Episode 19 How Ayurveda Can Help You and Your Clients with Sonia Arora

Jul 14, 2021

Have you heard of Ayurveda? How can the principles behind Ayurveda help you to get to know yourself and your clients better? Can opposites help you to find balance?

MEET SONIA ARORA

Sonia grew up in India, the home of Ayurveda and Yoga. Ayurveda was woven into the fabric of our lives, though she did not fully recognize its significance at the time. She has a traditional career as a CPA, with a long stint in the corporate world, and all along, Sonia nurtured an abiding interest in holistic health and wellness.

In 2015, this led her to study Ayurveda at the Yoga on High School of Ayurveda / California College of Ayurveda. It began as a personal exploration and has turned into a passion. Sonia has completed the Level 1 Ayurveda Health Educator (AHE), Level 2 Ayurveda Health Practitioner (AHP) studies, the AHE Internship program, and currently the Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist internship. She has also completed training to be a future Ayurveda teacher for the program and mentored students.

Find out more at her website and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • What is Ayurveda?
  • Body types in Ayurveda
  • Healing in Ayurveda
  • The start of your day sets the pace

WHAT IS AYURVEDA

Ayurveda is a combination of two words: auyr and veda. ‘Veda’ means science or knowledge and ‘ayur’ means life or lifespan. So, Ayurveda is the science or knowledge of life or lifespan.

Ayurveda is a holistic modality from India concerned with preventing disease.

Ayurveda essentially helps people to avoid sickness although it does have ways of helping people who do have an illness.

The basis of Ayurveda is the elements. Everything and everyone in the universe is made up of the elements and these are five elements, from the lightest to the heaviest: ether or space, air, fire, water and earth … this is not to be literal, it’s more about their qualities. (Sonia Arora)

The idea behind it:

  • Space: A container that surrounds you as well as pertaining to space in your body.
  • Air: The idea of movement. There is movement both around you and within your body.
  • Fire: Metabolism, when you eat anything it becomes digested to form new tissues in your body. There is metabolic fire and a mental fire, pertaining to how you perceive the world and how your brain digests information around you.
  • Water: This is more literal in the sense that the body is 70% water.
  • Earth: Structure, all solid parts of the body are earth and in a more philosophical sense the body comes from the earth at birth and is returned back to the earth with death.

BODY TYPES IN AYURVEDA

In Ayurveda, all these elements and their properties were combined to form three main body types. Everyone has all the elements in their body, but there is one type that is predominant:

1 – Air type or Vata::

  • Very lightly and narrowly built,
  • Everything is small: hair, lips, skin are all small
  • They are quick: they talk, move, and think fast

2 – Fire-type or Pitta:

  • Medium built people with well-defined muscle definition
  • They may have a reddish or yellowish tone to their skin
  • A direct person: they have a direct way of speaking to you or expressing themselves
  • Tend to become or assume the role of leader

3 – Water and earth type or Kapha:

  • Water and earth are heavy, slow and they have flow, so people with water or earth type have strong emotions
  • They have qualities such as sweetness, stability, and strong emotions with the flow
  • They have structure and stability in their body as well, so they are usually broader and bigger
  • These people are your dependable people

HEALING IN AYURVEDA

What Ayurveda says, all healing is [that] like increases like and opposites bring balance. So, if you are anxious, and that comes from speed, then slow down. If you are angry, that comes from fire, then cool down. (Sonia Arora)

Each type, when stressed, acts out in a certain way.

  • Someone who is an air type that is moving faster and faster may elevate their anxiety and what helps them is to slow down.
  • Someone who is a fire type that tends to be hotheaded when under pressure, may need to cool down to bring their balance.
  • Someone who is a water type may need to bring vigor into their slow stability in order to curb nostalgia or feeling stuck in their emotions.

All types can learn to push and pull from each other in order to remain whole and stable in themselves.

Bring awareness to what you are doing and decide whether you are ready to, or want to, change a small piece of what you want to change today or not.

