KA: How, where and when did you first get introduced to Ayurveda?
Shivani: I was introduced to Ayurveda in 1992 in Rochester, NY when my daughter had an illness that our western doctors could not identify. A friend recommended I see an Ayurvedic practitioner that lived nearby.
KA: What is your constitution?
Shivani: Kapha 1, Vata 2, Pitta 3.
KA: Which of your Doshas is most likely to go out of balance and what herbal medicines and practices do you do to bring it back into balance?
Shivani: Vata is the most likely to be swayed now that I am older. I use Vata-pacifying but not Pitta-provoking pranayama, asana, daily routine, massage, diet and lifestyle. I use Triphala on a daily basis. I do a week-long cleanse every few months that includes a kitchari diet and usually basti and virechena. I apply Brahmi Ghritam on the soles of my feet at bedtime. At present, I am not using any other churna.
KA: What motivated you to become a certified practitioner?
Shivani: Grace. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but an inner knowing.
KA: There is so much in-depth information in the system of Ayurveda. Can you share some of your studying techniques that helped you remember your studies?
Shivani: I learn from repetition and doing. I do a lot of reading and listening to talks. I learn the most from working with clients.
KA: What are your top three favorite books on Ayurveda?
KA: Have you ever felt discouraged on your journey with Ayurveda? If so, how did you overcome it?
Shivani: With health problems and with Ayurvedic education. I live in a rural, conservative part of the US. It is sometimes a challenge to present Ayurveda in a vernacular that is understood and accepted.
KA: What is the first thing you focus on when working with a new client who doesn’t know anything about Ayurveda?
Shivani: I focus on what the client’s individual concerns are, intuit where they are able to make changes, and build on that base.
KA: When a client becomes discouraged about slow results or difficulty breaking old habits, how do you help them stay focused and positive?
Shivani: I always smile and encourage them and show them love and respect. I believe every small step is still a step in the right direction.
KA: What do you think is the most important duty of an Ayurvedic doctor/practitioner?
Shivani: Supporting and informing clients in their own personal search for health and healing.
KA: What is your mission as an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Shivani: To share this wonderful knowledge with whoever seeks it.
KA: What is your favorite part about being an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Shivani: Working one on one with a person; watching them grow and blossom on their journey.
KA: How would you like to see your practice grow in the next 5 years?
Shivani: I am again in a part of my life where I can return to full time practice. I look forward to growing along with my practice. I enjoy collaborating with other health care professionals.
We are so happy and excited to have Prajakta on board as an affiliate. She has had an incredible life, being lucky enough to grow up in a household that respected and practiced Ayurveda. Her years of studying and hands-on clinical experience make her an excellent choice if you are looking for an Ayurvedic practitioner. Check out her first interview with us to learn more about Prajakta, her background, experience, mission and goals!
Regardless of how I was introduced to Ayurveda, here’s the thing: I was introduced to Ayurveda at just the right time in my life. Only five years earlier I was on another trajectory studying Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, WA when my father was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. I knew instinctually that there had to be “another way” to access health and wholeness in mind, body, and spirit, but at the time I was not ready for the depth and breadth of self-care and purification practices offered by Ayurveda. It took the deeper work of finding stillness (sthira) and single pointed concentration (dhārana) on the yoga mat to be prepare me for my introduction to the Elements (mahabhutani) as Beings with whom I could enter into relationship. That was the shift that occurred that led me to study the science of Ayurveda as a healing practice.