Sneha is a highly respected Ayurvedic practitioner and educator at The Ayurvedic Institute, a leading institution for Ayurvedic education and healthcare founded by Dr. Vasant Lad. With years of experience in Ayurvedic medicine and a deep understanding of its principles, Sneha is known for her compassionate and personalized approach to healing. Her dedication to helping others achieve optimal health and balance has made her a sought-after practitioner in the field of Ayurveda. Through her work at The Ayurvedic Institute, Sneha is committed to sharing the wisdom of Ayurveda with individuals and communities around the world. MysticMag has the opportunity to chat with Sneha..
Can you explain what Ayurveda is and how it differs from other forms of traditional medicine or holistic practices?
Ayurveda is derived from two Sanskrit words: Ayur, meaning “life,” and Veda, meaning “knowledge” or “science.” In essence, Ayurveda is the science or knowledge of life, which takes a holistic view of our being. It encompasses not only our physical body but also our mental and spiritual aspects. When we consider Ayurveda, we don’t limit our focus to the physical body alone. Instead, we acknowledge the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being, as all these factors contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. Therefore, when we talk about Ayurvedic healing or support, we consider all three pillars of life – physical, mental, and spiritual – as they are all interconnected and important for optimal health.
I find beauty in various healing sciences, and while some may solely focus on the physical aspects, I appreciate that Ayurveda is deeply rooted in spiritual connection and our connection to the environment and land. Ayurveda considers all aspects of the human being, including the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, which are all interconnected. It recognizes the importance of our relationship with the environment and how it impacts our overall health and wellbeing. Thus, Ayurveda brings together various aspects of healing to promote holistic health and wellness.
What kind of training and certifications do your practitioners and educators have?
At our school, we offer various levels of study to accommodate different schedules and interests. We understand that not everyone has the time to commit to an extensive program, so we provide online courses that range from an hour to a weekend, serving as an introduction to Ayurveda. For those who want to delve deeper into the practice, we offer three different paths and programs that build upon each other.
Our one-year Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level One, serves as an excellent introduction to the foundations of Ayurveda. It covers topics such as diet, food as medicine, lifestyle, yoga, breath work, and the use of plant medicine. This program is designed for personal healing and for anyone interested in gaining an understanding of Ayurveda.
In the second year, we expand on the knowledge gained in the first year and offer tools to enhance the understanding and treatment of Ayurvedic health. This program is designed to graduate students as practitioners who can offer consultations on diet, lifestyle, herbal and natural medicines, and therapeutic bodywork. They can help support individuals with a range of health issues, such as digestive and skeletal health.
Our third-year program is an additional two years, and graduates receive a doctorate-level certification. This program provides an in-depth understanding of Ayurveda and offers various internships and intensive courses. Students will complete a 500-hour yoga teacher training certification and receive intensive training in Women’s Health, farming, and plant medicine. They will travel to India for an internship to gain an understanding of Ayurveda’s core roots and foundational practices, including diabetic medicine.
The third-year program also provides a comprehensive understanding of allopathic medicine, including pharmacology, lab work, and medical exams. This knowledge helps students develop a full and integrated practice that bridges Ayurvedic and western medicine.
What are some common conditions or health concerns that people seek Ayurvedic treatment for, and how does Ayurvedic medicine address these issues?
We approach health issues from an Ayurvedic perspective, which means we do not diagnose in the same way as Western medicine. However, we address a wide range of common issues that people may experience such as digestive disorders, including acid reflux, IBS, indigestion, and bloating, as well as skin disorders like acne, hives, and rashes. Headaches, musculoskeletal issues, and women’s health concerns, including menstrual cycle irregularities, menopause, and post-menopausal symptoms are also areas we address. Rather than just identifying the issue, we work to understand the individual and find balance through diet, lifestyle changes, nutrition, herbal medicines, bodywork, breathwork, and yoga.
Can you discuss the importance of diet and lifestyle in Ayurvedic medicine and how does this approach differ from Western medicine’s emphasis on medication and surgery?
There is definitely a time and place for all medicines, and an integrated approach that takes into account both allopathic and alternative medicines can provide the best outcomes for patients. We take an integrated approach, and focus on understanding the unique needs of each individual. It’s true that everyone is different and the way they react to food or medicine will vary, so a tailored approach to healthcare is essential. It’s also important to focus on preventative medicine, rather than just treating symptoms or illnesses after they arise. This can lead to better health outcomes and a higher quality of life for individuals.
How do you see the future of the Ayurvedic Institute?
As a practitioner of integrative medicine, I have seen countless clients experience healing through this approach. I believe that our institute can serve as a foundational pillar for health and wellness, meeting individuals wherever they are in their healing journey. Whether someone is seeking simple education or a consultation, our institute is accessible through pro bono, donation-based consultations over Zoom or in-person at our student clinic in Asheville. Our student clinic is opening soon, and we hope to see it grow alongside our community of students and clients. Our goal is to offer an educational opportunity that helps people heal and supports their health and wellbeing, however they define it. This may include addressing digestive disorders, improving breath and lung capacity, feeling more whole and vibrant, or healing from a major health crisis. We are committed to supporting individuals through all aspects of their journey towards optimal health.
We are excited to explore the next phase of evolution in wellness and health by opening a detox and retreat center in Asheville. Our goal is to provide a space for individuals who are seeking deep healing and cleansing to come and stay with us in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We believe that unplugging from daily life and immersing oneself in nature is essential for true healing to occur.
Our center will offer flexible stays ranging from one to four weeks, depending on the individual’s needs and level of support required. During their stay, guests will receive daily practitioner touch, treatments, and wellness support to help them achieve optimal health. We are committed to providing a holistic approach to wellness that addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of each guest’s journey. We look forward to welcoming those in need of healing to our retreat center.
If you would like to find out more about Sneha and The Ayurvedic Institute, visit https://www.ayurveda.com/ and https://liveayurprana.com/ or follow on https://www.facebook.com/TheAyurvedicInstitute/ or https://www.instagram.com/theayurvedicinstitute/