THE START OF YOUR DAY SETS YOUR PACE

Your start of the day already is at a frantic pace that is going to maybe set the tone for your day, and if that keeps happening day after day, eventually it’s going to bleed into your life. (Sonia Arora)

Your daily routines make up your weeks, and your weeks add on to your months. Every day may seem like it is not important, and you may leave all the things to tomorrow if you are too busy or disorganized or overwhelmed, but today really is all that you have.

Take each morning as an opportunity and interact with it with kindness. Do not force yourself or punish yourself, but do encourage yourself to set the tone each morning and try to do a little bit of what you want to do every day.

BOOKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Semezdin Mehmedinović – My Heart

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Transcript

[CHRIS McDONALD]

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Behind the Bite, Full of Shift and Impact Driven Leader, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome back to the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald.

What an episode I have for you today, I've always been curious about Ayurvedic medicine, but have not grasped a full understanding of it yet. I'm sure many of you haven't heard of it, or maybe you just know bits and pieces. I hope this episode can help bring some awareness and maybe some understanding for you as well. Today's guest is Sonia Aurora. She's completed Level 1 Ayurveda Health Educator (AHE), Level 2 Ayurveda Health Practitioner (AHP), and is currently a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She grew up in India, home of Ayurveda and yoga ad interestingly enough, on her website, I found that Ayurveda is a sister science to yoga, which piqued my interest, of course. She also completed training to be a future Ayurveda teacher for the program and mentored students. Welcome to the podcast, Sonia.

[SONIA ARORA]

Thank you, Chris.

[CHRIS]

So glad you can join us.

[SONIA]

Yes, my pleasure. And I'm happy to be able to spread the word about Ayurveda on your podcast. So thank you for that.

[CHRIS]

Excellent. So before we dive in, can you tell my listeners more about yourself and your work?

[SONIA]

Yes, absolutely. So I have always been interested in my health and specifically in kind of the holistic health. I was interested in it before it was a word out there, but I knew about, I just had an intuitive feel for the wholeness rather than just the body or the symptom. So I read a lot, experimented on myself a lot over the years. Did not go to school for medicine or any of those avenues. I ended up becoming a CPA ---

[CHRIS]

Which we were talking about before we hit record. I was like, that is so like, not that it's a bad thing. It's just so opposite.

[SONIA]

It is the opposite of where I am now, but you know, there are many ways. So I had a good enough career. I'm happy where I was, but continued my interest in the mind body spirit aspect of life, continued reading, continued studying. Over time, of course started yoga, that people are well aware of now and had a chance where the yoga studio that I was a student at and they were bringing the Ayurveda program into town in Columbus, Ohio, where I'm located and the school that we were going to be learning from is the California College of Ayurveda. They are located in Nevada city. They have been in business for 25 years. So it's a solid program. So I joined just more for myself just to learn more. I am from India where I read that and yoga or from, and I just thought, Hey, this is interesting.

[CHRIS]

Did you learn about any of it when you were growing up in India?

[SONIA]

So it was baked into the cake there. A lot of our culture and lifestyle had elements of it baked in. And when we were younger grandmas used to have these home remedies that right from Ayurveda. Yes, so we definitely knew about it, but it was not, it was the day of Western medicine at the time when I was growing up, I'd be honest. There was lots of new discoveries at the time with the vaccinations, et cetera and it seemed miraculous at the time and it is, and I really was sort of more practiced in smaller towns and cities not necessarily considered to be the best in the big cities, especially ones that I was, but still we knew about it. So yes, I guess I joined back into that way late, many decades later in my life and I'm in the US and started studying Ayurveda. I loved it from day one, class one. It's so intuitive and just spoke to me and I was ready for it. I had been ready for it. I just did not know it.

[CHRIS]

I like that. I was ready for it. I did not know it.

[SONIA]

So I just continued on and here I am, many years later, started practicing. You complete the theoretical work and then you do internships where you see people under the tutelage of an experienced practitioner, so that you sort of understand how to look at a person that you're working with.

