Pungent Spicy Westerners

As we've mentioned, most Westerners tend to be rajas-natured because Western life is so rajas-oriented. Our culture rewards high energy, overachievement, even anxiety and agitation if they help to get the job done! Rajasic foods are generally the stimulating kind: spicy, sour, pungent, and bitter. The following are examples of rajasic food:

If you aren't ready for all-out vegetarianism, try it for a day. Tell yourself you can have a cheeseburger tomorrow, but today you'll stick with hearty split-pea soup over rice or a steaming plate of pasta with sauteed mushrooms. Tomorrow, before your cheeseburger, notice how you feel. Lighter? Hungrier? No different? Calmer? Then try it again next week.

Wise Yogi Tells Us

If you aren't ready for all-out vegetarianism, try it for a day. Tell yourself you can have a cheeseburger tomorrow, but today you'll stick with hearty split-pea soup over rice or a steaming plate of pasta with sauteed mushrooms. Tomorrow, before your cheeseburger, notice how you feel. Lighter? Hungrier? No different? Calmer? Then try it again next week.

> Hot peppers

> Most strong spices, especially black and red pepper

> Coffee, tea, cola, and other stimulating, caffeine-laden beverages

Ancient cultures often fed their warriors meat before sending them off to battle, because it was known that meat increased aggression and agitation. After a good meat-fest, warriors could fight and kill better. Assuming you don't have the need to fight and kill anyone, however, why not try cutting down or even eliminating most rajasic foods from your diet? You may find a new sense of calm and a clearer head.

Of course, a little rajasic food now and then won't hurt anyone. It's what you do most of the time that counts. But if you exist on steak and eggs, or spicy beef burritos, or sausage-and-pepper sandwiches, or coffee and diet cola, even a nonyogi can tell you that you aren't going to be at your healthiest.

Lessons in Raja Yoga

Lessons in Raja Yoga

An easy to understand book on the principles and practices of Raja-Yoga alike. It teaches the eight steps

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