They are present in all of us at different levels and are influenced by internal and external factors. One factor is the diet, as nicely stated: “A yogic diet is one that brings inner peace to the body and mind and encourages spiritual progress.”.
Firstly, Tamas qualities includes ignorance, laziness, dullness and boredom. The tasmasic diet consists for overnight, fermented or processed food, alcohol and tobacco. Such diet cause a person to be dull and lazy, resulting in a lack of motivation and downward energy. Even overeating contributes to tasmas. Secondly, Rajas is the energy that includes anger, anxiety, worries and stress. A rajasic diet consists of spicy, oily, salty and stimulant food and spices such as coffee and garlic. Rajasic diet overly excites the body and makes the mind restless which increases greed, violence, lust and egoism. Lastly, Sattva is the state of balance, peace and harmony. The diet is made up of whole grain, cheese, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables which nourishes the mind and body. Such food helps to increase our consciousness, improve energy flow in our body and help us to maintain a peaceful, and controlled mind. Therefore, improving our overall physical and mental health.
Generally, yogis will work towards reducing both Tamas and Rajas, while increasing the Sattva guna by abiding to the sattvic diet while avoiding overeating and over-exercising. In fact, after knowing about the Gunas and yogic diet, it makes me more aware of my own diet and helps me to make a conscious decision on what I put on my plate. However, I must say, with all the delicious, yet unhealthy food easily available to us nowadays, it’s indeed a challenge for me to avoid the Rajasic and Tamasic diet. But I guess, this all boils down to our self-discipline and determination. One step at a time, hopefully I will be able to attain the purest yogic diet – The Sattvic diet.