[CHRIS]

That's great. I loved reading about it today before the interview and how it's so holistic, I mean, this fits perfectly with the holistic counseling podcast.

[SONIA]

Absolutely. It is holistic mind, body, spirit. It's all considered. We are not just our body, not just our mind, we are not just our soul. We are all of that and more, and all of the things that we do within Ayurveda, keep that in mind. Absolutely.

[CHRIS]

So can you give us a little background on what exactly is Ayurveda? I'm sure a lot of listeners are unsure too.

[SONIA]

Yes, absolutely. So Ayurveda is a combination of two words Ayur and Veda. Veda means science or knowledge and Ayu means life or lifespan. So Ayurveda is the science or knowledge of life or lifespan. So almost every old civilization you will find has had some kind of medical system. And I don't mean medical in the terms of modern medicine, but some kind of healing modality they have to, or they wouldn't have survived all those hundreds of years, disease would always be with people. There would always be something and aging. So there's some kind of system that exists in almost all civilizations. And Ayurveda is from India and it has been continuously practiced there for thousands of years. So what it is a holistic modality concern for most it's preventing disease, which is an ounce of ---

[CHRIS]

Imagine that [crosstalk], our medical model here is all about symptoms and treatment.

[SONIA]

So with Ayurveda, we want to keep the healing in our body, such that we do not fall sick, we avoid sickness. That is the goal. And then of course, if we do have something, a condition, anything, then of course we do have ways to deal with it, sorry, can we pause for a second?

[CHRIS]

Yes.

[SONIA]

I lost my train of thought.

[CHRIS]

Take your time. It happens.

[SONIA]

I don't know. I was saying that we do have to deal with it and then I don't know what I started thinking and I forgot. Okay. All right. Let me grab my train of thought back.

[CHRIS]

So you're talking about how it's preventative.

[SONIA]

It's preventative, yes. Let's see. All right, let's go. So we always want to keep ourselves in a state of healing and how we do that is by being aware of ourselves and the seasons. And what that means is what I'll get to in a second here. So the basis of Ayurveda is the elements. So everything and everyone in the universe is made up of the elements and these are five elements from the lightest to the heaviest, it's space, air, fire, water, and earth. And when I say the names of these elements, this is not to be literal. It's more about their qualities. So the idea of space is a container. So we are contained within our space. If somebody would get too close to you even say, "Oh, they are in my space." You have that feeling.

So that is the space element, which is the container we are in as well as there is space in our body. Our bones are somewhat hollow and modern science tells us that there are a lot of empty matter in every atom of our body. And there's a little nucleus and then there's a lot of empty space. So there is space. Air, the air element is the idea of movement. There is movement going on all the time in our body and not just the conscious movement that I'm talking about. You eat your food and it makes its way through the digestive process that your heart is beating all the nerve impulses happening every moment your blood is going around. So many processes are going on that you don't even think about, know about that are just happening. So all the movement is air. The idea behind that is, let's say, if you say a tree, if you look at a tree outside and there is no breeze, it's still and there's a gust, it starts moving. So the movement is broadened by air. That's sort of the idea of air.

Fire. So fire is the idea of metabolism or transformation. So if you light a fire and you throw something in it, it will burn and change from if it's a piece of wood, it changes it into ash. So similarly, when we eat anything, it gets digested and it becomes our tissues. So our digestive system is just the fire, that's the biggest fire in the body, but it also means metabolism. So in every little cell there is metabolism of something going on all the time, there's also sort of a mental fire. So we see the world or we experience this world through our senses. So we take in all of the sensory impressions and then our brain digests all of this and makes it our reality. So when we talk about, sometimes in yoga, as you might be aware of the world is just an illusion, it's an illusion because your perception and my perception are different because we are pursuing them in different ways. So that's a very interesting concept if one thinks about that. So there's the fires in our body and our digestion, in our metabolism, in our brain.

