Better Health through Digestion with an Ayurvedic Diet
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What are the Gunas?The gunas are the 20 most important sensations. Ayurveda is about how you feel and experience life. Through experiences, you can begin to develop a relationship with food and the environment. The gunas are the words you can use to describe those experiences. That's why all of Ayurveda begins and ends with the gunas. Even the five elements and the doshas are simply common collections of gunas. To know Ayurveda, know the gunas.
To heighten your awareness and experiences, Ayurveda offers many techniques for sharpening the five senses. Development of the five senses offers a clearer perspective on reality.
To Learn More, Click on a Guna Below
Missing Gunas?On Joyful Belly we've selected only those gunas that are most useful in cooking. There are twenty gunas in all. Many of the other gunas are useful in treating skin conditions. Here are some of the other gunas, and their useful equivalents on Joyful Belly:
|For rough||dry||For dense||heavy|
|For hard||heavy||For soft||liquid|
|For mobile||rajas||For stable||tamas|
|For subtle||clear||For gross||heavy|
The first eight gunas
|Cold||contracts, dries, soothes||Cucumber, cilantro|
|Hot||expands, flushes, inflames||Wine, Chili|
|Oily||nourishes, moisturizes, clogs||Cheese, Olive Oil|
|Dry||absorbs, ages, harsh||Cranberry, celery|
|Heavy||stabilizes, strengthens, growth||Red meat, wheat|
|Light||cleanses, diminishes||Popcorn, Salad|
|Gooey||pacifies, mucus, stagnation||Yogurt, cheese|
|Sharp||irritates, flushes, stimulates||Chili, Black pepper|
Facts about gunas
Imbalanced gunasImbalances are characterized by instability in emotions and uncomfortable sensations. The nature of an imbalance can be described as an excess of one or more of the gunas above. Gunas are a useful tool to describe your discomfort using common, everyday language that others can relate to.
How to think AyurvedicallyTo think Ayurvedically, rename a disease and a medicine as a feeling. Use the gunas. For example, influenza is a noun but a cold is an adjective. Some people get a hot flu. Others get a cold flu. While treating the flu is mysterious, treating its coldness is simple use its opposite. Use "hot." The treatment becomes more obvious when we can rename the disease as a feeling.
Food & the gunasAyurveda also views food as a feeling. It classifies food by its effect rather than nutritional content. Chilies are hot but cucumbers are cool. Bread is heavy but salads are light. Butter is oily but popcorn is dry. Black pepper is sharp but cheese is dull.
Gunas & doshaThe three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha describe three relationships between gunas. Some gunas tend to have affinity for each other. For example your skin dries out in winter. Thus cold causes dry quality (Vata). When tissue is irritated, it becomes inflamed. Thus pungent cause hot quality (Pitta). When you eat heavy foods, it depresses your metabolism. Thus heavy causes cold (Kapha). The three relationships between gunas are:
What about Satva, Rajas & Tamas?In yoga, the gunas are Satva, Rajas, and Tamas. In Ayurveda, these are called the maha gunas. Rajas and Tamas are considered to be the doshas of the mind. Satva is considered to be a balanced mind.
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