The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science.

Albert Einstein

SONJA SHAH-WILLIAMS BSc (Hons) APA

Sonja Shah-Williams

I began my quest for balanced living at a very young age. My parents were born and raised in Gujarat, North West India, where the diet was, and still is, imbued with Ayurvedic principles and is heavily influenced by seasonal produce, thereby providing the nutrients and Ayurvedic qualities required to maintain health, both on a daily and seasonal basis.

My mother, a superb cook, nurtured my passion for instinctive, balanced and wholesome cooking, and having never measured ingredients, she has always relied on understanding the innate properties of foods such as spices, and how they work together to influence the taste and nutritional value of a meal.

She has subconsciously always followed Ayurvedic principles, and used foods as medicine, without labelling them so. As children, my siblings and I were given ‘yellow milk’ when we were poorly. This was milk boiled with turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and jaggery. Today, in the West we are finally beginning to understand the healing properties of food and the importance of preventive health.

My father was one of the first Indian GPs in West Yorkshire. From him, I gained my desire to help to heal, to nurture, and to see people become strong both physically and emotionally, thus getting the most out of life. His belief in the beauty and the potential of all human beings was resolute, as was his understanding of the human psyche.

GROWING UP

Growing up close to the wild, rugged and hauntingly beautiful Yorkshire Moors, I often spent time walking, and admiring the sheer beauty, resilience and adaptability of plants and flowers. I wondered how they survived in such harsh conditions.

In the summer months I would spend time in the garden, carefully picking rose petals and steeping them in water to make my very own rosewater perfume. How simple and beautiful this seemed. I was mesmerised by the roses, by their delicate blooms and heavenly scent, and it is then I understood that all life is intrinsically linked.

OUR CONNECTIONS

I am a great advocate of our oneness with nature, our connectedness to the universe, and the divinity that is in each of us. Einstein’s words resonate profoundly with me. Health is not something we need glorify as a scientific goal; it should be seen as part of our being. I believe that once we discover the scope of Ayurveda, we witness a true sense of our self that cannot be explained by science.

I knew of Ayurveda as a teenager, through my regular family holidays to India, where many people rely solely on Ayurvedic doctors, but it was not until I commenced my degree in 2010 that I realised how powerful this medicine system is. During my internship at a teaching hospital in South India, I observed the dramatic improvement of chronic and complex diseases that allopathic doctors had simply been unable to treat. Patients were ‘miraculously’ healing, having been given an intensive programme of treatments known as Panchakarma. Witnessing such dramatic health improvements was incredibly life-affirming, and my experience confirmed to me that I was studying the right subject.

The Ayurvedic doctors in India who taught me and allowed me to observe them in their work, were humble and without ego. They felt honoured to have been gifted their knowledge to make their patients well again. I too feel privileged to be able to help my clients to heal themselves through Ayurveda, and to become truly, holistically well.

OUR PLACE IN THE NATURAL WORLD

We must accept our place within the natural world and honour the importance of mutual respect between animals, plants and flowers. As an Ayurvedic Medicine Practitioner, I teach through my work that Ayurveda is THE system of medicine that brings balance through our interconnectedness with nature. The healing power of plants and their flowers is simply amazing. My Anala pure flower Ayurvedic oils are a perfect way of allowing you to unlock some of the profound wisdom of Ayurveda.

My passion for Ayurveda and its place in modern life means that I love nothing more than delivering its message to as many people as possible through and my private, one to one consultations, short talks, workshops, supper clubs, and through my pure, hand blended Ayurvedic body oils.