Shariira and Food Habits
Eating is perhaps the most important act for one’s yoga practice because nourishment of the body’s tissues forms a foundation for nourishment of the mind and emotions. In the Ayurvedic tradition, foods that enhance clarity and lightness, keeping the body light and nourished and the mind clear promoting the quality of sattva, include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains. In contrast, foods that enhance the qualities of tamas and rajas increasing dullness or hyperactivity respectively, include onions, meat, garlic, coffee, hot peppers and salt. But maintaining a diet that keeps the body light and the mind clear doesn’t necessarily mean eating only sattvic foods. What is best for an individual and what in the end will best support the maintenance of good health is informed by the individual constitution known in the ayurvedic tradition as prakriti and the current state of body-mind or vikriti, both need to be considered.