• Ishani Naidu

Remembering Life in the Orchard


A long-time member of the Vedika Global extended family, Swati Kapoor, hosted a gathering set amidst her beautiful backyard garden in Palo Alto to celebrate Acharya

Shunya’s new book, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom.

She shared from her heart how she had come to Acharya Shunya many years ago as a patient, seeking help with health challenges she was facing. She describes herself at the time she met Acharya Shunya, “I had a beautiful 3 year old boy, a back that could barely stay straight for 3 minutes, and I was 35 pounds

overweight. I was trying very hard to bring my mind body and spirit back into shape after motherhood and from the aftermath of infertility drugs.”

After examining her pulse, tongue and asking some questions, Acharya Shunya concluded that Swati was lacking Ojas. This was a new word for Swati, and Acharya Shunya explained that Ojas is the essential life force within, and Swati was “running

on empty.”

To replenish her reserves of Ojas and come back to feeling good overall, there was a long list of foods she would avoid for the next three months – “no processed sugar, no eggs, no meat, no bread, no yogurt, no nuts, no cheese or paneer, no tomatoes, no

onion, no mushrooms, no garlic, no frozen or processed food, no fermented food, no raw food, no smoothies, organic as much as possible, nothing more than 24 hoursold, no butter, no oil…” As the list went on, Swati says with some humor, “and then

Acharya Shunya drops the bomb... no chai, no coffee, no wine, no scotch on thenrocks... by now I am thinking her theories are going to last 5 whole days in America and she will be back on a plane to India soon.”

When she asked what would be left for her to eat with all that taken out, Acharya Shunya assured her that the cleansing and nourishing diet she would be put on would be precisely crafted from only what her body needed at that time, seasonally appropriate, and with plenty of ghee. In addition to her stringent food guidelines, Swati was instructed on a variety of lifestyle measures that would also directly affect her basic life force – timing of meals, times for sleeping and waking, and self-massage practices.

Rather than feel daunted, Swati took up this challenge to rebuild her entire system with enthusiasm. In the process, she unexpectedly found the changes guided her toward a deep reconnection to her relationship with the cycles of nature and

balanced moderation she remembered from her own childhood. “I pretended that I lived in my grandfather’s orchard in Rampur, [India],” she said. “Where there was abundance but everything was in balance. Where we ate sunlight, we drank

moonlight and we slept under the stars. 6 beautiful ripe mangoes would come out of the tree and 4 grand kids would share them… There was no question of one person eating 6 egg whites. The hens only gave so many fresh eggs, so it was one per person if at all, or Nani baked a cake. The honey tasted of the fruit that grew in the garden and we would know it was the season for oranges. [Grandmother] would press a ripe orange through a muslin cloth between her hands and only half a glass of orange juice per person would come out, not a gallon each day.”

When Swati put into practice Acharya Shunya’s instructions, she found that indeed a shining essence of inner health emerged naturally. When Swati imagined herself back in the orchard, as a child unquestioningly surrendered to the laws of nature

and the wisdom of the loving elders around her, what Ayurveda was proposing made deeply intuitive sense.

Now Swati, often joined by her husband Shekhar and son Shaan, attends occasional workshops and events at Vedika Global. They come for the community of everyday people enjoying discovering more about Ayurveda and also for the wholesomely

delicious food cooked in the Vedika Global kitchen. Swati is always happy to learn something new from Acharya Shunya and Ayurveda’s wisdom, because she has experienced the wellspring of wellbeing ready to spring forth when she reconnects to her roots and the natural state of health within.

The author Ishani Naidu is a long-term student of Acharya Shunya, and serves as Editor of the Hamsa magazine, which is an offering of Vedika’s Spiritual Studies program.

Study with Acharya Shunya

Acharya Shunya, Author of the Bestseller, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom, awaken​s​ health and consciousness with Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta at her ​wisdom school, Vedika Global​, in Emeryville, California​ that offers both onsite and online classes to students worldwide.

Join Acharya Shunya's Awakening Health course​ to learn and embody Ayurveda's lifestyle wisdom. You can also apply to ​become her ongoing student in her ​exclusive ​Vedic Spiritual Studies​ Program​​, exploring the spiritual sciences of Vedanta and Yoga.

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