Ayurveda in Washington, DC: Consultations with Leah Barr

The California College of Ayurveda is pleased to introduce the Ayurvedic Health Practitioner Interns 2014-2015 Interns have completed their academic studies and work under the supervision of experienced clinical instructors. This semester’s talented group of interns comes from throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (AHP) interns work on supporting patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is in harmony with their constitution. Patients learn about their constitution as well as the nature of any imbalances. They will also receive support to adjust their diet and lifestyle accordingly and to normalize your digestion and elimination. As part of the Ayurvedic program, an intern can include ayurvedic herbs, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound and mantra, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy. This is is the best of preventative health care! For those who have a specific condition and are looking for clinical management through Ayurvedic Medicine, they should consider having a consultation with an Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist intern or graduate. 

Interview with Leah from Washington

1)  What inspired you to study Ayurvedic Medicine?

I have always been passionate about the connection between food and health, both physical and mental.  After years of exploration and experimentation, I decided to study Ayurveda because of its potency and specificity of the right food and medicine for the right person.  It can be hard to wade through all of the various diets and health fads of the current day with their varying degrees of efficacy and value.  Ayurveda is based in deeper principles which have stood the test of time and which bring real results.  Over time I have found that my less optimal habits have fallen away and more beneficial ones have replaced them.  There is so much positive reinforcement and feedback on this path.  The better I feel the more I want to align with the deeper principles.

2)    What do you think makes Ayurveda attractive to the public?

I think now more than ever the public is keen to the idea that thinking and being are biological functions which run on fuel – food – and that what we eat matters.  There is also an unprecedented awareness of the health problems associated with stress.  In Ayurveda, everything is considered food, not only what we eat and drink but also what we absorb through the senses. So it’s a comprehensive approach to the human condition.  Many people are tired and stressed by the demands of modern day life, by the different pulls on our attention and energy.  People want more clear, stable energy wherever and whenever possible.  The wisdom of Ayurveda is here to help with that and to teach us how to use food and sensory input as medicine.

3)    What do you think about the future of Ayurveda in the United States?

It’s an exciting time on the planet for Ayurveda and all the people it has helped and will continue to help.  Ayurveda has the depth and the breadth to support anyone wherever they happen to be on their health journey—as a compliment to other health and maintenance routines or as a way of life.  Little changes can have big impact and big changes are utterly transformative.

4)    What is your favorite therapy in this traditional system of medicine from India?

My favorite therapy is abhyanga.  This is the practice of daily self massage with herbal oils designed specifically for one’s constitution.  It supports the lymphatic system and provides moisture to the skin enabling deeper tissues of the body to retain their moisture as well.  It’s like a soft blanket of protection that insulates me throughout my day.  I can’t start my day without it!

5) What does your path to Ayurveda look like?

I live in Washington, DC where I am a mother of two and a yoga teacher.  I did my undergraduate work at Kenyon College in Ohio and directed and taught a K-3 art program in DC after graduation and before having children.  I have been studying yoga since 1992 and have been lucky enough to study extensively with many preeminent yoga scholars and teachers.  My love of yogic philosophy and practice converged with my passion for health and well being to bring me to serious study of Ayurveda.

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