Practicing yoga allows us to develop an awareness and deeper relationship with our physical body from the inside out; yoga itself is MORE than something that we do on the mat - it's a lifestyle. As this relationship deepens, we gradually become aware of other factors that influence our body, we discover habits (good and bad) and our own unique tendencies.
As a yogi with an established practice, it comes as no surprise then that there's a whole science dedicated to achieving optimal health and wellness, this is Ayurveda. Kind of like the 'sister' of yoga, Ayurveda uses traditional eastern medicine practices and tools that can help us to achieve optimal health and wellness through diet and lifestyle choices based on our own unique tendencies or 'doshas' as they're called in Ayurveda.
Without going into TOO much detail about doshas themselves, we can use the guiding principles of ayurveda to bring balance into our bodies through the foods we eat.
Given that it's currently winter here, I wanted to try out some soups as they're nourishing and warming. So with that in mind, I experimented with a few different recipes and came up with my own. As part of our yoga day retreats, we aim to serve food that not only supports our practice but is also in keeping with yogic principles, and ayurvedic cooking allows us to do so, plus they're usually vegan and DEAD easy to make. These two in particular were a huge hit at our recent Pregnancy Yoga Day Retreat.
Both were garnished with some mountain bread, toasted with olive oil, a little salt + paprika.
CREAMY BROCCOLI + KALE SOUP
2 tbsp olive oil or similar
one leek sliced or chopped (including the greenery)
one head of broccoli
half bunch of fresh kale
4 cups of vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini
In a pot, add olive oil and leek until it softens. Add stock, broccoli and kale. Bring to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add 2tbsp of tahini, allow to cool before seasoning, then blend using a blender of your choice. And voila...you're ready to enjoy! Serves 4.
This soup is ideal for balancing KAPHA dosha as it has the broccoli and kale are pungent and bitter which will help to pacify Kapha. These ingredients are fully of energy and will help spark the digestive and metabolic systems of the body.
ROASTED LEEK + PUMPKIN SOUP
Medium Size Butternut Pumpkin
4 cups vegetable stock
2tbsp olive oil
1 tsp nutmeg
400g coconut milk
Chop leek and pumpkin, then place into a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 180C for 30 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, place roasted pumpkin and leek into a pot, add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Once boiled, remove from heat. Once cooled, blend ingredients, add coconut milk and nutmeg. Season to taste.