Diet occupies a dominant place in the yoga system. It is said that ‘as you eat, so you become’. This is because the kind and quality of food affects the physical as well as mental condition of the individual. Thus, the individual who does not take a proper diet and who does not have a proper understanding of the principles of eating. gradually begins to harm himself both physically and mentally.
In yoga, all foods have been divided into three categories
The rajasi food comprises a variety of dishes. It derives its name from the dining manners of Indian kings, Naturally, in this type of preparation, dishes of various kinds – some fried, some roasted and some curried and highly seasoned – together with various sweets and drinks would be served. Foods of this type are regarded undesirable for the yoga practitioners as they create extra weight and fat generate feeling of heaviness for a longer period of time after dinner, and arouse passion.
The second category of eatables, that is the tamasik food include those which are prepared as not stuffs. When any dish – vegetarian or non-vegetarian is prepared with too many spices and with excessive uses of salts, pepper, chilli and similar other seasonings. This type of food suits those who have a coarse nature and a rough temperament and are inclined to be noisy, quarrelsome and intolerant. Hence, this type of food is undesirable and not recommended to the yoga practitioners.
In this type the food is cooked with the least amount of spices and without much seasoning. The food is fresh, attractive and nutritive, and is cooked in a simple way. This type of food is desirable and highly recommended for the yoga practitioners.
The generally held notion that the non-vegetarian food is tamasi and the vegetarian food is sattvik, is wrong, because potato or cauliflower can be prepared as tamasi and meat or chicken can be cooked as sattvik, depending upon the choice of the individual. According to yoga food is not evaluated on the basis of their caloric count. Rather it is the quality of food and the method of eating that are considered.