Yantras on the Path of Yoga + Ayurveda
Susan Fauman loves shapes. From what I can tell she thinks in shapes. She makes her food into shapes and takes pictures of those shapes. While it’s all in the art of play, the shapes come from her 15 years of study and teaching in Yoga & Ayurveda, and her love of Yantra.
Earth Element. Oatmeal with turmeric and butter. Cooked oats have an incredibly soothing effect on the nervous system and help build stamina. The addition of turmeric increases their warming capacity and butter helps smooth their rough quality. Prepared like this they soothe vata and don’t irritate kapha or pitta.
Winter squash is incredibly soothing and grounding. Its sweet, nourishing quality calms the dry, light qualities of vata and the sharp, hot qualities of pitta. It’s also diuretic (makes you pee) so it can help ease the water-retention that may come with excess kapha.
Almond milk is a great, more easily digested alternative to cow’s milk. It’s easy to make: soak about 1 cup of almonds overnight in water. In the morning, peel the almonds (the skins are pretty irritating to your gut lining) and blend in a blender with 4 cups of water. Strain through a cheesecloth and, voila! Once you taste this water-element boosting nectar, you might never go back to buying pre-made almond milk again.
Mung bean sprouts in the form of the wind element yantra. Ayurveda considers mung beans to be the most easily digested legume. For this reason, mung dal (split and peeled mung beans) are used for cleansing and recuperation. Sprouted mung has the dry, light, rough, astringent qualities of vata. Using them in your cooking will help reduce kapha accumulation. Their sweetness, astringent quality and slight bitterness also help to reduce excess pitta.
Earth (and Water) Element. Apples or pears cooked slowly with turmeric and cardamom not only makes a great snack, it nourishes your rasa dhatu (the white part of your blood and immune system fluids) and helps you feel grounded and stable.
When my kiddo gets sick, he knows to ask for “rice soup” or congee (konyi in southern India). This nourishing but simple meal, made from about 1 part rice to 6 parts water or broth is eaten as a breakfast food all over asia. It can be dressed up with some pickled or cooked vegetables, umbeboshi (japanese pickled plums) paste or sesame seeds.
When the spring comes, nature provides us with so many ways to cleanse and clear out the stagnation of winter. Fiddlehead ferns and other young spring greens, with their bitter flavor, help to thin and purify the blood while helping the body to get rid of excess fluids.
Fire Element Yantra
Earth Element Yantra in kabocha squash
Water Element yantra
Water Element as phases of the moon
Wind Element yantra in green peas. The light, dry, sweet and astringent qualities of green peas soothe both kapha and pitta doshas.
Fire Element awareness reminder
Earth Element yantra
Water Element yantra
5 Elements Yantra