The next one is water and water is pretty easy to understand because that is pretty literal. We are 70% percent water. That most people understand. So all the fluids in our body everywhere, pretty easy to follow. And earth is structure. That's what gives us everything. So all our solid parts are earth. And most religions, if you think about that, do understand that we go from dust to dust, et cetera. So we are built up from the earth and we go back to the earth. At least our outer color does. So those are the elements and everything and everyone, as I said before, is made up of them. So what Ayurveda looks at the world is, so we take these elements and we came up with three types of body types and they are the air type or water, the fire type or Pitta and the water type or CAPA.

So the elements, all of us have all the elements within us, but what is predominant? So in the air types, the water type of people, the air and space elements are predominant. So what does that mean? What are the qualities of air and space? Movement, and lightness. And cold, there is no warmth in either space or air. Warmth is only provided by fire. So how does that translate into what I see in a person? So lots of type of people, the air type of people will be usually very light, narrow built, the ectomorphs as we call them in modern physiology, they have, everything is small, the eyes maybe small, their nose is small, and the lips are thin, their skin is thin. Their hair could be thick or thin, but their skin would be dry. They will just be very light. They're also quick because air moves. So they talk fast, they move fast, think fast. They flip from thing to thing. That's my air type of person.

[CHRIS]

That's like everything about them on their physical body. And it's interesting

[SONIA]

Yes, the physical body and their sort of mental makeup, so to speak. So the elements show up in both the physical and mental makeup. The Pitta type of people, the second type, the fire type, obviously the fire element is more predominant. So they tend to be the mesomorph, the medium build people. And because movement in our body is expressed through muscles, so fire people will tend to have a better musculature, especially the workout. You will see that they will get very good muscle definition, but otherwise they are medium, they're medium built and they will have maybe a reddish or yellowish tone to their skin, direct way of speaking, direct way of looking at you. That's the fire element coming out towards the world. Fire is hot, volatile, and how it expresses in people is they're ambitious, very direct, very driven. Like fire in the belly is an expression used. What does that mean?

So the fire in the belly person is the one that's a doer, a leader, go-getter. So that's my fire people, the Pitta people that will be the natural leaders. Obviously not every Pitta person can be a leader, but they can be leader in many ways. They can be a leader in the house, at their work, in a religious setting, in a communal setting, any setting. They tend to be the people that naturally become leaders. Then there is the last type or the Cappa type, which is the water and earth elements, predominant people. So water and earth are heavy and slow and they have flow. So the mental makeup of these people is lots of emotions, of sweet emotions. So love, kindness, empathy, loyalty, stability. These qualities show up in their mental makeup. Physically, they will be the largest stalkiest people.

Usually also the strongest and stamina because they have the most structure. So water and earth being the heaviest and most structure, then it shows up in a person, they will have more of everything. All of their tissues will be more off. So, and like I said, the mental makeup is these types of heavier emotions that show up. So these people would be your dependable people. They will, once they're motivated, they will see it to the end. They're on it. They stick with it, so to speak. So if you mix water and earth, it becomes like a mud. It's sticky. So it's interesting how intuitively right this sounds, would you say?

[CHRIS]

Yes. So I guess, is there any way for people to find out which kind of person they are?

[SONIA]

Yes. So actually there are tons of books that have these questionnaires, as well, as you can find some like quick questionnaires online, if you Google them. Either way, the DOSHA type questionnaires, if you Google that you will find a ton of them. I will tell you though that obviously when I see someone, I do a much more detailed intake. However, having said that all of these questionnaires give you at least a good idea.

[CHRIS]

So can you have more than one?

[SONIA]

Yes, absolutely. So, yes, keeping in mind that we have all five of the elements in us and therefore we have all three of the types in us. And by the way, those types, if I have not mentioned the word for that is DOSHA, D O S H A. So those DOSHA types, we all have everything. We all have air, we all have water, we all have everything. So it's just what predominates. And they can definitely be dual DOSHA. That is actually most common, meaning two of the types, tri-doshic meaning all three is quite rare. All three meaning in almost equal proportion, that's fairly rare, but the dual DOSHA is the most common. Single DOSHA predominant, also fairly common. And yes, if you do any of those questionnaires you can get at least a vague idea of where you fall on that spectrum.

