ayurveda

Kitchari Recipe for those “I’m relaxed and feel like cooking” moments

Kitchari is an incredibly simple yet satisfying dish that is wonderful as a staple food to incorporate into your weekly routine. It can be eaten plain or accompanied with vegetables.

Kitchari is an incredibly simple yet satisfying dish that is wonderful as a staple food to incorporate into your weekly routine. It can be eaten plain or accompanied with vegetables.

1 ½ tbsp ghee

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp brown mustard seeds

1/8 tsp asafetida (or hing) optional

½ tsp mineral/rock salt

½ tbsp fresh grated ginger root

½ tsp turmeric (fresh or powder)

¼ tsp cardamom 

½ cup white basmati rice

¼ cup split mung beans (if split is not available use whole, soak for 4-8 hours and cook well)

1 strip kombu cut into small pieces (optional)

3-5 cups water more as needed (amount of water depends on how soupy you want it. The more liquid the easier it is to digest.) 

Warm pan and half of the ghee. Simmer cumin, coriander and mustard seeds till the aroma comes up. Add rice, split mung and kombu. Stir together for a couple of minutes. Add 4 cups of water and simmer for 45 minutes in a pot on the stove. If you are using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 18 minutes.

Put the remaining ghee in a small pan over medium heat. Add salt, ginger root, asofoetida, turmeric and cardamom. Simmer till aroma comes up. Add to main mixture and let sit for five minutes so the tastes can “become friends”. You can also use this spic mix to cook your accompanying vegetables. Just warm ghee and spices, add veggies, stir. And then cover halfway with water and put a lid on it. Cook until veggies are desired texture or till they turn a bright vibrant color. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Moon Milk for Deep Sleep

Working to improve your sleep hygiene so that you can sleep better and have more energy during your days? Try this tasty and ojas building drink!

ayurvedic milk

Ayurvedic Moon Milk encourages deep and restful sleep. Find a source for responsibly produced milk. Milk that comes from happy cows nourishes us on many levels inside and out. If you live in the Finger Lakes, I recommend Interbrook Farm’s raw milk CSA, or contact your local Cooperative Extension for a list of farms in your area. If you are not consuming dairy at this time you may substitute with coconut milk or rice milk (make sure they have no added sweeteners).

  • 1/2 cup whole milk (raw, organic, non-homogenized is best)

  • 1/2 tsp. ghee

  • A few dashes of cinnamon (about 1/8 tsp.)

  • 1/8 tsp. of cardamom

  • Dash of nutmeg

  • 1 tsp. of maple syrup (optional, I find the milk already sweet so I rarely add it)

Slowly warm milk with spices, and sip before bed. The herbs help the body to digest the milk and will help cool the body and pacify the mind. Be sure to indulge in this drink at least two hours after your last meal.

The Freedom of Routine

Earlier in my life, I experienced such debilitating depression and anxiety that it became clear that I needed to make some changes. I found yoga and began to make changes in my life to improve my health. I also made a promise to my self to follow my passions. I became extremely cautious about stagnation, which at that time I associated with depressive behavior…and I thought that could be accomplished by being ON THE MOVE. My primary goal was to stay effervescent, happy, and to not get bored. I moved something like 20 times in 6 years and traveled and worked at lots of different places and had lots of different experiences. Meanwhile, my practice deepened and guided me in to new layers of exploration and understanding….

SaraWordenIndia.jpg

Last winter, my yoga practice led me to make a pilgrimage to India with my philosophy teacher Douglas Brooks. The experience was even more profound than I expected it to be. And in some ways it had unanticipated results. The texture of India spoke to a deep part of me that needed more color, beauty, meaning, and community When I put foot back in the states, I experienced a dense contraction that pulled me deeper inside myself and practice (ok it was winter in the Northeast, so that likely played a part). But I felt a deep swell of energy that directed me. Things needed to change, with in and with out. And so came a series of changes in my life….

The most significant being that I took a full time job as Assistant Director of Community Engagement at Hospicare. I joined a great team working collectively for a common mission. And… I found myself in a routine, that which I had previously feared the most. But instead of it being a constrictive experience, it’s actually been quite expansive! A regular schedule has actually made MORE space in my life. Space that has been filled with more self-care, yoga, vitality, and clarity!

Freedom.jpg

Of course it did require that I pull back from teaching weekly public classes. But my daily routine, pranayama, meditation, asana found its home in the early morning when the day is still and sweet. I began going deeper into the practices of Ayurveda and established a Dinacharya or a daily routine that includes a meaningful engagement with my food and skin care in a way that an erratic schedule never allowed for.

In yoga, moksha is our experience of freedom. And from a tantric perspective, liberation is not something to be gained by controlling the body or leaving the body. It is precisely the gift of embodiment that gives our spirt the chance to take form, engage with the world and create and express. So the next time you are feeling distress, try softening into your routine and connecting with your self-care rituals that are woven in throughout your day. Embracing the boundaries of your body and your routine may just help you experience more freedom!