Mitahara - The Yogic Diet Part 2

Ayurveda categorizes food into six flavors, known as Shad Rasa, which include sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Yoga does not categorize any meal as good or bad, but it does recommend consuming a range of foods. However, sweet and astringent foods from natural sources are preferred above other types of food. It is important to note that the other flavors can still be enjoyed in moderation.


Hathavidya Traditional School Of Yoga

7/4/20241 min read

In a yogic diet, a Yogi should consume nourishing, pleasant, lubricating food prepared with cow's milk that nourishes the body's elements (Dhatus). The meal should also be agreeable and appetizing to the yogi. Yogic literature discourage the consumption of excessively heated (burnt), reheated, stale, rotten, and preserved food.\

Food quantity Comparable standards set for the excellence of food can likewise be observed in ancient writings on the amount of food. According to the Gheranda Samhita, it is recommended to consume solid food that fills just half of the stomach, while filling one-fourth of the stomach with water. The remaining one-fourth of the stomach should be left empty to facilitate the circulation of gases and aid in digestion. The following is the universally recognized definition of Mitahara. The primary focus in most texts is to ensure that one-fourth of the stomach remains unoccupied. Consequently, excessive consumption of food is highly discouraged. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (verse 1.15) enumerates six causes of yoga failure, with overeating and failing to adhere to mitahara being the primary one. The objective of Yoga is to regulate the mind, which entails regulating the senses. The tongue, also known as the Rasa indriya, is a highly influential sense organ. Mastery in yoga cannot be attained without proper control over it. The remaining indriyas are regulated by abstaining from the sensory stimuli that activate them. However, limiting food intake is ineffective as it causes increased restlessness in an individual. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid Anhara (no food or reduced food) and instead practice Mitahara to gain control over the senses.