[CHRIS]

I'm trying to think of family members and friends, where do they fit in? It's like, yes I think it could help though, to understand maybe where some people are coming from and what is there.

[SONIA]

Absolutely. Strange that you said that because my kind of first thought, or one of the first thoughts when I kind of got into this in my studies was that, huh, that explains a lot about this person or that person. So if somebody tends to get more angry in a given situation than another person, and you know they're more of a fighter person, at least it gives you an idea. I'm not saying that the right to be angry, just because you have fight element, but at least it gives you sort of a look-see about what makes people tick. Why do they do what they do in a given situation? So that person, you put them under stress. What does air do? Air rises? So air is up there very far from the earth. So that's where anxiety is their big problems. So, and because of the movement is fast that everywhere moving too fast, not grounded is an anxious place to be.

[CHRIS]

It seems like a lot of people are not grounded. Society is moving too fast. So a lot of people.

[SONIA]

Yes, so we are as a society moving faster and faster. And now with social media, even if you were sitting there with your phone with scrolling, there's a sensory input, click, and then click. So your brain is processing these images that you're scrolling, scrolling, and it's being asked to do a lot and not have any downtime. And you move from one thing to another and that's fine. We're seeing a, they're calling it a pandemic of anxiety is that your experience that you're seeing a lot of that. So I really ---

[CHRIS]

And more so from the, sorry to interrupt you more so from the pandemic too, I think as people were staying home, more with a pandemic they're anxious, but then the second part was on social media more.

[SONIA]

Yes. So there's a lot of screen time, but not human face-to-face time. And that's not how we are built. That's not how we're built. And any type of uncertainty is stress. So there was so much uncertainty, will I have my job? Will I fall sick? Will my loved ones fall sick? Will I find, I don't know, probably a paper at the store? You know what I mean? I mean, I'm ---

[CHRIS]

Oh yes.

[SONIA]

Half joking, but there's all this uncertainty. It's uncertainty, certainty is grounded, uncertainty is the opposite. So any of these ungrounded emotions, they are all according to Ayurveda a lot of the issue and what dominates in our body are our brain and nervous system. And you put two and two together and you understand why all this anxiety comes from this speed of life issue and uncertainty, any type of stress. You put a stress on a Pitta person. They will tend to get angry. So hard-headed, but being fired, heat hotheaded. So that's sort of their reaction. When everything is in balance, they will be warm.

[CHRIS]

It's like turning down the heat?

[SONIA]

Exactly, exactly. So if you have ---

[CHRIS]

That's always a totally different way to think of all this for me.

[SONIA]

Yes, it is. But I feel like it's so intuitive that anybody can understand this

[CHRIS]

Like once you really process it and think about it and apply it, I can see how I could really be useful.

[SONIA]

Yes. It's useful for yourself, first of all, because if you are aware of how, whatever you're doing is sort of affecting you, then you know you're in a place to maybe put a stop to it, change it, redirect it. But at least you're aware of what it is that pushes your buttons, so to speak.

[CHRIS]

When you're aware, then you can do something about it.

[SONIA]

Exactly. So it sort of breaks it down for you like that and what Ayurveda says, all healing is, like increases like an opposites bring balance. So if you are anxious, that comes from speed, but then slow down. If you are angry that comes from fire, then calm down.

[CHRIS]

Okay.

[SONIA]

We'll talk about how to cool down in a second.

[CHRIS]

No, I understand what the intuitive is if that's what you meant.

