Unveiling the underlying qualities of all things is a value within yoga philosophy. For this reason, the “gunas” help define the energies or attributes of material nature. Traditional yoga focuses on the 3 main gunas; sattva, rajas, and tamas. Similar to the doshas of Ayurveda; vata, kapha, and pitta, the gunas also have a web of interactions. The gunas are seen as the three main qualities of material nature derived from the ancient Indian, or Vedic perspective. Sattva is the air element referring to the power within balance, harmony and intelligence. Increasing aspects of Sattva reduces the aspects of rajas and/or tamas. Rajas is the motion of passion and desire within someone, commonly portrayed through movements. This guna is the action and change of the fire element. Tamas is associated with negativity and darkness. Usually, individuals with an imbalance of tamas exhibit laziness, inertia, and ignorance.
Energy promotes one of the gunas to prevail over the others. Diet also contributes to energy and the strengthening of one guna over another. The diet for Sattvic food is characterized by fresh, juicy, nourishing. sweet and tasty. Some foods include, fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Rajastic foods are commonly bitter, sour, and salty. Examples include foods that are fried, excessively eaten, or cooked too much. Tamasic foods can be characterized as dry, old, or distasteful. Intensively processed, canned, frozen, or stale meats, eggs, fish, or alcohol should be eaten in moderation for a healthy diet.
Finding a balance between the Sattvic foods and the Rajastic foods is very important when creating a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding Tamasic foods can strengthen your digestive system and carry over into your overall vitality.