Tag Archives: medicine

Kathryn Herbert on Ancient Healing in the Modern World

July 27, 2015 | Emelyn Daly, YogaFit Media

Ayurveda, ‘Life Science,’ and Common Sense

Expert Ayurvedic Practitioner and founder of Ayuway of Life Kathryn Herbert has me totally convinced of the value, efficacy, and do-it-yourself easiness of the ancient Holistic healing modality she teaches and practices. Herbert, who is thrilled to share her expertise at YogaFit’s first Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coaching Retreat in Austin, TX this September, has dedicated her life to using and educating others on Ayurveda. Here, she gives us an exclusive introduction to her upcoming workshops, which focus on making Ayurveda fun, user-friendly, and 100% applicable in daily life.

What is Ayurveda? What are some of the most common misconceptions about it?

“The first thing I like to tell people about Ayurveda is that in order to use it in your daily life, you don’t shutterstock_223478743have to know how to spell or pronounce it correctly! The word may sound a little unusual, but it’s much simpler than you think. In Sanskrit, ayu means ‘life’ and veda means ‘knowledge’ or ‘science.’ ‘Life science’ isn’t just ancient Sanskrit; it’s for everybody living in modern times. To me, it is the perfect owner’s manual package of common sense for the human mind, body and spirit.”

Ayurveda comes from India, correct? How does it relate to other forms of medicine?

“So, yes, the ancient health and wellness knowledge we know as Ayurveda does come from the Indus Valley. And from there, it actually traveled East and West, influencing both Chinese and Western medicine. Hippocrates was an Ayurvedic practitioner! The father of Western medicine himself said, “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” That is Ayurveda.”

Do you think that Ayurvedic medicine could replace Western medicine?

“No, I would never recommend that Ayurveda can or should replace Western, aka ‘Modern’ medicine, yet it certainly does complement any and every form of medicine including surgery and as a preventative, it is designed to keep you out of the doctor’s office.

You know, in the West, we have a way of putting everything on a hierarchy. This or that has to be better or worse than something else. The East integrates healing approaches as opposed to creating that separation, which is the absolute definition of Holistic, it treats the whole person. In India, for example, an Ayurvedic doctor is a medical doctor, and there is a modern Ayurvedic hospital right next door to the modern Allopathic hospital, patients are sent back and forth by doctors from both sides. Both forms are equally valuable and used to compliment each other. I experienced this daily during my internship there.”

Which piece of your workshop in Austin are you most looking forward to?

“So many! I love my work because I get to translate this powerful knowledge into modern language and practical uses. In Austin, I’ll get to share my academic knowledge of Ayurveda, which works amazingly well with the YogaFit system. We’ll look at a couple Sanskrit words to demystify these new, hard-to-pronounce terms into common sense simplicity.

And there’s the practical end of things, which is really exciting! I’ll be showing people how to use this stuff in their daily lives. We’ll spend time on really concrete techniques that will be easily remembered to take home and use. We’ll spend plenty of time on food, and turn the tabletop into a classroom using food as medicine to learn why your kitchen is actually a pharmacy to be in service of yourself, those you love, and those you coach. Plus there are really fun Ayurvedic treatment practicums including the ‘meda buster’ massage to reduce fat on the body—one of my favorites!”

For more information about Kathryn Herbert and her workshops at the YogaFit Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coaching Retreat in Austin, TX coming up this September, visit YogaFit.com!

Kathryn Herbert practices privately in Southern California at the Ayurway of Life facilities and conducts national workshops to promote the benefits of Ayurvedic lifestyle choices. She lives in Los Angeles with her two teenaged children, two dogs, a cat, and three horses. She hopes to welcome chickens to her home soon!

Kathryn Herbert on the Miracles of Ayurvedic Healing

Recently, I sat down with Ayurvedic expert Kathryn Herbert to talk herbs, doshas, and real-life miracles. Herbert, who, was diagnosed with AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis), RS (Reiter Syndrome), FM (Fibromyalgia) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), is a living example of the downright amazing health benefits of India’s ancient healing practice. She is excited to share her wisdom at YogaLean’s first Coaching Immersion in Austin, TX this September, where her personal history and profound education will shine brightly in her workshops and lectures. Here, she gives me a glimpse her fascinating story:

What was the state of your health before turning to Ayurvedic healing?