[SONIA]

And then we did talk about the third type, which is the Cappa types, the water, earth types. For them, the issue is more about heaviness. So what they seek is comfort and that's sometimes too much of comfort for them can mean that they become caught in a wrap. If that goes on too long, maybe they start feeling blue, maybe they get depressed. It's a heavy emotion. So for them, then they need to change that track and bring some vigor into themselves. They need to move. So all three types of people, all the five elements, they express differently. We approach each of them differently, but that's there we go. So as I was saying, like increases like, opposite brings balance. That's what I was talking about in terms of what happens with a water type person, what happens with a Pitta type person, what happens with a Cappa type person in the same situation? They all three may come up with different things.

[CHRIS]

True. Yes. So, Ayurveda, does it say anything else as far as the causes of like mental health issues? Is there other things out of balance or?

[SONIA]

So yes, the causes are of course many. So what Ayurveda says is everything we eat, everything we do, everything we think, those are the predictors of what will go on. So it's funny to talk about eating and diet in terms of talking about mental health, but it does have an effect. It has a big effect.

[CHRIS]

Yes, everything's connected.

[SONIA]

Everything is connected and we are what we eat literally. If you eat an apple, it becomes, that's the basic truth of our bodies. As far as our sort of mental makeup is concerned, eating is still important and then all the other sensory impressions. So as I was saying before, we take in the world through the five senses, so eating is the sense of taste, but then we have touch, we have smell, we have hearing and sight. So all the impressions we take in are important, but eating is still important for our mental health. So let me explain why. So say I have a water type person and air type person. An air type person is, as I talked about the air and ether elements. So what Ayurveda says is that all the foods that we eat also have those elements. So if you take like increases like, and if you have the air element and space element, which are cold and you eat cold foods, then you are adding to your problems.

[CHRIS]

Oh, I see.

[SONIA]

So a water person eating chips and salad is not helping themselves, in other words. A Pitta person who is fire should not be eating spicy, hot foods.

[CHRIS]

That's what I was thinking. I was making that prediction in my mind.

[SONIA]

You're right. And a Cappa type person who's water and earth should not be eating sweets and heavy foods because it's ---

[CHRIS]

They're heavy.

[SONIA]

They are heavy, the food is heavy, the end result is going to be heavy. So that's why eating, and the foods are actually quite important. So if I have somebody that tells me they're having anxiety, yes, we do many other things on the subtle level, but we also have to deal with the body level, the gross level. We are all connected. All of our parts work together. So it's all important. But of course, with, as I was talking about the other senses, what we see, what we hear, the touch, all of those are also important. So very well being in yoga that, you must've heard of mantra and chanting. So that's taking our sense of hearing and giving it something good to hear rather than not. So if you're, again, if you have anxiety and you're listening to fast music or fast beats versus you're chanting a mantra or listening to a mantra, it's a whole different effect. And of course, if you do it once, that's okay. It's the things we do repeatedly that end up having an effect.

[CHRIS]

You're talking my language, yes. This is what I talk to clients about all the time with consistency.

[SONIA]

That's right. That's right. Anything once or twice, no problem.

[CHRIS]

That's nice.

[SONIA]

And I understand that somebody listening to this, they'd think, "Oh, it's easy for you to say." And I totally understand that. It's always easier said than done. We are creatures of habit. We are used to getting up and drinking our coffee in the morning and we're used to whatever we are used. However, first you bring awareness to whatever you're feeling, whatever you're doing, you just know what effect it has on you and then you decide, okay, well, I'm ready to change that a small piece of it today or not. And then you change a small piece and note what happens. That's what I recommend to people that are trying to make some change into their life. It's hard. Change is hard.

[CHRIS]

It is. Oh, it definitely is, not to minimize that. It takes time.

[SONIA]

It does. It does take time. Absolutely. And there's many false starts

[CHRIS]

Well, I think you're right though, because once you start to see the benefits, then that's going to motivate you. I know with exercise, especially, it's hard for people to get going and keep it, but once you get to that place of, wow, so I see some muscle definition or weight loss, something that is a good benefit, I can do so much more. That's going to motivate you to keep going.

