What is comfort food for you? What are the foods that are nourishing? IS—In India, family culture is stronger than in North America; the connections and ties are stronger, and things have passed down from generation to generation. India has more history that way. The contrast in North America is a feeling of liberation and freedom because you throw so much of what came before you out. This is what genuine sons of immigrants have done. Still, the recipes were metamorphosed into the richer, sweeter, more enticing variations, so it wasn’t the simple foods from home. And what happened when you think about comfort food in North America was a lot of the foods that came from the old countries that came to North America. Because there isn’t this emphasis on tradition, the wisdom that went with the food from those countries gets lost, and it gets muddy. For me, when I think of comfort food, I think of the foods I ate growing up and eating the foods at my mother’s table. The nourishment is the love of coming to the table and sitting with others. The other thing that I speak a lot about is how we should not cook when we’re unhappy. Don’t cook when you’re angry because you’re going to put that emotion into the food. It reminds me of a book, Like Water for Chocolate. It’s such a great book, the author, she talks about how you should put love into whatever you are doing. This is especially powerful when we’re preparing meals as we’re putting the emotions we have literally into the food we’re preparing and serving to eat. What Ayurveda tips do you have for healing postpartum? IS—The body changes a lot during pregnancy as you’re gaining more of the earth element and more water and some more fluid in the body to keep the baby safe. Kapha dosha is earth and water, so Kapha grows, which allows the baby to be sustained and nourished because Kapha is love. It’s a big journey to come out into the world away from this watery, fluid, soft, protective space for the mama and the baby. Once the baby comes out, there’s this emptiness; there’s all this space. Whenever there are any quick changes, we shift into the ether element and Vata dosha. The feeling is more anxious, the mind and nerves are tense, and the mental chatter starts. Postpartum is the body trying to process this transition, the new normal, and Ayurveda helps safeguard and sustain the body. Postpartum depression and that anxiety that you feel is very normal in the transition. To keep the body and mind feeling warm, grounded, and nurtured, here are some things I recommend: Abhyanga is perfect for postpartum. Using sesame oil would be nice in a colder climate, especially if you have colder hands and feet. Eat nourishing foods like soups and stews.Make a cocoon for yourself. Be mindful of what you allow into your life. Distill all the people, conversations, smells, everything; be clear about what you bring into your life. The first six weeks after the baby is born are sacred. You want to be mindful as you regain your strength so that you and your baby are feeling nurtured and nourished. What is a ritual you honour?IS— A word comes to mind for me, Dinacharya. It means to be or to have mastery over the day. It’s this really beautiful idea that in every single day that you live, you have the opportunity to live your best self and to master that day. What are some of the Ayurveda practices you do each day? IS— The biggest thing you need in life is your health, and you need your health so that you can be here for whatever purpose you were put on earth to achieve and fulfill. If you don’t have good health, you’re going to be struggling all the time to try to achieve your goals. The formula is really simple. It’s very practical. Your physical body is here to help you manifest your ideas and wishes, and goals. If your body isn’t working at its optimal level, you’re just going to create all sorts of different imbalances. So all these practices are ways of keeping the physiology functioning well. I also think of it, especially in these times now, is to strengthen your aura. Your aura is your first line of immunity. When I talk about boundaries and protection, I’m really talking about how I can make sure that every energy field I carry around me is strengthened and happy. Even if I bumped into things, I don’t become fractured or lost.