"My life's work has been dedicated to the promotion of the principles of Eastern medicine. I believe it to be the most gentle and sophisticated form of medicine with the longest recorded history. The foundations and principles, although ancient, are as relevant today as they ever were - maybe more so . In our busy modern lives introducing some Eastern wisdom can transform your health and life"
Ruby Warrington is Founder of conscious lifestyle platform The Numinous, where all things "new age" are given a cosmic upgrade for ... the Now Age! A British journalist based in Brooklyn, NY, she is the former Features Editor of the UK Sunday Times Style magazine, while her freelance journalism has appeared in the NY Times, Red magazine, Grazia, and The Guardian, among countless other print and digital titles. A lifetime student of astrology, Ruby's first book, Material Girl, Mystical World, is out now on Harper Collins—as featured in Nylon, Teen Vogue, Vogue.com, Hello Giggles, the NY Post, Wanderlust, Well+Good, The Culture Trip and Mind Body Green, among others. Part memoir, part guide to thriving in the Now Age, the book has been described by Arianna Huffington as: "helping to redefine success for the 21st Century," and details Ruby's own transformational journey using the tools and practices she brings to life with her online spiritual mentoring program, Moon Club.
" I DEFINITELY FEEL MORE ENERGISED AND SLEEP BETTER WHEN I EAT A BIG LUNCH AND LIGHTER DINNER."
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
It means listening to my body first, and making lifestyle choices (including but not limited to diet!) that are in alignment with what I need—versus what the latest lifestyle fads or trends are telling me to do
When did you discover it?
My mum was very involved with an Ayurvedic doctor called Shayam Singha in the 1980s, who I have since discovered was one of the first people to bring the philosophy to the UK. I didn't know back then that he was practicing Ayurveda (I was only about 8!) just that he believed in "food as medicine," and that you could sure anything with diet. He successfully healed my little brother's eczema, and my mum adopted many of his "rules"—such as never drinking ice cold water, or talking about negative subjects while eating, which are all part of Ayurveda.
How long have you been practising it?
I don't think of myself as "practicing" Ayurveda as such, but I began tapped into the food as medicine as a way to cope with severe adrenal fatigue about 7 years ago. I stopped drinking coffee and eating sugar and was bowled over by how fast I felt better. Ever since then I've been hyper aware of what, how and when I eat affects my overall wellbeing.
Anything major it’s helped with?
Ever since I suffered from an eating disorder in my teens, I'd experienced digestive issues—made worse by the fact I used to drink a lot of alcohol. It's actually been facing and processing the emotional issues behind both these things (the disordered eating and the drinking) that's finally helped my digestion heal—as well as removing alcohol and the majority of animal products from my diet, going to bed much earlier, and incorporating a regular yoga and meditation practice. This holistic approach to physical wellbeing is the essence of Ayurveda to me.
Is it part of everyday life or merely part of your medicine cabinet/fall back routine?
Living a holistically aligned life has become my new normal, and a vital part of maintaining an overall sense of confidence, vitality and overall wellbeing. But I don't follow any specific Ayurvedic "rules"—I try to simply listen to what my body is telling me it needs. A practice in and of itself as this changes on a daily basis. What's interesting to me is how many of the lifestyle practices I've discovered though trial and error fit in with Ayurvedic principals.
Top 3 Ayurveda tips that have worked for you?
1. Going to bed by 10pm. If I miss this slot I invariably wake super early the next day feeling like I haven't properly rested.
2. Eating mainly cooked food. We hear so much about the benefits of raw foods, but my mainly Vata constitution fares much better with warm dishes.
3. Eating my main meal at lunch time. This when the Pitta—digestive fire—is strongest, and I definitely feel more energized and sleep better when I eat a big lunch and lighter dinner.
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
That our dosha isn't set for life, and that we contain all three doshas in varying degrees. I am mainly Pitta Vata and definitely feel more Vata as I get older. Did you integrate it gradually or overnight for any particular reason
Do your children/family eat like this? And if they do do they know it’s Ayurveda or just homecooking?
My mum still follows the principal of food as medicine, but she probably wouldn't say she follows an Ayurvedic diet. Like me, she eats what her body is asking for, which tends to be a similar diet to what I follow.
Favourite Ayurvedic recipe or go to ingredient?
I love making lentil Dahl—and actually soups of any kind. They make me feel satisfied but not heavy, and like I'm getting a hug from the inside out. Next I want to learn Kichiri for something a bit heartier.
Day to day routines
I start every morning with 20 minutes of transcendental meditation as soon as I wake up, followed by a big mug of warm water with lemon. Then I make oatmeal with chia seeds, ginger, cardamom, maca, and cinnamon with banana and walnuts—a bit of a mishmash but I love it! I do all my writing or other creative work in the morning as this is when my mind is most focussed, fueled by a big pot of green tea. I do some kind of movement practice every day, which could be full o cardio, yoga, or just a brisk walk, deepening on my energy levels. More meditation in the afternoon if I remember, and I try to get in bed by 9.30 for 30 mins of reading before lights out. I also limit email + social media to after 11am and before 9pm.
What do you wish was more accessible in our society to my an Ayurvedic lifestyle more simple
I wish we were fed less food "rules" and more information on how to listen to what our body is actually asking for. How to listen to our bodies and our own intuition in the face of societal conditioning is a lot of what I discuss in my book Material Girl, Mystical World.
How does Ayurveda support support your lifestyle?
Living in alignment with my body and my own needs (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) means I am so much more energized and so much less anxious than I used to be. This in turn makes it easier to make decisions, and means I feel more creative and inspired, all of which flows into every area of my life.
Do people around you/in your circle of friends know about it
I live in NYC and Ayurveda is definitely having a moment here! I think people are fed up with fad diets and are looking for ways to feel more comfortable and at home in their own bodies. This means working with your unique constitution, which is what Ayurveda is all about.
Whats the one thing you would encourage everyone to try/do you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
Cutting out alcohol has been HUGE for me. I never had a "problem" with booze, just drank socially the same as all my friends, and I have been blown away by the positive effect of not drinking in every area of my life. I still have the occasional drink, but I now use it like I would any medicine—in very specific circumstances, and probably only a few times a year. I started an event series here in NY called Club SÖDA NYC that opens up the conversation about alcohol and wellbeing, as I feel it's a bit missing piece in the wellness puzzle.