Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: February 9, 2024

Shrankhla Holecek 00:00
Hello, I’m Shrankhla Holecek, the founder and CEO of UMA, an Ayurvedic beauty and wellness collection. This is the Uma Elements podcast. Each week I’ll be having a conversation with someone I greatly admire on the topics of Ayurveda, holistic healing, spiritual well-being, and alternative help.

Shrankhla Holecek 00:24
By sharing wisdom together, we will unlock a secret that as ancient as they are, Ayurveda and other ancient modalities are as modern and relevant today as ever. Today’s guest on the Uma Ayurveda podcast is Ananta Ripa Ajmera.

Shrankhla Holecek 00:43
Ananta is a spiritual teacher who bridges ancient wisdom and modern living. Her organization, the ancient way, supports individuals in embodying wisdom and discovering their true selves. Ananta is the author of The Way of the Goddess, Daily Rituals to awaken your inner warrior and discover your true self and a true to yourself podcast and serves as an Ayurveda advisor at the well, a modern, integrative wellness space.

Shrankhla Holecek 01:24
In this Ayurveda podcast episode, Ananta shares a profound connection with Ayurveda, taking listeners on a transformative journey and providing valuable insight on maximizing the benefits of Ayurveda for daily life.

Shrankhla Holecek 01:40
So it’s absolutely incredible everything that you have been able to do within Ayurveda and I’m sort of unpacking, learning, feeling more and more enthused and intrigued by it. And I suppose I like to start by asking a lot of people this question about their own relationship with Ayurveda.

Shrankhla Holecek 02:06
What does it mean to you and are there specific impacts it has had on your life?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 02:13
Great question. Ayurveda means to me a holistic and very trustworthy system and way of life that brings me closer to myself and that brings me into a state of complete balance in all aspects of my life.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 02:33
It has impacted everything. It impacted my digestion, my sleep, my stress and anxiety levels, my skin, my whole outlook on life, my spiritual journey. I really can’t think of a single thing that Ayurveda would not have impacted.

Shrankhla Holecek 02:53
Where did it all start for you?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 02:57
For me, it actually started probably all the way in childhood. I had struggled for many years with eating disorders. I had looked everywhere for solutions to my problem.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 03:10
I always had that feeling that if I have a problem, I will have the ability to solve it. I just need to figure out how to do that. I used to go search the libraries for self -help books about anorexia, and I would Google search different things and go to online chat rooms.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 03:29
I had tried different fad diets. I went to yoga classes, and everything kind of brought me a partial solution. It wasn’t until coming to Ayurveda that I felt I found a system that really addressed all different parts of me.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 03:46
I had first had eating disorders when I was a teenager. It took me until I was almost 24 or maybe 23 by the time I actually found out about Ayurveda when I was at a yoga teacher training in India. I had done that actually right after college, so when I was just 22.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 04:11
I remember we lived in Ayurveda lifestyle during the yoga teacher training. We woke up early, we went to sleep early, we ate meals on time, we practiced yoga, and it was just such a magical experience.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 04:25
I knew that I wanted to feel that way all the time, and I wanted to learn about what is this thing called Ayurveda. From there I came back to the states and I drove from one coast to another to California, and I started teaching yoga and meditation in probation departments.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 04:46
At that time I also had connected with the meditation group where there were different people of different walks of life coming together. One of those people, actually four of those people, people had told me about opportunity to study Ayurveda.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 05:03
And I thought, wow, this is such a sign from the universe. I just can’t pass it up. And that, you know, was the beginning of the rest of the journey, which is still continuing today.

Shrankhla Holecek 05:14
Gosh, that is so incredible. And there’s so much in there that I want to learn more about starting with Ananta I think you’ll admit that choosing to go to India for a yoga teacher training program at 22, just after you’ve graduated college, isn’t the norm. Tell me a little bit about what the springboard for that was, because that’s so inspiring to me that you knew that this is what you wanted to do. And I understand your heritage is Indian, but sounds like you were born and raised here.

Shrankhla Holecek 05:52
So there’s always… For most, I find it just a little bit of hesitation in going back to India. So I am, I’m dying to learn more about the entire motivation, the thinking around what was going on at that time for you.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 06:06
Yeah, you know, it is really quite interesting looking back on the whole thing. I just am very headstrong, I suppose, about certain things that really matter. To me, spirituality and service were always incredibly important to me.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 06:22
I felt drawn to both of them like a magnet since childhood. And I was always looking for ways to deepen that. I chose to go to Catholic, all girls, high school, not being raised Catholic, just because that school had such an emphasis on spirituality and service.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 06:41
I really, you know, was so drawn to all of this that it then led me to discover yoga. It’s a college student in New York. I was very stressed out living in the city for the first time in my entire life.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 06:56
I came from a small town in Ohio. It was a very, very big shock to live suddenly in New York City and have all the demands of college at the same time. I had heard about this yoga school around the corner from where I was studying business, actually, as an undergraduate.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 07:14
I decided to check out a class because why not? Anything that could help me by then felt like a good option to me. I remember walking into that yoga class smelling the incense and hearing all these Sanskrit chants that I had grown up listening to but never understood.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 07:33
When the teacher started talking and explaining some of these mantras, she actually talked about how the practice of yoga deepens your ability to offer meaningful heartfelt service in the world. The fact that this very first yoga class was already deepening my understanding standing of service really really intrigued me.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 07:57
I started going so regularly to those yoga classes and feeling so much relief every time that it just led me to such curiosity to then go ahead and revisit India. I hadn’t gone to India all throughout my teenage years but I then went back when I was 19 and discovered that wow India has so much of both spirituality and service that I just didn’t know about.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 08:25
I didn’t have someone to really explain it to me when I was growing up. Actually this is everything that I was looking for and as I got more and more into it I was just drawn to go there and be able to immerse myself more fully into it.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 08:41
While I was in college I was so bored out of my mind taking accounting classes and statistics and finance and all that jazz that you have to do is required. I found myself wishing I would have gone to a yoga university where I could have gone really deep into spirituality and into understanding the meaning and purpose of life and who am I and all of those really, really important questions.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 09:06
So I was part of a program in college. Fortunately, it was very serendipitous actually in social entrepreneurship. This helped me to see how I could use my business knowledge and skills that I was gaining to make a difference through service in the world and through social work.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 09:26
And it was incredible to be a part of a whole scholarship program full of people of all different schools from NYU who had this inclination to want to use their professional skills to work across sectors and to be able to make a difference.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 09:42
As a part of that program, we were inspired to think big and to really draw a vision for what we wanted to do with our lives. I at that time had begun the program by asking myself a question. How do I create what we call this pattern breaking social change in a sustainable way within my own life and then try to scale the changes that I make into the work that I wish to do in the world.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 10:12
It was very important to me even at 19 or 20, that what I would do would be from the space of really deep integrity. I didn’t know what that would mean, but it really, really that question really set the tone for the whole journey ahead.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 10:28
It was like the seed of everything that unfolded afterwards. And I just felt that going to India after I graduated would allow me to come closer to an answer to this question. The question really led me on a quest and it was a quest that went into yoga and then that led to Ayurveda and then it led to the to the spiritual study of Vedanta and about the Indian goddesses and so many incredible things that just continue on and on.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 11:00
It’s so incredible how much our culture has to offer. And you know what’s really interesting is that after six months of getting onto the Ayurveda studies, my cousin revealed to me that our own maternal grandfather was a very renowned Ayurveda Vedya in India.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 11:19
And we had a whole lineage of Ayurveda grandfathers on our mom’s sides of the family. It was such an incredible confirmation that yes, this is the right path, this is the ancestors way, and this is the path that’s going to lead me to health, healing, and wholeness.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 11:39
Being quarantined in New York City, I could not be more grateful for having really heated that inner calling. meant a lot of challenging conversations with my parents who are not on board with all this, but I’m so happy to report that now they are some of my biggest fans and have become my online students.