[SONIA]

Absolutely, absolutely. And another important thing with, when we talk about mental health is sleep, so important. Very much. So it's another, it's a pillar of health in Ayurveda that it has to be good quality sleep at the right time. Water people need more sleep because they tend to be, they sort of use a lot of energy going around in the world at their speed. So they need the downtime and rest. Pitta types also need the downtime and rest because they're always, they're the kind of people that are burning the candle on both ends. They'll work late, they'll keep going and not care about themselves. And that eventually starts setting up. The occasional late night, no problem. Again, it comes to that. What are we doing over and over? It starts to add up.

And the Cappa people, the water, earth people they need less sleep because they are naturally endowed with good strength and stamina. So their needs are slightly lower than the other two. And of course, what ends up happening is that the Cappa people have no problem going to sleep and the water people have the most insomnia because their brain doesn't stop. And the Pitta people also tend to be, they're not worrying about their planning. Their planners. They go to bed at night and they're already planning tomorrow.

[CHRIS]

And that keeps people up too.

[SONIA]

That keeps people up too. I mean, it's a vast subject than any of these little threads we can take on for a long time. But you let me talk about, I thought about explaining how, say a morning, a simple morning routine. So say your morning routine is first, it starts the night before. So you slept late. So you overslept, you snooze your alarm three times and then, oh my gosh, it is so late. Chimp up, start the coffee and take a shower, hurry, check your phone for the emails or news or social media. You're running around and grabbing your, sipping your coffee, getting kids ready if you have kids or yourself ready or whatever many things that you do in the morning. So your start of the day already is at a frantic pace that is going to maybe set the tone for your day. And if that keeps happening every day after day, eventually it's going to bleed into your life. Especially if you're a water, air type person it's going to affect you very quickly. Pitta people, maybe a little longer, Cappa people, even more longer, but eventually everybody's going to get affected.

[CHRIS]

So it does catch up with everybody?

[SONIA]

It does catch up with all of us. It just may be, some of us may last longer. Now you compare that, you slept at a good time, you woke up in, giving yourself enough time to do all the things that you need to do in the morning. You get up, maybe you can take a walk, short walk, maybe you can do some yoga. Maybe you can do meditation. Not all of them. That's a lot in the morning, something for a few minutes, even a few breaths. Then you have your tea or coffee, whatever calmly, you calmly get dressed. So now your day's already off to a good start. And you do that day after day. How is that going to be five months from now, 10 months from now, five years from now?

[CHRIS]

So just like the other routine, if you're a fast-paced in the morning, if you're slowing it down, I would think over time, that would help.

[SONIA]

Absolutely.

[CHRIS]

With your overall mood and energy.

[SONIA]

All of it, all of it. You will, in the morning, you have routines, especially this is very important, especially for the water type of people, the air type of people. Routines are especially important for them because they're so quickly affected by change, so quickly affected by change that for them eat at about the same time every day, sleep at about the same time every day, these things are so important for them.

[CHRIS]

So as far as helping with the mental health issues, the Ayurvedic medicine is it, so it's the multi-pronged approach, looking at all the different areas. And I'm guessing that as a practitioner, so you just give different feedback and ideas for helping them when someone comes to you?

[SONIA]

Yes. So when someone comes to me, and I want to add a disclaimer here, that I do not take the place of either your practice, your psychiatrist, or your mental health counselor. All of that stays. I don't change anything. So what I am meeting people with is all of these sort of other things that are usually not the focus of most of Western medicine. Like I said, diet is important, sleep routines, all of those things we help with that really add up over time to put a person kind of in a mode where okay, let's start feeling good. So that's why I usually see people not once. It's never going to be one or two times. It's never going to be enough. So I always see people over a series of appointments. I do a detailed intake to see what their constitution is, the DOSHAs.

