23 Dec Yogic Diet – Ahara (Recipe of Herbal Tea)
Ahara or food, forms one of the four main tenets of yoga. Food has been equated to the highest. If our highest duty is towards ourselves, then are we aware when we over-indulge or under eat or eat the wrong type of food? It has been said that the tongue is a small organ it gets us into all kinds of problems, either by speech or by food.
Human beings cannot exist without air, water and food. The ancient Yogis have given sufficient consideration to this. With their analytical mind they have suggested something to improve the quality and quantity of food to be taken. In fact, Yogis have given food a little higher value than merely its food or chemical value.
Their way of discriminating a diet was of dividing the food into three categories based upon the end-results of the nutrients. The entire world is made up of three elements; Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. They are found in all matter including our food. They affect the mind also.
Sattvic food is natural and therefore easily digestible. It generates energy and thus alertness. This kind of food brings relaxation and feeling of peace. One feels contented, happy and joyous. Milk and milk products, fruits and dry fruits, seasonal vegetables, cereals like wheat, unpolished rice, millet, jowar ,bajra, corn, pulses like moong dal, sprouts, ginger, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, honey jaggery, etc. are some of the items that are Sattvic.
State of Mind
The most important aspect of Ahara is the state of mind while eating food. Mauna (silence) is advocated in all ancient literature. Practicing this, a person learns to live in the present. While eating, one should totally be with the act of eating. No other thought should be entertained. One should attend to the way food is chewed, the subtle tastes of different food items, the movement of food down the oesophagus to the stomach, etc. When food is eaten thus with one-pointedness, the assimilation and absorption of food is at its best. Watching television while eating can lead to overeating and negative emotions which can affect digestion adversely. Try to consciously generate a happy, positive atmosphere without involving likes and dislikes.
Here is a recipe of the healthy herbal tea that is served daily at The Yoga Institute, Mumbai:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 3-4 lemon grass leaves or 4-5 mint leaves or a little ginger.
Ingredients for Jaggery water
- 2-3 tsp Jaggery
- 1 cup water
- Boil water with either lemon grass, ginger and / or mint
- Add milk. Boil and strain.
Method for jaggery water:
- Boil water and remove from flame.
- Add grated jaggery and stir till it dissolves.
- Add 2 tsp of jaggery water or according to taste to the milk. Stir and serve hot.
Learn more about types of food, how to eat, when to eat and experience the feel and taste of healthy Sattvic food during the WHY Convention at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz Mumbai on 25th and 26th December, 2012. Click here to register.
Look for these books at the Book Stall during the event: