KA: How, where and when did you first get introduced to Ayurveda?
Shivani: I was introduced to Ayurveda in 1992 in Rochester, NY when my daughter had an illness that our western doctors could not identify. A friend recommended I see an Ayurvedic practitioner that lived nearby.
KA: What is your constitution?
Shivani: Kapha 1, Vata 2, Pitta 3.
KA: Which of your Doshas is most likely to go out of balance and what herbal medicines and practices do you do to bring it back into balance?
Shivani: Vata is the most likely to be swayed now that I am older. I use Vata-pacifying but not Pitta-provoking pranayama, asana, daily routine, massage, diet and lifestyle. I use Triphala on a daily basis. I do a week-long cleanse every few months that includes a kitchari diet and usually basti and virechena. I apply Brahmi Ghritam on the soles of my feet at bedtime. At present, I am not using any other churna.
KA: What motivated you to become a certified practitioner?
Shivani: Grace. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but an inner knowing.
KA: There is so much in-depth information in the system of Ayurveda. Can you share some of your studying techniques that helped you remember your studies?
Shivani: I learn from repetition and doing. I do a lot of reading and listening to talks. I learn the most from working with clients.
KA: What are your top three favorite books on Ayurveda?
Shivani: ‘Secrets of the Pulse’ by Dr. Vasant Lad, ‘Prakruti’ by Dr. Robert Svoboda, ‘Secrets of Healing’ by Maya Tiwari
KA: Have you ever felt discouraged on your journey with Ayurveda? If so, how did you overcome it?
Shivani: With health problems and with Ayurvedic education. I live in a rural, conservative part of the US. It is sometimes a challenge to present Ayurveda in a vernacular that is understood and accepted.
KA: What is the first thing you focus on when working with a new client who doesn’t know anything about Ayurveda?
Shivani: I focus on what the client’s individual concerns are, intuit where they are able to make changes, and build on that base.
KA: When a client becomes discouraged about slow results or difficulty breaking old habits, how do you help them stay focused and positive?
Shivani: I always smile and encourage them and show them love and respect. I believe every small step is still a step in the right direction.
KA: What do you think is the most important duty of an Ayurvedic doctor/practitioner?
Shivani: Supporting and informing clients in their own personal search for health and healing.
KA: What is your mission as an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Shivani: To share this wonderful knowledge with whoever seeks it.
KA: What is your favorite part about being an Ayurvedic practitioner?
Shivani: Working one on one with a person; watching them grow and blossom on their journey.
KA: How would you like to see your practice grow in the next 5 years?
Shivani: I am again in a part of my life where I can return to full time practice. I look forward to growing along with my practice. I enjoy collaborating with other health care professionals.