There are three types of yoga diet viz. Rajasik, Tamasik and Sattavik as per yoga diet philosophy. It is considered that food is building block of the body, as we eat so we become in mind and body. The type of food we eat gradually manifests in our mental make up or state of mind. Eating of Sattavik food leads to purity/Godliness, Rajasik food towards action and Tamasik food leads to a dull, lethargic life with lot of inertia.
Rajasik food comprises of a variety of dishes on the pattern of food served to Indian kings. This type of food includes various types of foods like fried, roasted, curried, highly seasoned along with various types of desserts, wine and drinks. Food of this type are not recommended for yoga practitioners as these foods acts as body stimulants and excite passions, making the mind restless and uncontrollable. These foods result in obesity and generate a typical feeling of heaviness in the stomach for a long time after eating a meal.
Tamasik food includes dishes prepared with too many spices, excessive use of salt, pepper, chilies, artificial colours and additives. These types of foods have very less nutrition value for either mind or body. They make body dull, lazy and drowsy. These foods stimulate emotions of anger and greed. Tamasik foods include alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic and fermented foods such as vinegar. This type of food is undesirable and not recommended for yoga practitioners.
This type of food is cooked with least amount of spices and without much seasoning. The food is fresh, attractive, nutritive and is cooked in a simple way. This type of food is desirable and highly recommended for yoga practitioners.
According to yoga principles, no food whether vegetarian or non vegetarian is by itself Rajasik, Tamasik or Sattavik. The classification of a food depends on type of preparation also. It is not necessary that all non-vegetarian food is Tamasik and vegetarian food is Sattavik. Though all foods are classified into three types of yoga diet, but any food item can be cooked as Sattavik, Tamasik or Rajasik depending upon the choice of ingredients and method of preparation.
Food eaten in a hurry or in foul mood will not be as nourishing compared to food eaten slowly with a peaceful mind.
Yoga and diet are two pillars of a successful yoga practice.