So there is what the constitution, as well as an imbalance. What's in balance? What does imbalance look for you? And then what does out of balance, look for you. I look at all that, I talk to them about their routines, I talk to them about their sleep, I talk to them about even their digestion, elimination, their moods, their relationships, their sleep, all of that. We go over and then I have some thoughts on, okay, this is the thing I want to work on first. So I work on a couple of things and then every time I meet them, I'll see how they're doing and then add a couple more recommendations of what they can do.

[CHRIS]

Do a complete overhaul the first time you meet with someone?

[SONIA]

No, that, because that is such a stressing thing to do. No, that's impossible.

[CHRIS]

That doesn't work. It's the same thing with therapy. We usually give something for them to do, but like what is one small thing you can start with?

[SONIA]

Yes, absolutely. And you meet them obviously where they are. You have to see what is the biggest effect we could have, the easiest thing we could do it. It's sort of a dance with what you pick on, but it just varies so much. So in a way that is very specific. I meet with you and I meet with somebody else, my approach will be completely different.

[CHRIS]

I was going to say, it sounds like it's very individualized.

[SONIA]

Very individual because the elements and the DOSHAs with you are completely different with them. So what I ask you to do and I asked them to do, it's going to be completely different.

[CHRIS]

That makes sense. So if a mental health care provider is interested in learning more about becoming an Ayurvedic professional, what could they do? Is there a certain place they can go for training?

[SONIA]

So yes, there is several Ayurveda schools in the US. So California College of Ayurveda, that's my school and they do offer online instruction. You do have to go there for the start of the internship, but everything else can be done remotely. There are other schools, there is the Carola Ayurveda, you can Google these. There is the Maharishi University in Iowa. They actually are accredited and offer, it's a longer term program and I think you get like a bachelor's or master's or some such from it. And some people end up going to India to learn, but that's obviously more of a commitment.

[CHRIS]

So we can definitely put some in the show notes as well.

[SONIA]

Yes, absolutely.

[CHRIS]

So have I missed anything else you want to share before we log off from this episode?

[SONIA]

Gosh, that is so many things to talk about. There is so much. It's like I said, the field is endless, but you know, maybe for another time, but I have a quote to end the program if you'd like to include that. So this quote I came across recently, it's from a book it's called My Heart and the author is Semezdin Mehmedinovic, and I'm sure I'm saying it wrong. It's a biographical and I haven't read the book yet, but this quote caught my eye and the author says, "We ought to ask ourselves again and constantly why fill our lives with such effort and torment when we know that we will be here only once. And when we have such a brief and unrepeatable time in this indescribably beautiful world?"

[CHRIS]

Oh, that's lovely.

[SONIA]

Yes. I just thought that's beautiful. It's just perspective and whatever we are going through life is ups and downs and we have to maintain the long-term perspective and focus on what's important and hopefully everything falls in place.

[CHRIS]

Yes, I love that. Hope everything falls into place and keeping perspective. And that's what a lot of us teach clients as well, which I feel like this is so helpful for understanding our clients, ourselves and for self-care too, as we get both the benefit of learning about this and then for yourself as well.

[SONIA]

Yes, self-care is the most important thing. You have to care for yourself. That's where the routines and the eating. That's what you need to keep your body and mind happy.

[CHRIS]

Thank you so much for coming on today, Sonia. This has been wonderful.

[SONIA]

Thank you, Chris. Thank you so much.

[CHRIS]

And to my listeners, I am so grateful for you and thank you for listening today. Just remember to subscribe, rate, and review wherever you get your podcasts. If you can do me a favor, please share with a colleague who can benefit. This is Chris McDonald sending each one of you much light and love. Until next time, take care.

If you're loving the show, will you rate review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform? We just started this and that helps other people find this show. Also, if you're feeling uncertain about your modalities and you want to build your confidence to be your unique self, why don't you to join my free email course, Becoming a Holistic Counselor over holisticcounselingpodcast.com. In my Becoming a Holistic Counselor course, you'll get tips for adding integrative care into your practice, what training you need and don't, and the know-how to attract your ideal holistic clients. If this sounds like the direction you are headed, sign up at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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