Shrankhla Holecek 12:01
I love that. I especially love the framing of the Ayurveda as a service, which is something that I often forget about in how profound it is both in a service to yourself as well as the magnificent possibilities of service to the world because Ayurveda has always been so incredibly generous.

Shrankhla Holecek 12:30
When people talk about making products from Ayurveda or disseminating the service and sometimes they attribute, let’s say some degree of credit to me, I am reminded and try to you know rebuff that by quickly saying that Ayurveda was a gift generously shared with us 5 ,000 years ago.

Shrankhla Holecek 12:55
So now that I think about it, service was always intrinsically part of how Ayurveda was presented to the world in that it was for all of us to use, to live and thrive with. So it’s so interesting to see that you have taken that as a really formal way of service to communities and I want to go back to your service to communities within reform, within helping people mentally and spiritually tackle maybe some very difficult portions in their life.

Shrankhla Holecek 13:37
Can you share a little bit about that Ananta?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 13:39
Sure. Yeah, you know, it’s actually really interesting that you talk about service and talk about how to help people you tackle difficult problems in their lives.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 13:50
The very definition of Ayurveda is so inspiring to me. The sages who were revealed the science by their study of nature had shared with us that Ayurveda is that science which teaches us how to distinguish between actions that bring us joy versus those that bring us sorrow.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 14:15
The actions that bring us individual personal joy are those that benefit not only ourselves but others too. So I think that whenever we are able to expand our lens and really feel our connection and our union with those around us and even those far away from us on this planet, not just other humans, but even animals and plants, we automatically start to feel more connected and we start to feel a lot more whole.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 14:45
A lot of relationship difficulties I think even come in when we forget that there is what the sages have said, this one common self, and we are all manifestations of that. We all have a soul and therefore at our deepest core we are actually all the same.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 15:03
So anytime when we have trouble with people it’s so so helpful to just remember our spiritual essence. I feel that the core of Ayurveda that really attracts me is how the goal of the whole science and of even improving your well being is to ultimately realize who you are as a soul.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 15:24
And when we remember and when I remind people I work with that you are this all powerful soul and therefore you have the ability to make any kind of change or transformation in your life. It’s like it flips on a switch within people.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 15:40
We all have that spiritual power and knowledge and wisdom deep within us. It’s just that we’re not encouraged to look within. We’re encouraged to look without on Instagram and on TV shows and street signs and so many so many distractions in our modern world.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 15:58
But really all the answers are within and when we even just get that little reminder that everything we’re looking for is ultimately within us. It is such a powerful invitation to really call upon our own inner wisdom and our own inner knowing to allow us to navigate through the storms of life while remaining much more centered and much more balanced.

Shrankhla Holecek 16:25
you Gosh, that makes such a tremendous amount of sense to me and I feel almost envious of the people in the New York City and the well that have access to someone who is not just so deeply immersed in Ayurveda, but also has such wisdom about the concept of service and where you can find peace and gratification within your body and Speaking of the well, tell us a little bit more about your current role at the well

