If you are on a spiritual quest to attain enlightenment through the practices of yoga, meditation and selfless living, you might be interested to learn that there is a specific diet available to help you propel your efforts to the next level. The sattvic diet, also called the yogic diet, is a nutritional approach to achieving higher consciousness through the consumption of fresh, whole foods.
The sattvic diet is a nutritional regime that yoga practitioners use to achieve two goals: chitta vritti nirodha, the quieting of the mind, and anushasanam, the governing of a person’s subtle nature. The sattvic diet consists of eating whole, pure foods that bring forth the life-enhancing qualities of self-determination, strength, courage and energy, states Gary Cran, an ayurvedic, or traditional East Indian health practitioner and yoga instructor.
There are three main types of primal foods: tamasic, rajasic and sattvic, according to TheLivingCentre.com. Tamasic foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, poultry and alcohol, destroy the body’s resistance to disease and fill the mind with negative emotions such as greed, jealousy and anger. Rajasic foods, such as chocolate, coffee and tea, fuel the body with physical endurance but destroy the mind. Sattvic foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, seeds and nuts nourish the body and purify the mind, which leads to optimal physical and spiritual health. Therefore, the sattvic diet allows yoga practitioners to lead noble, meditative and peaceful lives free of over-stimulation and debilitating negative emotions.
Although most sattvic foods are clearly defined as whole, organic plant foods eaten in their natural states or immediately after cooking, you might have certain food allergies or sensitivities to consider. You can observe how your body and mind feels after you eat certain sattvic foods to determine if you will include them in your sattvic diet or eliminate them.
Although fresh, organic dairy products such as milk, butter and fresh, homemade cheeses are allowed sattvic diet foods, meat is not advised. Ancient East Indian sages, called rishis, believe that when you eat an animal, you ingest all the stress hormones that animal felt when it was killed. Therefore, at the cellular level, your body is receiving messages that it is dying, a process which goes against the sattvic diet principle to achieve internal harmony. Your protein sources should come from vegetables such as soy products and legumes.
Do not overeat sattvic foods. When sattvic foods are overeaten, they become tamasic foods and invite disease into the body. You should also not over-spice sattvic foods, which turns them into rajasic foods that fuel unwarranted desires and bodily restlessness.