Deep Blue Sea Blend: One of Our Favorite All Natural Detoxifying Drinks

By on July 3rd, 2015 — Comments Off on Deep Blue Sea Blend: One of Our Favorite All Natural Detoxifying Drinks

Whether you’re a full-fledged yogi or you’re just starting out, it’s important to know that the foods and drinks you fuel your body with are just as important to your success as the vinyasas and asanas you are practicing. In other words, when acquiring a healthy lifestyle, being mindful of your eating and exercising habits are two sides of the same coin. By giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay fueled for the day, not only will you be able to say goodbye to many of your digestive problems and general sluggishness, but you’ll be able to sleep better at night and feel refreshed every morning!

Make Sure You Get Your Nutrients from a Good Source

Sure, a cheeseburger and an order of fries will fuel your body, but will it actually do any good? Your stomach may not groan at you during your yoga class, but you most likely won’t feel your best. One way to get your nutrients from a positive source is to try out a range of natural detoxifying drinks. Not only will they boost your energy, rid the body of excess waste, and build a stronger immune system, but they will help you have a sharper, clearer mind. Pairing natural detoxifying drinks with meditation practices will help you get in touch with your body and allow you to think more freely.

Deep Blue Sea BlendTry Out One of Our Favorite All Natural Detoxifying Drinks: The Deep Blue Sea Blend

Hailing from Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family, a transformative lifestyle guide that features 120 groundbreaking recipes, the Deep Blue Sea Blend was inspired by the couple’s experience in Hawaii and is a sweet, tropical elixir that is packed full of nutrients.

To make one of our all natural detoxifying drinks yourself, all you need is a Vitamix or a high-powered blender, as well as the following ingredients:

  • • 2 cups of chopped pineapple
  • • 1 frozen banana
  • • ½ cup of raw coconut
  • • 4 cups of coconut water
  • • ½ teaspoon of spirulina


To prepare, simply combine all of the ingredients in your blender of choice, and blend on high for one minute. From manganese, thiamin, and vitamin C from the fresh fruits, to the high level of protein and phytonutrients from the spirulina, this blend has it all, providing potent detoxifying properties and support for a healthy immune system. Plus, don’t forget, it’s quite tasty!

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Remember to always stay mindful of what you’re putting into your body, and whether a complete plant-based diet is in your future, or you only want to keep this little recipe in your kitchen collection, don’t forget where you first heard about this amazing blend: Pranamaya.

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The Best Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe: Strawberry Mint Cacao

By on July 1st, 2015 — Comments Off on The Best Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe: Strawberry Mint Cacao

If you’re in the mood for a delicious dessert that is a cinch to make and packed full of real fruit, powerful herbs, and a touch of chocolatey goodness, you’re in luck! Rich Rolland his wife Julie Piatt, who is a plant-based chef, whipped up the best strawberry cheesecake recipe you can get your hands on, and not only is it featured in their ground-breaking family lifestyle guide on the importance of plant-based eating, titled The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family, but it is revered as the best strawberry cheesecake recipe right here at Pranamaya!

For all of the yogis out there, it’s reassuring to know that all of the recipes featured in The Plantpower Way are coming from one yogi to another—that’s right, Julie isn’t just an amazing chef, she’s also a spiritual guide and a yoga enthusiast. Not only will this recipe make your mouth water, but it will also help you on the path toward creating your own pure and balanced lifestyle.

Let’s Get On With the Recipe!

Strawberry Mint CacaoTo set the stage for the best strawberry cheesecake recipe, you will need a 9” springform pan, a food processor, a freezer (that’s right, no baking!) and the following ingredients:


  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups of raw walnuts
  • 1 cup of cacao nibs
  • 8 dates, pitted and soaked in water (preferably filtered) for 30 minutes
  • ½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt


  • A single 15oz. can of whole coconut milk
  • 8 dates
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of raw coconut meat
  • ½ cup of cacao powder
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon of soy or sunflower lecithin
  • ¼ cup of agave, raw honey, or maple syrup (based on your own preference)


  • 2 pints of fresh strawberries
  • Fresh mint leaves or edible flowers

Once you have all of the ingredients intact, you still have one more step before you can begin preparing the best strawberry cheesecake recipe for your get together: you want to make sure that you chill your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least two hours.

