Sonja Shah Williams spent an idyllic childhood in Yorkshire in the UK, deeply rooted in Indian traditions. She believes “we must accept our place within the natural world and honour the importance of mutual respect between animals, plants and flowers.”
As an Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner, Sonja teaches through her work that “Ayurveda is THE system of medicine that brings balance through our interconnectedness with nature. The healing power of plants and their flowers is simply amazing.”
Her book by DK Books, ‘Ayurveda: a little book of self-care’ (available at Ayurveda: An Ancient System of Holistic Health to Bring Balance and Wellness to Your Life (A Little Book of Self Care): Amazon.co.uk: Shah-Williams, Sonja: 9780241443651: Books) offers a taste of the fundamental principles of Ayurveda. She has collated a collection of tried and tested Ayurvedic practices and remedies including foods, oils, yoga, and meditation to aid sleep, increase energy, boost immunity, relieve digestive problems, improve relationships and more.
As an Indian living in a multicultural society how does Ayurveda connect you to India?
I have known of Ayurveda all my life due to our regular vacations back to India. All our relatives and others we know in India see Ayurvedic, as well as allopathic doctors, and my interest in what would later become my profession began at a young age. My mother also follows many Ayurvedic principles, as most Indian people do, even though they don’t even refer to them as Ayurvedic. Ayurveda is very much part of the Indian psyche.
Do Indians need to learn Ayurveda separately or is part of their culinary traditions. Could you speak about your family?
As I mentioned, Indian people have many key rituals, both culinary and otherwise, that follow the basic laws of Nature and the universe, therefore unless they decide to study Ayurveda formally, at university, most simply live life seasonally. In India, vegetables and other foods are always available seasonally, and many people have a routine that fits with their circadian rhythm, such as going to bed by 10pm and rising early.
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