Rediscovering Ayurveda x Dr. Sheetal Desai

In this week’s article of our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Dr. Sheetal Desai.

Meet Dr. Sheetal

Founder of Atulya Ayurveda, Dr. Sheetal is an Ayurveda and Panchakarma expert with an aspiration to reintroduce the forgotten science to the people of India. She undoubtedly believes in the Alchemy of Nature and intends to help us all make Ayurveda a part of our lives.

Rewinding to the Early Years

The decision to choose a graduate program can be and has been overwhelming for most of us. Young Sheetal felt the same when she chose to study BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) as her major. Even though she did not have any prior knowledge of Ayurveda, she decided to trust her intuition and enroll in the program with a passionate and inquisitive mind. Her story is a classic example of the wrong trains leading to the right stations. Now when she looks back after all these years, she believes that at that moment it was Ayurveda that chose her.

Also Read: The Best Courses on Ayurveda

Dr. Sheetal Desai

What then started as incomprehensible philosophies, ended up becoming integral principles of her life. If we were to mark the exact juncture of this transition on a timeline, Dr. Sheetal would choose an internship she did as that instance. She joined a renowned international ayurvedic center as a consulting physician and a member of the teaching faculty. Witnessing a diverse global population seeking guidance from the science of life made her realize that she had discovered a treasure. Following that, she devoted herself to studying more and more from her gurus, inevitably becoming adept in her discipline.

“Even after having the best job, a good paycheque, I was a restless soul; I wanted to explore more possibilities.”

Dr. Sheetal Desai

An incredible event took place out of the many possibilities that could have unfolded for Dr.Sheetal. It was Atulya Ayurveda, her subconscious dream. A vision that is now serving thousands with the richness of Ayurveda and Panchakarma.

60 seconds of Ayurveda with Dr. Sheetal Desai

Dr. Sheetal has designed a cool concept called “60 seconds Ayurveda.” The rationale behind this idea is to aware the masses of Ayurvedic habits in a fun way, which is through reels. The targeted audience here is millennials and GenZ, a subset largely influenced by western culture.

Also Read: Five Simple Ways to Incorporate Ayurveda into your Life

Inspired by Dr. Sheetal, we'll aim to share three of her favorite ayurvedic practices today, each of which should take no more than a minute to read! Let’s go😊

Dr. Sheetal Desai's 3 powerful habits

Abhyanga

Ayurveda recommends performing Abhyanga daily or biweekly for reduced muscle fatigue, good sleep, deep relaxation, mental sharpness, agility, and improved digestive ability.

Abhyangam aacharet nityam sa jaraa shramavaataha 
Drushti prasaada pushti aayu susvapna twak daardhyakrut

Abhyanga should be done by everyone, every day, especially old aged and tired people. It improves eyesight, nourishes muscles, and improves age (life expectancy) and skin complexion. – Ashtanga Samgraha Sutrasthana.

In simple terms, Abhyanga includes massaging the entire body with warm herb-infused oils for opening srotas (mind-body-spirit organizations) in the layers of the skin. These release ama (toxins) and promote deep relaxation and activation of body circulation. Usage of the right herbs and the right techniques is the key here, so let’s learn this ancient art.

  • -Pour a quarter cup of Abhyanga oil into a wide-mouthed cup and warm it for a few minutes. Note that you do not overheat it as this may result in a loss of nutrients.
  • -Then, massage the oil consciously on your body for up to 20 mins in smooth yet vigorous motions.
  • -Now, start with your hands, head, neck, and feet and slowly proceed towards the center of your body.
  • -The key technique is to use long strokes for the limbs and circular clockwise motions for the joints, resembling the bone structure.
  • -Pay special attention to the soles of the feet as they play a significant role in circulating oxygen-depleted blood up to the heart from the lower body
  • -Ayurveda highly recommends massaging the Nabhi (navel). It is responsible for distributing nutrients and nourishing the arteries and veins originating from it. 
  • -Beginning from the head to toe, massage deeply and levitate in calmness.

Mukhabhyanga

Mukhabhyanga is a part of Abhyanga. It refers to Ayurvedic massage of the face, neck, head, and shoulders with warm herb-infused oils while also stimulating the Marma points. Marma points are vital energy points that help sustain the flow of energy throughout our bodies.

Fun fact: there are as many as 108 marma points in our bodies out of which 37 are located on the head, face, and neck.

Using circular motions and pressure techniques is a part of this Ayurvedic Regimen.

Nasya

Nasya is one of the five detoxifying treatments known as Panchkarma. Only professionals must perform this regimen. Nasya therapy entails administering ayurvedic drugs and herbal extracts through the nasal cavity. It is done using an appropriate tool to treat ailments that progress above the shoulders. These include headaches, sinusitis, congested breathing, and infections, with a range that includes but is not limited to paraplegia or Parkinson's disease. The patient undergoing Nasya must lie down flat on a surface before the medication is administered. Extreme caution is taken to ensure that the dropper does not touch the tip of the nose. This treatment is most effective during cold weather or in the spring. This is because, during this time, the air is laden with pollen and dust.

Ayurvedic Retreat

Dr. Sheetal’s Message

When we requested her to share a message with our beloved Amrutam Family, the refreshing smile on her face made our day. And here’s the heartfelt message she has for you :D

“Ayurveda believes that we are a miniature version of the nature hence it is very important to be rooted with nature & stay as connected with the universe. The pandemic has taught us that no investment is better than investing in health. It is very important to take care of health on physical, mental and spiritual level & what better than following Ayurveda Dinacharya (daily regimen) & Ritucharya (seasonal regimen)”

Dr. Sheetal Desai

Dr. Sheetal is always looking for organic & effective alternatives for hair care and skin care. And that's why she is thrilled to try Amrutam’s Kuntal Care Hair Spa and Amrutam face clean-up! With its strength-building properties, Kuntal Care Spa Hair Spa nourishes and strengthens hair from the roots. Eucalyptus Oil, Triphala, Balchhad, and Bhringraj are the star ingredients here. These ingredients revitalize and strengthen hair and prevent hair loss. As for Amrutam Face Clean-up, this is an ancient recipe infused with the wholesomeness of Kesar and Chandan. These ingredients extract dirt from the skin and deep clean the pores giving your face a rejuvenated look!

We are so thankful to Dr. Sheetal Desai for the wonderful work she has been doing and are beyond grateful to have her as part of our #AmrutamFamily!

References:

What is Abhyanga? Learn with Amrutam

How to do an Abhyanga (a self Ayurvedic Oil massage) the right way

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