My good health today is completely dependent on my knowledge of Ayurveda. My numerous health conditions began to affect my life to a crippling extent. As a horse trainer and single mother, my life and my job were very physically demanding. I was extremely active, often up to 18 hours a day, and my health deteriorated to the point where I was barely able to lift a feed bucket, let alone brush my own hair. I saw countless doctors and specialists, underwent countless tests, and tried practically every medication and treatment under the sun. Nothing worked, and worse, many of the treatments I underwent caused allergic reactions that left me even weaker and endangered my life.

How did you decide to change to Ayurvedic and naturopathic treatment?

After almost two years of Western medical and pharmaceutical treatments, I decided it was the end of the line. It was a scary decision, but it was clear to me that a purely Western approach was not going to work.

What were the results?

As soon as I began following an Ayurvedic dietary and herbal regimen, my health immediately transformed. While in treatment, I began discovering all of the things I’m allergic to—not just medications, but foods that were making me sick. This was crucial. My doctors had doubts, but in the weeks and months following my transition to Ayurveda, the tests amazingly kept coming back improved. The new “miracle drugs” I was using made my doctors’ heads spin! In Ayurveda, we treat all foods and natural compounds as potential medicine or poison. With herbs and nutrition, I increased my medicine and eliminated my poison. This shift had enormous impact.

What kinds of changes did you make to your diet and herbal regimen?

I made a lot of changes. It’s important to remember is that in Ayurveda, each individual is treated uniquely. The things I need to add and take away may be different from yours. Examples can be as subtle as this: I spent most of my life drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning, but discovered that oranges create acidity and inflammation in my body because of my specific make up. Something as innocent-seeming as that was poisoning me. Lemons and limes, on the other hand, create alkalinity and put me in balance.

Which herb or supplement has made the biggest difference in your health?

So many, but tumeric was the thing I started adding that really changed everything. shutterstock_140598805 (1)It is so powerful and beneficial. I put it in everything. In the classic Bible story, the three kings bring frankincense, myrrh and gold as their gifts. I think they brought frankincense, myrrh, and turmeric! It is nature’s great gift the world. Ashwaganada is another very powerful herb for protecting the nervous system. It had very positive effects on me and has proved to have amazing benefits for Alzheimer’s—but the big drug companies don’t want us knowing that!

After getting well, why did you decide to study Ayurvedic medicine?

I realized that Ayurveda makes real transformation possible. Its benefits are clear to me, and illuminated constantly in my work with cancer patients and others suffering from chronic illness.

What was your experience like studying Ayurveda?

I feel lucky to have studied Ayurveda in its classic form. My training was based on the ancient Indian texts, originally written in Sanskrit. I have a BA in biology and psychology, and coming from a science background, Ayurveda, to me, was the complete package of common sense. I got the opportunity to expand my studies in Pune, India at DPU. It was an incredible experience to study Ayurveda in its homeland at a state of the art facility. In India, an Ayurvedic doctor is a medical doctor; there is an Ayurvedic hospital right next door to the allopathic hospital. My work today is to translate this powerful ancient knowledge into modern times and uses.

What inspired you to participate in the YogaLean Coaching Immersion in Austin this fall?

I love my work! I love to share this wisdom with others. Given the miraculous transformation that Ayurveda has made in my life and health, I feel I have to share this knowledge! I feel gratitude for my illness every day because it led me to this practice. This information is a gift, and I am so excited to share it with the enlightened individuals attending the YogaLean Coaching Immersion so that they can carry it forth and benefit. Everyone should sign up and encourage your friends and families to come with you! My lectures and workshops are designed to make using Ayurveda in your daily life simple, easy, and hugely beneficial.

Kathryn Herbert practices privately in Southern California and conducts national workshops to promote the benefits of Ayurvedic Lifestyle choices. She lives in Los Angeles with her two teenaged children, two dogs, a cat, three horses and hopes to welcome chickens to her home soon.