“There is no doubt in my mind that meeting with a practitioner is the first step to opening the door to a more balanced, supported, nourished and fulfilled life. The reason I’m advocating this is that we all deserve to live the best life possible and to feel good in our body and soul. The other key element is observation. You must observe your qualities: the quality of your skin, your state of mind, your emotions, etc.; they are always giving you clues on where you are at in this given moment. That’s what really matters: being present for who we are.”
Kim Parenteau has always been a highly creative and sensitive individual and it took her a long time to figure out what that meant exactly and how to make the most of these qualities in her life. She has always been acutely aware of others around her, sensing their emotional state and feelings.
Kim is a multi-passionate individual. She have embarked on many projects in her life, and the common threads have been: beauty, creativity, playfulness, joy, health and wellbeing.
Through this view of the world as her playground, she has studied painting and art history, completed a yoga teacher training in 2009-2010, worked as a graphic designer, completed Ayurvedic studies to become a practitioner in 2015, and more recently has created the Ecoluxe Organic Skincare Line: Wild Grace. She is passionate about bringing the best quality of experience and sense of nourishment to her clients. She has felt for a long time that her true vocation was to help people. She now feels that everything in her life has come together, organically, and will continue to evolve in this way. She knows without a doubt that she is truly living her purpose in empowering women to practise more self-love and thus improve the quality of their own lives, and hence those around them.
Kim is immensely grateful for the life she is living and for having the opportunity of showing her three children a model of life where putting your energy into what you are passionate about will create a life of fulfilment and joy.
“For me, Ayurveda is a simple yet complete pathway to understanding life.”
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
The Sanskrit word “Ayurveda” means “science (or knowledge) of life.” To me this actually translates into a science of observation. To understand that everything is expressed through different qualities, I can look at these qualities, identify them and understand the nature of what is being expressed. I try to apply these Ayurvedic qualities (Gunas) in all areas of my life. For me, Ayurveda is a simple yet complete pathway to understanding life. Having this understanding of life applicable in all areas: diet, relationships, activities, etc. gives a certain ease of navigation, making for more open communication and experiences within myself and with others.
What drew you to Ayurveda?
Through the yoga teacher training I completed in 2010 I met a friend who introduced me to her Ayurvedic doctor. She told me of how her consultations with her had changed her perspective on many things in life. I decided to see for myself what this “Ayurveda” thing was all about. After my first consultation with Dr. Anita Sharma, who eventually became my teacher (guru), I was instantly hooked. My new-found passion led me down the course of wanting to learn more and more and more. Today, sharing this ancient wisdom with others, through both consultations and my WILD GRACE Skincare Line, is a true honour.
Has it helped you with anything major?
For many years, I suffered from having an extremely sensitive digestive system, which caused bloating in my stomach, constipation and painful cramps most of the time. I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I was eating what I thought to be all the right foods: healthy, raw, vegetarian, etc. Finally, the knowledge I learned through Ayurveda made me understand that the foods I was eating were not appropriate for my predominant Vata Dosha. I was increasing Vata (air and ether elements) by eating all these light, raw, and cold foods. By changing my diet and daily habits, I was able to turn around the symptoms that were ailing me for so long. I still encounter issues as my nature is quite sensitive, but I now understand why the symptoms occur when they do, and know how to bring myself back into balanced state.
What are your top 3 Ayurvedic tips that have worked for you?
1-Oil, oil, and oil!
Seriously, when you begin your journey into the world of Ayurveda, you quickly come to notice that oil will be your favourite friend. Adding good quality oils to my food, and to my skin, has so far been the best tip/trick that has worked miracles for me!
Learning not only WHAT to eat for my Dosha(s) (Vata-Kapha) seasonally, but WHEN and HOW (cooked, raw, hot or cold, time of day etc.) has been a life changer!
3-Daily rituals of self-care
The most important knowledge we can learn in this lifetime is to truly take care of ourselves. It is what we incorporate into our daily routines and rituals that make the long-lasting changes and bring a state of inner bliss.
What surprised you most about Ayurveda?
The simplicity and the logic of it all. There is of course a lot to learn as you dive into the deeper studies of this science, but there is such a beautiful logic to this system. We are holistic beings and Ayurveda always addresses our physical, emotional and spiritual components as a whole. Ayurveda always considers the individual as a whole, with a unique expression and combination of elements. I simply LOVE how Ayurveda makes me able to connect all the dots in life. It’s a holistic preventative healing system that just makes sense.
Do your children/family eat an Ayurvedic diet? And if they do, do they know it’s Ayurveda or do they just think of it as home cooking?
I have three children. They are old enough now (21, 19 and 17) and their lifestyles and social activities mean they are definitely not always home, or eating with me. When they are out or with friends, their diets can vary quite a bit. However, when we share meals at home, one of our staple dishes is kitchari, a staple Indian dish that is rice and lentil-based. I’m so happy to say that they love it, and of course they know how balancing it is for us to eat. However, I must admit that I’m definitely not a purist, and thus I like to eat a variety of foods and types of cuisine. My kids definitely know when we are having an Ayurvedic meal though (they can smell the kitchari a mile away!), but we also have evenings of eating and indulging in Western foods. For us as a family, it’s all about balance and having fun!
How does Ayurveda fit into your day-to-day routines?
To name a few practices that I can’t go without: tongue scraping, oil pulling, and Abyangha (self-massage). Abyangha especially changed my life. It really calmed my overactive Vata mind. I recommend it to ALL of my clients. It’s an incredibly nurturing, healing, practice of self-love that reaps amazing benefits. Most people tend to think that they don’t have the time for this practice, but the reality is that even just a 5-minute daily massage will give you so much in return! It’s well worth a go.
What do you wish was easier in our society to make an Ayurvedic lifestyle more accessible?
A lot of people don’t know what Ayurveda is. They often believe that it has esoteric roots and therefore some people shy away from it. I wish that the knowledge of Ayurveda was more widespread so it could open the eyes of more people and spark their interest to discover how this ancient medicine can truly improve the quality of their lives. As this saying states so well: “Health is not everything, but without health, everything else is nothing.”
I have definitely seen a huge increase even in the last year of general interest in Ayurveda. I think it’s on its way to becoming popular!
How does Ayurveda support your lifestyle?
Ayurveda supports me every day in bringing balance when I need it. Striving for balance is all that matters. Balance and imbalance are part of life, and changes occur whether we like it or not. Life’s nature is impermanent. Events can throw us off course, but through my knowledge of Ayurveda, I’ve learned how to bring myself back to a state of homeostasis, of balance which is unique to “me.” The good news is that we each have “our own” state of balance, and particular expression of what that balance looks like for “us.” Through Ayurveda we learn how to balance our own unique needs. Ayurveda also helps me understand why certain symptoms occur at particular times and how to fix them by natural means. Basically I am more mindful of all the choices I make. I (most of the time!) have the ability now to make choices which support and nourish me.
What’s the one thing you would encourage everyone to try or you think would benefit the majority of people’s health for the better?
I would encourage everyone to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. This will give them a much deeper understanding of their Doshas, of their individual patterns, and of their individual needs. Ayurveda is all about addressing the root cause(s), not merely about treating the symptoms. Only by addressing the root causes can we prevent symptoms from reoccurring.
There is no doubt in my mind that meeting with a practitioner is the first step to opening the door to a more balanced, supported, nourished and fulfilled life. The reason I’m advocating this is that we all deserve to live the best life possible and to feel good in our body and soul. The other key element is observation. You must observe your qualities: the quality of your skin, your state of mind, your emotions, etc.; they are always giving you clues on where you are at in this given moment. That’s what really matters: being present for who we are.