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"Exploring the Principles and Practices of Ayurveda with an Ayurvedic Doctor: A Q&A Session with Dr Varalakshmi Yanamandra"
Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra believes that by just understanding and implementing 10% of Ayurvedic wisdom in our day today life we can heal our lives and bodies.
1. What are the first three to five things an individual can do to get started on an Ayurvedic way of life?
Ayurveda is a healing science that says our life is intertwined with the elements of nature. Health is a result of finding a balance between the subtle internal and external changes that are happening every moment.
a. Listen to your body - Everything starts from paying attention to subtle signs of our body, especially to your appetite, bowel movements, and energy levels.
b. Harness your agni - Agni is the source of energy that keeps us alive and is responsible for our Digestion, assimilation, strength, immunity, and knowledge. Feed good food and good thoughts to it.
c. Be in tune with Nature - Try to adapt your diet and lifestyle in accordance with changing seasons, eat more locally grown food as much as possible to strengthen your gut.
2. What are some recommendations you have for someone to get the most out of their initial Ayurveda journey?
With so much information floating around in the internet, Ayurveda can be quite overwhelming for someone new. It is important to take one step at a time and to find someone with experience and knowledge to guide you on this path. First step would be to book an ayurvedic consultation to understand the basic concepts and how you could start your journey.
But before you reach that, here are few things that come handy on this path
1. Be more intuitive - Ayurveda is all about being more intuitive and connecting with your body in a deeper way. Understand that this relationship you develop with your body is the most important aspect of your health and well-being.
2. Let your life flow - Ayurveda may sound different to traditional western approach but idea is to understand the flow of life around you and inside you. It helps to be flexible with your approach. Try few things before jumping in all.
3. How has Ayurveda enhanced your life personally?
When I was 16 years old I suffered from hormonal imbalances and healed myself with the help of Ayurveda. After that, I never looked back when it came to my health. Growing up science is a passion but I didn't believe in alternative or holistic therapies back then. It is a long story but maybe for another day.
4. When choosing an Ayurvedic doctor, what are some of the questions you recommend someone ask? Are there other things you recommend people research to ensure a good fit with their Ayurvedic doctor?
First and foremost is to know whether they are experienced enough to treat someone with the same health concerns. The idea is not to get lost in the world of modern social media as anyone claims to be an expert these days.
Connecting with people with a real degrees and experience who are working in similar conditions is helpful. Having a telephone call beforehand to explain your symptoms and asking the right questions to assess if they are right fit for you!
5. Please paint the picture of an Ayurvedic journey under your care as a doctor. Please touch on low-touch (remote) and high-touch (basti, etc.) modalities. When do you believe a panchakarma becomes necessary? How do you recommend patients make the best of remote sessions and gain the maximum benefit before coming in for in-person treatments?
It is my belief and understanding just by implementing 10% of Ayurvedic wisdom in our day to day life we can heal our lives and bodies. The major part of my work is to educate and encourage diet and lifestyle to enhance the quality of life and minimal medications as part of my consultation. That's why I don't recommend any extensive Panchakarma therapies to anyone unless I believe they are the only option they have. This has to be assessed and can vary for each and every person out there.
Remote sessions are convenient and practical but they aren't necessarily great to assess someone thoroughly. It is best to see a practitioner face to face always to get a correct diagnosis. One should be on empty stomach ideally before visiting a practitioner and bring along any relevant documents and previous reports to review. Have a polite and open manner while speaking be honest with Practitioner about your eating habits and lifestyle. Be willing to adapt and be diligent in implementing Practitioner's guidelines as much as possible. Report back any concerns immediately.
6. Ayurvedic must-haves in the kitchen?
I love spices and use them in my cooking but sharing a glimpse of my favorite ones when it comes to healthy cooking
1. Cumin - The best spice to enhance digestion and hunger. Cumin is called Jeera for this very reason and I so love it in most of the dishes I make. Just a pinch of it is enough.
2. Carom/ajwain - Ajwain is my go-to for correcting Vata and is analgesic and tackles tummy issues like bloating. It is a must for cooking Indian dishes with besan or gram flour or while making curry with cruciferous or beans as they cause wind.
3. Fennel - A gentle soothing spice that does wonders for digestion and tackles bloating and wind. Chew a few seeds after a meal to enhance your Agni.
7. Topic of Interest?
I have worked with many women with menstrual issues in my work. Ayurveda says that Vata is the key dosha that governs movement inside our body and our abdomen is the dominant site for VATA inside our body.
As modern women, many of us find little time to slow down and catch our breath. We are juggling many roles and responsibilities every single day. Vata being an essence of air+ether has a tendency to go out of balance when there is a lot of physical or mental movement.
One of the best ways to ensure Vata stays balanced is by slowing down and having a little bit of self-care in our lives. Knowing different phases of our cycle and planning our exercise accordingly also aids in having a healthy period. Slowing down and choosing soothing practices during the luteal phase is a great start.
To know more about Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra, please click here
*This content is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease, or affect the structure or function of the body. The information herein does not constitute medical advice. Anyone suffering from a medical condition should consult with a physician. User reviews do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results — what works for one may not work for another.