In this week’s article of our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Dr. Pooja Sukhatankar.
An Ayurveda Doctor with a focus on Cosmetology, Dr. Pooja Sukhatankar’s values align with Amrutam’s vision of making Ayurveda widely accessible and understood. Her knowledge and understanding of taking care of our skin and hair in the most holistic ways are incomparable. Today she shares with us her journey of starting with Ayurveda, her motivation and influences, some amazing hair and skin care tips, and a heartfelt message to the readers!
Meet Dr. Pooja Sukhatankar
Sometimes when we are busy with our mundane chores or simply involved in work, there suddenly strikes a moment of clarity. This moment is so lucid and vivid, it is almost like we’ve been taken away for a bit. And when we come back to our senses, we find ourselves filled with a renewed sense of purpose. Something like that happened with Dr. Pooja.
Also read: Determine Your Ayurvedic Hair Type!
“I remember that beautiful afternoon when I came back from school and was completing my homework,” she begins, “somehow a thought came to my mind that I want to be a doctor like my Nana (maternal grandfather)”. Pooja grew up watching her Nana practice medicine passionately while fiercely loving his job. She had even helped him as his compounder for a few days little realizing that something as simple as helping others to stay healthy was going to build a foundation for her to practice Ayurveda.
“I worked with a multispecialty hospital as part of my first job and then moved to work with a chain of Ayurveda clinics. A major difference that I experienced was that while at the hospital I had to treat the symptoms and disease of the patients, in the Ayurveda clinic I was guiding people to stay healthy in the first place. I started enjoying this kind of Ayurveda practice. With the aim to increase awareness about staying healthy and incorporating preventive measures, my journey accelerated.”
Experiencing positive changes
By now, Dr. Pooja was deeply inspired. With expansive practice and explorations, she developed an inclination towards learning about hair and skincare. She offers Ayurvedic consultations with prime focuses on hair and skincare at Amrutam.Global – a platform for holistic living.
Also read: Shikaki - the secret to healthy hair
Like many of us, Pooja too has experienced many, many positive changes in her health and wellbeing after adopting the path of Ayurveda. “I have become very calm and patient,” she tells us. Her energy levels too have drastically gone up and most importantly, when immunity is crucial to our survival, her immunity keeps getting stronger and stronger. No longer does she view food as something that just satisfied her taste buds and hunger; her perspectives have widened to viewing food and all healthy things as a source of nourishment to build good health.
When asked Dr. Pooja about the secret behind her unrelenting efforts and what keeps her motivated, she tells us:
“All that I have done so far – be it professionally or personally, I have tried to follow things I am passionate about. Now that passion can be for the process, the purpose, or the goal itself. So, that passion is the motivation for me. When I do things that are out of my comfort zone, then yes I might feel a bit dicey. But then, I just remind myself to enjoy the process and not worry about the end results and that motivates me to give the best.”
Following a health routine
As someone who has been practicing Ayurveda for quite some time, you must be well aware of the importance of following a Dincharya. If you aren’t acquainted with what is Dincharya and why is it given so much importance in Ayurveda, you can check out Dincharya & Hrutucharya - the Wheels of Ayurveda Lifestyle.
Dr. Pooja’s schedule stands tight on most days which is why sticking to the traditional Dincharya can get hard for her sometimes. But her morning charya or ritual is what she follows religiously. Then comes the real stuff – attending patients in the clinic which is filled with a lot of work, but she makes sure that these three things happen in her regular day:
- Taking care of her health
- Learning and applying something new at work, to make sure she keeps growing
- Taking feedback from the patients
From her bucket of favorite habits she loves to practice inspired from the philosophy of Ayurveda, she shares a few with us:
- Performing a few yoga asanas and six-phase meditation
- Having vitamin C and E everyday in natural form
- Getting some morning sunlight
- Keeping bowels clean, by having lots of fiber, water intake, etc.
- Having water between the meals
For someone who grew up watching a healer do his magic, Pooja attributes a lot of her learning to her Nana. “He has had the biggest influence on me,” she says.
