A Special Place for Cleansing: The Annapurna Devi House
Food is an important part of what brings us life. Yet many of us associate food with overeating, frustration, confusion, diets, and eating from stress.
Annapurna Devi, in the yogic tradition, is the goddess of food and nourishment. She helps us associate food with the positive aspects of eating, such as balance, health, vitality, and abundance. When we remember the goddess of food and try to embody her qualities, we see food not as a burden or an enemy — but rather as a means to spread love and excellent health.
“Food is nourishing on all levels, not only on the physical body. Its subtle elements nourish the mind and soul,” says Sanatani, a leader of detox programs at the ashram. Sanatani has recently spent much time in the new ashram nourishment space, named the Annapurna Devi House, because this past year the ashram added new cleanses and a new mini workshop series called Detox Basics. This compilation of workshops takes place after the ashram's longer cleanses so guests can learn detox basics for their own home routine.
The Annapurna Devi House at the ashram has a special energy — an energy of positivity, nourishment, renewal, and healing. Because cleansers go through a deep release during a detox, it’s important to have a safe and supportive space for everyone to eat together, learn, and rejuvenate.
In the Five Points of Yoga, proper diet is a whole subject on its own. But it’s not just about what we eat … it’s also about how we eat, how much we eat, where we eat, and who we eat with. The Annapurna Devi House is meant to support all these important facets. It provides an environment where cleansers can eat together in a relaxing way.
In the Annapurna Devi House, there is not only the experience of cleansing and eating … there is also education about how to bring these principles back home into daily life. Cleansers learn how to strengthen and balance the digestive tract. There is also emphasis on how to prepare detox foods like juices, smoothies, salad dressings, desserts, live foods, and how to sprout nuts and seeds.
“Proper eating is important so as to fuel the body without overloading the digestive system. While food gives energy, digestion takes energy. The quantity should be the right amount and with specific quality,” says Sanatani.
Proper eating will provide good essential nutrients without leaving excessive residues in the body. “Whenever there is imbalance in the body due to poor assimilation or excess residues of food, among diverse tools of yoga, we may use a detoxification protocol in order to unclog the digestive system and restore its natural way of assimilation and elimination,” she says.
What's the ultimate purpose of being healthy? It's certainly not just for looks. When the body is healthy, the soul can engage in its work on earth. Sanatani says, “When the body is thriving again, the soul can follow its purpose in a light and joyful way.”
Try our recipe for fresh morning juice!
See upcoming programs: Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Cleanses at the ashram