In AYERVEDA, the primary element of winter is WATER; focusing on the water element stimulates the flow of chi | energy | prana and helps to restore vibrancy + vitality to the body. The kidneys do the job of moving water through the body, so winter is an ideal time to tonify the kidneys using long long holds in postures that target the energetic pathways (meridians) of the kidneys - these run either side of the front and back of the spine, down the backs of the legs and along the inner thighs.
Hold for 3 – 5 minutes
Good ol’ google will bring up the poses and you can prop with as many blocks, bolsters, cushions or blankets as you need to feel supported:
STRADDLE: left side, right side, center
SPHINX or SEAL
SADDLE: stay upright if needed
SAVASANA: legs up the wall with blanket or bolster on belly is nice too
AFTER you’ve rolled your mat up, be mindful of how you nourish your body. Think of the food you eat as a garnish, something full of prana that serves to compliment the work we're doing on for ourselves. A couple of foods that bring balance and nourish the kidneys during winter are sweet potato and believe it or not, kidney beans!
So here I'm sharing an easy to make delish sweet potato + kidney vegan chilli that even hard core carnivores - and the kids - will LOVE! If you've been to one of our yoga retreats this winter, you've tasted it's homemade goodness. Not only will it warm you up this winter, it will also nourish your insides at the same time
First of all, you’ll need a 6 litre slow cooker and at least 4 hours to let all the flavours sink in together…it’s even better if you make it the day before! This recipe will make enough so that you’ll have left overs for freezing.
1 x brown onion
3 x cloves of garlic
2 x medium sweet potatoes, chopped
4 x 400ml cans diced tomatoes (or use the equivalent of fresh diced tomatoes)
1 x 400ml can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400ml can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 x fresh corn cobs – slice corn off for using
3 – 4 cups vegetable broth (depends how thick you like it)
1.5 cups dried lentils – choose your favorite colour!
2 tbsp chili powder OR paprika for a less spicy version
2 tsp cumin
Salt + Pepper to taste
Yoghurt to curb the spice
Corn or Kale Chips
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 – 5 hours OR cook on low for 8 hours – season with salt + pepper and serve! I take some out for the kids and add a little more chilli power for intensity, so play around.
Watch out...you WILL want seconds. So eat slowly, enjoy the taste and texture!