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Ayurvedic practitioner in Auburn, California with Laurel Odom

The California College of Ayurveda is pleased to introduce the Ayurvedic Health Practitioner Interns 2014. 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 Laurel from California

1)  What inspired you to study Ayurvedic Medicine?

I was inspired to study Ayurveda through the desire to address health from a more individualized, dynamic point of view. I had just graduated from studying clinical nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and I felt a strong disconnection from the clinical way of thinking. It was a “one size fits all,” calorie-based approach that takes into account height, weight, gender and “activity factor” and then proceeds to plug those factors into an equation. From here, the amount of calories that one is supposed to eat in a day was concluded. So much seemed to be lacking in regards to assessing an individual, their health and the actions necessary to support optimal health. I was uninspired to enter this field, but still desired to channel my energy into health and wellness. At this time I had been practicing yoga for five years and was strongly dedicated to my practice. The college (CCA) had been popping up on my radar for a few years - initially after doing a project on India for my cultural nutrition class - but I had ignored the nudges because I hadn’t entertained any other option for my future than becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). I graduated in June with the realization that the RD path was not for me and moved home to Auburn. I finally had the time to look into this other form of health and found out that the college was a mere half an hour away. I scheduled a tour of the college and signed up for classes that day. The rest is history :)

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

I find that Ayurveda catches people’s interests because it focuses on treating the individual. There isn’t a “one size fits all” in Ayurveda - instead, there is focus on the individual on a mental, physical and spiritual level. Ayurveda teaches one how to make easy daily choices that serve them as opposed to putting them further out of balance and it also gives one more insight to themselves and their basic nature. It’s always fun to learn more about yourself and I think that Ayurveda brings a great amount of clarity to understanding one’s self. I also think that the fact that the ancient tradition of Ayurveda has maintained it’s validity for over 5,000 years is also something that intrigues the general public - there must be something special about this way of health and wellness if it’s been able to stay strong and successful for this long (*spoiler alert: there is :) ).

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

I think that the future of Ayurveda in the United States is bright!! Preventative medicine is becoming a large focus in this culture as complications with our current medical system increase and as medical doctors simply don’t have enough time to focus as much on preventative care because of the large amount of current disease cases. Ayurveda places a great amount of awareness on the root cause of disease (the digestive system and the mind) and if there is greater emphasis in addressing this realm of health we can make great moves in transitioning out of this disease plagued culture and into a more aware, conscious one that can recognize and confront symptoms before they have the opportunity to manifest.

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

That’s a toughie.. Either shirodhara or abhyanga.. Probably abyhanga (the synchronized, two-person massage with warm herbal oils). I equate receiving an abhy to being able to press the reset button. It’s extremely relaxing, grounding and nourishing.

5) What does your path to Ayurveda look like?

I am grateful to say that I’ve always had a close connection to nature as well as the opportunity to have been exposed to a wide range of cultures. Born and raised in Auburn, a small town in Northern California, I spent many of my days hiking in the American River Canyon, skiing in the Sierra Nevada’s and playing in our garden at home. I continued to cherish that connection during my time studying nutrition at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo - enjoying time spent hiking the rolling coastal hills and exploring the many offerings of the Pacific. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel early on in life with my family as well as the opportunity to study abroad - including sailing through the Caribbean islands, traveling through Europe and Australia and studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain. The combination of the connection to nature, the exposure to different ways of life though travel, my interest in yoga and the pursuit of deepening my knowledge in terms of health care has seemed to lead me to Ayurveda and I couldn’t be more grateful. I started my Ayurvedic education in October of 2013 and within just a year I have learned so much about myself and life in general and I look forward to continuing this journey. Namaste!
 
 

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