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The Best Century Old Tips: Yoga and Diet for physical and mental wellness

Ancient Indian Diet

Dieting in modern day becomes a fashion; but now it is necessary to take it as a passion for not only architect a sound physic but also to be a faculty of healthy mind. The word diet is self-explanatory as taking reduced meal that anyone desired, but it is misinterpreted; where the real meaning is to suggest anyone a homeostatic food chart to impart a sound health within him.

Yogic Diet

In this write up we are trying to focus on the ancient scriptures because old is gold. The hidden treasures always remained in classical texts which we often ignored. The word reverse pharmacology is the current trend for medical research which is totally based on the pharmacological action of ayurvedic and traditional uses of the plants noted in the ancient treatises.

Types of Ayurvedic Diets

vata pitta diet

The journey of diet chart starts from the pre-historic period. Many ancient scriptures like Bhagwad Gita, Gheranda Samhita, Charak Samhita discusses about the importance of diet in our daily life. Even spiritual Gururs and yogic Gurus states about roles of diet for self-realization.

In Bhagwad Gita, it is clearly stated that the type of yogis are Sattvik, rajasik and tamasik. It is determined by their food habits.

Sattvik Ahara (Satvik Bhojan or Satvik Food)

“aayuh sattvabalaarogya sukha preeti vivardhanaah |

 rasyaah snigdhaah sthiraa hridyaa aahaarah saatwikapriyaah ||” Bhagwad Gita(17.8)

satvik food
satvik bhojan

 It is important to understand here that the one should be fond of the sattvik ahara (Satvik food)for quickening of the result of yoga within himself.

Food that are full of energy, bestow good health and vigour with happiness and provide satisfaction are relished by those in Sattva guna, the mode of goodness. Example of such food- Ghee, Honey, Payas etc.

Yogcharya Panchanan Bhattacharya noted in ‘Surodhoni Gita’, for quick recovery from illness bitter principle foods are helpful. Kriyayog Master Hariharanandaji is very fond of such bitter vegetables like raw juice of palta pata (pointed gourd) is his favourite one.

Rajasik Ahara

“katvamla lavanaatyushna teekshna rooksha vidaahinah |

aahaaraah raajasasyeshtaa duhkhashokaamayapradaah ||” Bhagwad Gita(17.9)

The foods that are bitter, sour, saltish, excessively hot, dry, pungent are liked by the Rajasic  persons, mode of passion.

Rajasik Food
Rajasik Food

Although such food produces good amount of energy ultimately it leads to a life full of pain, grief and disease. Example of such food- chilly, black pepper, non-unctuous foods etc.

Tamasik Ahara

“yaatayaamam gatarasam pooti paryushitam cha yat

ucchishtamapi chaamedhyam bhojanam taamasapriyam ||” Bhagwad Gita(17.10)

Tamasik Food
Tamasik Ahara

Food cooked more than three hours before, that is cold, tasteless, without aroma, stale, decomposed and foods that are amedhyam or forbidden for offering to the supreme Lord such as meat, fish, fowl, eggs, wine, alcohol, garlic, onions and mushrooms which come from fungus and impure are preferred by Tamasic persons, the mode of ignorance.

Recommended food for persons practicing Yoga

Yoga Food
Yoga Food

In Gheranda Samhita (Ancient compilation on Indian Yog), clear list of foods is recommended for persons who are practicing yoga.


Food to encourage

  • Milk ,Ghee, Wheat, Shali dhanya(red rice),Misri,Honey, Dried ginger, Mung,
  • Inner portion of banana stem, Patola(pointed gourd),
  • Pancha saka(Five green vegetables: Helencha saka, Nate saka, Punarnaba saka, Beto saka, Patola saka)
  • Easily digestible unctuous food should be accepted.

Food to avoid

  • Very pungent, sour, salty and bitter fried food should be avoided
  • Kulattha kalai, Garlic, Onion, Sesame saka, cold prepared food should not be taken,
  • Reheated food, Curd, Lassi(Ghol), Narikela, Carrot, Musur, Eggs, Meats and chicken should be avoided.

Thumb Rule of Diet

Yogacharya Dr. Chanchal Roy always states about two important thumb rules guided by Lahiri mahasaya regarding intaking of food and practicing yoga.

  1. When taking meal one should fill 1/2 part of the stomach with solid food, another 1/4th part with water and remaining 1/4th part should be kept empty for the ease of movement of vayu.
  2. Yoga should be performed at least after 4 hours of taking meal and before half an hour of meal.

Specific yogic postures are recommended for specific ailment. Our modern-day life style disorders may be cured or controlled by the practice of yoga and healthy diet only. To know more about the topic and health tips stay connected with us.

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Ayurvedic diet
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