Yogic Diet – Sattvik, Rajasik, and Tamasik Food
The food we take has a profound effect on our physical and mental health. Those who want to elevate the mind to higher states of consciousness through meditation and yoga need to carefully select those types of food conducive to their health and mental clarity.
According to yogic principles, food is divided into three categories based on its qualities and effect on the mind and body.
Sentient Foods (sattvik)
This type of food is conducive to mental and physical health. It includes rice, cereals, and other grains, beans and lentils (excluding orange / red lentils), fresh and dried vegetables and fruits, sprouts, dried fruits and nuts, all kinds of vegetarian oils, milk and milk products, honey, herb, herbal teas, spices with purely sentient ingredients (without onion and garlic), and seaweeds. Cucumber is sentient and good for health in the morning and daytime but has a static effect at night.
Mutative Foods (rajasik)
This type of food may or may not be good for the body but is not harmful to the mind in moderate amounts. It is stimulating and gives energy. It includes dark chocolate, coffee and tea (green, black and white tee), ginseng, and hot spices (red chilly.)
Static food (támasik)
Static foods may or may not be beneficial for the body but are certainly harmful to the mind and strictly avoided by those practicing Ananda Marga meditation. This type of food makes the mind dull, lethargic, and easily prone to anger and other negative emotions as it heats and activates the lower glands. This category includes meat, fish, eggs, onion, garlic, mushrooms, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and narcotics. Any processed food that contains any of the mentioned items will also have static energy. Any food that has become stale or rotten will also have the same effect. Overeating at one time, even sentient food, will also have a static effect on the mind and body.
The environment when we are eating is also essential for our mind and body. It is, therefore, preferable to sing Kiirtana for a few moments before eating, eat together if possible, and enjoy a light and pleasant conversation and atmosphere, or silence. For those who have learned their personal mantra, repeating it while eating makes the meal a beautiful experience and gives the mind deep peace and tranquility.
During our retreats, we always sing some Kiirtana before the meal and enjoy delicious sattvik food together. The meal times are an important part of the retreats where we relax, share our thoughts, and enjoy being together.