We are excited to introduce you to Suchita Kothari and Hansa Melvani, friends, mothers and certified holistic practitioners behind Something Holistic.
Through a series of interactive workshops designed to educate and inspire, their mission is to spread the ancient Indian approach of health and wellness and demonstrate how easy it is to apply Ayurvedic concepts to modern day living.
The best way to enjoy coffee or your salad? Should you shower before or after a meal? Struggling with constant lethargy? Their Instagram feed is full of digestible nuggets showcasing the relevance of Ayurveda in our everyday lives, along with positive affirmations and easy recipes.
We sat down with Suchita and Hansa virtually to ask them a few questions this week.
How did the two of you meet and what made you decide to start Something Holistic?
We love getting asked this question! We both live in NYC and we met when our daughters started Kindergarten together. Within weeks, our daughters were inseparable and we became close friends.
One night while having dinner together, we decided to attend an Open House at Ayurveda's World in Tribeca. We both were immediately drawn to both the philosophical and practical side of this ancient science and started the Ayurvedic Nutrition Study Program.
Upon completion, we hosted workshops on topics ranging from digestion to daily routine and cleanses to teach others about all the useful tips we had learned. The workshops grew in size quickly and Something Holistic was born organically from our desire to share this knowledge to help others.
Can you share with us your individual journeys that led you to Ayurveda?
Suchita: My journey started back in 2013 when I was going through a difficult time in my life physically and mentally. Searching for some solitude and time to reflect, I decided to go to a wellness center in Dehradun.
I thought I was going to go to a spa but ended up living an Ayurvedic lifestyle for 8 days. The end result was better digestion, a clearer mind and a sense of calmness that I hadn't felt in awhile. I slowly started implementing what I had learned into my daily routine and experienced the benefits. This is when I decided I wanted to study Ayurveda as I understood the transformational power it has on the mind, body and soul.
Hansa: As a mom of three young children living in New York, I was becoming frustrated with the lack of natural alternatives in treating everyday health issues. When my older son was experiencing digestive issues like stomach pain and diarrhea after meals, I tried everything from allergy testing, acupuncture, homeopathy and a host of different diets.
The first time he visited my Ayurvedic doctor, she checked his pulse, identified the cause and changed his eating habits. Within three weeks of a Vata-pacifying diet and lifestyle my son had dramatically improved. It was at this point I knew I had to study Ayurveda.
How has Ayurveda changed both your lives?
We can't begin to explain in just a few lines the magnitude of the impact Ayurveda has had on our spiritual, emotional and physical lives. From waking up and using Bhastrika breathing to boost energy levels, combining salads with ground vegetables to decrease bloating to using Nasya oil and enjoying improved sleep, Ayurveda has infiltrated our daily life.
It has allowed us to implement a more healthy diet and lifestyle which has changed our mindset and made us more self aware. We are able to more easily tune in and listen to our body, trust the power of the mind to heal the body and have a deeper connection with nature.
What are some common misconceptions that people have about Ayurveda?
We often interact with clients who have the misconception that Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old science and question its modern day relevance. However many of today's wellness trends actually have their root in Ayurveda. For example, the gut-brain connection and intermittent fasting were actually discovered over five thousand years ago in Ancient vedic texts! Once we assure our clients that Ayurveda doesn't mean eating lentils and rice everyday, you don't have to be very spiritual and perform hours of meditation nor do you have to wait months before seeing results, they often are more open to our suggestions.
Since you are both based in NYC, what are some Ayurvedic tips you have for stressed out city dwellers?
Though we love NYC, it can be very stressful at times, especially when trying to balance work, family and kids. Here are some of our top Ayurvedic tips:
1) There is such a strong correlation between stress and gut health. Try and eat a light warm breakfast to stimulate your agni and make sure your heaviest meal is around midday ( Pitta time when digestion is strongest). When possible, consume your dinner preferably by sundown and not too heavy, approximately half the portion size of lunch.
2) We aim to get our most challenging work completed between 10 am and 2 pm ( accounts, interviews, strategizing) . In the afternoon, during Vata time we engage in the more creative component of our work (graphic design, making videos, cooking etc).
3) As part of our evening routine we incorporate 15 minutes of Abhyanga which helps us unwind, drink a modern day version of golden milk and use particular essential oils to calm and ground us. We usually try and sleep around 10 pm to rejuvenate our mind and body and to avoid getting that second burst of energy.
What can we expect in the future from Something Holistic?
During the pandemic we have seen an increase in interest in Ayurveda, as many are prioritizing their health and searching for a more holistic approach. We are in the process of converting our material to create a few Online Courses so people all over the world have the opportunity to learn Ayurveda!
We really want to convert this ancient wisdom into practical suggestions that are easy to implement like useful travel tips, anti-aging massages or even hangover guidelines so that we engage the audience and still transfer valuable knowledge.