WELCOME to Annapurna’s Yoga Sattvic SANCTUARY.
There are three qualities (gunas) of nature and their influence on being:
Sattva (purity, goodness), Raja (passion and activity) and Tama (darkness and ignorance)
ANNAPURNA represents the Goddess of cooking and vegetarianism, therefore her energy and food is always sattvic- pure. She is the energy of healing, nourishing the body- mind and soul through food that becomes our PRANA- our life force.
We have created this place to share the benefits of ayurveda, yoga, yogic diet and meditation with all. AYURVEDA believes that each of us is unique and has unique requirements and needs.
Please, find the following sections on Diet for your Constitution as a general guideline for a healthy individual. In case of any health condition, one needs to have a personal consultation with an experienced and qualified Ayurvedic Physician, who will accurately determine your constitution as well as your dosha (or the imbalance of humors of the body- the root cause of your health issue) and will indicate a proper course of treatments.
Ayurveda believes in Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, may you also benefit from the guidelines to increase your health and experience the feeling of pure Health, Happiness and Balance. Sat-Chit-Ananda. Truth-Consciousness-Bliss.
Awareness is meditation! Experience your Cooking as meditation.
Enjoy the product of your LOVE for the Self! And Share it with others.
May all be Happy, Healthy and Harmonious.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
SATTVIC DIET FROM THE VEDAS
By Dr. S.R. Harit, M.D. (Ayurveda)
I am food, I am the eater of food, I eat the eater of food, I consume the entire universe. My light is like the Sun. Taittiriya Upanishad II.9.6.
SATTVA, RAJAS, TAMAS
Classification of food follows the three Gunas or qualities of primal nature, Prakriti. Sattva is pure, light, clear, calming, harmonizing, opens the mind and promotes wakefulness. Sattvic food is bland and even in taste, not going to any extremes. Rajas is cloudy, agitated, turbulent, energizing and disturbs the emotions. Rajasic are overly spicy/hot foods. Tamas is dark, heavy, dulling and promotes lethargy. It closes the mind. Tamasic are for example garlic and onion, leftovers, rotting, burnt or overheated foods.
“From Sattva is born knowledge, from Rajas greed, from Tamas is confusion, delusion and ignorance.” (Bhagavad Gita XIV.17.)
Sattvic diet was originally devised for the practice of yoga and the development of the mind. It is good for those , who use their minds a lot , as it improves mental quality and energy. Moreover , it is important in the treatment of mental disorders , as it helps restore harmony and balance.
Sattvic diet aids in tonification and rebuilding of a higher quality tissue in the body, particularly for those who wish to improve their state of consciousness. It is often combined with rejuvenation (rasayana) therapies in Ayurvedic Science, particularly those for the rejuvenation of the mind (Brahma rasayana) or nervous system. However as sattvic diet is for improving the mind, it may not be nourishing enough for those who have to do physical labour. It sensitizes the mind and gives greater sense of sympathy and compassion.
Is Sattvic Vegetarian? Sattvic diet consists only of pure wholesome foods, light in nature , mildly cooling in energy, which does not disturb the mind. Only foods rich in the life force or prana are to be taken. These include organic fresh fruits and vegetables. All foods produced by harming living beings are to be avoided, such as meat and fish. Foods prepared in toxic environments or with an excess of chemical fertilizers or sprays are to be avoided.
Ayurveda/Yoga, is primarily a sattvic (peaceful) form of healing, it uses dietetics and Sattvic diet as a healing tool.
Diet and the Mind
In Vedantic philosophy the mind (manumaya kosha) is considered to be the essence of food. Uddalaka Aruni, a famous ancient sage, states “The food that is eaten is divided threefold. The gross part becomes excrement. The middle part becomes flesh. The subtle part becomes the mind.” (Chandogya Upanishad VI.4.1) According to the common adage, “we are what we eat.” What we affects our emotions and can create a predisposition for both psychological and physical disorders. Just as wrong emotions can upset our digestion, so wrong digestion can upset our emotions.
We should consider the spiritual qualities of the food we take in. Does it enhance our mental processes and peace of mind? Or is it disturbing? It is for this reason that meat, however nourishing, is not a good food. It has the energy of death and brings the forces of violence and decay, the negative emotions of fear and hatred along with it.
Uddalaka Aruni also tells us, “The water that is drunk is divided threefold. The gross part becomes urine. The middle part becomes blood. The subtle part becomes life-force (prana).” (Chandogya Upanishad VI.4.2) Hence, what we drink also nourishes our life force. Drinking stale water, such comes out of our taps, or distilled water, and drinking alcohol, coffee or other stimulating beverages, will disturb our life-force and thereby derange our emotions and thoughts.
During the Universal Holidays, when with family or sometimes out of loneliness and lack of self-knowledge, we tend to eat when we are not physically hungry. We experience emotional hunger, which comes out of nowhere, and we suddenly become intensely hungry. Instead of assessing what our body-mind and soul truly need, we overindulge on food as a substance to pacify that emotional need that we improperly identified as physical hunger.
