Yogic diet

What is yogic diet?

The ‘Yogic diet’ is defined as foods that are conducive to yogic practices and progress in spirituality. ‘Yoga’ is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices. The primary purpose of doing yoga is to gain control over the mind. So, any practices or habits that cause an imbalance of the mind is considered to be detrimental to progress in yoga. Food is one of the important factors among them.

According to the sages, food and mind are related to each other and the type of food consumed is supposed to have an intimate effect on the mind. So, following a particular diet is as important as asana and pranayama practices.

What are the types of yogic diet?

There are three types of yogic diet namely tamasic, rajasic and sattvic diets.

Tamasic diet:

Yogic diet

The foods which are heavy for digestion and increase the laziness, lethargy, dullness and anger in an individual are called as tamasic diet. It also includes foods cooked twice, fats, oils, fermented foods, sugary food, food with preservatives, unclean food, stale and rotten foods, tobacco and alcohol.

Rajasic diet:

Yogic diet


The foods which make the mind active and excites or induces passion towards any act in an individual is termed as rajasic diet. It includes chillies, sour foods, asafoetida, onion, garlic, tamarind, mustard, tea, coffee, cocoa, white sugar, turnips, fried food, salt, bitter food, fish, eggs and meat.

Sattvic diet:

Yogic diet

The foods which are light for digestion and helps in calming down the mind are regarded as sattvic diet. It includes fresh fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, papaya, pomegranates, mangoes, oranges, pears, pineapples, guavas, figs, cabbages, spinach, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, cucumber, pumpkin, cauliflower, lady’s finger, peaches, almonds, raisins, red rice, unpolished rice, oat-meal, dried peas, dates, green gram, bengal gram, green pulse, groundnut, dried ginger, lemon and honey.

The best diet for yoga beginners:

Among the three types of diet, it is the ‘sattvic diet’ which is considered to be the best for yoga beginners. The reason is that the mind is often compared to an ape, which is usually restless and wandering all the time. For a yoga beginner, it will take some time to control the restless mind. During such instance, having foods which are rajasic or tamasic in nature can trigger the instability further. On the contrary, the sattvic foods help to calm down the mind. A relaxed mind is by itself the first step towards achieving stability in life and progress in yoga.

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  • Yogic Diet. The divine life society. http://sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection&section_id=437. Accessed on November 1, 2016.
  • The Yogic diet. 3HO Foundation. https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/yogic-diet. Accessed on November 1, 2016.
  •  The Yoga Diet: Foods that Heal and Energize Your Life. One green planet. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/the-yoga-diet-foods-that-heal-and-energize-your-life/. Accessed on November 1, 2016.

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