In a recent Yoga & Meditation workshop I hosted with my mother (a Yoga & meditation teacher herself, as well as a qualified hypnotherapist and all-around wise woman), we briefly spoke about how a Sattvic diet was traditionally used to aid in the practices of meditation.
The word ‘sattvic’ means ‘pure’, and it’s often referred to as one of the three ‘gunas’ or ‘qualities’ which are present within all of nature. If we can recognise which quality of energy something holds, or how we’re feeling in a particular situation, we’re more able to bring ourselves into balance by creating small changes and adjusting our habits towards ones that serve us.
The three Gunas are found in everything in prakriti or ‘creation’. Even when we reach a particularly sattvic or ‘pure’ state, this doesn’t mean we’re enlightened and will remain in this state forever, as ‘lila’ also known as ‘the play of life’ continues to throw us ups and downs. The three Gunas are Rajas, Sattva and Tamas.
Rajas represents the qualities of passion, activity, movement, egotistical actions, and restlessness.
Sattva represents that state of purity, not effected either by Rajas or Tamas. A sattvic state is one of harmony, balance, peace, strength, virtue, honesty (the word ‘sat’ is often known as ‘true’) and creativity.
Tamas represents inertia, dullness, lethargy, heaviness, anxiety, violence, ignorance and darkness.
Our environment, our own habits, the foods we eat, the company we keep, and our very own ‘nature’ all effects how often we feel rajassic, sattvic or tamassic. Yoga’s sister science of Ayurveda focuses on the importance of balancing the body’s energy, and one of the primary ways of doing this is through nutrition.
- Rajassic foods (foods which encourage ‘fieryness’, irritability, restlessness and which stimulate the nervous system include):
- Soda and carbonated drinks
- Overly salty or sweet foods
- Tamassic foods (foods which encourage lethargy, heaviness and that ‘bleugh’ feeling):
- Overly processed foods
- Heavy meats
- Onions and garlic
- Sattvic foods (foods which enhance balance within the body, calmness within the nervous system and mind, and are easy to digest and obtain energy from):
- Nuts and seeds
- Unpasteurised and fresh milk
- Fresh Vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
These snacks resemble very soft cookies, and all herbs and spices used are warming and sattvic, which really benefits digestion and metabolism in colder months. Due to the chickpea flower, they’re high in vegan protein and provide plenty of sustainable energy. Eat with a warm cup of tea when you’re in need of a nourishing sattvic snack.
Cardamom pods (de-seeded and ground)
Handful of sunflower seeds
Large handful of dried apricots, chopped
1 cup chickpea flower
¼ cup apple sauce
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp water as needed to create a thick but very wet cookie-dough-like batter
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (I used a fan setting on the oven as this tends to bake things more efficiently a.k.a faster and with less time to wait until you can eat them…..)
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl (be sure to sieve the flour) and mix until well combined
Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack
Eat, share and enjoy!