Yoga in GoaYoga in Goa


Until recent times, most non-vegetarians looked at vegetarians with a misgiving. By and large, they were dismissed as addballs or food buffs, which perffered to thrive on a bland diet of brown rice and vegetable cutlets. These days, however, folks are better informed. But the vegetarian diet is still often considered upappetizing and insipid and, worse still, inadequate as far as vital ingredients go.Conversety, to develop good overall health, its important is for us to have the right, healthy diet.

The main principle of a ‘yog diet’is to up your consumption of fruits and vegetables with the aim of ultimately moving to pure vegetarian fare.

The premise is that, such a diet being healthy, it will help develop a stronger body and a calmer, more peaceful state of mind. Then again, to really understand yoga’s approach to diet you must familiarize yourself with the concept of the ‘3’ GUNS’ or QUALITIES of nature.

In yog, food is traditionally classified by to its effect on the mind and body, using the 3 GUNS (attributes).
  1. SATV (the quality of love, light & life).
  2. RAJ (the quality of activity & passion, lacking stability)
  3. TAM ( the quality of darkness and inertia, dragging us into ignorance & attachment).

The yog diet will help you achieve a better health, a keener intellect & serenity of mind & heart. Then again, any change in diet should only be made gradually and over time. Being by substituting larger portions of vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts until ultimately all meat products are totally eliminated from your diet. Over time, you will come to experience the benefits of a vegetarian diet.

More importantly, as much as a yog diet is nutritious, the food is also rich in pran or vital energy. When you feel the upsurge of life force as a result of this diet, you will understand why the sage said, “you are what you eat.”

Sattv is defined as the quality of purify and goodness. Sattvic food is that which is pure, clean and wholesome. A sattvic diet is food that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self determination. In other words, sattvic food gives as more than the gross physical requirements of the proper mix of proteins, carts and fats etc. It also give us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousnels. Food is seen as a carrier of the life force called pran and fudged by the quality of its pran and by the effect it has on our consciousness.

These are important considerations in the practice of yog, yog is defined as those practices that lead to “ANUSHASNAM” which means the governing of one’s subtle nature.(yogsutra 1/1)

The goal of yog is described as “CHITT VRITTI NIRODHA” the quieting of the goals.A beginning practice in both Ayurveda and Yog is to simplyobserve the effect of each food choice we make and from our experience and awareness, begin to make small changes. As we progress in this practice we can recognize three broad categories called the guns.

some foods leaves us feeling tired and sluggish. This is called the “ TAMASIC” EFFECT. Others food leave us feeling agitated or over-stimulated the rajsic effect. The third category belongs to foods that leave us feeling calm, alert and refreshed. This is the sattvic effect and the basis of the sattvic diet.

If we persist in this practice, we will arrive at our personal version of the sattvic diet. The Bhagavad Gita describes the sattvic diet as “promoting life, virtue, health, strength, happiness and satisfaction.” Sattvic food are “savory, smooth, firm and pleasant to the stomach.” By contrast, the Gita describes the rajsic diet as “excessively pungent, sour, salty, hot, harsh, astringent and burnt,” leading to pain, misery and sickness. “The tamasic foods are described as state, tasteless, smelly, left over, rotten and foul.”(Bhagavad Gita 17/8-10)

The true test of our foods comes when we meditate. All meditaters know that there are two main problems one is falling a sleep – the tamasic effect. The other is an over – active minf - the rajsic effect. If we want to be able to quiet the mind and maintain our alertness to explore our subtle nature, we need to follow the sattvic diet, “when satva predominates, the light of wisdom shines through every gate of the body.” (Bhagavad Gita 14/11)

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