In this week's article on our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Ankita Lodha.
Ankita is a chartered accountant turned certified and registered yoga instructor with 500 hours of training under her belt. She specialised in pre and post-natal care along with yoga therapy.
Inclining towards healing
"I have been very inclined towards spirituality & healing techniques from the age of 17," shares Ankita, recalling her inclinations during her teenage. Upon completing her schooling, she decided to study to become a CA and qualified at all levels by age 21. During her internship days, given her inclination towards alternative healing methods, she started learning Pranic healing, Reiki and Neurolinguistic Programming through different courses.
"After I qualified as a CA, I thought I was sorted for life. I took this as a cue to pursue healing and spirituality completely. I knew it was my calling, and I was excited to see what was in store for me."
But life, it seemed, had completely different plans! Eight months after Ankita became a CA, her family faced a financial crisis. She had to step in to support her family, which meant keeping her plans of understanding holistic healing aside for the time being. In 13 years of Ankita's professional career, she quit thrice, hoping to pursue her passion towards healing and spirituality. But something or the other would keep coming up. In her words, either she needed to gather more clarity to create something of value, or the alternate opportunity was more enticing.
Ankita believes that although her professional career did slow her down on the path of spiritual growth and discovery, it didn't stop her journey completely. She was always trying to keep in touch with this part of hers through different practices and reflective exercises.
The power of manifestation
During her last stint as a CA, Ankita led the Bangalore brand of a 63-year-old CA firm. "We made the highest profits in 15 years," she exclaims. But this success came at the cost of her health, which began deteriorating due to spending long hours working. She felt restless and knew she couldn't continue it for long - it simply wasn't what she was meant to do.
"One day, I decided to write down what I wanted and how I could achieve it. Within 6 months, I handed over the clients from the Bangalore brand to the headquarters, got the employees another job and wound up the practice in November 2019."
As quickly as that happened for Ankita, it was no cakewalk. There were many challenges she had to overcome. She was aware that she was letting go of many bright opportunities without a concrete roadmap to begin anew. Her friends and family were concerned that she was wasting her potential.
Soon after she quit, Ankita engrossed herself in studying Ayurveda and began her Yoga Teachers' Training. Though she took this step for personal growth and development, she ended up enjoying it much more than expected. Within no time, Ankita began taking yoga sessions through her page @Swastyam_ankita and started collaborating with Ayurveda doctors to curate health programs for her former clients, employees, peers and social media community.
Making the switch
"My network was surprised when I made the switch; many were supportive and encouraged me to continue pursuing what gave me joy," adds Ankita. Her time spent in the corporate world has helped her closely understand people's physical and mental concerns, which has enabled her to design effective courses for them based on their needs and specific problems.
"For the first time in many years, I am making very little money but am experiencing a divine fulfilment because I can contribute to someone's life meaningfully. Every time I help someone heal, my conviction that I am headed in the right direction strengthens. I wouldn't say it's all easy and fancy, I have my tough days, but it's worth it."
After starting her Yoga journey, Ankita has benefitted immensely from this ancient practice. She shares 4 major changes that she experienced after a few months of dedicated yoga practice:
1. State of awareness: It has helped me get out of auto-pilot mode. I am much more aware of my actions, words, feelings, and energy within and outside.
2. Confidence to face life situations: No matter the chaos, there is a safe space within. I feel confident to face all situations in life. I also bounce back faster than I did earlier from challenging situations
3. Mind over Body: At some levels, I have experienced how the mind controls the body and how yogic techniques can help us control the mind. This is a fantastic combination of feeling in charge of actions yet surrendering to the after effects/results.
4. Intentions are everything: Be it the meaningful prayers at the beginning & the end of Yoga sessions or the resolve we make during Yoga Nidra, It is all about setting an intention and trying to be more purposeful in every action.
“In today’s times, Yoga is perhaps more significant than ever. Most of us are living in autopilot mode and chasing our life goals at the cost of our natural well-being. Yoga helps break this monotony and be in the present. It aids us in controlling the mind & come in tune with our body & nature. It takes us to another level of clarity and awareness.”
A day in Ankita's life
Ankita is a big fan of routines and a firm believer in creating intentional and sustainable routines. She says this has helped her stay grounded and progress towards her goals steadily.
A typical day in her life starts with rising early and extending gratitude and an intention setting. Her morning rituals include drinking warm water, tongue scraping, oil pulling, and Nasya. This is then followed by Sadhana which sets the tone for her day.
Ankita enjoys cooking fresh and indulging in nutritious meals. During her workday, she takes consultations with Ayurveda doctors and helps clients in their journey of achieving optimal health through Yoga and Ayurveda. Ankita also creates content for her online community as part of her work and engages in regular research work.
She ends her day by eating an early dinner and spending time with her family. Before bed, she practices Pranic Sadhana, face massage, and journaling and prepares for the yoga sessions for the following day.
Tips on health and lifestyle
"I have grown up watching my father do Yoga and various Ayurvedic Practices. His life philosophies, routine, character & teachings have greatly influenced me and he has been my true source of inspiration. My biggest achievement has been realising my calling and finding the courage to pursue it."
Ankita’s three favourite habits inspired by the Ayurvedic and Yogic philosophies are:
- Focusing on the breath. It is ‘the source of all energy’.
- Yoga Nidra and Meditation
- Practising gratitude
For those looking for a head-start to live a healthier and balanced lifestyle, Ankita suggests the following tips:
- Begin the day with simple chanting and intention setting
- Practising breathwork
- Sitting in Vajrasana for 15 minutes post meals
Yoga and Ayurveda in the modern world
When asked about the significance of Yoga and Ayurveda in the modern world, Ankita says, “Prevention is better than cure, and Ayurveda emphasises this very well.” She believes practising simple and holistic Ayurvedic practices daily effectively contributes to maintaining good health. Yoga, on the other hand, helps maintain the body’s fitness. When put together, it helps in grounding and coping with life situations while helping you find the required balance.
“I believe a lot of awareness has already been created in the last decade. Making this a practice of the masses would help to inculcate this in the school curriculum. To popularise it as a career or profession, the Government can develop effective schemes to make these career paths attractive.”
Yoga and Ayurveda are not just healing practices but a way of life. The practices are very effective and help us deal with ourselves beyond physical fitness. Ankita suggests including one practice at a time till it becomes an important part of your routine. These practices have more to offer than modern scientific research can ever bring to light. “It's an experience which cannot always be put into words. Once these rituals make it to your daily life, you will swear by them yourself. It is always better to have an expert guide you so that you always do it right and make the most of it,” concludes Ankita.
From Amrutam’s range of holistic and healthy recipes, Ankita has been a loyalist of Amrutam Face Clean-Up. She frequently indulges in facial exercises using oil and applies the Face Clean-Up weekly to pamper her skin. “It is very effective and addictive,” she shares.
We are beyond grateful to have Ankita Lodha as part of our #AmrutamFamily!