The 9 Day Diet of Paramhansa Yogananda

The Nine-Day Cleansing and Vitalizing Diet* as it is called by Paramhansa Yogananda, has been proven to be one of the most effective methods for detoxing the body.

It is important to remove toxins in the body that have built up over time, in order to help purify and heal the body, mind, and soul. To see if you have a build up of toxins in your body, click here to take an ayurvedic test.

With the Master Cleanse of Paramhansa Yogananda, you will consume fruits and vegetables that are full of vitality and healing qualities to help aid you in detoxification. At the end, you will feel a renewed sense of energy and joy, more mental clarity, and a deeper spiritual practice.
To start this cleanse, you will need the following foods:

  • 1 and 1/2 grapefruit
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 and 1/2 lemons
  • 1 raw vegetable salad
  • 1 cooked vegetables with juice (quantity optional)
  • 3 cups Vitality Beverage (one at each meal): 2 stalks chopped celery, 2 cups chopped spinach or turnip greens, 5 carrots chopped including part of the stem, 1 bunch of chopped parsley, 1 quart of water, and no salt or spices. (See special instructions below on how to prepare the vitality beverage.)
  • 1 glass of orange juice with 1 teaspoon of senna leaves (laxative) every night before bed. For best results, take 1/2 teaspoon at first, and later increase to 1 teaspoon of senna.

Throughout the day, it is important to consume the above foods in whatever format suits you best. You will want to eat the oranges at breakfast and throughout the day whenever you feel hungry, the vitality beverage at meal times (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), the raw salad at lunch (harder to digest the raw foods at night), the grapefruit at breakfast time, and the lemon upon waking. You may consume the lemon as lemon juice with hot water, a very powerful fruit known for its hydrogen balancing effect on the pH of the body. If you get hungry while on the cleanse and need extra nourishment, have one tablespoon of thoroughly ground nuts (like almonds) with a glass of orange juice.

As you come off the cleanse, be sure to ease into foods that are harder to digest or with toxins. Throughout the cleanse, Yogananda recommended taking salt baths, and to keep these up throughout the year for upkeep.

How to Prepare the Vitality Beverage:

Note: Paramhansa Yogananda often recommended the use of raw foods, but in this instance, he recommended cooked vegetable juice, which is easier to digest and alkaline in pH levels.

There are two ways to prepare the beverage, but here is the way in which the juice is cooked:

Chop celery and carrots, lightly boil in water for 10 minutes. Add selected greens and parsley and boil for 10 minutes or more. Strain. Drink one cup of the beverage, at each meal (3 per day).

This vitality drink is a blood tonic and effective against rheumatism, stomach disorders, chronic catarrh, bronchitis, and nervous breakdowns.

Frequently Asked Questions While Cleansing:

If I only drink the broth of the vitality beverage, what should I do with the left-over vegetables? 

You may choose to freeze and later eat the boiled vegetables used for making the vitality beverage, but the vitamins and nutrients go into the broth that you consume so it would not be necessarily important to save them. For this reason, when cooking vegetables, it is best to consume them with their broth.

The first few days of the cleanse I had many bowel movements, but now they seem to have slowed down, should I drink more of the senna tea?

Often when we are cleansing, our body goes through phases. It is best to observe the process and wait for things to normalize as the days goes on without feeling the need to force release with additional senna tea. Senna tea is a wonderful aid during cleansing, but it can be habit forming, so be aware of its effects and cautious about overuse.

During this cleanse, you may at first experience more bowel movements due to the immediate releases that occur in our intestinal tract due to a more fibrous, high vitality and detoxifying fruit and vegetable diet. However, as you continue with the cleanse over time, additional energies are freed up that may be experienced as constipation, and should be just seen as part of the process. They too will be released and your bowel movements will then return to a more normal, daily routine.

I just started the cleanse and have started feeling really tired, but not necessarily hungry. Is this normal? 

Yes. The first day you may or may not have a difference in energy levels, but days 2 and 3 many people start to feel mentally cloudy or foggy, fatigued, or just “down.” This is due to the release of toxins in the body during the cleanse. When we are letting go of the “old” and blocked energies or toxins, our liver gets busy and the feeling of fatigue or cloudiness just means that the liver is doing its job. If you can get through these first few days without reaching for quick, energy “uppers”, you will be able to get through the hardest part of the cleanse.

