In this week’s article of our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Dr Aparna Padmanabhan, an Ayurvedic doctor and PhD scholar with 12+ years of training and scholarship under her belt. She has also been presented with the Jivaka Award for her outstanding performance in academics.
Meet Dr Aparna
Born into an Ayurvedic family in Kerala, Dr Aparna grew up under the guidance of her father and mentor, Dr Padhmanabhan, an award-winning Ayurveda doctor and scholar with over 40 years of experience. She attributes her success to the teachings of her father, who, she says, has had the biggest influence on her!
“My family led a traditional lifestyle, as is the case with most families in Kerala. Being in sync with nature came naturally because I had grown up seeing my parents follow a holistic routine. I never really knew those were ‘Ayurvedic practices’ until I began studying Ayurveda formally during my undergrad”, recalls Dr Aparna.
Looking back, says Dr Aparna, it was the best way to grow up. Eating right and knowing how to listen to the body’s needs were some of the practices she was able to cultivate early on.
Also read: Eating with Your Senses
She was only 15 when she was introduced to the Yogic philosophy and asanas through the Art of Living Program, which, she says, came as an added blessing as it enabled her to take charge of her health holistically. Her Yoga practice complemented her Ayurvedic knowledge and became her strongest armour!
Motivations and Influences
With a keen interest in research, Dr Aparna carries a prolific reputation for diving deep into Ayurvedic principles and presenting them in the form of academic papers. In keeping with this, she has also co-founded Vaidya Ayurveda USA and is the medical director of Purnayoo Arogya Nikethanam, Wayanad, Kerala and serves as the advisor at One World Ayurveda, Bali, Indonesia.
“The happiness and satisfaction I get by healing my patients, their gratitude emails or messages, grateful smiles, and love keep me motivated. I can’t imagine being in any other profession than being an Ayurveda doctor.”
A good day in Dr Aparna’s life starts at 6:30 AM. She begins with her morning rituals which involve tongue scraping, oil pulling (once a week), and a quick session of Abhyanga followed by a bath. She then meditates for some time and then starts her work day, which usually involved online and offline consultations with patients.
Also read: 5 Therapeutic Practices to Nourish Your Body
Her meals are home-cooked and vegetarian complemented with warm spiced water to keep her body hydrated. After a long day at work, she winds up with an evening round at her hospital Purnayoo Arogya Nikethanam
Dr. Aparna’s health tips for the readers are:
1. Start listening to your body. It is always trying to tell you something.
2. Take care of your digestion by following Ayurvedic principles like eating in moderation, at regular intervals and having all 6 tastes in a meal for a balanced diet.
3. Hydrate well. Incorporate herbal teas and buttermilk into your diet.
4. Sleep early and well. Meditate as often as you can.
Relevance of Yoga and Ayurveda
Ayurveda and Yoga are inseparable and complement each other. Dr Aparna believes that social media is playing a big role in bringing this awareness. “We need to introduce the wisdom of Ayurveda and Yoga from kindergarten. Taking care of the body and mind should become a trend and the ‘new cool’,” says Dr Aparna!
Also read: Myths and Facts Related to Yoga
She adds, “Ayurveda is transforming the lives of many, and I feel fortunate to put it into right use to my patients. I help many patients to understand themselves and help to develop mind-body awareness through yoga and Ayurveda, empowering them. Many times, medicine makes patients dependent. But I feel with Ayurveda and Yoga, I empower them.”
Her message to the readers is:
“If you are seeking inner wellness, Yoga and Ayurveda are for you. Ayurveda and Yoga help trigger the healing energy within you, and help you understand yourself and others better.”
From Amrutam’s list of holistic products, Dr Aparna is keen to try Kuntal Care Hair Spa for its interesting ingredients like Balcchad and Eucalyptus Oil!
We are grateful to have Dr Aparna as part of #AmrutamFamily! You can follow her on Instagram here.