Speaking With Salila: An Ayurveda Healer and TEDx Speaker
Dear Sātmya family,
We recently conducted a live session with Salila, a fourth-generation Ayurvedic practitioner based in California and a Ted X Speaker who has been popularising the ancient practice of Ayurveda through her practice. The session was a goldmine of information, some of which we have tried to capture here.
Q. How can we protect ourselves during the rainy and flu season?
A. There are five simple herbs that we can use this flu season to help build our immunity. They are- Tulsi, Dry Ginger (Shunti), Ajwain (Carom Seeds), Pepper, and Pippali (Long Pepper). These are powerful Deepana- Pachana herbs, which means that it not only improves digestion, but they also destroy the Ama (toxins or undigested material that can accumulate in the body and disrupt its functioning) in our body.
Spend some time in the sun before or after 11 am-3 pm to build your immunity.
The Satmya kadha has everything to keep you protected this flu season. It is kid-friendly and they can be given a slight brewed version during the rainy season.
Q. What about kids? How can we build their immunity? Can they be given kadha
A. Yes, children can be given kadha in a milder version. Just add some jaggery to their kadha and make a diluted version for them.
For kids, we can also apply cold-pressed sesame seed oil to their naval during mid-afternoon when the sun is out. Allow them to play in the shade after this as it will help in metabolizing the oil.
It is also important to be creative, spend some quality time with children, and just be with them as it can help build their immunity. Allow them to play and be themselves.
Q. How do we know the best herb to consume?
A. In your kitchen, keep all the herbs and spices on display, and as soon as you walk in, ask yourself what you want. Trust your instincts, and over time your body will know what it wants just by smelling it.
Shahi Jeera (Black Cumin) along with some Ajwain is the best solution for gut issues, I often call them ‘Gut Besties’. The Satmya digestive churan is excellent for tummy and gut issues.
Q. What would you suggest the millennials do? How can they introduce Ayurvedic practices into their life?
A. Every millennial should do two simple morning routines- oil pulling and abhyangam. It is important that we make time for these in our daily schedule as they help the body to get rid of stress. You can use cold-pressed sesame oil for oil pulling.
Abhyangam is applying oil all over your body and allowing your skin to absorb this for at least 5 minutes before washing it off with warm or cold water. This can be done every day.
Q. Can abhyangam be done by everyone?
A. Those with a vata or pitta body type should do abhyangam regularly. Those who have patchy or dry skin can also do this regularly. Oil helps in odor control and has a long-lasting positive effect on our health
If Ayurveda is the science of longevity, Oiling assures us that longevity.
However, people who are overweight, have some skin issues, or have excess kapha should avoid doing this. You can use sesame oil, almond oil if you have oily skin, coconut oil, or nalpamaradi oil.
Q. Could you please tell us how to apply the oil during abhyangam?
A. First, apply oil on your head then your feet, and then your hands and legs. Make sure you use vigorous back-and-forth motion as that allows the muscles to relax. Oil around the joints or rounded body parts should be applied in a circular motion.
Read more about Abhyangam Oil Massage: 15 Astonishing Benefits Of Abhyanga Oil Massage, So Easy To Do – Salila (ayurgamaya.com)
Q. Can you enlighten us a little more about Nasya Oil? Can it be done with kids
A. Nasya Oil is an excellent way to maintain immunity and open up our sinuses- you can use sesame oil, sattvic ghee, or almond oil for it.
“‘Nasyam'( nuh-syum) involves tilting the head back and applying 7-10 drops of medicated oil in each nostril. The quantity and type of nasal medicine are determined by your ailment, tolerance and body type. One is supposed to pull the medicine into the oral cavity through the soft palate and spit out the phlegm, which is laden with toxins and must never be swallowed.”, writes Salila in her blog.
This simple practice helps keep diseases from our chest to head at bay and keep us safe. Use one drop of oil for the same and not more unless you do a heavy workout in the gym or have a good metabolism.
We should do these daily practices with kids only when they are healthy (and not sick) and on a sunny day, allowing the body to metabolize oil better. For kids, Nasya can be done with your little finger and simply rubbing the oil around their nose or using an earbud to massage the oil to the inner side of their nose.
This practice helps in opening the pores and taking out all the toxins from inside our body. It also helps in maintaining emotional balance and we feel at peace and calm even in extreme situations as our capillaries are not clogged.
Q. What are your suggestions for some nighttime rituals?
A. Three nighttime rituals that you can practice are- Nasya, using Kumkumadi Oil to massage your face, and Padabhyangam as it helps with managing emotions as well.
Q. How can we take care of our hair?
A.As a daily practice, you can use almond oil on your scalp to take care of your hair. Regular oiling with an Ayurvedic oil and steaming your hair will go a long way to prevent hair fall. However, daily massaging is a must.
Q. What is the one herb that you would suggest everyone to take?
A. Triphala is a herb that everyone can take as it helps mitigate any wear and tear that our body goes through during the day. You can have a spoonful of Triphala with ghee and honey at night to get the best results.
The Satmya Triphala is hand made in small batches and you can even use it for your eyes, hair and skin for best results.
Salila ended by saying something that is extremely important in today’s world and something we all should practice-
“We should move away from the idea that we will be fine if we just pop a pill. Being healthy is about our lifestyle, what we eat, what we do, and what we think that helps keep us healthy.”
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