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Winter Yoga  -  Self Care

A soothing winter Restorative Yoga practice!

Restorative Yoga is a series of yoga poses which can be done in a sequence or individually in order to relax muscles and tissues, with complete quietness of the mind and connection of the smooth flow of breathing with the movement of the body. Thus, this form of practice, can be done only with certain poses with partial or full support for the body bringing no physical effort to maintain the pose. The muscles are not stretched beyond one's capacity and yet they get their minimum stretch with support by using props like yoga blocks, yoga bolsters, yoga straps, soft blankets, using walls, using cushions or extra pillows etc.


Planning For Your Cleanse?

The more completely you can clear your schedule for the entirety of your three-day cleanse, the better. More importantly, pick a time when you can minimize your exposure to stress. Ideally, you would not be working at all during the cleanse. If this is not realistic for you, I recommend scheduling the first day or two of your cleanse over your weekend so that you can get familiar with the diet and the routine before you are juggling the cleanse alongside work obligations. You’ll also want to avoid any social engagements that would make it difficult to maintain the simple diet prescribed below. In general, eliminate any unnecessary commitments and give yourself as much unstructured time to rest as possible. A menstruating woman should also schedule her cleanse around her cycle so that she is not bleeding at any point during the three-day cleanse.

The Diet

In general, eat as much as is desired at each meal—enough to feel satisfied, but be careful not to overeat.

Eat Simple Oatmeal or Kitchari for breakfast.

Eat Kitchari for lunch and dinner, allowing at least three hours between meals.

You can garnish your kitchari with a little melted ghee, Fresh Coriander Chutney and Sesame Seed Chutney to ensure that your system stays well-lubricated and that you continue to enjoy all six tastes in your diet.

It is best to avoid snacking between meals, but if you need a little something extra, you can enjoy some fresh fruit or a few raw nuts.

If the mono-diet is causing a sense of deprivation, you can try steaming your vegetables and serving them as a separate side dish, garnished with a little melted ghee, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Or, have a side of ½ avocado with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt.

Try not to eat anything after 7 p.m.

Drink at least 8–12 cups of room temperature, warm, or hot fluids each day to ensure adequate hydration and to help flush toxins from the system.

Ideally, most of your fluids should be taken between meals.

Appropriate fluids include water, CCF Tea, Re-hydration Tea, and detox teas; drink as much of any of these as you like.

A Supportive Lifestyle During Your Cleanse

Keep your activities as quiet and mindful as possible.

Surround yourself with things that you find uplifting and nourishing.

Minimize stress and exposure to frantic or disturbing environments.

If intense emotions arise during or after your cleanse, greet your emotions with compassion, observe them with detached awareness, and allow them simply to move through—honoring yourself in the process.

REST as much as possible. You can ensure that the bulk of your energy is devoted to cleansing by minimizing the number of resources that your body allocates elsewhere.

Tridoshic Kitchari

Kitchari is a delicious stew-type meal that is prepared from basmati rice and split mung dal. During a cleanse, appropriate vegetables provide texture, flavor, and an important source of fiber. Kitchari is very easy to digest, which makes it a wonderful food for any cleansing regimen. It allows the digestive system to rest, allocating extra energy to the body’s natural detoxification processes. The quantities in this recipe provide a good starting point for a day’s supply of kitchari, but as you learn your preferences and habits, you are welcome to adjust the quantities to better fit your needs.


1 cup white basmati rice

½ cup yellow mung dal

2 tablespoons ghee

Spices (or 1 tablespoon kitchari spice mix)

¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1½ teaspoons coriander powder

½ teaspoon fennel powder

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon natural mineral salt

6 cups water

2 cups easily digestible vegetables (such as asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, summer squash, sweet potato, winter squash, or zucchini)


Soak the split mung dal overnight (or for at least four hours). Strain the soaking water, combine with the rice and rinse the mixture at least twice, or until the water runs clear, and set aside. In a medium saucepan or soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the turmeric, coriander, fennel, hing, and fresh ginger. Stir briefly, until aromatic. Stir the rice and dal mixture into the spices and sauté for a few moments, stirring constantly. Add the 6 cups of water, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. When the soup comes to a boil, stir in the salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about forty minutes. Meanwhile, cut your vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces. About halfway through the kitchari’s cooking process, stir in the vegetables and allow the stew to return to a boil. Continue to simmer until the rice, dal, and vegetables are fully cooked. Remove from heat, cool, and serve. Note: some vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and winter squash, might require more cooking time and may be added earlier, if necessary.

Aim to have very little water remaining when finished. The consistency should be that of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. While you want the beans, rice, and vegetables to be thoroughly cooked, excess water and over-stirring can cause the ingredients to become thick and gummy. Garnish the kitchari with your choice of fresh cilantro, coriander chutney, and sesame chutney.

cleanse portion resourced from: Banyan

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