We are thrilled to have had our co-founder Anita asked to be featured in Jasmine Hemsley’s My-Urveda this month. This a spotlight on her website for Friends of Ayurveda and there personal journey navigating old traditions in a modern society.
You can use this link to go read it on her website - or read it below here
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
Ayurveda means true wellness and viewing mind, body, soul, people and the planet as a unified whole.
When did you discover it? How long have you been practising it?
Being of Indian origin, I’ve practiced elements of Ayurveda from the moment of birth. My grandmother was a herbalist and a mid-wife, and taught plant medicine and massage. My mother routinely gave me and my siblings Indian head massage; she would cook Sattvic foods, practiced regular fasting and generally lived holistically but it was not labelled Ayurveda. My father practiced kundalini yoga and meditation and had a real thirst for learning. As for me, I took the parts I felt comfortable with and little by little, I begun to appreciate the laws of cause and effect on a macro and micro level.
What drew you to Ayurveda?
My husband had been taught meditation, yoga, breathing and massage techniques from a very young age, by his father – a brilliant Ayurvedic doctor and my role model for living well. At 88, my father-in-law lives alone and is vibrant, joyful and well. He practices yoga daily, eats only when hungry, walks in nature for an hour a day, meditates for two hours, still does charity work, socialises and shares sage wisdom. Having seen people so dear to me pass away made me realise how fragile life can be and how it’s our duty to look after our personal wellbeing. Ayurveda completed a puzzle and the longer I immerse myself in my brand, the more I immerse myself in Ayurveda.
Has it helped you with anything major?
Ayurveda has helped me tune in and focus on my stuff, rather than projecting out. It’s made me aware of how my mind and body feel in any given moment, through the food and thoughts I consume and the daily choices I make. This awareness has made me lighter and brighter and accepting of my darker days.
Is Ayurveda part of your everyday life or just for your medicine cabinet or fall-back routine?
Ayurveda is my life. From my morning cup of warm water, to tongue scraping, meditation, yoga… I live more mindfully. While there are daily herbs in my wellness arsenal, there are others I use sparingly, as good can be medicine or poison depending on how much we consume.
What are your top 3 Ayurvedic tips that have worked for you?
Eating a Sattvic diet
Breathing properly and with present moment awareness
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
How easy it is to tune in and become your own best physician.
Did you integrate it gradually or overnight for any particular reason?
Very gradually and I’m still integrating. It’s such a rich and deep subject that once you open the door, there is always more to explore.
Do your children/family eat an Ayurvedic diet? And if they do, do they know it’s Ayurveda or do they just think of it as home cooking?
I don’t call it an Ayurvedic diet. I generally choose local, seasonal and organic food and am mindful of following a Sattvic diet and one that follows the seasons, but if one of us is off balance, I will revert to a Dosha-balancing diet.
What is your favourite Ayurvedic recipe or go-to ingredient?
I love Indian food and dal would be my desert island dish — cheap date! My go-to ingredients are turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger.
How does Ayurveda fit into your day-to-day routines?
Ayurveda is my life and therefore it need not fit my routines but rather is my routine and roadmap for living well.
What do you wish was easier in our society to make an Ayurvedic lifestyle more accessible?
Knowledge. It’s so wonderful that people like Jasmine and Nick make Ayurveda inspiring and accessible and I think if it could be taught to new parents, teachers… anyone who influences the next generation, that would be a wonderful thing. Also if practitioners sat alongside doctors for a more integrated healing system that would be the dream, and it’s coming.
Do people around you/in your circle of friends know about Ayurveda?
The Mauli team are absolutely immersed and in terms of our friends, the knowledge is growing.
What’s the one thing you would encourage everyone to try or you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
On a physical level it would be remembering to breathe. On an emotional one it would be to be kinder to ourselves.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for asking me these beautiful questions and for sharing your invaluable knowledge. Together we are all stronger.