LA VIDA VEDA - PSYCHOLOGIES
I was thrilled when Eminé Rushton at Psychologies asked me to share my journey with Ayurveda. If you know me, you know this is one of my favourite things to discuss, as it governs so much of my life. It's so important to me to share its ancient wisdom — here's a sneak peek of what I told the mag!
"The first time I heard the word 'Ayurveda,' I was 20 years old and yoga was making its way onto the London scene. Unlike the dedicated yoga studios today, yoga was only ever taught in gyms and, every now and then, one of the teachers would mention something about chakras, or encourage us to open our mouths and 'om.' I can still remember my younger self wishing that the teacher would get on with it — into the movement, but a part of me also liked it, because I kept going back. I'd always respected the mystical, and the idea of counterbalancing the busy with the still stayed with me. We all need balance, yet we so rarely know where to begin. But everything would become clear once I began to tap into the intuition-supporting wisdom of Ayurveda."
If you're curious about panchakarmas — Ayurvedic retreats, I went into detail about mine and my partner Nick's first one, in Hyderabad, India. "It was the most basic setup imaginable, run by a family who have been offering panchakarmas to their guests for generations. It's all they've ever done and it's all they know. Quite incredible. Nick and I can stay and sleep and live anywhere, but even our little egos hit the ground when we arrived.
"We were in a township in the middle of Hyderabad, India — in a building that looked like a disused shop, with strip lighting, peeling paint and sleeping with several other people in one small space. Within hours, it just wouldn't matter. We hung up mosquito nets and tried to sleep, but the next moment, they knocked for us. I was taken to meet the vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) who touched my pulse for 10 seconds and told me that I was getting my period in five days' time. I did. My belief grew with each moment, each day.
"They started us with abhyanga — a two-handed massage that begins to pull the ama out of your cells. Ama is described as the underlying cause of many health issues. And every day the vaidya checked to progress you, or give you more massages, to very slowly and with support get your body to release all of the toxins gently, without trauma or illness."
Find the full story in Psychologies' December 2017 issue.