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The Yogic Diet
"It's not that we don't know good food, we do know. We don't eat to be healthy, we don't eat to live, we eat for taste. We love junk and then we end up being junk. Don't make your body a junkyard or a graveyard."
Yogi Bhajan encouraged his students to embrace a healthy, yogic lifestyle. The yogic diet he promoted includes whole, simple, fresh, nutritious food. The yogic diet does not include meat, fish, poultry, or eggs. You can get all the proteins, vitamins, and minerals you need without them.
A yogic diet is a balanced combination of:
- Dairy products
Whole, fresh, unprocessed nutritious foods give you energy and strength. When your diet consists of nutritious and sustaining foods and you eat only what you know you can digest, then you are on your way to a healthy, happy, and holy life.
Dairy products are on the list. This is because when you practice Kundalini Yoga and Breath of Fire, it tends to eliminate mucous. Mucous keeps the breathing passages lubricated and protects the membranes. You may need to replenish the system with a certain amount of mucous, which dairy products can stimulate. If you are allergic to cow products, then try goat products, which are easier to digest.
Sattvic, Rajasic, and Tamasic Foods
You are what you eat. If you are free to live a quiet, contemplative life, a sattvic diet is perfect. For those who wish to maintain a meditative mind but also must live and work in the world, a diet consisting of sattvic and some rajasic foods is best. For those who practice demanding disciplines, like Kundalini Yoga or marital arts, rajasic foods are necessary, along with sattvic foods. For all these lifestyles, tamasic food is best avoided.
Sattvic: Clarity and lightness
- Graceful, peaceful, disciplined, intuitive, sensitive.
- Most fruit and vegetables, sun foods, and ground foods.
Rajasic: Forcefulness and will-power
- Active, positive, demanding.
- Stimulating herbs and spices, many earth foods.
Tamasic: Functioning from need and instinct
- Impulsive, dull, angry, confused.
- Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, alcohol, intoxicating drugs.
Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas
Ayurveda, the ancient holistic health sister science to yoga, recognizes that health is a state of balance between the body, mind, and consciousness. In ancient times, food was considered medicine. The principles of healthy eating were well-known and the healing properties of foods and herbs were used to correct imbalances.
One of the most important aspects of the system of Ayurveda is the tridoshas, or forces that generate and maintain physical and mental health:
Vata (air): sustains the body and originates every kind of physical movement in the body. It controls the mind and senses and causes elimination of wastes.
Pitta (bile): responsible for digestion, heat, the digestive fire,and the formation of blood.
Kapha (phlegm): nourishes and lubricates the body, maintains sexual potency, and lends mental balance to the individual.
You may also be interested in:
- Yogi Bhajan Quotes on Cleansing & the Yogic Diet
- Kundalini Yoga Kriya for Lower Spine and Elimination
- Kundalini Yoga Apana Kriya (Elimination Exercises)
- Kundalini Yoga: The Navel Center and Elimination
- Kundalini Yoga: Nabhi Kriya for Digestion
- Food for Thought, Food for Life
- Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Food - The Human Medicine
- Maintain a Healthy Weight with Ayurveda
- Kundalini Yoga: Let the Liver Live
- Cleansing the Body, Mind, and Spirit