Ayurveda forms such an important part of our Chai Walli range and ethos, so it’s unsurprising that our paths crossed many years ago with Phillipa Joy. Phillipa is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, Chef, Reiki Master and overall beautiful soul! We were lucky enough to be able to interview her recently, and came away from it all the more full of sunlight for this deep and enlightening practice. Enjoy!
- - - - -
Chai Walli: Hi Phillipa, we'd love to know how you started down the path of your Ayurvedic practices?
Phillipa Joy: Surprisingly, there was no real defining moment of when Ayurveda showed up in my life. When I was in my early 20s I lived in a part of London that had a rich culture and large Indian community. I would often shop in Indian grocers (as there were plenty!) and I have always loved the cuisine – my best friend growing up next door was Indian and I was lucky enough to eat many dinners with her family. I started to notice the word Ayurveda around me. It got me interested, so I went off to investigate. My first ever book about Ayurveda was called “Absolute Beauty” by Pratima Rhaichur, which I purchased in 2004 and still refer to today. I’ve never looked back and continue to be thirsty for the knowledge. I just recently went back to school to upgrade to an Advanced Diploma in Ayurveda.
CW: You work professionally now as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. That sounds amazing! Can you tell us a little about your business?
PJ: Since 2015, I have run an Ayurveda clinic offering health consultations and therapeutic body treatments. My previous trade before I became an Ayurvedic consultant was in the hospitality industry, namely as a chef. The more people I worked with in the initial year or so of my business, the more I came to realise that many people didn’t find food and cooking as easy (or as enjoyable) as me. So a lot of what I do now is educating people on how to use food as their medicine. You leave a doctors’ surgery with a prescription. You leave my clinic with recipes! I also love hosting cooking workshops so people can get a hands-on experience and leave with a full belly of goodness!
CW: It's winter now in Australia. Our Golden Chai is a favourite at this time of year because of the spicy turmeric and ginger. What practices can we learn from Ayurveda when we start to feel the chill of winter?
PJ: I love your golden chai blend too! One of the foundational principles in ayurvedic medicine is that “like attracts like”. What is happening in the macrocosm (environment) is also happening in the microcosm (body-mind connection). So winter, when it is cold and dreary, can leave the body feeling cold, sluggish and dull. By using the law of opposites, Ayurveda describes -quite simply- to introduce opposing qualities into our environment to ensure the body stays in balance. Like correcting a scale that is too heavy on one side by adding weight to the other. So if cold is the predominant factor, as it is in winter, to stay balanced, we introduce warmth.
Our Golden Chai is the perfect antidote to this chilly weather! Check it out here.
PJ Continued: Consider how great you feel on a cold winters day when you take a warm bath or have a hot cup of tea or a bowl of soup. You feel restored, “back to normal”, invigorated. Ayurveda recommends only eating warm, cooked food at this time of year (the smoothie for breakfast has GOT to go!) and incorporating warming spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and clove to meals and beverages. Doing simple practices like this can keep illness and depletion at bay.
CW: What are some other ways that people can incorporate Ayurveda into their modern, daily lives?
PJ: You can incorporate Ayurveda into your life by paying closer attention to the environment around you and aligning yourself with nature. Mother Nature provides exactly what we need, when we need it, in order for our immunity to remain strong and get the nutrients we need. My big recommendation is to ALWAYS in eat season.
Ayurveda is about being in a constant state of awareness of our environment and listening to the cues our body gives us. We can then determine what we need to introduce or remove (in terms of diet, stressors and environmental actors) in order to move through our lives gracefully and in optimal physical and mental health.
CW: We could talk to you all day about Ayurveda! But, to end, can you tell us a story of when Ayurveda has played an important part in your life?
PJ: Hard question!!! Fifteen years on from first piquing an interest in Ayurveda, I can honestly say, hand on my heart, it plays an important part in just about every aspect of my life! How I choose to eat, my relationships and how I relate to others, what I put on my body, my sleep patterns, the type of job I do for a living, how I move through the seasons – the list is endless! There have been so many times the wisdom of Ayurveda has redeemed, restored and comforted me throughout the years.
The profoundly important moments in my life are when I see my family, friends and clients taking on the wisdom of Ayurveda I share with them and seeing them flourish in their own health and wellbeing. Ayurveda is the gift that keeps on giving.
What a joy that was! You can find out more about Phillipa by checking out her website here.
Watch this space as in a few weeks we continue our chat with Phillipa as she shares her wisdom on the balanced herbs and spices we've used in our Ayurvedic herbal range. Thank you Phillipa!