Long post alert! : This is a post I schedule every year for just before Sharad Navratri with updates on resources. It not just helps me share the joy of Navratris from a wellness perspective ,but also helps me plan my 9-day detox and restoration.
Navratris, the Indian 9-Nights festival celebrating the manifestations of Goddess Durga, is also a holy opportunity to reset our wellness.
Sharad Navratri falls in the shift from warmer to cooler season and hence the need to align the body, mind and spirit with the change.It is a perfect time to restore the balance in self , to cleanse, restore and reset.
Here’s a simple guidance with some curated resources to help you plan your 9 Day Cleanse & Restore – especially in context to our modern, fast paced lifestyles.
Slow down. Spring clean the mind. Unplug digitally. Empty it out and curate every thought that goes in.Meditate.Contemplate. Read. Chant. Sit in the garden.Listen to soothing music. Just be.
Take the first step to detoxifying mind, body and spirit.
Apoorva Gupta Jalan, Yoga Therapist & Founder-In.Breath, advises, “This period is about withdrawing and cleansing, not just in the body but also in the mind. So do take some time away from your tasks and responsibilities to quietly connect with your breath and bring peace and clarity to your mind.”
For more ways of slowing down, take a look at this lovely post from Zen Habits.
The practice of abstaining from certain grains, legumes, vegetables ,spices , refined oils, non-vegetarian foods and alcohol offers an opportunity to eat light , cleanse the body of toxins and re-set the balance.
Ishi Khosla, Clinical Nutrionist and Director, Whole Foods, advises in Prevention, “Plan one major meal with alternate grains, prepared in minimal oil,which should ideally be had before sunset.Snack on milk, yogurt,fruits,nuts,seeds, dry fruits and coconut.Such a diet can help you drop kilos and boost energy!”
Recommended foods for Navratri fasts include the following Flours, Spices, Fruits & Vegetables (Source : Veg Recipes of India)
Flours : Buckwheat Flour (Kuttu Ka Atta), Amaranth Flour (Rajgire Ka Atta), Barnyard Millet Flour (Samak Chawal Ka Atta), Water Chestnut Flour (Singhare Ka Atta), Tapioca Pearls ( Sabudana), Foxnuts (Makhane)
Spices : Cumin,Black Pepper, Rock Salt, Green Cardamom (chhoti illaichi), Cloves (laung), Black peppercorns (saboot kali mirch), Cinnamon (dalchini) and Nutmeg (jaiphal), Dry pomegranate seeds (anardana) , Ginger, Green Chilly, Lemon, Carom Seeds (Ajwain), Coriander (Dhania), Mint (Pudina), Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta), Dry Mango Powder, Black Salt
This list may vary mildly depending on personal preferences.
Find Navratri Recipes here
Avoid restaurant Navratri Thalis, fried foods & sweets as much as possible. Instead cook simple recipes at home & substitute frying with Baking, Sautéing, Grilling – to keep the fast healthy and not overload the digestive system. Ghee and Peanut Oil are the recommended fats.
Increase your fluid intake with Coconut Water, Herbal Teas, Milk, Buttermilk and of course good, healthy, wholesome water!
CLEANSING & RESTORATIVE YOGA
If you are fasting, go easy on heavy workouts. Instead, take heed of the ancient Ayurveda Principles which advises the practice of Cleansing and Restorative Asanas.
Komal Sodhi, Founder of Komal Sodhi Yoga & Fitness Studio, advises ‘Begin your mornings with 6-8 Surya Namaskars. Keep the movements slow, fluid and stretch well.It is also excellent for sebaceous glands as it flushes out the toxins from the skin.
Internal cleansing of organs esp. of our liver leads to effective functioning & absorption of the minerals and nutrients from our diet. Some Asanas for a healthy liver include –Paschimottanasana (forward bend) , Ardh-matsayendrasana (half spinal twist), Kandhrasana(bridge pose ), Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Our physical appearance depends on our Thyroid hormones which are controlled by our Pituitary gland. The Pituitary is in turn controlled by Hypothalamus which is influenced by the state of mind. Some of the asanas for our pituitary glands are: Trikonasana (triangle pose), Padahastasana (Forward fold) , Adho Mukhaswanasana (Downward facing dog), Shashankasana (child’s pose)
Practicing Pranayams such as Anuloma Viloma, Bhramari and Bhastrika relaxes the mind and removes accumulated stagnant gases from the lungs thus bringing a glow to the face. Also, practicing Yoganidra even for a few minutes , relaxes and rejuvenates the body and mind and induces sound sleep which further rejuvenates the tissues.’
Before beginning the practice warm up & stretch. Please note that Asanas should be done under supervision of a certified yoga teacher.
Good to know- Join the Art of Living Navratri Celebrations 2017 via Live Webcast of 9 Days from Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore by registering here
Stay Balanced.Stay Well.Stay Naturally Lush.