"Try to keep joy within the things you do, gather with your friends, share important moments, do fun things together. We cannot maintain a healthy body if the mind is suffering. Love yourself more and let go of anything that does not serve your being."
Xenia Bolomyti grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece. As an Ayurvedic therapist, her goal is to raise her clients’ and groups’ awareness. To motivate them in order to find the root of the imbalance, to help them realise the body's unique possibilities so they can let go of anything that they don’t need.
As a yoga teacher, Xenia’s practice is rooted in Vinyasa Flow and Quantum Yoga, with the influence of the Ayurvedic health system. Her practice involves breathing exercises and alignment, and always remains playful!
Xenia travels around the world with her work, giving and receiving. She has trained with Sunita Passi and Tri-Dosha, and is certified with 200 hours Yoga Alliance, and trained in Vinyasa Flow with Quantum Yoga principles.
Passionate about life, Xenia is also a writer who believes that we can dream with our eyes open, as long as we are able to let things flow in the present without being hooked to the past and the expectations of the future. She loves mountaineering and can happily live between mountains, trees and waterfalls. Nature is a great medicine and it helps her to get back to her roots as a human being.
"Ayurveda doesn't do magic; it works along with the individual and their connection with the world."
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
Ayurveda is my life's practice. Not only is it connected to my diet, but to my whole existence: my routine in the morning, my activities, my lifestyle. I see the world from an Ayurvedic perspective, and Ayurveda can only be understood under the umbrella of the world's knowledge and our planet as a whole. This is the reason why it's important to be aware of the seasonal changes, physical and emotional imbalances, our geographical surrounding, the concept of our daily living. Ayurveda doesn't do magic; it works along with the individual and their connection with the world. The meaning of "holistic" is often misinterpreted, but in order to approach our wellbeing and overall health, we need to root into the profound of the whole: the physical, physiological and psychological aspects of our body.
When did you discover it?
I discovered Ayurveda almost eight years ago when a friend and collaborator introduced me to it via a therapy session she bought me as a present. I had heard about Ayurveda in the past, as I was always interested in natural therapy, diet, oils and herbs, but this was my first direct interaction with it.
What drew you to Ayurveda?
I am an oil and herb lover, so I think it was inevitable for me to connect with Ayurveda on such a deep level. I literally can't live without oils! Also, the fact that ancient Greek traditional medicine is connected with Ayurveda was a deciding factor. Hippocrates counted herbs and massage among his habits, and spoke highly of "bodily humours" and prevention.
How long have you been practising it?
I started practising in 2012, when I decided to do my training with Sunita Passi and Tri-dosha.
Anything major it’s helped with?
Living in such a hectic city and a country different than the one I grew up in, I experienced quite a strong imbalance in digestion, which meant that it had an effect on my stress levels and vice-versa. The brain-gut connection is major, so I had to find ways to adjust my diet and my lifestyle. And it did help massively — it was/is a gut saver!
Is it part of everyday life or merely part of your medicine cabinet/fall back routine?
Everyday life. The moment I open my eyes in the morning, Ayurveda steps in with my morning cleansing/practice.
Top 3 Ayurveda tips that have worked for you
Tongue scraping first thing in the morning followed by oil pulling (mouth wash).
Avoiding hot/cold food/drink and leftover food.
Daily abdominal self-massage for around 5 minutes.
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
The fact that changes are immediate (not overnight, of course) and you can actually experience them the moment you start establishing a diet and a lifestyle according to your dosha (bodily constitution) and imbalances. It is all a matter of principle and the decision to take in order to recognise all the signals your body and mind is sending you on a daily basis. All we need is to listen.
Did you integrate it gradually or overnight for any particular reason?
Gradually. Nothing can be achieved overnight. In order to maintain good health, we need to practise in the long term. It's like a disease as well: we think we can get ill within a day, but it doesn't work that way. The body builds mucus, bile, toxins, and the manifestation might occur within days, weeks, months, even years.
Do your children/family eat like this? And if they do, do they know it’s Ayurveda or just home cooking?
They do adjust their diet according to Ayurvedic principles in the environment they live in. It is important to mention that Ayurveda does not mean "Indian cooking." People usually have the wrong idea around the Ayurvedic diet. Ayurveda can be practised all around the world, and every country has its own agriculture and climate, for example. We should adopt and adjust. But yes, home cooking is important; in Ayurveda, we highly recommend clients eat their own cooked food. And trust me — knowing what you eat means knowing what you digest or not.
Favourite Ayurvedic recipe or go-to ingredient?
Herb lover! Spice lover! I love cumin, coriander, nutmeg, turmeric, saffron and oregano. And of course I couldn't live without olive oil — what a blessing to the heart! A warm cup of almond milk with nutmeg, turmeric and a bit of coriander before going to bed also assists my digestion. Try it!
Breathing exercises, tongue and mouth cleansing, Yoga practice and diet according to the season and my dosha. I am a life lover too, so joy is a big part of it — always do something that makes you laugh!
What do you wish was more accessible in our society to make an Ayurvedic lifestyle more simple?
Organic vegetables. I know in a big city buying organic can be quite expensive, especially in a city like London. But it should be more accessible, price-wise, so that everyone has the chance to cook using organic ingredients.
How does Ayurveda support support your lifestyle?
It brings me a restful mind and a healthy biological system. Cleansing from toxins and daily mucus and/or bile is a huge step towards our health.
Do people around you/in your circle of friends know about it?
They do, yes. I am quite grateful that my friends embrace Ayurveda, as they have experienced the benefits themselves. I am also quite lucky that one of my best friends and collaborator is an amazing cook! I got most of my dishes and herbal drinks from her, so it is a great support to my overall health.
What's the one thing you would encourage everyone to try/do, or that you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
If it was just one thing to start from, it would definitely be: avoid processed food and sugars. We all know the saying, "We are what we eat," but I will add to this, "We are what we digest." And processed food and sugars create nothing but toxins, slowing down the digestion track, leading to an unhealthy gut.
Always keep in mind the brain-gut connection too. Try to keep joy within the things you do, gather with your friends, share important moments, do fun things together. We cannot maintain a healthy body if the mind is suffering. Love yourself more and let go of anything that does not serve your being.
I would like to thank my mentor Sunita Passi and Tri-dosha for all the wisdom and continuous support as well as my great friend and collaborator Thania Tympanari for her amazing knowledge and practice in Ayurveda.
You are both an inspiration, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you, namaste.