Hansa and Suchita are Certified Holistic Practitioners at Something Holistic.
They both are very passionate about making Ayurveda relevant in today's times. They encountered the ancient science during different personal experiences. For Hansa, seeing her own son's gastrointestinal issues improve by using simple Ayurvedic techniques reinforced her faith in the science. For Suchita, the holistic impact of the eight days spent at an Ayurvedic wellness center motivated her to learn more about Ayurveda.
Hansa and Suchita conduct workshops on different topics right from nutrition to daily routines. They also share practical tips and easy recipes on their Instagram handle, @somethingholistic.
Let's learn more about their journeys today.
How did you start your journey as an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Hansa: As a mom of three young children living in New York, I was becoming frustrated with the lack of natural alternatives in treating everyday health issues. When my older son was experiencing digestive issues such as stomach pain and diarrhea after meals, I tried everything from allergy testing, acupuncture, homeopathy, and a host of different diets. As a last resort, we decided to visit my Ayurvedic doctor. It was his first Ayurvedic consultation. The doctor checked his pulse, identified the cause, and changed his eating habits. Within three weeks of a Vata pacifying diet and some lifestyle changes, my son's health improved dramatically. It was at this point I knew I had to study Ayurveda.
Suchita: My journey started back in 2013 when I was going through a difficult time in my life physically and mentally. It was then I decided to go to a wellness center in Dehradun just for some alone time. I thought I was going to a spa but ended up living an Ayurvedic lifestyle for 8 days. The end result was better digestion, a clearer mind, and a sense of calmness that I hadn't felt in a while. I slowly started implementing what I had learned into my daily routine and experienced the benefits. This is when I decided to study Ayurveda as I understood the transformational power of it has on the mind, body, and soul.
What inspired you to take the path of Ayurveda?
Hansa and Suchita: The knowledge of Ayurveda resonated with us on a physical and philosophical level. Learning that modern health theories, such as gut-brain connection and intermittent fasting, were actually discovered over five thousand years ago in Ancient Vedic texts fascinated us. Being able to recognize the six stages of any disease and the details of the sub-dhatus showed us how we can prevent illnesses and heal our bodies naturally. Understanding the pranayamas and delving into color therapy and aromatherapy showed us that this vital information can be easily applicable to our modern day world as well.
What keeps you motivated to do what you do?
Hansa and Suchita: We were keen to share what we had gained at Ayurveda’s World in New York. So, we started conducting workshops on various topics ranging from nutrition and digestion to daily routine and cleanses. Post which we formed our company, 'Something Holistic'. The aim is to take this ancient wisdom and make it relevant today. Useful travel tips, anti-aging massages, or hangover guidelines would definitely benefit everyone. Seeing clients make simple and meaningful changes in their diets and lifestyles keeps us motivated. For example, some of our women clients now combine their salads with ground vegetables and have reported less bloating. Others no longer mix fruits with dairy and have reported better digestion. Some of them use Nasya oil and have experienced improved sleep. Simply put, Ayurveda works! The numerous benefits of improved energy and immunity that we see on a personal level encourage us to keep spreading the word of Ayurveda.
Tell us what a typical day in the life of an Ayurvedic practitioner looks like?
Hansa and Suchita: Like many others, our days are centered around activities involving the kids, family, and work. But we incorporate simple Ayurvedic routines in accordance with the Doshic clock. If we wake up feeling a bit tired or groggy, we perform Bhastrika breathing in the morning followed by 15 minutes of meditation. While preparing breakfast, we practice 10 minutes of oil pulling and then follow this with tongue scraping. We eat a light breakfast to stimulate our agni and try and engage in some physical activity like yoga before 10 am (Kapha time). We aim to get our hardest work completed between 10 am and 2 pm and eat our heaviest meal around midday (Pitta time when digestion is strongest). In the afternoon, during Vata time, we engage in the more creative components of our work. As a part of our evening routines, we incorporate 15 minutes of Abhyanga which helps us unwind, and then we drink a modern day version of golden milk. We also use particular essential oils to calm and ground us. We usually try and sleep around 10 pm to rejuvenate our minds and bodies and to avoid getting that second burst of energy.
What are your three favorite healthy habits you practice regularly, taken from the philosophy of Ayurveda?
Hansa and Suchita: Oil pulling has not only helped with oral health, gum recession, and exercising our jaws, but we also can’t nag our kids while we have oil in our mouths, which is an added benefit!
Learning how to perform Abhyanga on our abdomens in the correct way has improved our digestion and applying sesame oil on the soles of our feet allows us to sleep soundly.
Adhering to the Ayurvedic food combinations has improved our family’s nutritional absorption and decreased the severity of allergies and illnesses in our households.
How do you think Ayurveda and Yoga relate to one another? How can the awareness of both be increased?
Hansa and Suchita: Yoga and Ayurveda are so intertwined that it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Yoga is mentioned in Ayurvedic texts such as the Charaka Samhita and is an integral part of the Ayurvedic daily routine (Dinacharya). Yoga can be used to balance all the three doshas, with particular poses having different effects. For example, forward bending poses cool Pitta and twists that stimulate digestion benefit Kapha. By improving one’s agni (digestive fire), decreasing stress, and generally rejuvenating the body, yoga is an ideal Ayurvedic exercise.
While yoga is widely known in the Western world, we feel people need to be more aware of the sister science of Ayurveda. We use Instagram to give simple daily tips to our followers, from easy recipes to positive affirmations and products that we recommend. We have started speaking about Ayurveda at schools and hopefully, we should be reaching out to workplaces in the near future.
We firmly believe that children learn through examples, and by practicing Ayurveda and yoga at home, the next generation has organically picked up the techniques. Just recently on a flight to England, my little one woke me up to show that his favorite cartoon character, Peppa Pig, was mixing orange juice and milk at breakfast and not eating 'Ayurvedically'! It was definitely one of my proudest moments as a mom!
What is your message to all Ayurveda, Spiritual, Yoga, and Healthy-living enthusiasts?
Hansa and Suchita: Listen to your body and trust the power of the mind to heal the body. Each one of us is unique with our own combinations of the five elements- our doshas. Once we shut our minds off to outside distractions and opinions, we can turn inwards and be more in tune with our specific needs. So much research has been done to show how stress, depression, anxiety can cause physical ailments. Following the path of Ayurveda and yoga has allowed us to implement a healthier diet and lifestyle which has changed our mindsets and given us the strength and confidence to become more self-aware. Carl Jung once said, “Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens”. We’re still trying to do that!
Which Amrutam product would you love to try?
Hansa and Suchita: We firmly believe in your philosophy of “Health is Beauty” and would love to try many of your hair-care and skin-care products. If we were to pick one then it would be AMRUTAM KUNTAL CARE - DO IT YOURSELF HAIR SPA (Hansa) and AMRUTAM HERBAL UBTAN: DO-IT-YOURSELF SKIN TREATMENT (Suchita).
Rediscovering Ayurveda is Amrutam’s series of blogs wherein we interview various men and women for their views on Ayurveda. Even though, India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, with passing time it has lost its original importance as a school of life. Indians now refer to it as a school of medicine. Certainly, Ayurveda is much more than that.
So, we at Amrutam have decided to find out what Ayurveda means to people in the present day.
This is the seventeenth article in Amrutam’s series of articles called Rediscovering Ayurveda, which aims to understand the idea or perception that modern-day men and women have about Ayurveda.