Updated: Jan 3
I stumbled upon a sweet little yoga studio shortly after my move back to Seattle (it's part-time, but that's another story). It's called EKA YOGA, and the owner blends Ayurveda - the 5000-year old sister science to yoga - with daily asana classes. In other words, the asana classes are shaped by the season and the system of Ayurveda.
I have offered similar things, inspired by my friend and Ayurveda teacher, Ali Cramer. However, I had never seen an entire studio put it out there in the U.S. as core programming. How brave, I thought. It's not easy to explain the Ayurvedic approach in a one hour class and also give students an actual asana experience. Could people get it?
I got there and the boutique was filled with Banyan Botanicals products, a lot of Ayurvedic tools such as neti pots and tongue scrapers, plus the obligatory yoga clothing section.
Class was beautiful. It was slower than my preferred style, but I was interested and open. I took this class a few months ago in Vata season... a season where most of us could use a little more grounding. With careful attention to blocks, slower movement, more low-to-the ground poses, and a long savasana, it was exactly what I needed. I don't normally choose those types of classes (we can talk more about that if you want, because I didn't break a sweat, and that was fine). Plus, I just felt better afterward. After all, I had been moving, moving, moving... and had no permanent home at the time. I needed stability. I was super impressed with this place.
Now that it's Kapha season, I asked the owner, Angela, if she wouldn't mind if I shared her warm, light, and airy salad for spring. She said she would be honored. Thank you Angela! So, here it is.
My two cents on this?
If you're pitta, maybe scale back a little on the peppers.
If you're vata, maybe scale back a little on the mint.
If you don't know or want to know more, call me.
Enjoy, and namaste! - Christine
Kapha Balancing Recipe:
Sweet Pepper & Baby Kale Quinoa
Serves: 2-4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped mint
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet peppers
1 cup baby kale
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chick peas
1/4 tsp black pepper
Himalayan sea salt to taste
Sauté red onion, sweet peppers, and chick peas in 1tbs of oil until soft and brown. While sauting onion, peppers and chick peas, rinse quinoa under cold water and then boil in 2 cups of water for 10-15 minutes or until liquid in absorbed.
Once vegetable mix starts to soften, add baby kale. Mix quinoa with remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil, lemon juice, and sautéd vegetables
Top with chopped mint, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
Benefits for Kapha:
Chick peas: Lighter in nature, and a high fiber food, which helps promote healthy digestion - great for kapha, Chick peas are also known for helping reduce cholesterol.
Sweet Peppers: Helps increase metabolism, regulate weight loss, and blood pressure, and promotes healthy eyes.
Baby Kale: Light and dry in nature, which helps balance the heavy and oily qualities of kapha. Kale is also high in fiber and full of vitamins, which helps promote healthy digestion.
Quinoa: Grain with the highest amount of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. Filled with tons of vitamins, as well as flavonoids, which are said to hold anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties.
Lemon juice: While lemon juice may seem more acidic in nature, both lemons and limes are alkaline, which means they are good for helping maintain healthy digestion for all of the doshas.
Cilantro: Stimulates digestion without over stimulating the digestive fire, as to aggravate pitta. Cilantro also helps purify the blood and detoxify the body of ama (toxins).
Mint: The pure scent of mint is energizing, which is just what kapha needs. Mint is also great for soothing upset stomachs, as well as increasing the speed of digestion.