Keshari Das, AP
Keshari Das is a Brooklyn-based Ayurvedic practitioner, offering traditional bodywork and educational workshops. She has devoted herself to the lifelong study of Ayurveda and is committed to sharing its empowering teachings and wisdom in an inclusive, antiracist, accessible, and sustainable manner. Learn more about Keshari on her website:
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Keshari's Education and Experience
Keshari comes from a family of satyagrahis—nonviolent freedom fighters in India’s independence movement—and her early exposure to Gandhian principles inspired her exploration along paths of mindful practice.
She has immersed herself in studies with Vasant Lad and The Ayurvedic Institute faculty, Dr. Claudia Welch, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Karen Rose, and Tyler Wauters, amongst many beloved others.
Keshari is also grateful to have studied with the inaugural cohort of Banyan's Living Ayurveda Internship (LAI) and to now serve with Cassidy Acacia as the internship's Co-Coordinator.
Keshari's Point of View
How were you introduced to Ayurveda?
I first inherited Ayurveda through my Ma's karha (homemade herbal teas) and my grandmothers' mustard oil massages and coconut oil head rubs, all very soothing for my body and mind. I was also nurtured by a delicious variety of traditional home-cooked Indian meals, and developed cravings unusual for a kid raised in the west. I still salivate at the thought of bitter melon or neem, sautéed in ghee with turmeric and salt, atop steaming white rice.
Curiously, I don't remember learning the word "Ayurveda" until I was working in a yoga studio as a 21-year-old trying to navigate a quarter-life crisis in NYC. Ayurveda was not something we named as a family while I was growing up—but it was a matter-of-fact way of being, to the extent that our diasporic lives allowed.
When are you most likely to go out of balance and how do you bring yourself back in balance using Ayurveda?
I'm most likely to go out of balance as fall starts arriving, and when I experience any significant life transition. I bring myself back into balance with a return to dinacharya if I've strayed, practicing pranayama as taught by Vasant Lad, immersing in nature, chanting, oiling all the things, having warm, soupy, hingvastak-smothered meals, and giving myself permission to sleep as early and as long as my body seems to need.
What does the future of Ayurveda look like to you?
For Ayurveda to be experienced sustainably and equitably, I believe its future must involve bioregional practice focused on mutual aid, and cultural appreciation rather than appropriation.
What's one Ayurvedic practice anyone can implement to spur change in their life, right here, right now?