Mitāhāra (Sanskrit: मिताहार): a moderate diet

Yoga guides as through as how to live a healthy, peaceful and balanced life and thus includes guidelines concerning a well-balanced diet (Mitāhāra) consisting of light, sattvic food easy to digest. Most of all, yoga suggests moderation and balance, rather than extremes like severe fasting and overeating; when the body is overloaded with food, it becomes sluggish and the mind becomes dull.

A vegeterian diet consisting of conducive food (such as wheat, rice, barley, good grains, milk, sugar, honey, fruits, butter, grey ginger, cucumber, some leafy vegetables), freshly cooked, not too much acidic, sour, bitter, pungent and salty, but with sweet or astringent taste (dominant rasa, Hathayogapradipika 1-58). A yogi should consume food that is contributing to health – sweet, lubricated, made of cow milk, nourishing to the fundamental element of the body, agreeable to one’s own mind or taste and which is conducive and fulfilling all conditions of yogic food (Hathayogapradipika, 1-63).

As to the quantity of the food to be consumed, every individual differs in his constitution and therefore instead of prescribing the exact food quantity, it is proposed the following

  • 2/4 of the stomach to be filled with solid food
  • 1/4 of the stomach to be filled with water
  • 1/4 of the stomach to be kept empty for the free movement of air

Our mental attitude while cooking, serving and eating the food is also important and should be directed towards the body nourishment for its maintenance in order to foster the process of spiritual evolution. The food we eat should be earned through fair means and should be preferable local.

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