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 16:59
Thank you. My current role at the well as director of Ayurveda is a really inspiring one. I had actually gotten connected to the founder and CEO of the well through some family members. She also is from the same place in the state of Gujarat, India, and amazingly her own great -grandfather was also a renowned Ayurveda, Vedya, or doctor in India.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 17:31
So we had this this deep connection with each other and what she has created through the well is such a beautiful portal for practicing integrative medicine. On our team at the well we have a functional medicine doctor, actually two functional medicine doctors.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 17:49
We have Chinese medicine doctors, we have energy medicine healers, we have a director of head and heart, we have physical therapists, we have sports medicine specialists, and I am representing Ayurveda.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 18:03
We all come together on a regular basis to discuss cases from all of our different perspectives as healers and to see kind of the commonalities of everything that we’re doing and to also learn from the differentiating factors between all of the different modalities that are involved with health and healing.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 18:27
There’s so much learning that happens in this capacity. I feel that the Indian sciences, Ayurveda, yoga, Vedanta, martial arts, I’m actually just now starting to learn martial arts and it brings it all together as well.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 18:44
It’s all so deep that you can learn lifelong. So even beyond just the lifelong learning of the sciences I’m already immersed in, I have this whole other pool of learning of different disciplines and how we can collaborate together and come up with new innovative solutions to the problems that people have.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 19:06
So we come together, we discuss cases, we collaborate on cases. I also am teaching different online classes, in -person classes, when it’s open. And we do member silent breakfasts when the club is open to give people an experience of mindful eating practices.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 19:26
It’s a lot around community. The Well previously was a membership only program. It feels that when it reopens, it will actually be more open to the public so anyone can come. Right now, we have an online membership program where you can come and take any kind of classes you like in mindful movement, fitness.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 19:48
You can meet with me and any of our medical doctors and specialists for one -on -one sessions online. And there’s just… so much there. When the well is open, we also have a kitchen and table, which has an Ayurveda kitschery recipe on it that is very well received by the public.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 20:09
And we have bodywork and therapies. We’re working to actually get some Ayurveda bodywork therapies onto the menu for that. And just, you know, generally are trying to serve as an incredible portal for people to find the agency to really take charge of their own health and to transform their health.

Shrankhla Holecek 20:31
I love that. And shifting gears a little bit to all the information that you are privy to and perhaps sharing a few nuggets with our audiences in way of improving their lives. I suppose the first question that comes to mind is you’re both an Ayurvedic practitioner and a yoga instructor.

Shrankhla Holecek 20:56
And I find a lot of meaning from my yoga practice. But what do you think is the most beneficial aspect of yoga? Is there something in particular that most of us don’t understand while we practice it? In how much it is helping us within?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 21:14
Great question. Yes, there’s so much to yoga. It’s actually incredible. My second book project that I’m working on is actually going to explore this whole spiritual aspect of yoga with the lens of Ayurveda as well.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 21:32
Yoga, you know, really is the ultimate practice. It is the ultimate state of spiritual enlightenment in the Vedic studies and yoga has three different aspects to it. One is karma yoga. One is the yoga and one is Gnana yoga.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 22:00