“I have seen my Nana’s dedication and the results that follow. He is also one to follow a strict health routine so that definitely influences me. I met a coach sometime back and he explained to me that a healthy lifestyle is the basic pillar of a happy life. I have practiced this theory and have witnessed great results.”
Some hair and skincare tips
Given her area of specialization, Dr. Pooja is best equipped to tell us what we should do if we want healthy skin and hair! “According to Ayurveda, one has to work on all his seven dhatus to achieve great hair and skin. If you follow a disciplined skincare routine, you will also be blessed with good immunity and this is applicable vice versa,” she says.
Here are a few tips that Dr. Pooja Sukhatankar shares with us for holistic health:
- Drink coconut water every day to detox and hydrate the body and skin
- Eat a handful of groundnuts or almonds with jaggery for vitamin E
- Consume one tbsp of cow’s ghee for moisturization and nourishment
- Have a citrus fruit for a daily dose of vitamin C
- Include amla, moong dal, barley roti, red rice in at least one of your meals
- Have roasted flaxseeds with rock salt after meals
Also read: Is Sugar really the Bad Guy?
Some skincare tips:
- Indulge in camphor water facial steam every 15 days for deep pore cleansing
- Use rose water as a face toner
- Apply almond oil for face massage for dry or aged skin
- Honey can be applied on the face for moisturization on oily and combination skin types
- Make a scrub with masoor dal powder mixed with honey and lemon juice and exfoliate your skin
- Do facial yoga like balloon pose, smiling fish pose, lion face pose.
The sync between Yoga & Ayurveda
When asked about the importance and integration of Yoga and Ayurveda, Dr. Pooja believes that they both go hand in hand. While Yoga is about creating a sync between body, mind, and soul to achieve good health, Ayurveda works on keeping the doshas balanced for wellbeing. “Both have the concept of staying healthy and increasing immunity at their core to keep the ailments and diseases away,” she says. Indeed, a lifestyle with a blend of Veda and Yoga is ideal for any individual to stay healthy and of course, healthy!
Today in this fast-paced world, fitting age-old Ayurveda is definitely a challenge. People with shift duties won’t be able to follow a Dincharya. Individuals, especially young people who travel a lot, eat outside and thus, cannot stick to Pthya Ahaar. But having said that, this is exactly the time to go back to Vedas and nature. As food, air, water – literally everything continues to harbor polluted components, the world has become a stressful space to be in and we need to do something about it, says Dr. Pooja.
To make this era and Ayurveda go together, medicos need to design the ancient pathy in a way that fits in today’s world. Lots of innovative ideas are needed to modify Veda and yet sticking to the basics of it. So that it can be easily accepted in today’s times. For example, Swarasa is a basic medicinal Kalpana (concoction) that can be easily consumed today by the method of cold-pressed juices!
“Awareness will come when a person learns about the principles of any pathy, only then can they follow it with diligence. Ayurveda experts should share these foundation pillars and ideas behind the philosophy as to they are significant to our wellbeing. Information can be shared in the form of tips that are easy to follow. This can be done by any means in today's digital world to reach out to the masses. Once people realize that what you are sharing is something of immense value, they will start taking it seriously and follow it with discipline.”
Dr. Pooja firmly believes that to lead a contented life, one needs to grow spiritually as well the pursuit of which can only happen when the body, mind, and soul are in synergy.
Also read: Celebrating Self-Love with #AmrutamFamily!
Her message to the readers says:
The key to it is, to be honest, and consistent in your daily health routine. Don’t stress or burden yourself with an incredibly strict routine. Try to understand what the body needs and work accordingly. Rather than just focusing on the goal of the ultimate healthy body, try to enjoy and love the process of being healthy. Your health routine should be an extended personality of you. If you are an enthusiast who wants to spread the word about healthy living, then first learn it and apply it to yourself and then share the results with others!”
As a big fan of Rasayans and products for keeping the liver functions healthy, Dr. Pooja would love to try Amrutam Gold Malt and Tablets!
We are so grateful to Dr. Pooja Sukhatankar for her unparalleled efforts in making good and Ayurveda health so widely accessible and understandable. We are beyond thankful to have her as part of our #AmrutamFamily.