In addition, for most of the foods that you go without on this cleanse (coffee, white flour, sugar, etc.), a few days is needed to also experience the withdrawal effects (fatigue, sadness, anxiety, cravings, or wanting to give up). There are also the habits or tendencies to reach toward certain foods, to eat a certain way, or to prepare certain meals that at first are hard to overcome. But if you focus on what good habits you are doing on the cleanse, the great foods that you are eating, it will help you to move through that more challenging part.

What can I put on the raw salad?

Feel free to squeeze lemon juice and add just a bit of salt for taste. Keep it simple still, but allow for some creativity so that– most importantly– you stick with the cleanse!

Can I do the cleanse for different amounts of time?

Yes. In fact, Yogananda recommended cleansing one day per week on a diet of freshly squeezed, organic orange juice and almond butter as needed throughout the day. He also suggested fasting once a month on just water for three days, to help flush out the internal organ systems and keep the body running smoothly throughout life. But on this cleanse you may decide that you want to do another week, to do instead only 5 days at a time (due to scheduling), etc. and that is fine. The important thing is that you feel you can accomplish the cleanse for the number of days you set out to do, and to not give up!

*Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet. This diet is not appropriate for those taking prescription blood thinners, those who are pregnant, or those who have diabetes.

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For more information on the proper yogic diet as written by Paramhansa Yogananda, I suggest reading How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality, part of a Living Wisdom Series of books available online.

Further Reading:

11 thoughts on “The 9 Day Diet of Paramhansa Yogananda

  1. I have just completed day one of the cleanse and have a couple of questions. Are there further guidelines regarding the variety of vegetables in the raw salad? Also, in the vitality beverage, can cilantro be used instead of parsley? Is it recommended that any additional supplements be taken during the cleanse as is mentioned in many other methods?
    Thank for your guidance!

    1. Hi Brandy! Thank you for asking, and so happy to hear you are completing day one! Great job 🙂
      For the variety of vegetables in the raw salad, try to keep it simple, but you may use whatever raw vegetables you like to make a salad that tastes good to you. I usually use a variety of greens like an organic spring lettuce mix, kale or chard, shredded beets, and even the extra carrots or celery from the vitality beverage. Here is where you can be creative. I have used cilantro instead of parsley, but parsley has very special cleansing benefits (especially for the skin and kidneys). The main thing while on this cleanse is not adding anything that will prevent the body from effectively eliminating toxins. You don’t need to take any additional supplements here, except to be sure to have the Senna tea for its helpful release of toxins and relief on the digestive tract. You are eating so healthy and simply foods especially made for cleansing during these 9 wonderful days, that there are no other additional supplements that you need to take. This cleanse allows you to take in the nutrients you need while releasing the things you don’t need. After these few days are over, feel free to use any other supplements like fish oil, vitamins etc. that you usually like to take. But even with these, every once in a while it’s nice for your body to have a break because it’s usually so busy processing so many things.
      Let me know if you have any other questions. Joy to you!

  2. Hi,
    The diet looks very promising… especially coming from the enlightened Paramahansa Yogananda. I wanted to enquire if there is any cooking or boiling involved in preparing the vitality beverage?
    Regards 🙂

    1. Hi Simran! Yes, one would essentially boil the vegetables for the vitality beverage, using the broth from boiling the combination recommended by Paramhansa Yogananda for about 20-30 minutes. Thank you for reading and for asking this wonderful question. Namaste

  3. Hi Kalamali and Yogesh, It is wonderful to find your site when searching “Yogananda 9 day cleansing diet”. I usually start the cleans in June, but feel to do it early this year. Each year the reminder of how to prepare the Vitality beverage (and to make sure I’ve remembered the rest of the diet properly) is very helpful. Thank you for posting this helpful information. If you have time to do so, a link with full instructions on the Vitality beverage would be so helpful to your readers.
    Many Blessings,

  4. If one is on anticoagulant treatment ( which cannot be stopped ) , then what modifications should be done in the diet ?
    Parsley & spinach are not allowed when one is on anticoagulant .
    Is there any modification that can be done ?
    Thanks .
    Regards .

    1. If for any medical reason you need to to avoid a certain food, take your doctors’ recommendation absolutely. As far as a modification, I would just suggest that you try the diet without those two foods, and see how you are doing. I haven’t been officially trained in herbology or Ayurveda, but I would think the other fruits and vegetables are still going to give you many of the positive cleansing effects (per Yogananda’s recommendation) and that you will see a difference in how you think and feel. Someone certified may have more clear advice, if so, please share! But definitely, if you are questioning anything, get professional advice — since this is of a serious nature.

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