Dr. Be Ayurveda
Dr. Berengere also known as “Dr. Be” in Auroville is a ‘vaidya’, a traditional Indian doctor of Ayurveda. She completed her Bachelors in Ayurveda from Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Her prime focus is to raise awareness and educate people about tuning into oneself through practical, theoretical and spiritual knowledge and insights on Ayurveda and to tune in with the plants, to understand their qualities, and how their energy can be transmitted for healing without sacrificing their life.
Balancing the Body
Dr. Be’s operations are to help her patients maintain a good balance in the body through understanding dosha or nature in the body– (Vata/Air, Pitta/Fire or Kapha/ Water & Earth) which may create imbalance if not taken care of and create adverse symptoms which may give rise to diseases of the body and mind.
In 2013, after completing her six years of studies in Ayurveda and surgery, she came to Auroville to become a part of Santé–Institute of Integral Health and Kailash Institute as an Ayurvedic specialist.
In her teenage years, Dr. Be was drawn to an image which said, “you are what you eat” which was an opening for her to connect with food and health initially. Ever since then, through the 90’s she gained more knowledge on food and raised more awareness on which food is healthy and which is not for herself. It grew clearer to her with practice and knowledge that food has a definite link with health and how our body feels, she became more conscious about what she was feeding her body and mind, be it the thoughts, the interactions she partakes in, the food and the environment she finds herself surrounded in.
As she became more conscious of the relationship she shared with the various aspects of her life and being, she felt happier and had fewer cravings which came from emotional, forced or indulgent eating. Furthermore, as she decided to embark on the journey to come to India, she felt something was missing from her life, so she looked for alternative ways to derive a sense of purpose. She started implementing practices to learn and understand herself better, in 2004 she was in Kerala when she first did an introduction course on Ayurveda, that is when it became clear what she was looking for is in Ayurveda–a holistic insight into one’s being.
Dr. Berengere discovered herself through the eyes of Ayurveda, she implemented optimal food, sleep and tuning into oneself in order to balance and centre her being. She had a better balance of fire, water, and earth in her system and could understand her behaviour more. To involve herself in Ayurveda she began to follow the guidelines on her own and then proposed the practices, her expertise and insights on Ayurveda to people who wanted to live healthier lives and prevent sickness. When the people started to adopt Ayurvedic practices, it instantly spoke to them, as if what was happening inside them was written down on paper.
The essence of Ayurveda is to tune into one’s soul and partake in the lifestyle the soul has come here to experience, it's to connect with oneself deeply. This knowledge of Ayurveda has been here since time immemorial and will always be as long as a soul reincarnates. As we learn to observe ourselves since childhood the small attributes and elements which are a part of our being can help us understand what we bring from our previous lives and being able to understand these aspects from childhood may result in a deeper and a more harmonious connection with the body, mind and soul over the long-term.
When one learns to observe one’s being from the eyes of Ayurveda, one questions how they feel, if they’re hungry, who they have contacted and have interacted with, and what they’ve read and listened to, it takes time for one to grasp these concepts from theory, however, in the meantime, one must close their eyes and feel from one’s senses about how they feel, taste and practice one capacity to tune into their body. Once we start to practice this we receive insights into how balanced and centred we feel, then we can deepen our practice through yoga and meditation.
Ayurveda is a subject that should be a part of schools like any other subject says, Dr. Be. For example, ‘Awareness Through Body’ which is a beautiful tool that can be paired with Ayurveda, gives the capacity to know oneself and be more intuitive rather than letting the mind be flooded by all sorts of information from books and textbooks that may be irrelevant if not implemented with the use of personal discernment as they are outside of us.
When we study Ayurveda we first understand what health essentially looks like, says Dr. Be; how health tastes, and manifests in our body and mind. There are three essential pillars one has to observe in order to maintain good health and feel balanced–food, sleep and brahmacharya (celibacy). However, over time it has evolved to how we relate to ourselves and others. The pathway of Ayurvedic healing is about going deeper into oneself and observing the link with one’s divine part.
Food is the most vital part of Ayurveda as it enables the prevention of sickness and promotes good health. One has to consume food according to one’s constitution and see what kind, type, and quality (fresh, organic, cooked, raw but also liquid, solid and gaseous) is best adapted to one’s digestive capacity. For example, potatoes are more earthy than puffed rice, which are airier and take more time to digest and hence should be consumed according to one’s digestive capacity. Subtle parts of food intake are also taken into consideration, such as chewing the food and observing when the body is full in order to not consume excessive food or overeat. We need to see our capacity no matter how good the food looks on the outside!
Ayurveda is the primary practice for body purification and detoxification. Parents who are planning to conceive can follow Ayurvedic practices to bring a healthy soul into their lives. Through an Ayurvedic practice of maintaining a healthy balance between the emotional, physical and mental bodies one can call in a soul that would also be healthier. ‘Panchakarma’ and detox therapy are best to follow for women who desire to conceive as their ovum’s condition would improve and would give rise to a healthy constitution for the baby to develop within.
Ayurveda practices can benefit generation after generation and after conception, the woman is also advised to use certain Ayurvedic remedies to raise a healthy and happy child. The child is fed a little bit of ghee, honey and jaggery along with the mother’s breast milk to maintain calmness, blissfulness and peacefulness. In the scheme of larger things, it is always good to come back to oneself and to see what the body needs, physically-the food, vitally-emotions, a hug or a few words of endearment, mentally-knowledge or food after intellectual work in order to maintain a certain quietness and fullness in the mind and body to be more efficient and healthier.
Dr. Nandita's SHARANA Sanctuary Facilitating Healthy LivingSharan, an organisation dedicated to helping people reconnect to foods that God and nature had meant for them to eat, is a commitment to this purpose by Dr. Nandita Shah. It aims to generate an awareness in every individual on the actual needs of the body for the type of food that a human being is actually supposed to have. SHARAN encourages one to lead a healthy life by facilitating the body to heal itself by providing the right kind of fuel that it needs.
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Satchitananda and KOFPU by AnandiSatchitananda and KOFPU by AnandiHealing Through Divine in FoodSatchitananda restaurant & KOFPU (Kottakarai Food Processing Unit) develops and prepares organic ‘Raw Vegan’ foods which are catered for everyone inside and outside Auroville. ‘Satchitananda’ in Sanskrit means “Truth, Consciousness and Bliss”. Anandi Vaithialingam runs this Organic Food Processing Unit and Raw Vegan Restaurant in her aspiration to serve the divine consciousness.She feels guided to create KOFPU and the organic Raw Vegan products that stand in support of Auroville and organic farmers. The focus is on the promotion of organic farming and reawakening our connection with Earth by stressing the importance of not using chemicals; creating a market for organic produce through the purchase of organic crops from local farmers; researching healthy foods, providing body-care products suited for current-day markets and to provide locals with employment opportunities.