Definition - What does Sattva mean?

Sattva is one of the three gunas (virtues/attributes) in Hindu and Samkhya philosophy. The word means "light," "goodness" and "purity" in Sanskrit.

In Ayurveda and spiritual yoga practice, individuals seek to invite and maintain balance of the self, mind and body through the three gunas. Those who practice sattva seek to nourish the body with pure substances and engage in purifying practices. This can include upholding a sattvic diet, meditating, pranayama, asana practice, and/or the study of sacred scripture.

Yogapedia explains Sattva

Sattva denotes having the natural quality of purity and goodness. For something (such as food) to be considered sattvic, it should not increase evil or disease, and must be pure and natural.

Sattva can also be considered an emotional or mental state wherein the mind is at peace. Sattvic individuals often strive to deepen, strengthen and mature the soul. Many people cultivate sattva through practicing a sattvic diet, which includes foods that are considered most pure and life-giving to the body.

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