By Karole Strunk
January 8, 2020

It’s a New Year!

What better time to renew and recharge our body batteries, perhaps shed a few pounds, and slough off that post-holiday sluggish feeling.

In the “Wisdom” series, Volume 6, How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, Paramhansa Yogananda packs so much of his practical healing techniques of Yogoda, covering diet, exercises, and vibrational healing. Diet is a large part of this little but important volume in the Wisdom series. Yogananda describes the cleanse as 

“ …a method for rejuvenating the body cells and awakening the latent powers of the mind and the inner forces of the soul.”

Ayurveda practitioners will be pleased to recognize many of Yogananda’s recommendations as similar to Ayurveda’s lifestyle recommendations for good health:

  • Undigested food is the source of toxins [ama]in the body which creates disease.
  • Don’t drink cold drinks, they destroy the digestive fire [agni].
  • Don’t overeat or eat late at night. 
  • Exercise until you break a sweat every day.
  • Avoid tamasic foods (e.g. alcohol, coffee, processed foods, sugar, white flour, etc., most meats – if you must eat meats, avoid red meat).

Although Yogananda’s diet recommendations are not specifically Ayurvedic in as much as they are presented as one-size fits all, it turns out the vegetables and fruits recommended favor all three doshas (with one or two exceptions).



It consists of the following foods taken on a daily basis for nine days:

    • 1 and ½ grapefruit
    • 5 oranges
    • 1 and ½ lemons 
    • 1 cooked vegetable with juice (quantity optional)
      1 raw vegetable salad
      1 glass orange juice*
      3 cups of Vitality Beverage (one cup at each meal)

* to be taken every night before going to bed with ½ tsp. of senna leaves or Swiss Kriss, and later increase to 1 tsp. [You may also use triphala which is an Ayurvedic mild laxative that increases absorption of nutrition and has a rejuvenating effect on the digestive track and entire body.]



  • 2 stalks chopped celery
    5 carrots (chopped) including part of stem
    1 bunch chopped parsley
    ½ qt. chopped dandelion, or turnip greens, or spinach
    1 qt. water
    No salt or spices
  • The vitality beverage may be prepared in two ways, the first being preferable:
  • 1. After putting celery and carrots through food processor, or chopping them finely, lightly boil them in the water for ten minutes. Then add selected greens and parsley and boil ten minutes more. Strain by squeezing through a cheesecloth.
  • 2. Use the same ingredients, but do not cook them. After putting them through a vegetable juicer, strain as above.
  • Drink one cup of the beverage, prepared by either method, at each of the three meals. 
  • Abstain from all foods that are not mentioned above, however, if one feels the ned of additional nourishment, take one tablespoon of ground nuts in a half glass of water or orange juice.

After the nine-day cleanse you should be especially careful of the selection and quantity of food for at least four days, gradually increasing the quantity and variety until you are again on a normal diet.  

Be prepared to have more energy, to drop some weight, and to feel more peace.

*Italics are mine.