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Yogic Diet – The 3 Gunas

22 August 2015

I love to eat. I can’t imagine life without food. We are very fortunate that there are so many food options in our society today, both good and bad. Unfortunately, many of us make bad food choices. We choose meat over salads, processed food over fresh ingredients because they are more readily available, last longer and generally more affordable. As such, many adults including kids are trending towards an obese society.

“You are what you eat.” It is a known fact of advice. However, people need to be educated on to eat healthily. Yoga is a good illustration as its philosophy teaches us to eat well.

In yoga, we are taught the 3 Gunas, namely Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Gunas are qualities that create the essential aspects of all nature—energy, matter and consciousness.

Rajas is a state of energy, action, change and movement.

Tamas is a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity and materiality.

I will elaborate more on Sattva as the yogic lifestyle strongly cultivates Sattva. It is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence. Sattva is the guna that yogis achieve towards as it reduces rajas and tamas and thus makes liberation possible. To increase sattva, we should reduce both rajas and tamas foods, eat sattvic foods and enjoy activities and environments that produce joy and positive thoughts. Sattvic foods include whole grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables. All of the yogic practices were developed to create sattva in the mind and body.

Nevertheless, I still firmly believe that we should live to eat and not eat to live. Life is short; it would be a pity to deprive ourselves with the food we love. However it is important to always live in balance. Be open to enjoy real food.