Karma yoga is the yoga of action. All of our actions can lead us to greater spirituality. We can actually approach our work with a sense of really doing things without attachment. The practice of yoga is really about practice and detachment and when we can put our full effort into whatever it is we’re doing and then fully let go of our attachment to what comes out of that or what comes as a result of that, we experience a lot more of this spiritual freedom in our actions and then we feel a lot more empowered to continue to take actions because we’re not so trapped by the outcome of what happens as a result of our actions.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 22:48
That is a huge, huge practice in and of itself. Then bhakti yoga is the practice of really purifying our emotions. As we go deeper into the practice of Ayurveda and yoga, there is this whole incredible emotional healing, emotional purification process that happens.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 23:08
No emotion by itself is positive or negative. In fact, there are positive and negative aspects to all different emotions. For example, in terms of anger, it serves as a way of knowing that our boundaries have been violated in its positive sense when we feel it for a moment as a kind of indicator to ourselves that something has gone wrong.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 23:33
When it gets out of hand, we start to have heat and inflammation and breakouts and eruptions physically and mentally. So we want to keep that in a state of balance. And the Ayurveda practices really go to try to understand that.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 23:52
We are like the, what’s underneath the tip of the iceberg. We look at the root causes of why we have physical problems and physical issues. We use that then manifest in the physical body. So when we start to calm our emotions by really developing more of a sense of devotion and gratitude in our day to day life, that really helps us to live in a more peaceful and joyful way.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 24:23
We even incorporate in yoga and Ayurveda the practice of mantras and chanting mantras as a way to purify the mind, to calm the mind, to soothe any feeling, any thoughts or anxious, you know, running things going on in the mind. There’s obviously going to be a lot of that when we’re going through a pandemic like we are right now. And Ayurveda and yoga have this kind of spiritual medicine of mantras and mudras, which are hand gestures and breathing exercises.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 24:57
exercises that you can do which help to calm the mind and bring the mind into the present moment. And then we have what’s called Gyan yoga which is the yoga of knowledge. Ultimately it’s knowledge that sets us free. It’s knowledge that gives us power. And when we get the ultimate knowledge which is the knowledge of the self or the soul, which is the goal of Ayurveda and the goal of yoga, we are receiving the ultimate empowerment with which to really take charge of our lives and to be at peace with all people in all situations in our lives, no matter how difficult or challenging they may be.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 25:38
And then even when we talk about the regular yoga that we all know as yoga which are the physical poses or the asanas, we really love to, and I love to share with students about embodying the understanding of nature. that each pose has to offer. For example, when we’re standing in tree pose, I guide my students to really imagine your favorite tree, imagine what it looks like, imagine what it feels to touch that tree, to hug that tree, to be close to that tree, and then imagine that you are that tree.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 26:16
Imagine that you have these roots going deep into the ground beneath you, and that you are standing tall and you are rising as this tree that is so strongly rooted into the ground. And then as you start to balance and you bring your hands to your heart, feel that connection with your heart.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 26:37
When we start to move the arms upward, we understand that the tree’s nature actually is to be going in an upward flowing way. The tree is always moving towards the light of the sun, which represents our own soul. And the tree is a giver of refuge and a giver of shade. It gives without any attachments to what comes as a result of it. A tree grows and offers its fruits simply because that’s the role of the tree, that’s the duty and the purpose of the tree.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 27:13
The more we imagine ourselves to really be like that tree as we’re practicing tree pose, the more we come into a really beautiful state of yoga, which is a state of complete integration and a feeling of union with your spiritual self.