Physical hunger comes on gradually, typically during the day’s natural times your
Fruit is sattvic (pure) in nature. It is sweet, light and promotes contentment. It has large amounts of the element ether, which controls and balances all the other elements. All fruit is generally good for a yogic diet or improving the mind. It harmonizes the stomach, relieves thirst, calms the heart nad improves perception. It both cleanses and nourishes body fluids. It is preferable to take it fresh and in season. Some yogis however avoid heavy, sweet fruits, such as bananas as they are mucus forming and may clog the channels.
Most vegetables are good for a sattvic diet, though not as much as fruits. Mushrooms are said to be tamasic, as they are allied with decay. (However the Chinese Buddhists include many mushrooms as good for a diet promoting meditation)
Pungent vegetables –garlic, onions, radishes and chillies are rajasic and tamsic and tend to over stimulate the sexual nerves. Excess of cabbage family plants – cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mustard and cauliflower to a lesser extent are rajasic or gas forming. Potatoes and sweet potatoes can be a little heavy or mucus forming in excess. Otherwise fresh or steamed vegetables or vegetable juices are generally good. Celery is particularly good for the brain.
Grains, much like fruits, are generally sattvic in nature, especially rice (basmati or long grain brown rice). Wheat and oats are also good. Grains are better in the winter season, or when more physical strength is required, and are usually the main staple food in a sattvic diet. Whole grains are preferable but breads are also sattvic.
Beans are usually rajasic in nature. They are irritation, gas forming and heavy. As such, they are generally not recommended in a yogic diet.Exceptions are mung beans, aduki beans and tofu. Equal parts split munng beans and basmati rice (kichadi) is the basic yogic staple diet and the main simple food for purification for convalescence in Ayurveda.
Seeds and nuts are sattvic in nature. They should be taken fresh or lightly roasted, and salted, which renders them tamasic. Almonds, pine nuts , and walnuts are particularly good. As nuts are a little heavy, they should not be taken in large quantities at a time. Nuts and seeds go rancid (become tamasic) easily.
Dairy products are sattvic in nature; pasteurized however they can become tamasic. Milk is produced by the love of cow for its calf. Milk fast or buttermilk fast, is an important part of a yogic diet. Dairy is good in convalescence , particularly from conditions of bleeding and blood loss, or wasting diseases. Yogurtt is also good but us a little heavy and should not be taken in excess, as it can clog the channels. Most cheese is very heavy and so not recommended on a regular basis.
Most oild are heavy and not recommended in large amounts. Ghee, clarified butter, is sattvic, promotes intelligence and perception and can be freely used. It can be added to rice or vegetables. Sesame oil is sattvic , as is coconut. Olive oil is also good but not with garlic (which makes it rajasic).
Sweet taste in moderation is sattvic, but refined sugars are tamasic. Yogic diet takes raw sugars in small amounts, including honey (not heated) and raw sugars particularly jiggery. Honey when heated is said to become toxic (tamasic). It is said that sweet feeds shakti (the power of awareness).
Most spices are rajasic, but a number of exceptions exist. Sattvic spices include ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel and coriander , as well as turmeric. They help balance the effect of too much fruit , dairy or other dampness forming foods. Some yogic also use black pepper or long pepper to help dry mucus and keep the channels open. Here a raja is used to counter tamas, thus producing sattva indirectly. Such strategic variations should be kept in mind. Salt is to be avoided except in the summer or in hot climates. Then it is best combined with lime.
Pure spring water can be taken or sattvic herbal tas or milk. Coffee and other stimulants should be avoided. Green or black tea, howver sometimes taken and is thought to improve mental functioning.
Meals should be simple and infrequent. The main meal is usually taken around noon, with no heavy food after sunset. Sattvic meals require preparation with love and awareness. These enhance the sattvic (spiritual) and life supporting properties of any food that is prepared.
The above mentioned general information has been written for a healthy person. Each person is unique and has specific requirements and needs regarding their diet and lifestyle. If you have specific health concerns that you wish to address with help of Ayurveda, or for your unique Ayurvedic assessment/ consultation and specific individual diet, always contact a qualified and experienced Ayurvedic Physician, who has been trained in Ayurvedic Sciences.
Dr. S.R. Harit is an Ayurvedic Physician, MD (Ayurveda), Ph.D. and a Vedic Astrologer. He specializes in Vedic and Ayurvedic teachings, training and consultations for all ages and health conditions. He has been spreading wisdom of Ayurveda and providing health and spiritual direction in North America for past 12 years. Ayurveda believes that “Everyone is Unique” and “Prevention is better than cure”. Through his new Saskatoon base, he is raising awareness about benefits of AYURVEDA, vegetarianism, vedic sound, and meditation. For your unique consultation email: email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/ayuguru for upcoming Ayurvedic Workshops, Cooking Events, Seminars on Sanskrit and OM chanting.