Preparing the Crust

Coat the sides and bottom of your springform pan with the coconut oil and set aside before pulsing the walnuts in your food processor. Once they reach a mealy texture, add in the cacao nibs and pulse again until they are thoroughly incorporated. Next, drop one date at a time into the processor until all 8 are incorporated and the mixture forms a ball (you may have to pause and use a spatula to redistribute the mixture if it isn’t mixing right away). Take the mixture out of the processor and place it in the previously coated pan, and use your hands to create an even layer of crust. Sprinkle the “dough” with the Celtic sea salt and place in the freezer.

Preparing the Filling

To start the filling, open the chilled can of coconut milk and spoon out the hardened cream at the top, leaving the liquid in the bottom of the can. Combine the hardened coconut milk, strawberries, coconut meat, mint, cacao, and dates in a high-powered blender—and if you think there will be leftovers, add the soy or sunflower lecithin as well as it will help the filling stay firm even after you’ve cut slices. Keep on high until blended smoothly. Once combined, taste the mixture, and adjust for your preferred level of sweetness. You can add in the agave, raw honey, maple syrup, or a few more dates if you have them on hand! Take the crust from the freezer and pour the filling mixture on top, and then freeze again for at least two hours, or until the filling is very firm.

Adding the Garnish

To finish the best strawberry cheesecake recipe off with a bang, slice up those extra strawberries lengthwise and take the pan out of the freezer. Make sure to run a knife along the edges before releasing the buckle, and carefully remove the rim—it’s okay to go slow. Once free, start at the outer edge and place the berries on top of the cheesecake with the tips pointing out from the center. As you finish one layer, make sure to overlap a little bit with the next so that the entire dessert gets covered. For an added touch, you can add an edible flower or mint leaf at the center of the strawberry swirl.

Make sure to thaw your new favorite Strawberry Mint Cacao Cheesecake for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, and don’t forget to tell your guests where you first learned about the best strawberry cheesecake recipe: Pranamaya!

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What is the difference between a Yoga Teacher and a Yoga Therapist?

By on June 12th, 2015 — Comments Off on What is the difference between a Yoga Teacher and a Yoga Therapist?
  • This recent article in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy by Gary Kraftsow is sparking a lot of conversation in the yoga community. What exactly is the difference between a yoga class and a yoga therapy session? We should really get clear on what they requirements are so that we represent ourselves as teachers correctly to potential students. Please download the pdf for the full article.
  • Download PDF



To learn more about Gary Kraftsow, check out his DVDs here at Pranamaya.


Gary Kraftsow

Gary Kraftsow, the leading proponent of viniyoga therapy in the US, has been a pioneer in the transmission of yoga for health, healing, and personal transformation for 30 years. After studying in India with T.K.V. Desikachar and his father T. Krishnamacharya, Gary received a special diploma from Viniyoga International in Paris. In 1999 he founded the American Viniyoga Institute where he is currently director and senior teacher of the Institute’s teacher and therapist trainings.

This article comes to us courtesy of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy

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The Functional Approach and Yin Yoga- My Day with Paul Grilley

By on May 20th, 2015 — Comments Off on The Functional Approach and Yin Yoga- My Day with Paul Grilley

IMG_0108-1Paul Grilley and his teaching partner and wife Suzee. Our group comprised mostly yoga teachers from as far afield as Australia, Connecticut, Chicago, Montana, Orange County, and Los Angeles.
Best known as an innovative and brilliant Yin Yoga teacher, Paul has a masterful understanding of anatomy and his ability to convey his knowledge is superlative. He made anatomy practical and accessible by supplementing his use of a skeleton with live demo models from among the yogis present to illustrate particular concepts.
I was present for the last of a five day shoot and the focus was ‘functional yoga’, a method of teaching yoga that applies equally well to ashtanga as it does to yin. A functional approach is pragmatic rather than aesthetic, which is to say concern with which body part(s) the pose is targeting replaces concern with how the pose should look. A new concept for most practitioners of modern postural yoga.
Many of us have come up going to group classes and been taught alignment principles of varying degrees of strictness. Particular emphasis is usually placed on where the hands and feet are in relation to the rest of the body. Almost everyone is familiar with directives to articulate the back foot at an exact rotation and in an exact relation to the front foot in poses like Virabhadrasana I and II, or to sit with the seat touching the floor (or block), knees together, inner heels snug at the hips in Virasana. This approach can have the effect of making poses painful, or even undoable for students whose particular structure does not allow them to articulate their joints to such degrees.
Structural limitations show up when bones bump into each other at a joint (knee, hip, shoulder, spine, elbow) and restrict the range of motion such that no further movement is possible. No amount of stretching will change this; we are limited by our structure simply because when bone rubs up against bone there is nowhere else left to go. No amount of ‘letting go’ or ‘breathing through it’ or ‘releasing the emotion’ will change this.
A functional approach to yoga accomodates the diversity of people’s bodies by focusing on the target area of the pose (for example, glutes and outer thigh in pigeon) and allowing the arms and legs move whatever way is necessary to access the target area. In Paul’s words: “In a functional approach to yoga there is no perfect pose. Each hand and foot position helps or inhibits our ability to stress the target areas. The most effective way to do this varies from person to person.”
The radical inclusiveness of this approach is genius. All are welcome to the practice when we teach functionally. Yin yoga is everyone yoga. Thank you Paul Grilley.