Shrankhla Holecek 27:34
Gosh, that is so beautiful. And I’m looking forward to the next time I’m practicing the tree pose to actually channel all of that incredible vision that you just painted in front of us. Thank you for that.

Shrankhla Holecek 27:52
Ananta, you touched on COVID and the anxiety. that it is creating within people. And two of the things I’m hearing a lot about right now is sleeplessness and poor digestion, gut issues. A lot of us are experiencing them just because our environment, even if we’re not sort of going out as much, has changed so tremendously.

Shrankhla Holecek 28:19
Are there some tools and solutions you can share within the practice of yoga and Ayurveda that can help us better manage some of those symptoms?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 28:31
Sure, yeah, sleep and digestion are huge, huge issues.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 28:35
I would definitely recommend, first of all, starting to go to sleep earlier. It helps a lot to sleep ideally by 10 p .m. That may be a stretch for some people. It sure was for me when I… first began Ayurveda.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 28:54
I was sleeping the opposite way that Ayurveda recommends in the sense that I would wake up around 4 a .m. or sorry I would go to sleep around 4 a .m. and wake up around 10 a .m. Ayurveda recommends just the opposite that you sleep ideally by 10 p .m. and wake up around 4 to 6 a .m. ideally. This is the optimal timing in terms of aligning yourself with circadian rhythms. When you align yourself with circadian rhythms the body starts to come into a sense of a rhythm within itself that actually allows for better sleep at night.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 29:31
When you wake up early you naturally feel tired and want to fall asleep earlier at night. When you sleep well through the night especially between those hours of 10 a .m. to 2 a .m. the whole body is actually turning its energy inward to digest all of the contents of the previous day.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 29:55
The body digests not just your food that you ate but also the information that you took in and processed. It takes in and digests the emotions that you felt and the life experiences that you’re having. When you get that period to be asleep your digestion is able to do its job really well. If you are up at that time you may actually feel like doing things like organizing your closet and filing your taxes.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 30:27
That’s because the energy of pitadoshah or the Ayurvedic bio -force of transformation gets active at that time so we want to do things that require a lot of thought and analysis but we need all that fire to be working inwardly to be able to digest our food and to keep us in a really healthy cycle of sleep and rest and awakening.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 30:52
When we wake up wake up early, ideally between 4 to 6 or at least by 6 .30 a .m. We are actually going to have a lot easier time waking up. The Ayurveda bio -force of Vata Dosha, which governs movement, is active at this time. When you wake up, when the force of movement is active, it’s actually easier to move and to wake up. It’s a great time to practice spiritual practices, which will help to ground your mind. The mind, of course, plays a huge role in sleep and digestion.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 31:26
So having a mind that is calm and balanced and more grounded and peaceful will definitely go a long way in keeping you in a good space mentally, physically, and in terms of your sleep. sleep and digestion.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 31:41
It also helps a lot to eat warm cooked foods. This is really important for digestion. Ayurveda considers digestion to be similar to a fire. Figuratively, imagine digestion as being like a fire. When you put warm substances into the fire, it kindles that fire. When you put cold raw substances into the fire, it tends to extinguish it. For sleep, we need foods that are more unctuous and oily and nourishing to the body and a little bit heavier. When we eat foods that are too dry and rough and light, they keep us up at night.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 32:25
That means no chips and pretzels and crackers and crunchy light things that you might find delicious. There are very good food options that you can turn to that are warm and cooked. I’m also working on a cookbook right now that can help introduce some of these ideas to you about how to embrace your favorite foods but with Ayurveda so you can have them safely and then be able to sleep and be able to digest properly.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 32:53
In terms of I want to go back to the waking up and going to sleep, I know it might sound really intimidating especially if you are someone who is like me in the past where I was waking up before I am and sleeping at 10 am.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 33:07
If you are able to just transition your clock back 10 minutes or 15 minutes and just go to sleep 10 or 15 minutes earlier and then wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier, you can slowly transition your way back.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 33:22
That will be a lot more sustainable and a lot less stressful for your mind and your body. The third thing I’ll share is it helps to also have more or less fixed meal times and not to eat your last meal of the day too close to bedtime.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 33:41
The ideal meal timings would be between 7 to 8 30 for your breakfast, between 12 to 1 30 for lunch, and ideally between 5 to 6 30 for your dinner, no later than 7 or 7 30 because we like to sleep by 10 p .m. It’s important to have that gap of at least three hours between your dinner and your sleep so that you’re not going to bed on a full stomach. We want our bodies to feel as though they are not being pulled into sleep just by the weight of our stomach and the feeling of the food in the stomach.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 34:18
We want to feel still a sense of spaciousness so it really helps to practice mindful eating too. I actually have written my first book called the Ayurveda Way which gives 108 different practices that help you with sleep and stress and digestion so if you wanted to You know look up any of these further or just get some other ideas.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 34:41
There’s a lot more Practices that you could incorporate but these would be the top three that come to mind

Shrankhla Holecek 34:47
Thank you so much for sharing those. I can see so many people Jumping on the support that these can lend right away and I know That some of these things have known a long time to pull back and Continue to do once best to have these practices in Once life because I know that every time I am being good in way of Ayurvedic practices that serve me My body just feels so much better and emotionally and physically better rested Everything works like it should so so yes, I’m I probably will have to start the 15 minutes Going back Myself and this is this is a great reminder Thank you and I I love that you mentioned that sometimes it can feel a little bit intimidating and and I loved your hack for lack of a better word to help your body back Into some of the practices that are best for us You’ve worked with a lot of people that have Gone benefits from Ayurveda.

Shrankhla Holecek 36:09
Can you share some of the things? people most struggle with when Incorporating Ayurvedic changes in their life, you know, I My husband is American and was brought up on this concept of just salads and raw veggies are so healthy for you But I can see that he has a lot of water.

