The Parent’s Complete Guide to Ayurveda: Principles, Practices, and Recipes for Happy, Healthy Kids was released in August 2023. It is coauthored by Kerala Ayurveda’s CEO Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath and our alumnus, Alyson Young Gregory. In this interview, Alyson shares some of her experiences and insights into what it’s like to be an Ayurvedic advocate raising a family.
How did you discover Ayurveda?
My relationship with Ayurveda really has been a love story in the truest sense that has spanned a couple of decades! It was through a yoga teacher training 20 years ago that I was first introduced to Ayurveda. It resonated deeply with me on every level. I remember returning home a couple of months later and devouring every book I could find with Ayurveda in the title. The more I learned, the more excited I became. It makes me laugh today when I think about how slow I was to really commit to the path and begin my formal studies. But eventually, I did, recognizing that Ayurveda is not only a profound healing system but a way of life.
Did your family’s needs drive you to practice Ayurveda?
Ayurveda has helped me stay in balance throughout the years. It led me to want to share wellness routines and practices with my family, especially my daughter. When I learned there was an entire clinical branch of Ayurveda dedicated to pediatric health, I knew I had to do a deep dive. I discovered many, many ways to support children’s growth and development.
At Kerala Ayurveda, many of our wellness clients and students have children and are caretakers. Why do you think this is a trend in our industry?
Parents today are overwhelmed by vast amounts of information offering advice on how to raise happy, healthy kids. Which, of course, is what we all want to do. No one wants to get lost in a sea of material or health trends from all over the globe though. In my own experience, this causes more uncertainty when it comes to making parenting choices. I believe a lot of parents intuitively know wellness is not one-size-fits-all. The science of Ayurveda offers parents a complementary system of health to Western medicine that considers every aspect of a child’s mind and body. Ayurveda perfectly aligns with the way parents view their children, making it a wonderful companion for parents!
What's the first experience you had with a successful Ayurvedic intervention in your family dynamic, or with one of your kids?
Ayurveda offers simple, practical tools and lifestyle routines that increase my peace of mind and support me in my day-to-day life. Childhood is a time when parents need all the support they can get, and I reach into my Ayurvedic toolbox from morning until night. My go-to over the years when my daughter has an upset stomach has been ginger tea. When her stomach hurts or when she’s had too many sweets, she now asks for it. She also drinks warm water every morning from the kettle, which promotes digestion and elimination. It’s a longstanding routine I’m sure she will carry into her future. Knowing my child’s constitution along with some basic Ayurvedic principles helps me balance my daughter’s emotions and prevent simple physical imbalances from worsening. And a little oil massage at bedtime goes a long way!
What are your favorite aspects of Ayurveda to teach parents to support healthy kids?
Something I love to share with parents is that Ayurveda invites you to jump on board wherever you are. Ayurveda will show up if you do and is something everyone can share with their family and bring into their home regardless of circumstance. And as you become familiar with the basic principles of Ayurveda, you will find it is very intuitive, just like parenting.
My absolute, most favorite aspect of Ayurveda? Something is always better than nothing. Anything you do, no matter how small, to promote your child’s health and well-being will make a difference in their lives. They are lucky to have you as their parent!
Alyson Young Gregory is a mother, Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC) and Registered Yoga Teacher, as well as an experienced parenting media writer. After earning her Ayurvedic certificate from Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she joined the team as an Editor for the company’s product sector. You can learn more about Alyson on her website.
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You can find The Parent’s Complete Guide wherever books are sold.
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