Discover the best Ayurvedic diet to become a Yogi

Conscious TV

June 13, 2021

The diet of a yogi is also called the Sattvic or yogic diet, as it purifies the mind and aims to improve the practice and develop the mind. Ayurveda is a branch of Yoga, as it forms part of its external aspects by allowing a peaceful (sattvic) way of healing the physical body.

As I often say during my classes, we are all yogis and each one of us is doing a stage of our spiritual path, until we reach our union with God, so this kind of diet is good for people who use their mind a lot, as it improves mental quality and energy.

It is beneficial for mental disorders, as it helps to restore harmony and balance to the mind. It is suitable for convalescents. It helps to tonify and rebuild the seven tissues of the body (dathus). It is a beneficial diet for all human beings because it improves their level of consciousness.

How the Ayurvedic Yogic diet should look like

The yogic diet is lacto-vegetarian. It is composed of cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and dairy products. In addition to being simple and light, it takes into account the effects of the food on the mind and body, as it must be pure energy so that it does not alter the mind.

There are 3 cosmic forces (Gunas) which can predominate in the diets we eat and which constitute their subtle energy. A yogi's diet should be based on sattvic foods, which are those that stimulate the virtues in the human being, bring mental clarity, natural balance, peace, harmony, health and happiness. They calm the mind and direct us towards a life of awareness.

This diet consists of pure foods, simple to prepare, few combinations, no extreme flavours, adequate quality and quantity, and of course all this will make it easy to digest. All fruits, almost all vegetables and greens, dairy products, almonds, almonds, basmati rice, cereals such as wheat and oats, most herbs and spices, and honey are considered sattvic foods.

All meals that have been obtained by harming living beings, such as meat and fish, should be avoided. Foods that have been prepared in toxic environments or with excessive fertiliser or chemical sprays are also not recommended. It has been proven that animal products have a high content of cholesterol, uric acid, additives and preservatives, all of which cause numerous illnesses, as they tend to acidify the pH of our organism (arteriosclerosis, arthrosis, heart attacks, hypertension, arthritis, gout, etc.).

A build-up of uric acid in the joints leads to arthritis, while cholesterol clogs arteries and reduces blood flow to the brain.

Animal husbandry has become a trade in which animals are given large doses of antibiotics to prevent disease and hormones to accelerate their growth and promote their fertility. These residues (antibiotics and hormones) are stored in the cells of these animals and pass into the body of the consumer. There are many sources of protein available today and this violence and toxicity is unnecessary.

Sources of protein are: Legumes, dried fruits such as nuts, cereals such as quinoa, as well as from better plant sources of carbohydrates, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Yoga advises a yogic attitude (practice of Yama and Niyama) and within these principles is a lacto-vegetarian diet for moral, spiritual and health reasons. Diet is an essential part of yoga because it gives well-being to the physical body which facilitates peace of mind. The yogic diet is a discipline of body and mind, which is in harmony with the spiritual principle of respect for life, known as AHIMSA (non-violence).

The annamaya kosha (physical body) is made of meal. A subtle part of the meal becomes energy for our mind. Meal is the key to a healthy life. It helps us to avoid physical ailments so that the mind can concentrate, expand and connect with the spirit.

As always, remember that for Ayurveda every human being is unique both physically and mentally, and although a yogic diet balances the 3 doshas, the specific characteristics of each person must be taken into account.

For some people it may contain the necessary nutrients, but for others, depending on their condition and daily physical exertion, it may not. This diet tends to sensitise the mind, so it may not be recommended for those who are hypersensitive and easily upset by noise, crowds and stress.

"From the Sattva quality comes knowledge, from Rajas comes greed, and from Tamas comes confusion, delusion and ignorance." Bhagavad Gita XIV, 17

This post has been written by Fernanda Montoya Rincón (Ayurvedic Health Educator at The Natural Equilibrium).