Yoga Abhyas - Aahar (Food)

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Ahar (Yogic/satvik food): Ref - hatha-pradipika-ch-1

पुष्टं सुमधुरं स्निग्धं गव्यं धातुप्रपोषणम् । मनोभिलषितं योग्यं योगी भोजनम् आचरेत् ॥६६॥
Pushtam sumadhuram snigdham gavyam dhatu-praposhanam | Manobhilashitam yogyam yogi bhojanmacharet ||

Meaning: The yogi should take nourishing and sweet food mixed with ghee and milk; it should nourish the dhathus (basic body constituents) and be pleasing and suitable.

Suggested do's and don't

Water intakeFood intakeSleep
- Drink water 1 hour after eating food. (alternative you can drink fruit juice after breakfast, yogurt base drink after lunch or milk after dinner
- Drink water by gulping sip by sip.
- Drink normal temperature water (not from freezer or ice)
- Drink water 2-3 glasses as soon you wake up in the morning without spitting the overnight suliva.
-One should eat satvik aahar 3/4th of your capacity & chew more.
-Eat/chew good food means bite the food longer such a way that the good digestive juice forms along good thoughts.
-Eat food within 3 hours after you cook.
Drink water 1 hour after eating food. Avoid refrigerated food, reheated food.
-Avoid hot water bath, best is to use normal room temperature water.
-Avoid yogurt or fruit intake in the evening.
-Avoid intake of cold/hot water/tea/coffee.
-Eat as per weather. Whatever seasonal vegetables/fruits/salad as per suitable to your body.
-Avoid all packaged food, smelly food.
-Night sleep should be after 2 hrs post dinner.
-Sleep on your left side.
-As you wake up, do some movement of your legs like cycling with feet and hand to circulate the accumulated blood to all part of body.
Drink water 2-3 glassses of luke warm water after you wake up in the morning in sitting pose with your both feet touching ground resting your buttok on your calf. If possible donot spit after you wake up then drink this water,

Practice Pranayam(breathing practice) daily specially Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Bhramari.

Jivva Dhauti:
Practice jivaa dhauti (tongue cleaning) practice in the morning before intake of any food/water. This cleans up the amla (toxins) from accumulated on your tounge. After tongue cleaning, rinse your mouth with water. This process improves digestion and improve the taste(Rasa)  sense.

According to Acharya Punarvasu Atreya, the preceptor of Charaka Samhita, there are a total of six rasas.
All types of food items have been kept under these Shad Rasa. Each rasa has its own properties and effects, which when ingested perform different necessary actions in the body. Food containing "Shad Rasa" or "Six Ayurveda Rasa" is best,
they should be taken in proper proportion, if taking less or more than this, there is a possibility of the body suffering from diseases.

Madhura, Amla, Lavana, Katu, Tikta, Kashaya

These steps will balance the kapha, vaat & pitta of your body to stay disease free life.

Some relevant reading:

Ayurveda means science of life and longetivity. Ayurveda is a holistic way to look at health - it doesn't just focus on treating illness but also on preventing it.

“Samadosha, samagnischa samadhatumala kriyaha prasanna atmenindriya manaha swasthya ityabhidheeyate”
-(Charak Samhita) It follows that the doshas must be in equilibrium, the digestive fire must be in a balanced state and the tissues (dhatus) and malas (wastes) must work in a normal state. The sensory and motor organs and mind, atma must be also in a pleasant state. Such a person is called a healthy person or Swastha.

- Kapha, Vata, Pitta 

 Ayurveda means “the wisdom of life” in Sanskrit, and the science links the rhythms of the universal elements ( earth, fire, air, water, and space ) to individual constitutions called doshas. The three dosha types are vata, pitta, and kapha, and while people all have some of each, generally, a person tends to have an abundance of one or a predominant combination of two.

Vata types are connected to the air and space, so they are similar to the wind dry, cool, and capable of fast, unpredictable movement and thought. Pittas are aligned with fire, influenced by air, and act with intense determination. Finally, kaphas are a combination of earth and water, move slowly and gracefully, and tend to be both stable and loyal.

These doshic constitutions, known as prakruti, are determined at the moment of conception, according to Ayurveda. But doshas are like anything in life; they are fluid and affected by circumstance, emotion, or even the seasons.

Foods included in an Ayurvedic diet would be fresh vegetables (especially leafy greens), rice, whole grains, beans and organic ghee.

Ayurveda teaches that there are 3 bodies within an individual- the physical body, the subtle body and the causal body.

The physical body is the densest  among 3 bodies. Our five sense organs (the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) and organs of action (the mouth, feet, hands, anus and genitals) are contained within the physical body. To nourish the physcical body we need food and water (5 elements) which is cause of the 3 doshas.

The subtle body is the bridge between the physical and causal bodies and is a combination of the mind, intellect and ego. It cannot be seen in the physical world. The subtle body consists of the doshas' more refined, subtle essences: prana, tejas and ojas.

The causal body is what connects us with our universal spirit and human soul. It is the non-physical aspect of one's being. Further, it carries a record of our past, present and future experiences.

The subtle bodies:
Prana, or life force, is the subtle essence of the ether and air elements. Practicing daily pranayam, neti, yoga, helathy fresh food will elevate healthy prana. Tejas is the radiant essence of the fire element. Practicing specific asana, trataka will elevate tejas aspect
Ojas – Vitality, Like honey, which is the nectar of pollen collected by bees, ojas is the fine nectar of all tissues of the body. It is mostly connected with eatth and water. Be in nature, good sleep, nourishing food can support the ojas.

In Ayurveda, a day is divided into 6 zones of 4 hours, each dominated by a single dosha:

Time Dominant dosha Preferred activity
6 a.m. to 10 a.m. kapha Exercise/Study/Breakfast
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  pitta Light Lunch/Rest
2 p.m. to 6 p.m. vata Drink/hydrate
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. kapha Dinner/settle 2 hour before sleep
10 p.m. to 2 a.m. pitta Sleep by 10pm
2 a.m. to 6 a.m. vata Bramha time-Wakeup/cleaning

Yoga is nothing else but a science of awareness. Do how much you can for others. A life lived for others gives happiness.
So we have duty towards our near and dear and then towards our work.


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