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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 148 > La vida Veda

La vida Veda

Jasmine Hemsley shares her Ayurvedic journey from London’s early yoga scene, to panchakarmic serenity in India, and the lessons in balance and intuition she’s learned along the way

T he first time I heard the word ‘Ayurveda’, I was 20 years old, and yoga was making its way onto the London scene. Unlike the dedicated yoga studios today, yoga was only ever taught in gyms and, every now and then, one of the teachers would mention something about chakras, or encourage us to open our mouths and ‘om’. I can still remember my younger self wishing that the teacher would get on with it – into the movement, but a part of me also liked it, because I kept going back. I’d always respected the mystical, and the idea of counterbalancing the busy with the still stayed with me. We all need balance, yet we so rarely know where to begin. But everything would become clear once I began to tap into the intuitionsupporting wisdom of Ayurveda.

I had just turned 30 when the recession hit London. Nick, my partner, and I went to Sydney. The most random people would begin telling me that they meditated. I remember saying to Nick, ‘This is weird. Why does everyone keep talking to me about this?’ Then I met Gary Garrow, and spent three days practising Vedic meditation with him. It was as though I had narcolepsy – I just kept falling asleep because I had so much builtup and longstanding fatigue, and my body had finally been given permission to deeply rest at a level it had never before experienced

Sacred and soulsoothing I had no doubt that it worked and that it had the most incredible e. ects on my body and mind – I was no longer cynical, and Gary had this way of planting little seeds, almost as throwaway asides, that would set my mind o. , and encourage me to try something new. He mentioned tonguescraping, which I now do every morning, and that too, is an ancient Ayurvedic method that has helped me understand how our bodies build up ama (or toxins), and how we can clear them naturally. It was Gary who introduced me to Will Williams, with whom I started learning the Vedas, the most sacred Hindu texts, written around 1500 BCE. My mind opened up, my body responded and my life seemed to blossom as a result, too… I was on the journey, and wanted to continue. Each time, I experienced anything relating to Vedic science, I felt an a_nity with it, and it was Will who recommended a place for panchakarma, a mind-body-spirit healing experience, that cleanses you on a cellular level. It was something Nick and I had wanted to experience for years, so offwe flew, to Hyderabad, India.

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About Psychologies

It’s all about love this month. In our 18-page Dossier we look at the reality of making your relationships work once the rush of lust wears off. We encourage you to choose to love each other, imperfections and all. For those who are struggling, we’re giving away our 30-day ‘How to save your relationship’ online course with relationship expert Sarah Abell– worth £47. We are also looking at how to navigate bringing up teenage children with our coaching columnist Kim Morgan, plus discover a new way to deal with grief - over dinner! Gratitude is the theme of our special gift guide for Christmas and beyond. We’ve partnered with Etsy, our favourite online portal for unique gifts made with love. Who and what are you grateful for this month? 
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