The arrival of the New Year is the perfect opportunity to begin a yoga cleansing diet to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit, detoxify your digestive system, and promote good health.
Although traditional yoga cleansing - called panchakarma - is practiced to detoxify, balance, and revitalize the body and soul during the change of seasons, you can derive some of its benefits year round by including sattvic (pure) foods in your diet every day.
A sattvic diet includes unrefined grains (including brown rice, barley, quinoa, and oats), beans (such as mung beans and lentils), and seasonly fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Avoid eating heavy, fried or oily foods, red meat, full-fat dairy products, and pre-packaged, refined foods like white flour pasta, breads, and sweets.
For several days, try eating only sattvic foods, such as Dr. Elaine's Yoga Detox Stew which contains creamy mung beans, tender basmati rice, fresh vegetables, and fragrant herbs. Include vegetables that are rich in healing antioxidants such as crunchy baby carrots, artichokes and asparagus. Also incorporate detoxifying bitter greens such as broccoli rabe, radicchio, escarole, endive, and dandelion. To help stimulate your digestive fire (agni) and eliminate toxic waste (ama), drink Yogi Chai green or black tea made with stimulating spices such as cinnamon and ginger.
Palate for Your Prana
Over the millennia, the rishis - the ancient yoga masters - performed their panchakarma for cleansing and renewal during during the spring and fall equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. Seasonal cleansing provided the rishis with an opportunity to practice self-discipline (niyama) and to deepen their meditation and spirituality. They believed that eating sattvic foods increased the prana (life-force) energy and helped purify the body and mind. This cleansing diet helped bring heightened awareness and enlightenment.
Start off the New Year healthy by combining a yoga cleansing diet, a simple yoga practice and Dr. Elaine's Yoga Detox Stew.
YOGA DETOX STEW
1/2 cup (25 gm) split mung beans
1 cup (50 gm) basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander, cumin, ginger, or your favorite spice
1 cup (50 gm) chopped vegetables such as dandelion leaves, broccoli rabe, escarole, or your favorite leafy green vegetable
7 to 8 cups (2 L) filtered or spring water
Chopped fresh parsley or your favorite fresh herb for garnish Directions 1. Rinse the mung beans and rice well in cold water and drain.
2. In a large pot, add the beans, rice, turmeric, spice, vegetables and water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer about 1 hour, or until the beans are soft and the water is mostly absorbed. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.
3. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.
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