Yogic Lifestyle means making choices to support a healthy body and mind, and purity of elevated consciousness (even). The trinity roots of onion, garlic and ginger, are advised to be eaten daily for good health. Tumeric is also an excellent herb to include in any dish – it is said to be anti-inflammatory ( now I like to include it in porridge, together with banana and cinnamon or maple syrup- for happy sunshine breakfast). It is advised to avoid, coffee, sugar and not to eat meat. A vegetarian diet has long been recognised for the many health benefits.
The philosopher Pythagoras was an early believer in vegetarianism and Irish writer and playwright Bernard Shaw also saw the sense of abstaining from eating meat although this flew in the face of convention in early 20th century Ireland – he had some witty observations !
Archibald Henderson, author of a three-volume biography of Shaw, recorded an appropriate conversation with him in 1924, when Shaw was already sixty-eight. The following excerpt is taken from Table-Talks, a collection illustrating the outspoken and witty side of the prolific playwright:
Henderson: So be a good fellow and tell me how you succeeded in remaining so youthful.
Shaw: I don’t. I look my age; and I am my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses and drink spirits?
Mung Beans & Rice with Vegetables
A perfectly balanced protein dish, easy to digest and very satisfying. Good any time of year but makes a particularly good winter diet.
4 ½ cups water
½ cup whole mung beans
½ cup basmati rice
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup finely minced ginger root
3 cups chopped vegetables
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
¾ tablespoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon dried crushed red chilés
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
Rinse the mung beans and rice. Add the mung beans to boiling water and cook until they begin to split. Add the rice and cook another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the vegetables.
Heat the ghee/oil in a sauté pan and add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until clear. Add the spices and cook 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add a little water if necessary. Add this to the cooked rice and beans. You can substitute vegetables as you like, as well as use Bragg Liquid Aminos, tamari, or soy sauce instead of salt. Tastes great with yogurt!
Cauliflower Curry (Bhajan Barbeque) by Yogi Bhajan
taken from “The Yoga of Ageing and Chronic Illness” by Jivan Joti Kaur. (Originally credited to Conscious Cookery by Siri Ved Kaur Khalsa.)
- Olive Oil
- 1 heaping tsp. tumeric
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 bulbs garlic, peeled whole cloves
- 1/4 cup chopped gingerroot
- 1 Tbsp, ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 healing tsp -Tbsp Crushed red chilies
- 1 cup spring water
- 6 ripe tomatoes cut into quarters ( or use cherry tomatoes)
- 3/4 -1 cup malt or white vinegar
- 3 cauliflowers cut into flowerets (largeish pieces)
- Braggs Amino Acids, tamari or salt of choice.
Heat 1/8″ olive oil in large pot ( 6 qt.) with tumeric. When it bubbles, add onions, whole cloves of garlic and ginger. Sauté for several minutes. Add cinnamon, pepper cloves, chillies, and about 1 cup of water. Cook for at least 5 minutes, adding more water if necessary so it doesn’t burn ( medium flame). Add tomatoes, vinegar, cauliflower and salt. Before cauliflower is added, mixture should be pretty watery. Cook about 1 hour, uncovered until the oil separates and the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork. The final consistency is soupy and has the aroma of an “indian barbeque!”. Serves 8-10 ( reduce measurements for fewer servings).
Allottment Miso Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 2 large handfulls of chard or leaf beat.
- 3 spring onions
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1″ chopped ginger
- fennel seeds
- corriander leaves
- 1 tsp veg boullion
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 large chopped potatoes
- 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
- 5 small mushrooms halved
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 tsp Tumeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 teaspoon miso paste (or as required)
- chopped dillisk (optional)
Cook the garlic, onions (except spring onions) and ginger on a medium heat until soft.
Add the tumeric, garam masala and pinch of pepper.
Add the carrot and continue to stir. Continue by adding the water and stock, followed by the remaining vegetables, dillisk and bay leaves. Cook on a low heat for 20-30 minutes covering the pot and stirring occasionally. The soup is done when the diced potatoes and leaves are soft through. Finally once the soup is being served add the miso paste – or mix it with water and give to add as desired.
My daughter even likes this soup – so maybe you can give it a try : )
Clothes for Yoga
For Kundalini Yoga it is excellent to wear bright or white clothes of a natural fiber and to cover the head.
The Cold Shower
A wonderful discovery for me was the cold shower. Before starting the morning practice, Kundalini Yogis are encouraged to experience the benefits of this ancient science of ishnaan also known as hydrotherapy.
It is known that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed cold baths for his patients. Another ritual from ancient Roman times, involved moving through several rooms with increasing temperatures, then ending with a plunge in a cold pool — hence the Latin term frigidarium. We can still see practices like this in spas around the world. Athletes take ice baths to reduce local inflammation and soreness and improve injury recovery times.
Today with the modern convenience of the shower, we can enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy or ishnaan, in the comfort of our own homes. Have you tried a cold shower yet ? Summer is a great time to try..
* Brings blood to the capillaries, therefore increasing circulation throughout the body.
* Cleans the circulatory system
* Reduces blood pressure on internal organs
* Provides flushing for the organs and provides a new supply of blood
* Strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
* Contracts the muscles to eliminate toxins and poisonous wastes
* Strengthens the mucous membranes, which help resist hay fever, allergies, colds, coughs
* Cleanses the aura and produces powerful energy
* Generates an endorphin rush
All of these advantages for just 5 minutes a day. When the weather gets chilly, these ishnaan sessions actually warm you up! So it’s a win-win, all year round.
Getting out of bed early to start your day with yoga, meditation and prayer is a key part of the yogic way of life – sadhana (discipline) is a gift and a privilege of time and space so that we can make better choices in our lives, and through our altitude, cultivate a prayerful attitude to have grace and poise under pressure.