This post contains an abstract from a speech of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, who talks about the Tips to Eat Right & Sleep Less For Students. The post contains a word-by-word narration of the speech of Sadhguru.
Tips to Eat Right & Sleep Less For Students
Food is not a religion, food is not a culture, food is just a fuel for this body. There may be cultural aspects to the taste, there may be even religious aspects to the food over a period of time. But essentially the food is a fuel for this body.
So with what kind of food will it (body) function with minimum struggle with minimum struggle within itself and maximum impact. So suppose you buy a petrol car and pump diesel into it may still roll around but not at its optimum. Similarly various foods you can eat and still somehow it (body) functions. But those community which have eaten with care you can clearly see a distinct difference in the way they functions, their level of intelligence. So in India we prescribe food for different people in a different way. For the people doing menial jobs in one way, because you need physical muscle. If you are doing other kind of trading, or other kind of activity you eat another way. If you are of fighting class you eat differently and now if you are into education, spiritual process and subtler aspects of life then you eat differently.
Food and Sleep
If you are in education one of the greatest challenges is to stay focused on something. The textbook is written for an average intelligence it is common discussion, its not written for the brilliant students. It is written in a way which is a common prescription everybody gets it. And for that textbook how much effort it is taking fir a whole lot of people. They have to read it ten times to get it, understand it. But you lie down in your bed and read a love story you remember every word. How come?
So you don’t like memory, you don’t like focus. It is just that textbook and your chemistry is not working. So what you need is a higher level of focus, a higher level of involvement. And another great enemy for a student is sleep. This textbook is such a tranquilizer, the moment you open it (you fall asleep). Go to a cinema and till 2 AM you are up. Open a textbook at 9o clock and you sleep. So sleep is another big enemy.
Tamas, Rajas and Sattva
So what kind of food do you eat, so that there is no inertia in the body. In yogic way of seeing things we are looking at Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. Tamas means inertia, Rajas means activity but no balance, Sattva means absolutely balanced kind of energy.
Food for students
When you are into education you need a very balanced kind of energy. Because you have to focus on something which doesn’t naturally interests you. It is not something with which your chemistry is good. Here there is no chemistry but you have to focus on that. For this you need a balanced and a steady mind. Fir this you need to eat in a certain way. Put it in a very simple way, food goes through your body, through the alimentary canal. From your mouth to your anal outlet, there is a pipe. Through this it runs going through various stages of digestive process. Now it begins with the lip. Here if you look at this, the herbivores and carnivores have a distinct alimentary canal system. Now everything in the human being suggests that you are naturally a herbivore, but for the sake of survival we became carnivores.
If you look at the jaw movements all the carnivore animals have only the cutting axle, while herbivores have cutting and grinding axle. Herbivores have grinding mechanism. Why do we have grinding mechanism? It is because we need to chew our food. And why do we need to chew our food. It is because you have enzymes in your saliva where if you take a little bit of raw rice and put it in your mouth for a minute you will see it turns sweet in the mouth. This is because the carbohydrate is being converted into sugar right in the mouth. So if you eat properly, then we say that 30-50% of your digestion should happen in your mouth. So this next part of the digestive system expects half-digested food/partially digested food. But right now the way we are eating is, mostly you are not only putting mostly undigested food but partly destroyed food. So the amount of food that you need to get the same amount of energy is increased. So you are eating much more food than you should eat to generate that much of energy. Because of that there is inertia in the body because it has to process so much more food than it should. There is inertia, once there is inertia your sleep quota increases.
If you eat right and do a certain things with your body, you will see very effortlessly within 3-4 weeks you can drop your sleep quota anywhere between 2-3 hours. Just learn to sit properly. The two main things are the geometry of the body and what goes into the system. If you just manage these two things, your sleep quota will come down. Just to tell you for over 25 years, I have largely managed with an average of 2.5 hours of sleep. Now I am feeling lazy and averaging around 4.5 hours. But 7 days in a week.
One thing you can do is eat 40-50% of the food in its raw form. That means it must be alive. It must be a live cell, it can be a vegetable, it can be a fruit, it can be a nut, it can be a sprouted gram. Atleast 40-50% of the food that you eat must be alive. If you eat live food, your state of mind and focus will improve. Staying awake is not good, you have to stay alert. How alert you are how focused you are only to that extend everything ails to you in this world.
One more aspect of food is, when you consume something, it must be of a simple genetic code. In simple words, it must be a very simple software. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, sprouts are very simple. More complicated means animal food. Suppose you eat an animal which has some amount of emotion and a life of its own. Your body is an accumulation of memory, which means a certain software. This is the most complex software. Human software is the most complex software on the planet. So if you eat an animal particularly a mammal, it has similar level of complexity because it has thoughts and emotions of its own. Now for you to break that code and integrate it into your system you are not fully successful. So it will leave some traces of certain quality within you. You cannot break that code and make it a part of your own because it is a different and complex code. If you eat a leaf or vegetable, a fruit, a nut or a sprout, this is much simpler. If you must eat non-vegetarian food , you must eat that, which is furthest away from you. So generally fish and water life is furthest away from you. So if you must eat non vegetarian food, the best thing is to eat fish.