Shrankhla Holecek 36:32
He sleeps poorly and it took me a little while to counsel and to eat more well -cooked foods and with spices. And sometimes I just find that culturally, we are wired to think of salads as the best thing for us.

Shrankhla Holecek 36:51
Whereas for some of us, especially those that have excess butter, they are not as great and they can compound their butter in you. So what have you found to be some of the challenges you come up against when teaching the Ayurvedic way of life? And what are some of the success stories or ways to navigate that skepticism?

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 37:16
You know what I often tell people is that experience is your best teacher. Don’t take anything that I said or that anybody has said for granted.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 37:28
It’s really important to Test anything out that you hear about in the laboratory of your own life I always say to give it a fair trial See if in doing some of the things you feel better you feel relieved Usually that is the best way to come to a better Appreciation of what it will and will not perhaps work well for you Like you were observing how when you follow this kind of timing of the circadian rhythms You feel better physically and emotionally and when you feel better you feel motivated to Continue those behaviors and practices even if you might have fallen off the wagon for a little while It’s like you just pick yourself back up and get back into it because you know how good it is for you therefore I say Definitely, it’s very important and helpful to learn as much as you can There’s always going to be a lot of conflicting information out there but I feel that it’s just so important that you try something and See how it works for you before really judging whether it’s for you or not for you because you ultimately will be your best guide and You know to to go based off of inspiration is also very important

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 38:51
I always tell people that out of whatever I might share in my teaching or the 108 practices in my book Don’t get intimidated or overwhelmed by that number Just simply like with the book for example I tell people to flip to any page and just do something that speaks to you do something that inspires you Being able to reflect also on what inspires you and then committing to a practice That inspires you is a really great way to put the practice of having a practice into practice It’s ultimately you that needs to direct you your journey.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 39:30
It’s you who has to wake up. It’s you who has to eat. It’s you who has to sleep. So the more you can feel empowered, knowledgeable, and excited about something that will help you create more wellness in your life, the more you will be able to stick with that long term.

Shrankhla Holecek 39:51
That’s such a powerful answer, because it goes back to honing into one’s intuition. And it’s so empowering to know that to be well, to have the best life that you want, all the answers are often within you.

Shrankhla Holecek 40:11
So trusting and honing your intuition is such a good way to live that best life as it were. You’ve been so generous with your time, Ananda. I just want to get a few more questions answered before we let you go. One of them being about the journey of writing your book. You know, you have a beautiful book that you’ve already written and you’ve embarked upon this journey second time now. I’d love to hear more about the process.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 40:51
Wow, that’s a great, very well timed question. It sure is a process. The writing of a book and somehow one book I’ve been writing has turned into two books simultaneously. It’s definitely a practice of having a practice.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 41:08
It is such a process and it requires so much of what I was talking about in terms of karma yoga. It really has demanded giving my absolute full best effort and then completely letting go of any attachment to that work and to that expression and to the outcome of what I’ve written.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 41:30
I’ve been working on the one book, actually the book proposal, not even the book, but just the beginning of it, the whole organization and the structure of it, the introduction of it, the first chapter of it for almost two years now. My first book came so easily to me. I was writing all these articles on Ayurveda online and I had a publisher approach me and request that I write this beginner friendly Ayurveda book and then they guided me through the whole process.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 41:59
I got an agent in the process. I had my choice of agents because I already had an offer pretty much in hand. The second book has no such thing. I still have the same fabulous agent who I worked with on the first one and she really is so good that she keeps on pushing me to really like, bring out the essence of what I’m writing.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 42:22
It’s a much more spiritual book and there’s some memoir that is incorporated and woven into it along with the teachings of yoga, the deeper spiritual teachings of yoga. It is so deep that it’s been really quite a journey to distill the essence of it but it’s so fitting for the project.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 42:41
It is to really get to the essence of what is yoga and when we talk about like getting to the knowledge of the self in the spiritual tradition it’s a journey or a process of what is called neti -neti. Neti neti means not this, not that, not or not this, not this. There was a whole lot of not this, not this that went into the kind of turning away to get to the essence of what I was trying to say and what this book is really all about.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 43:20
It has been such a tremendous journey that took me from California back to New York and helped me to make so many full circles in my life emotionally in terms of relationships and especially with my relationship with my own self and my own soul. It has helped me to make a lot of personal breakthroughs. I really approached the second book as my own personal transformation project. I didn’t just want to write a great book that can sell a bunch of copies.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 43:50
I really wanted to write something that would be so deeply from the heart that it would change and transform me in the process. In that sense, this second book really is writing me as much as or perhaps more than I am writing it. I just asked to be the instrument and to channel whatever knowledge is meant to come through me in a way that will be most accessible to the modern context. I’ve been so grateful for all the support that I’ve received on it.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 44:23
However, from my agent and from a really wonderful editor, she’s connected me to work with. We’re almost finished now for real. The agent is finally feeling like, yes, this is ready to go out to publishers and now there’s this cookbook that is coming out as well and hopefully it will come through the publishers or I might even self publish it if not because it just feels like such an important project.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 44:49
Just by immersing myself in one process, the second process of the second book has just been a lot more natural because so much went into the thinking and the conceptualization of the one project that somehow the second project has come out of it. I never thought you That was what was going to happen. I never knew it was gonna take me almost two years just to write a book proposal, but I’m so happy that I’ve taken this long, hard, difficult journey with it because it really has helped me to find freedom from my own inner mental and emotional prisons and to just feel so much freer and more joyful.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 45:31
And I feel that because of the journey that I’ve gone through with it, it can hopefully help readers that much more because it’s coming from such a real and such a deep place within myself.

