One of the basic teachings of yoga is non-violence. This is called Ahimsa in Sanskrit. This non-violence extends not only to other people and all creatures but also to ourselves, and to what we eat.
The yogic diet is divided into three categories of foodstuffs that are believed to influence the human personality in different ways: sattvic or pure foods, rajasic or stimulating foods and tamasic or impure foods. Each of these three types of foodstuff has a corresponding state of consciousness – spiritual, intermediate and gross (physical) respectively.
Most of the sattvic foods are alkaline forming foods. Good health depends on a slightly alkaline pH for the bloodstream, as invading bacteria do not thrive in this condition. These foods consist of dairy products, grains, fruit and vegetables and leave one feeling light and uplifted.
Rajasic foods tend to be stimulating and heating to the body as well as the personality. They consist of meat, fish, coffee, chillies and spicy and fried food. These foods over stimulate the nervous system and can create tension.
Tamasic foods are alcohol, drugs, onions and garlic, overripe foods and food that have been reheated. This type of food leaves one feeling dull and lethargic
The old saying that ‘you are what you eat’ is very true. A balanced diet is essential for a feeling of well-being. If we do not supply the brain the the vitamins and minerals that are required for the production of the chemicals that make us feel good, then we cannot expect to experience happiness and joy.
Improved health can be achieved by a careful diet and we sometimes know instinctively which foods leave us feeling heavy and lethargic and which foodstuff makes us feel good. Pay attention to your diet and feel the difference in your day to day life.
Try to become aware of what you eat and how it affects you. Sugar will give you a quick rush and then drop you just as fast, leaving you feeling quite low.