In this week of talking about how to gain more energy, it will be nice to talk about Sattva. This word literally means “pure and can be a little less commonly taught about in the day-to-day yoga community. Attempting to add as many sattvic elements in the day – in activities, food, and otherwise, can help you to gather a balanced energy that allows the mind to remain focused, alert, and yet energetic.
In traditional ayurvedic thought (ayurveda is the natural healing system of India, and associated with yoga), there are considered to be three qualities that make up everything in the universe. Objects, foods, people, jobs, seasons, anything can have the quality of being rajasic, tamasic, or sattvic.
Rajas – is associated with motion and energy. If you are feeling rajasic you may feel sped up, hurried, have quickly moving thoughts, or even feel tired due to overstimulation. Foods that can be considered rajasic would be stimulating, spicy, hot, and pickled.
Tamas – is associated with heaviness, dullness, and laziness. If you feel you lack energy, but haven’t done anything, this is considered to be tamasic. An inability to think clearly, a lack of interest, and dulled senses can be indicators if there is too much tamas in the body. You would feel pretty sluggish. Tamasic foods would be dairy, most meats, cheese, and fatty foods.
Sattva – would be considered food that is neither highly stimulating, nor fatty, and that comes from a very pure source. In other words, natural foods would be considered sattvic. The sattvic mind seems clear and feels calm, and compassion.
Ideally, and to put it simply, a person would try to incorporate as much sattvic food in the diet as possible, but also think about the qualities of other aspects of life.
What kinds of movies and television do you watch? Do you think these are sattvic? Is watching tv sattvic?
What other activities do you participate in? Do you think you have a good balance of activities? If you spend a little time in a highly stimulating environment, perhaps spending a little time in a more calm environment will allow you to re-balance the emotions and the adrenals after all that stimulation.
Considering the qualities of the food you eat, the thoughts you spend most of your time with, and the types of activities you participate in can really help to increase a sense of how to gain a more balanced sense of energy in your life.
For more ideas and information:
A good description of food and diet ideas:
A short video with explanation:
Yoga Pose of the Day: Locust – Salabhasana
Yogic Concept of the Day: Is this activity, or food I am eating tamasic, rajasic, or sattvic?