Shrankhla Holecek 45:44
Wow, it sounds like it’s going to be an incredible read for substance and for its heart. I think it will read, as I said, sort of with the power of the heart. practical guides and insight, but I’m also looking forward to sort of reading or picking up on cues within it that I see about your personal journey.

Shrankhla Holecek 46:12
I think it will be such an incredible read. You know, you can sign me up for being the first person buying the book as soon as it’s out.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 46:20
Aww, thank you so much.

Shrankhla Holecek 46:23
No, thank you. This has been so eye -opening, fun, interesting.

Shrankhla Holecek 46:30
I’ve so enjoyed talking with you and I know that everyone will so enjoy listening to this. We can’t wait for your second book to come out and you know, hopefully the well will open soon and lots of exciting things coming down the pipe with Ayurveda and you.

Shrankhla Holecek 46:51
So Ananta, thank you so much for your time and good luck with everything. I’m sure we’ll be talking soon.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 46:58
Thank you so much. I so enjoyed connecting with you and I so appreciate the work that you’re doing to spread Ayurveda in this pure way. It’s so nice to see fellow Indians really embracing what our culture has gifted us and then sharing that with so many people. I’ve heard so much about the Uma oils from so many different people and it’s such a treat to now be able to connect with you and to have this really special time and dialogue together.

Shrankhla Holecek 47:28
Thank you so much for saying that, Ananta. Have a wonderful rest of the day and we’ll talk soon.

Ananta Ripa Ajmera 47:34
Sounds great. Thank you.

Shrankhla Holecek 47:35

Shrankhla Holecek 47:35
Ananta presently leads a spiritual warrior certificate program and a circle of life community program.

Shrankhla Holecek 47:44
Please visit the ancientway.co to learn more about Ananta and her work. As we conclude this episode, we invite you to delve deeper into the world of Ayurveda with Uma. Please subscribe to the Uma Ayurveda podcast to continue this transformative journey with our series of conversations that we hope you’ll find enlightening.

Shrankhla Holecek 48:09
Visit umaoils.com that is U -M -A -O -I -L -S .com for an even more immersive experience exploring not only our luxury Ayurveda products but also an array of inspired wellness inside and lifestyle tips.