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Dearbhla Kelly began practicing yoga in 1994 while studying philosophy in Amsterdam. She holds M.A.’s in philosophy from University College Dublin and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently based in Los Angeles, she teaches yoga, neuroscience and philosophy workshops worldwide.

Dearbhla is particularly skillful at marrying the esoteric teachings of yoga with the practicalities of everyday life, and integrating insights from current science to deepen our understanding of how yoga helps us find increased joy, wellbeing and freedom. She also finds great joy in doing yoga with children who have cerebral palsy. She has published articles exploring the aforementioned subjects in Yoga Journal, Huffington Post and other publications. See more about Dearbhla at

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By on May 11th, 2015 — Comments Off on YIN AND YANG IN YOGA PRACTICE

Yin and Yang Attitude

All things have a yin-yang to them, even our attitude, and one way to illustrate the contrast is by comparing the attitude of a naturalist with that of an engineer. An engineer has a yang attitude, an engineer wants to change things, she wants to tear an old building down or build a new one up, she wants to dam the river or dredge the canal. Her yang attitude is to alter and change what she sees. A naturalist has a yin attitude . A naturalist wants to know how plants or animals behave without trying to influence them. A naturalist with an interest in butterflies has to go to where the butterflies are and then sit and patiently wait for them to do what butterflies do. A naturalist cannot make butterflies fly or mate or lay eggs , he can only wait and observe. His yin attitude is to try to understand what he is watching. When practicing yin yoga it is best to have a yin attitude. Do not be anxious or aggressive and force your body into the poses. Make a modest effort to approximate the pose as best you can, and then patiently wait. The power of yin yoga is time, not effort. It takes time for our connective tissues to slowly respond to a gentle stress , it cannot be rushed. Learning to patiently wait calms the mind and develops the necessary attitude for meditation practices. Modern culture appreciates the strength of the yang attitude to “go for it,” but there is no end to our desires. To be truly happy we must also cultivate the yin qualities of patience, gratitude, and contentment.


Yin and Yang Always Coexist

There is no such thing as a pure yin or a pure yang attitude, just as there is no such thing as a pure yin or pure yang yoga practice. These two aspects always coexist. Yin or yang might be dominant in expression but the other is always present. When practicing a yin pose such as a forward bend, we want to be as relaxed as possible. But if we completely relax every muscle in our body then we might actually fall out of the pose. Some muscular effort is required to balance ourselves in a pose and to maintain the gentle traction, so yang effort is present even in yin yoga poses. The same can be said of our attitude during yin yoga . It is yin to passively observe the sensations that arise, but it is yang to make the effort needed to maintain the pose.

Excerpts from: Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice — 10th Anniversary Edition by Paul Grilley.


To learn more about Paul Grilley, visit his website at and check out his DVD’s and online courses here at Pranamaya.


Paul Grilley:  A well-known master of yin yoga, Paul brings a thorough grounding in Hatha and Ashtanga yoga as well as anatomy and kinesiology to his teaching, which integrates the Taoist yoga of martial arts master Paulie Zink and the Chinese meridian and acupuncture theories of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama. Paul’s book, Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice, explains how yin yoga can teach us to relax, be patient, be quiet, and focus on the skeleton and its joints—a necessary counterpoint to today’s more ubiquitous muscular yoga.


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