How many types of satttva are there

Yoga Food: The 4 Principles of Sattva Cooking

The sattvik diet is especially useful if you practice a lot of yoga. Most of the time, this change in food happens automatically, because we become finer through regular practice and intuitively less often resort to food that complains us. It's not that difficult to bring more sattva into your everyday life.

The 4 principles of the Sattva diet

Sattva is one of the three Gunas, the universal principles that make the cycle of life possible. These three principles are called Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. As universal principles, all three are indispensable and immanent in everything. That means every life is determined by the energies of Raja (movement, energy), Tamas (indolence, darkness) and Sattva (purity, harmony).

Our body and mind are also shaped by these principles. If you find it particularly difficult to get out of bed in the morning, you can be sure that you are carrying a lot of tamas around with you. Or if you are just wandering around in the stress tunnel and irritated others alienated that Rajas is currently in control of you. Sattva, on the other hand, is pure and clear. Just like your body and mind when you are in a sattvik state. That is why the sattvik mind is the goal of every yogi.

The wonderful thing about turning to Sattva is that it makes our lives easier. Sattva means to be in the moment, to yourself and - if you believe in it - connected to a higher consciousness. We find ourselves with honesty instead of grappling with caustic emotions such as envy and avarice. Of course we still need the other principles of movement (Raja) and also rest (Tamas) in our life. But: the more sattva we carry within us, the more balanced and happier we feel.

How to Sattva?

Regular yoga routine is an important step towards sattva. The experiences we have around yoga gradually change our behaviors and our consumer behavior becomes more intuitive. And of course there is also sattva food that supports and promotes the principle within you. And it is full of potency. The wonderful thing is that you only need to keep these four principles in mind for a sattvik diet.

Principle number 1: Ahimsa

The supreme principle in the Sattva diet is ahimsa, non-violence or non-harming other life. Therefore, the sattvik diet is always vegetarian or vegan. It reflects the longing for peace, self-love and compassion. Ahimsa also has a lot to do with responsible consumption that extends well beyond just eating.

Principle number 2: Prana

Prana is the universal life energy. Where there is no prana, it is very dark. In the yogic system, as in Ayurveda, it is assumed that food contains prana, i.e. life energy. Fresh, seasonal foods that are harvested when they are ripe, for example, have a lot of life energy. Prana decreases through long transport in the immature state and through repeated heating of food. Freezing completely destroys the energy. That means: food that is as fresh as possible is rich in prana, while ready-made and frozen food cannot have an energizing effect on the body and mind.

Principle number 3: sweetness

Sattva tastes sweet. Sweet is synonymous with earth, with stability. This stability does not represent heaviness, but rather vitality. Other flavors tend to support the principles that have remained. Rajas creates a lot of heat. Therefore, you will not find any garlic or chilli in the Sattva diet. Excessive salt leads to heaviness, i.e. tamas in the body.

The sweet taste has a particularly harmonizing effect on Vata and Pitta types. Pure Kapha constitutions should eat tart foods such as barley, millet and buckwheat in addition to the sweetness.

Principle number 4: lightness

In addition to being sweet, the food should be light. Cheese and eggs, for example, are heavy in the stomach and have a tamatic effect. But: Proteins are particularly important in the vegetarian ahimsa diet. So we choose the proteins that are found in lighter legumes (e.g. mung beans) and less in animal proteins. For more sattva also fully ripe fruits, fresh root vegetables, local grain and a few nuts and - if the metabolism is fiery - also some raw vegetables. Eating lightly slows down the body's work. That is, the mind can purify itself, work, and grow.

Sattvic food is not just raw food. In yoga, as in Ayurveda, digestive power is taken into account. The sattvik diet was originally designed for yoga practitioners. Only yogis who can fuel their digestive power through pranayama can feed on raw food.

With a sattvik diet you can balance and harmonize your physical and emotional body. It goes hand in hand with the inner development that we achieve through yoga. In Ayurveda, sattvik food is especially popular at the change of seasons to compensate for a lack of balance and to stabilize body and mind.

A very traditional and at the same time universal recipe in the Sattva kitchen is the Pullao, or Pulav. You can find this simple, cooked rice all over India, with local variations. Here adapted to the season. Sattva roots and Sattva lightness rolled into one. It's wonderfully easy to cook.

Recipe: Sattvic Pullao

for 2 servings

  • 250 basmati rice
  • 100 g beans
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut fat
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • some cinnamon stick
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1 piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • roasted almonds
  • Parsley or coriander leaves, fresh (I used winter cress)

That's how it's done:

Roast the almonds in a pan without fat, set aside. Peel and dice the carrots and ginger. Wash the beans and cut the ends, cut in half. Melt the fat in a saucepan, add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns to the hot fat and turn in it, add the ginger, then the carrots. Fry the carrots briefly before you can add the beans. Keep turning the vegetables and spices. Put the rice in the saucepan and sweat it until translucent. Add twice the amount of water (from the rice) to the saucepan, season with salt and simmer on a low heat until the water has boiled off and the rice is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Care with almonds. Pluck fresh greens over it. Finished.

Bon Appetit!

Your Julia

PS: If you would like to learn to cook Ayurvedic yourself, then come to Julia's cooking classes. You can find all dates here.

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