Beyond the Noise
Sahara Rose Ketabi suffered from lethargy, allergies, extra weight, and general feelings of discontent. After happening into a yoga class at age twelve years old, she began discovering the power of listening to her body, getting to know it intimately so that needs were no longer a mystery. After a challenging adolescence and a college career of struggling with nutrition, she dove headfirst into Ayurveda, the Eastern science of wellness. Floored with her success after she started balancing different aspects of her diet and exercise routine, Ketabi was approached to write the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda.
Tickled to be working alongside her mentor, Deepak Chopra Ketabi was encouraged to pursue her studies even further. By incorporating the sister sciences Ayurveda and Yoga into her daily routine, she surrenders to their infinite wisdom. Ketabi swears by warm water in the morning, yoga pants for her daily practice, and chocolate. After all, life is all about balance.
Ayurveda teaches principles that emphasize balance, honoring bodily needs, and educating oneself about natural preferences and tendencies. The three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha are the building blocks for the rest of ayurvedic wisdom. These are tendencies that determine someone’s physical, mental, and spiritual rhythms. Vata is associated with space and air, pitta with water and fire, and kapha with water and earth. Typically, vata-dominant individuals are said to be slimmer, more physically inclined, and flighty. Pitta-dominated individuals have a natural tendency toward energy bursts and fluid movement. Kapha-dominated individuals may be more prone to lethargy, natural strength, and a calm temperament. Being aware of one’s natural state and which dosha one is inclined toward help to educate around what can be done to balance the doshas. Paying attention to individual needs is the ultimate premise of Ayurveda.
Nutrition, physical activity, and rest are all factors that combine to help balance these doshas so that individuals can live in equilibrium. Naturally, this also means that “one size does not fit all.” As Ketabi found out in college, diets that work for some may not have the same effect for others. Customization is everything.
Yoga is the second building block to Ketabi’s success. Practice with breathing techniques, postures, and meditation help the mind, body, and spirit to stay balanced. Learning to drown out excess stimuli is one of the key principles of yoga. If outside noise is decreased, inside noise is free to become the focus. This way, physical, mental, and emotional needs can be heard amidst the chaos of day to day. Holding postures for prolonged periods of time and giving the body permission to experience sensation and emotion during these holds is another well-known tool among yoga practitioners. In order to breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allow sensations to happen, the body and mind must surrender to their own intelligence.
A little yoga vocabulary:
- Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses
- Pranayama: breathing techniques
- Asana: physical yoga pose
The object of all three tools is to encourage listening to the inner truth, whatever that may be at any given time. Listening also means allowing inevitable change to occur, and honoring fluctuating needs. Through Ayurveda and Yoga, Sahara Rose Ketabi was able to uncover a lifestyle that works for her. At a relatively young age, Ketabi is free to be an ambassador of Eastern wisdom and philosophy to the West, where everything is seen very differently, with particular regard to nutrition and health. Rather than trying to remedy problems that already exist, Ketabi’s lifestyle is about prevention through nourishment and self care. Hopefully, others will be inspired by her story and encouraged to follow a similar, holistic path.