While many of us have heard the term Ayurveda, we often only have a surface knowledge of what it really means. But if we dove beneath the surface, we’d discover a mesmerizing ancient health system that holds the potential to transform our lives. To support our Living Wholly community in exploring this life-changing system of medicine, we’ve brought in an expert in this lineage, in the form of Sahara Rose.
As Deepak Chopra puts it, Sahara Rose is “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift.” As an Ayurvedic Practitioner, host of the Highest Self Podcast, ranked as the #1 top podcast in the spirituality category on iTunes, and best-selling author of "Eat Feel Fresh" and "Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda", Sahara is the go-to source for all things Ayurveda. But she’s not simply a resource – Sahara’s vibrant personality and unique perspective makes spiritual + Ayurvedic wisdom fun and relatable, so it can serve the needs of today's people. Sahara has an uncanny ability to cut through the confusion many experience when learning about Ayurveda, helping to simplify and enhance the journey, while infusing it with light-heartedness and excitement.
Through Sahara’s work with Ayurveda, and her journey as a best-selling author and acclaimed podcast host, she’s uncovered potent wisdom regarding the tools + insights required to empower ourselves to get into the world and serve in the way we were meant to - in the way that will wake us up and make us feel more alive than we could ever imagine. Because of the kaleidoscope of goodness that Sahara offers, we were thrilled to interview her, diving deeper into what she has to offer.
Living Wholly: What inspired you to immerse yourself into Ayurveda?
Sahara Rose: My own health issues brought me to Ayurveda—I don’t think there is any healer out there who didn’t first need the healing themselves. I suffered from chronic digestive issues (IBS-C, candida, leaky gut), hormonal imbalance (hypothalamic amenorrhea), anxiety, fatigue, hair-loss, weight-loss, dizziness, insomnia and low blood pressure.
Each doctor kept prescribing me another pill—birth control, progesterone, IBS medication, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, yet no doctor asked about the root cause, or other areas of my life. The gastroenterologist never asked how I was feeling, and the endocrinologist never asked how my digestion was -- everything was all so isolated. I knew there had to be a root-cause-issue behind what I was experiencing - that’s when I decided to become my own investigator. I began studying various holistic healing systems, which eventually brought me to Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is based on finding the right diet and lifestyle for your unique mind-body type- in fact, according to Ayurveda, it’s not “you are what you eat” but “you are what you digest.” I became fascinated by this science and ended up traveling to India to study alongside doctors and practitioners for over two years, later writing my book The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, with foreword by Deepak Chopra, which became the best-selling Ayurveda book nationally. My most recent book is Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook. I realize now that my health issues were given to me to allow me to help others heal.
Living Wholly: How would you explain the basics of Ayurveda to someone who has never heard of it?
Sahara Rose: Ayurveda is the world’s oldest health system, originating in ancient India 5,000 years ago – it is the sister science of yoga - in fact, the two were always meant to be practiced side-by-side. While yoga is for spiritual purposes, Ayurveda is for balancing the mind and body, because you can’t transcend the physical dimension when your mental and physical health is out of balance. Ayurveda literally means “the knowledge of life” in Sanskrit, because in order to have health you must have full knowledge of your life.
Living Wholly: What are the Doshas? And how can someone discover their Dosha?
Sahara Rose: According to Ayurveda, we each need different diets according to our Doshas, or mind-body types. There are three types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vatas are cold and dry like the Fall leaves. They have dry skin and hair and often feel cold. Their appetite varies like the wind, sometimes strong and other times meek. They love movement and exercise, but can easily overwork themselves, becoming fatigued and weak. They are the most likely to suffer from anxiety, low hormones, bone density issues and insomnia. Vatas require more warming and grounding foods to balance their weak digestion, such as soups and curries.
Pitta types contain a great deal of heat that needs to be released. You can often see the signs of fire in their body manifesting as red tones in their hair and a flushed face. They become overheated easily and cannot tolerate hot, humid days. They perspire more than the other Doshas and are naturally well-muscled. They require strenuous exercise to cool down their bodies and can become addicted to exercise. They have more oily hair and skin that is prone towards acne. Pittas need more cooling and hydrating foods to balance their overheated constitutions, such as leafy greens and juicy fruits.
Kapha types tend to overeat and are prone towards water retention, sluggish metabolism and weight-gain. It can feel impossible for them to lose the weight - even if someone ate fries NEXT to them, they’d still feel like they’re the one gaining weight. Kapha types have cold hands and feet due to poor circulation, and often suffer from water retention and puffiness. However, unlike Vata they do not have dry and rough, but rather moist and soft skin. In fact, Kaphas have the best skin of the Doshas and tend to age fantastically! (There’s a good side to everything!) Kaphas need more stimulating, light and bitter foods like spiced kale, Brussels sprouts and asparagus.
