Winter warming recipes

Here are a few recipes that we sampled at the recent Christmas yoga class. These are very healthful things to enjoy over the holidays, and to keep you warm!


Yogi Tea

This is Yogi Bhajan’s original recipe – which people over the years have adapted to their own tastes. It’s great in winter to ward of colds and bring energy – and it makes your house smell wonderfully cozy. Yogi Bhajan used to say “God lives in cozy homes”. To get the best taste, use fresh/whole spices, and grind them in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

 1 ½ litres water

about an inch of sliced ginger

20 cloves

20 black peppercorns

12 green cardamom pods

1 stick of cinnamon

 Boil this together for 15-20 mins. Turn the heat down, and add one black teabag. Let steep for a few minutes.

 At this stage you can either keep the tea and  add milk and honey as you drink it. My preference is to add milk or soymilk, and bring this to a boil (with soymilk you have to watch carefully that it doesn’t boil over), and then serve.


 Healthy Cookies

 This is a very flexible recipe that can be mixed with whatever nut butters and seeds you have on hand.

 Mix together:

½ c peanut butter (or other nut butter)

1/3 c honey

½ c sunflower seeds

½ c coconut or other seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)

¼ c carob powder (often sold in UK as carob flour)

drop of vanilla essence

 Roll into one inch balls, and then roll in coconut or sesame seeds.

Chill and store in fridge. 


Enjoy and wish you all a happy winter solstice and Christmas! 

See you in the New Year!

Sadhana & Sat Kriya...

"Those who practice discipline have to be very generous to themselves. Discipline should never be rigid. Discipline should be self-acknowledging, so that you can go along with it." - Yogi Bhajan

Sadhana, or daily practice, is the foundation of developing and deepening your experience with Kundalini Yoga. Traditionally, this involves getting up in the amrit vela, the nectar hours just before sunrise, when the world is still quiet and when we can most deeply meditate. The morning practise consists of practise of shabd guru (sound current through repetition of prayer), yoga exercises, and meditation. Just as when people tithe they give 10% of their earnings, with sadhana, it is encouraged to give 10% of your day to the Infinite - so, about 2 1/2 hours. 

Not everyone STARTS with this level of sadhana, however, and it is worth remembering the above quote about discipline, and not setting standards so impossibly high you cannot hope to meet them. Learning to be flexible with the practice, and making a commitment out of love, for what feels good to your body, for what uplifts your spirit, is a good starting point. If you are new to the practice, or short on time, there are many powerful kriyas and meditations that can be done in just a few minutes. Over time, you may find yourself feeling good and wanting to do more...and this is how your practice can naturally expand. One example of a good morning sadhana is Sat Kriya. 

Sat Kriya

This is considered both a kriya and a meditation, and is often practised at the end of a yoga set, but can also be practised on its own. It is a powerful exercise for raising energy, and therefore works well as an early morning wake-up exercise. You may find yourself becoming hot as you practise - this is normal. Sat Kriya can be practised from 3 mins - 2 1/2 hours (building up your practise slowly; you may start with 3 mins, then 5 mins,  11 mins, 22 mins, 31 mins). It is recommended you rest in corpse pose on your back afterwards, for double the length of time you practised (up to a maximum of 3o mins). 

Posture: sit on your heels (rock pose), and bring the arms straight up over the head, keeping the shoulders relaxed.

Mudra: interlace the fingers (venus lock), with the left thumb on top (if you are a woman) or the right thumb on top (if you are a man). Straighten the index fingers, so they are pointing straight up.

Eye focus: eyes are closed and focused at the third eye

Mantra: Chant "Sat" (rhymes with 'but')  pulling your navel both in and up  and "Naam" allowing the navel to relax. On the end of Naam, let your lips part (this will automatically allow a breath in). Chant 8-10 repetitions of the mantra in 10 seconds.

To finish: Inhale, suspend the breath in,