In the expansive landscape of Ayurveda, where the art of healing converges with individual journeys, Leslie Clohan demonstrates dedication and compassion. A Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and proud graduate of the California College of Ayurveda (CCA), Leslie Clohan brings a unique perspective to the world of Ayurveda. She actively contributes to the CCA community as a member of the Distance Learning Faculty, an herbal technician in the college’s herbal pharmacy, and an Ayurvedic intern supervisor. Her multifaceted roles speak volumes about her commitment not only to her personal growth but also to nurturing the next generation of Ayurvedic practitioners.
Hailing from Northern California, Leslie finds solace and inspiration in nature’s embrace. Her connection with the natural world goes beyond admiration; it fuels her understanding of the powerful healing it provides. In this interview, we delve into Leslie’s unique journey and the profound impact of Ayurveda on the holistic well-being of individuals.
Can you share your personal journey of how you came to practice Ayurveda? What sparked your interest and what motivated you to pursue it as a career?
My journey to Ayurveda started before I knew anything about Yoga or Ayurveda. When I was quite young my father started practicing yoga and I would watch him and practice with him from time to time. My concepts of health and wellness were first developed by my father; he often said things like ‘You are what you eat’, ‘You get to decide how you feel’, and ‘You are in charge of your health’. When I was young, I sometimes thought these ideas were a bit crazy and wanted to eat and do the same things my friends were doing, but as an adult, I grew to appreciate his example. Later in my life, my husband developed severe debilitating back issues that landed him in bed for many months. In the care of Western Medical Doctors, he was put on some heavy-duty painkillers, which caused even more side effects. Frustrated, we decided to try yoga to help with his healing. It wasn’t easy, but over time it worked so much better than the prescriptions and he was eventually able to go off all the medications. Although he still has times of pain, he can manage it with the practices and principles of Yoga and Ayurveda. He is again an active, vibrant, capable person who enjoys many sports and activities. This experience was eye-opening. I got to see the ‘magic’ of yoga and I eventually decided to become a Yoga Instructor. I studied at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA. While it was quite far from my home in California, this style of Yoga spoke to me with its ‘meditation in motion’ philosophy. It was at Kripalu that I first learned about Ayurveda.
Once I learned about the program offered at The California College of Ayurveda (CCA) and the extensive curriculum, workshops, trainings, and internships offered, I knew this was the right school for me. I enrolled and completed my academic study and internships to become a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. I also enrolled in most of the workshops and the Ayurvedic Herbalist Apprenticeship. Herbal medicine is an important part of my dharma.
As an Ayurvedic teacher, what do you find most rewarding about sharing your knowledge with others?
I love seeing how Ayurveda empowers each student to take control of their healing journey and how it starts to mold and change each person into a new, better version of themself.
For aspiring Ayurvedic practitioners, what advice would you give them to make the most out of their learning journey?
One step at a time. At times it feels like you need to take on all the practices Ayurveda has to offer, all at once. This can get very overwhelming. We each have our own journey and need to walk that journey at a pace that is best for us. Prioritizing is important; this is where seeing a practitioner or intern practitioner while studying Ayurveda can really help. Ayurveda is a journey, not a race. You don’t have to become ‘perfect’ or think you must become like anyone else. Ayurveda is about balance and knowing how to bring yourself back into balance when life has done otherwise. Becoming out of balance happens to everyone. Ayurveda is about the awareness that helps us catch those imbalances sooner rather than later, making it easier to make proper adjustments.
What are some of your favorite Ayurvedic tips or daily practices that you personally incorporate into your life for overall well-being? How have these practices positively influenced your health and lifestyle?
I really like the Guidelines for Healthy Eating. It’s not just what you eat, but how you eat that allows you to digest food properly. I find these guidelines are often overlooked but are SO powerful in creating a life of wellness. I have a routine to start and end my day that helps me stay balanced, but eating mindfully, consistently, and without distraction throughout the day has been the thing that I have found to help me stay physically healthy.
Leslie Clohan, C.A.S. is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and graduate of the California College of Ayurveda (CCA). Her main emphasis is in children’s health. She also has a BA Degree in Human Development with emphasis in Early Childhood Development. Leslie is a member of the CCA Distance Learning Faculty, is an herbal technician in our herbal pharmacy, and is an AHC intern supervisor. Leslie is a Northern California native who enjoys nature and the powerful healing it provides.