You can discover your Dosha with my free quiz here.
Living Wholly: How can knowing your Dosha support greater ease in your life?
Sahara Rose: It will solve any of your Doshic imbalances, allowing you to be aligned with your higher truth so you can fulfill your mission on this planet!
Living Wholly: What is one challenge in your life that has been a defining moment on your path?
Sahara Rose: Finding the strength, courage and inner-trust to go after my own path, instead of going after what my parents/ society expected of me. I had never met an author, let alone an Ayurveda author, before writing my books, but I let my intuition guide the way.
Living Wholly: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to inspire and support your evolution in consciousness?
Sahara Rose: Deepak Chopra has been a great mentor, long before I met him in person - he ended up writing the forewords for both of my books, "Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda" and "Eat Feel Fresh" (which I am still pinching myself over!)
Living Wholly: What inspired you to create your Highest Self podcast?
Sahara Rose: I felt there was a need for a podcast that made spirituality modern, fun and relatable. I wanted to share more than just Ayurveda – I wanted to discuss dharma (life purpose), spirit guides, entrepreneurship, relationships and other topics that rang true in my heart. So I decided to just record myself as I shared the depths of my soul. I had no idea it would turn out to be the #1 spirituality podcast on iTunes globally and listed as a top 7 podcasts by Yoga Journal. I just followed my excitement. It’s raw, real, unedited, and straight from source.
Living Wholly: What is one thing that someone can do to begin the journey of discovering their dharma, or life purpose?
Sahara Rose: Follow your excitement - it’s guiding you in the direction of your dharma.
Living Wholly: How can our thoughts create and heal illnesses?
Sahara Rose: Your thoughts become your beliefs, become your actions, become your habits. This can either make or break you. Healthy thoughts will begin a healthy ripple effect, as will unhealthy thoughts.
Living Wholly: How can our happiness be one of the best things we can do for the planet?
Sahara Rose: When you are happy, you naturally radiate joy, which others can pick up on. Even being in your energy is a satsang (to sit in the presence of truth.) Our vibration collectively changes the entire global sphere, which is why mass meditations have such strong effects. Being happy also leads you to wanting to be of service, from a place of fullness rather than need.
Living Wholly: What are your top three self-care rituals?
Sahara Rose: Tongue-scraping, meditation and stretching.
Living Wholly: How does your 3-day Kitchari Cleanse help to heal the gut, reboot the metabolism, and cleanse accumulated toxins from the body?
Sahara Rose: Kitchari is considered the most healing food in Ayurveda. Kitchari is given to all Ayurvedic patients because it’s so easy to digest, giving their systems a break to restore and heal. Think about it—if a car is always on, eventually it’s going to crash. Well our digestive systems are the same way. If we’re constantly stuffing hard-to-digest food in it (even things seemingly easy like a salad), we can actually burn out our digestive fire over time. Kitchari is like a reset for your gut and best of all—it’s delicious. It is considered the most sattvic (pure) meal in the yogic tradition, and you will find it in Ayurvedic Panchakarma centers and ashrams around the world.
A Kitchari cleanse is the perfect post-holiday cleanse because it is warming for your digestive fire and keeps your body nourished (unlike a juice cleanse.) It’s affordable, delectable and very easy to make!
I’ve updated the traditional kitchari recipe by making it 100% plant-based, replacing white rice and adding some secret ingredients to increase digestion and absorption in my 3-day kitchari cleanse.
Living Wholly: What does living wholly mean to you?
Sahara Rose: Living wholly means to integrate all parts of you - mind, body and spirit - so you can finally come home to your true, authentic self.
Living Wholly: How can people learn more about you, and work with you?
Sahara Rose: The best place to start is to discover your Dosha (Ayurvedic mind-body type) with my free quiz here.
Then bring modern, fun, accessible spiritual awareness to your commute with my podcast Highest Self Podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud + YouTube.
Connect with me for daily inspiration + ancient knowledge on Instagram and Facebook @iamsahararose. It was an honor to connect with you and can’t wait to see you at Attune!
Sahara is a featured presenter and MC at our four-day Attune gathering at Serenbe, outside Atlanta, Georgia from November 8-11, 2019. She is also, the featured speaker for our upcoming Virtual Speaker Series. If you’re ready to discover your dharma (life purpose) and uncover the gifts you were born to share, join us for this LIVE complimentary webinar on Zoom, Wednesday, March 13 at 6pm pst. This 75 minute virtual workshop will offer you opportunities to engage with Sahara, ask questions and receive support from her. As an added bonus, all participants will receive "Sahara's 3 day Kitchari Cleanse” ebook. If you’re ready to tap into your deepest wells of health, potential and joy, click here to register. See you on the Zoom!
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