Since the beginning of my natural health journey, I've been incredibly intrigued by Ayurvedic Medicine. Ayurveda - also known as 'The Science of Life' - concentrates on the goal of balancing an individual’s nature by identifying their ideal balanced state, discovering areas of imbalance, and offering interventions (such as diet, herbs, music, meditation, massage, and aromatherapy) to rebalance mind, body and soul.
When I'm feeling in need of some body, mind and soul balancing, Ananda Ayurvedic Wellness is where I go to find it.
Andrea is an incredible practitioner, with such a nurturing persona. And her Ayurvedic massages? Out. Of. This. World.
So of course I had to interview her for the blog - to pick her brain about living well, Ayurveda style, just for you. Enjoy!
Can you tell us a little about your story, and how Ananda came to be?
I’m very passionate about ayurveda, yoga, and meditation, but one of my other big passions is travel. In my 20s and early 30s I spent many years traveling the world and living in other countries. I worked one admin job to the next saving money with the goal to leave everything behind and go off on another travel adventure. I had the best time. But it got to a point where I was thinking “is this it? Is this all I’m going to do in life?”.
I wanted to do more than just work in an admin role, I wanted my job to be something I was passionate about.
In my late 20s I started practicing yoga and this was where my interested in wellness and spiritual development started. I got into meditation and reiki which gave me a whole new perspective life. I realised I was in charge of my own life and I could make it as amazing as I wanted it to be. I started to think maybe I could go back to studying, I looked into holistic counseling, naturopathy and other alternative therapies. I then came across a course in Ayurveda, I didn’t know much at all about ayurveda at the time but as soon as I read the course outline I was in! So I packed up my life in Melbourne and moved to Perth to study Ayurveda.
Once I completed my studies I founded Ananda Ayurvedic Wellness where I provide ayurvedic consultations and therapies. My aim is to help people overcome their health issues and enable them to live their life to the fullest potential – to live a life of contentment and joy.
What does the word 'Ananda' mean?
Ananda is a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘bliss’ or ‘divine joy’. It’s different from the joy or happiness you get from external senses such as eating delicious food, seeing a beautiful painting or listening to your favourite song. It’s a joy or bliss that comes from within and is developed through spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. Ananda is something which sticks around no matter what situation you find yourself in!
How has Ayurveda impacted your life or health journey?
Ayurveda has helped me understand we are all different and unique, and that what is good practice for some may not be so good for others. I’ve gotten to know my individual constitution, what foods work for me and what don’t, what lifestyle practices are good for me and what aren’t so great. I’ve learned to recognise my imbalances when they pop up and know what to do to bring myself back balance.
Ayurveda has also taught me that everything we do in life has an impact on our health – the food we eat, our job, our relationships, our lifestyle activities, and even our thoughts. So it’s important to look at all these aspects when dealing with a health issue or even if you’re looking to live a more fulfilled and joyful life.
In many ways I feel Ayurveda has allowed me to take control of my own health and happiness.
How would you describe ayurvedic medicine to someone who's never heard of it?
Ayurveda is a system of health which takes a holistic approach to wellbeing. It recognises that health is not only a physical state, but that it also comprises spiritual and mental health.
It’s based around the 5 elements of space, air, fire, water and earth. These 5 elements are found in nature, as well human beings, therefore to be healthy and to live an optimal life Ayurveda says we must live in harmony with nature by following natures natural rhythms.
Ayurveda restores balance to the body using food, herbal medicine, lifestyle and unique therapies and detoxification methods.
As an ayurvedic practitioner, what's the most common challenge you see your clients face, and what would be your top tip or approach to combat it?
Lots of my clients are very enthusiastic about improving their health which is fantastic. However, they often try to make too many changes too quickly. This can lead to disappointment when they can’t implement all the changes they want to, maybe due to of lack of time, overwhelm, or lack of motivation. Ayurveda likes to take things slowly - you don’t need to struggle and force things!
So my suggestion is to start out with 1 or 2 lifestyle changes. This will make it easier to implement and you’ll find you’ll more consistent with the changes after all consistency is the key! If you have too many things you’re trying to juggle you won’t be able to do them consistently and you’ll feel as though you’re failing. Once you’ve made 1 or 2 changes you’ll feel more confident to add more.
Also, never be too hard on yourself! Always hold yourself and your actions with kindness and love.
What's your favourite self care, wellness ritual?
Ayurveda has so many self care rituals it’s hard to pick one!
But if I had to pick a favourite it would be abhyanga – self massage. Ayurveda places a high importance on oiling the body internally and externally, for optimal wellbeing. Giving yourself a nourishing warm sesame oil massage is a beautiful act of self-care and self-love. I absolutely love the meaning of the Sanskrit word Sehana – it translates to both ‘oil’ and ‘love’. So when you saturate your body with oil, you’re also saturating it with love.
What's next for you and Ananda?
I love sharing the wisdom of Ayurveda so I’m planning more workshops later in the year – let me know what you guys would be interested in hearing about!
You can find out more about Andrea and Ananda here: