In this article of our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Priyamvada Mangal.
Meet Priyamvada Mangal
Priyamvada Mangal is a freelance journalist & photographer who found herself gravitating towards Yoga & Meditation early on in life. Having worked with enterprises like Mumbai Mirror Online & Firstpost, she recently completed her Teachers’ Training Course at The Yoga Institute Mumbai.
Her first encounter with Yoga took place when she went to the Children’s Camp at The Yoga Institute at 13. Here, she became familiar with the basics of Yogic principles which further piqued her interest. Later, for her extra credit for honors at St. Xavier’s, Priyamvada chose to pursue a course on Zen Buddhism which also included Zen Meditation. And in the same year, during Diwali break, she left for a Vipassana course in Gorai. I have done about 10 courses since, says Priyamvada, and each one helped me in its own way.
“In 2016, after an amoeba attack (entamoeba histolytica infection) I developed severe stomach related issues which later led to UTI and more such problems. I was also dealing with bouts of frustrating anger and irritation. So, finally, in 2018 I decided to understand Yoga thoroughly and see how I could integrate it into my routine and improve my life.”
An Affinity for Mindfulness
Priyamvada later went on to pursue the Inner Engineering course by Sadhguru, and completed a 7-month long Teachers’ Training Course only last year. She has been teaching Yoga & Mindfulness since and there has been no looking back. Some of her recent commissioned journalism assignments were also based on Yoga & mindful living. Sharing her knowledge and all the benefits that Yoga has to offer are what Priyamvada Mangal has vowed to do!
We are well aware that Yoga recommends an Ayurvedic diet which is predominantly sattvic food. Having food according to prakruti (nature) and seasons and times of the day promises optimum health. Little do people realize, she adds, that Chyawanprash, Hajmola, Isabgol, and Pudin Hara are not just candies or tonics but also based very much on Ayurvedic preparations and recipes. As someone who witnessed the advantages of adopting an Ayurvedic lifestyle, Priyamvada feels much calmer now and her stomach issues have subsided!
“The immense increase in health, vitality and personal productivity like the turn-around time for doing a task before and after Yoga has been such a wonderful change! I finally got around learning to cook last year after postponing it for years and I wholeheartedly attribute it to Yoga and Mindfulness!”
Creating Spaces for Positive Impact
Her ability to create a space for a positive impact on her students’ lives is what keeps her on track. After each class, her students feel much calmer and more productive than before. Aches and pains disappear when you take up the correct posture and are aware of your body. It is simply life-altering and all the magic lies within you!
Her day begins with doing morning activities inspired by Ayurveda – oil pulling, jal neti (cleansing through the nostrils), and doing asana practice for 30-60 minutes. She regularly takes some time out to read or write about Yoga as it helps her remain open to learning new things. After a heavy lunch, she takes some rest and engages in some reading. Her classes await her in the evenings shortly after which retires to bed early.
When we ask her if she has any favourite habits that she enjoys practicing regularly, she says, “Doing asanas and pranayama every day is something I absolutely enjoy doing every day. Taking deep breaths and being observant of my breathing as often as possible is also something that helps me keep a balance.”
Understanding the Roots
Yoga & Ayurveda are called sister philosophies, and are extremely significant in the contemporary world. It is important that people understand their roots instead of hopping on to the superficial knowledge that’s available easily on the internet.
Yoga & Ayurveda do not recommend magic pills to cure a disease but aim at improving the four pillars – Ahar, Vihar, Aachar & Vichaar.
- Ahar – eating sattvic, good quality foods in moderate quantities and specific to the season and individual body type. Sattvic foods include seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, ripe vegetables, legumes and non-meat-based proteins.
- Vihar – recreation and routines including 5 niyamas (rules) which are saucha (purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discpline), svadhyaya (self-study), and ishvara pranidhana (surrender to the higher power).
- Achar – our behavior with the world and to make sure we follow the 5 yamas – ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing) brahmacharya (moderation in sensual pleasures), and aparigraha (non-greediness).
- Vichar – our outlooks toward life.
A Thirst to Keep Learning
We have become disintegrated personalities, just looking for cheap thrills, temporary dopamine hits, and constant validation, even if it comes at the cost of our mental and physical health. This, says Priyamvada, is breaking us internally and creating unhealthy lifestyles and even personalities.
“These philosophies work on a person’s personality instead of focusing on specific aspects that require healing. They promise all-rounded benefits and cure ailments from the roots. Both these sciences are very much needed during the current times where people are battling a life-threatening illness.”
Her message to natural life enthusiasts is to always “keep at it” because by constantly working on yourself is how you will be in a position to help others.
Priyamvada was looking for Ayurvedic formulations to pamper her growing locks and she’s bought herself a bottle of Kuntal Care DIY Hair Spa! We’re super excited to hear her reviews.
At Amrutam, we are grateful to have Priyamvada as part of our #AmrutamFamily!