Yoga is an instrument of life. It helps us improve as human beings and sharing the sensation of wellness that this practice generates on its own satisfaction. In the philosophy of yoga, the Gunas, the qualities that hold the universe together from the yoga teaching, are integral elements that combine in different proportions to form the material objects. Gunas in Sanskrit means cordon, type, or more generally quality. It’s an energy that acts on our superficial mind and our profound consciousness, moving it to a physical, emotional, and mental level.
The Three Gunas Are:
- Sattva: It symbolizes harmony, virtue, kindness, intelligence, and brings balance, peace, clarity, openness, and the strength of love.
- Rajas: It translates into energy, overstimulation, causing imbalance, greed, power craving, and dissatisfaction. Rajas is the characteristic of people who are active at night.
- Tamas: Symbolizes the more heavy qualities like inertia, heaviness, somnolence, ignorance, disillusion, and laziness. It blocks the spiritual awakening.
Biologically we stimulate our consciousness and physical state with the food that we eat and our attitude towards life. If we pay attention to our alimentation and the way we mix different food ingredients, it will be easier to classify them and build up a conscious nutritional plan. In this way, we nourish the body and the soul, allowing us to fulfill a healthy life. As master Patanjali used to say, “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”
- Sattvic Food:
It comprises the ones that give us more vitality, good humor, tranquility. They help us keep better mental and physical balance. This kind of food contributes to purifying the organism and cleaning energetic channels. They should be natural and fresh foods, ideal to be eaten raw, or slightly cooked by boiling or on vapor. A few examples:
- Dairy products and butter. (moderate consumption)
- Aromatic spices and fine herbs (coriander, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, among others) stimulate our nervous and endocrine system
- Fruits and vegetables. They supplement our body with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They also contain alkaline substances that help keep the body light and clean.
- Honey, molasses, or maple syrup are used for sweetness in the Satvic diet.
- Rajasic Food:
It is the food that is bitter, sour, extremely spicy, and salty. It needs more time to cook, and they produce overexcitement or addiction. A few examples are Onion, garlic, radish, tee, coffee, spicy food, c chemical additives, refined sugar, soda pops, and canned mustard.
- Tamasic Food:
Based on old, spoiled, or expired food, also, when we eat without care, only to fill the belly and not to nourish the body. This diet is far from producing energy that it takes from us in order to be digested and leaves us with a sensation of being tired, confused, and dormant. This type of food produces toxins that generate disequilibrium in our bodies. Among this type of food, we have meat, fish, fried food, alcoholic beverages, marihuana, opium, and some other drugs.
The body needs energy and nutrients that come from the diet to fulfill all of its functions and activities. Water is one of the most important components of our body. It’s also the main component in bodily fluids that participate in the transport of nutrients, organ lubrication (tears), and toxin elimination (urine). It also helps regulate body temperature and many other processes in the organism. The body eliminates water every day, so it should be consumed daily.
Once we have the correct information in our power, we can use it with consciousness and for the benefit of our mental and physical health. We are responsible for what we take into our mouths and in the way we digest it. Every step in knowledge is an opportunity to transform habits and attitudes. In yoga, it is profoundly believed that in the Ahimsa (no violence and respect to life) as the correct path to transit.