Impact of Yogic Diet on Mind, Body and Soul

September 10, 2019
5 mins read

Lamp eats darkness and produces soot, What food one eats daily, so will one produce

Vijeta Tomar

Chief Yoga Instructor, Pinaki Yoga

दीपो भक्षयते ध्वान्तं कज्जलं च प्रसूयते |यदन्नं भक्षयेन्नित्यं जायते तादृशी प्रजा ||

Lamp eats darkness and produces soot,

What food one eats daily, so will one produce

Food works as the source of energy for our bodies. Every organ of our body including mind works better because we eat. Different organs based on their requirements pick that nutrient from food and survive. For example, calcium is good for bones so we have milk and folic acid is good for blood so we have oranges, pomegranates, etc. So, to keep our body healthy and mind to work in a consciousness, food plays an important role.In this hustle-bustle world of today when the mind is restless and unfocused, it demands certain things, we start losing control over senses and body respond to that desire. Slowly we become slaves to our mind and it loses consciousness and concentration. These things reduce our will power and make us so weak even to face the small challenges of life. Abruptly, we enter into the world of stress, depression, boundaries, thoughts, negativity, anxiety, insomnia, and a lot of other diseases.

What is Yogic Diet?Our food intake directly affects our body and mind. After all, food makes the body and exercise shapes the body. According to yoga, we have 3 diets,1. Sattvic Food2. Rajasic food3.Tamasic FoodSattva is the substance that nourishes the thoughts and nervous system. It’s the ultimate essence of food. When thoughts are fed with sattva they are more refined and pure and one can live in higher consciousness. A sattvic diet consists of pure simple natural food that is easily digested and promotes health. Such a diet being healthy, will help develop a stronger body and a more peaceful state of mind with a balanced flow of energy between them. Sattvic diet has very rich nutritional value and also rich in prana or vital energy & one will be able to feel an upsurge of life force as a result of this diet.Sattvic food include cereals, whole wheat, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, nuts, seeds, grain, sprouted seeds, lentils and beans, honey, herbal tea, etc. all pure form without adding anything for taste.Rajasic food makes people physically more active. It will stimulate the body to the next level, excite the passion and make the mind restless. Rajasic food feeds the body at the expense of the mind. It destroys the mind-body equilibrium. Rajasic food stimulates hot, spicy, stale, etc. It includes fish, meat, eggs, hot substances, sharp spices, strong herbs, too much salt, chocolate, onion, garlic, turmeric, curry powder, etc. Eating in a hurry also considered as rajasic.Tamasic food benefits neither mind nor body. Prana is withdrawn, power of reasoning becomes clouded and a set of inertia sets in. The body’s resistance to disease is destroyed and the mind is filled with dark emotions such as anger and greed. Tamasic food is bad smelly, leftover, stored, spoiled, burnt, impure, highly processed, packaged, junk food, pickled, alcohol, tobacco, meat food like chicken, fish, mutton, etc. Overeating also considered tamasic.

Earlier times in India, different types of mortars used for grinding and crushing of food items. This keep real taste of the item into the meal and also maintain nutrition value
Type of mortar used to grind herbs and spices

Types of Bio Energy and Body ElementsTridoshas (Bio-energies) are dynamic principles that govern the body mind and consciousness. They are subject to a person’s genetic makeup and emotional and mental paradigms & imbalances. According to Ayurveda, there are 3 basic doshas — Vata, pitta and Kapha and every human being has some combination of these principles in his or her makeup. The human body and the entire world are composed of 5 basic elements: Space, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. All organic and inorganic substances are made up of a combination of these ingredients. These 5 elements normally support life and maintain harmony in the world but when they are unbalanced they can cause discomfort and threaten life. All elements present in each individual but the proportions and combinations vary from person to person.Vata represents Air & SpacePitta is Fire along with WaterKapha is Water and EarthOne’s sense of well being reflects the inner state of health. Doshic imbalance governs internal biochemical changes that will eventually lead to either higher or low metabolism.Pitta dosha governs all physical and biochemical changes that take place within the body. Through this process, foodstuffs are transformed into energy, heat, and vitality. All these activities of pitta depends upon digestive fire called Agni. Poor Agni means poor health. Diet like hot, spicy also living in a hot climate and repressed emotions can alter the normal function of pitta.Repair growth and creation of new cells managed by Kapha. Kapha dosha can be disturbed by excessive intake of dairy, cold and oily foods.Catabolism is the stage of metabolism in which large molecules are broken into smaller ones. This process is governed by Vata dosha and most active in old age. Intake of Vata provoking food like salads and over-exercising can escalate Vata and disturb health.

Effects of Overeating “It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send a signal to the stomach to let you know that you’re full. Overeating occurs when you continue to eat beyond this point of fullness,” says Erma Levy, a research dietitian at MD Anderson. The food we eat is not merely to satisfy our taste. When we overeat we create a burden for the digestive system and when the digestive system is overburdened we are unable to extract sattva from food. When the body is kept light and pure, it is far more capable of extracting the sattva from food and keep our mind more focused. It is said that “Eating sweet, unctuous food offered to the almighty leaving one-quarter of stomach empty is Mitahara.” Overeating has side effects like, It will increase your weight and make you obese. Metabolism works faster to burn extra calories and you may feel hot, sweaty and lazy. Your organs work hard to secret extra hormones and enzymes to break down extra food. It can cause the digestion problem of acidity and you may feel uncomfortable throughout the day. Unhealthy Eating Habits At Improper Timings Overeating , eating soon without chewing properly, to much water during meal, drinking very chilled water during meal, eating at wrong time, eating without real hunger, eating uncooked food with cooked meals like fruit, salad, etc. all comes under unhealthy eating at improper timings. Eating food that includes prana, not only keep our body healthy but also relax our mind and give peace to our soul. You can experience it by having a sattvic diet until 15 days and then move to rajasic or tamasic. Notice those differences in your mind, emotions, and actions. Do not live to eat but eat to live.

Eat good and keep your body healthy. Eat good and keep your mind relax. Eat good and do good to the society.

Stay Healthy :)

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