Bhakti Yoga Shala is a super popular donation-based studio in Santa Monica, California, known for its cool community vibes, and Govind Das (nee Ira Rosen) is the man behind it.
"We do the traditional vinyasa-style yoga, but Bhakti is all about the heart," says Das, who trained with Yogi Hari and taught at Bryan Kest's Power Yoga before opening his own place nearby in 2009. "We teach yoga as a path to love and devotion," he says
That includes an emphasis on kirtan (or devotional chanting), an extensive roster of workshops and events, and incorporating principles from Ayurveda, which Das first discovered in 1989 after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. "Anybody who practices yoga should also be practicing Ayurveda," he gushes. "That's just my personal philosophy. Ayurveda is the path of balance and self-healing. It's how we keep ourselves well."
A simple place to get started on that path? Das shared his personal recipe for Indian kitchari, below, which he says is the most classic yoga-and-Ayurveda dish. He created it by borrowing from a variety of different Ayurvedic doctors and then putting his own spin on it. "It's great for vegetarians because it's a full protein source," he says. "It's also very pure, cleansing, good for digestion, and tridoshic, meaning it's good for all three doshas (or personal constitution types)."
One thing: it looks pretty creamy, so we suggest eating it after your yoga class. —Jamie McKillop
1 cup organic split yellow moong dal
1 cup organic white Basmati rice
5 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped mixed sattvic vegetables like sweet potato, kale, squash, carrot, and zucchini
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp organic ghee
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro to garnish
Put rice, moong dal, veggies and water in a pot and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn down to low heat. In a frying pan, put spices and ghee, and heat until ghee and spice mixture starts to bubble and release a delicious fragrance (only about a minute or so). Add ghee and spice mixture to pot. Add salt to taste. Stir frequently and cook until texture is like porridge. Garnish with cilantro and a small dash of ghee.
For more information, visit www.bhaktiyogashala.com
(Photos: Govind Das)
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