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From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to help people heal and be happy. Although I haven’t always been certain where my path would lead, I’ve known one thing for sure: The importance of being yourself and actively creating a meaningful life. In fact, at my high school graduation I gave a speech centered around one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes: “This above all: To thine own self be true.”

I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J., where I explored existentialism and the various factors that contribute to creating a joyful and purposeful life. After receiving my master’s in Educational Psychology at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., I spent more than 10 years in the mental health field working in local hospitals.

Although my work with children, adolescents and adults was challenging and rewarding, over time it took a toll. I began feeling stuck in a rut, and my job was no longer fulfilling. I was burned out and restless. I felt like I was going through the motions, not really living my life. Although I didn’t know it then, I’d become disconnected from my true self – and the effects started to show in my body (gaining weight, lacking energy), mind (feeling critical, judgmental, irritable, sad), and soul (feeling unfulfilled, lost).

What I did know was that I wanted to help people heal, to do more than just treat their symptoms. I also didn’t want a job that was “just a paycheck.” I needed to make a change. I just wasn’t sure what to do next.

After careful consideration, I resigned from my job in July 2012 with no real plan or job lined up. For someone who never makes decisions lightly, this felt incredibly scary. But staying in a situation that wasn’t serving my highest good was toxic, and it was costing me my health, happiness, peace of mind and most of all, my sense of self-fulfillment.

One month later I began studying the Ayurvedic system of healing. I attended the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and became a Certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor.

Being Indian, I was aware of Ayurveda growing up. But it wasn’t until I began my studies that I was able to truly appreciate the profound wisdom of this beautiful science. I also saw clearly how all of my previous experiences had prepared and led me to this place. It is exactly the place I am meant to be: honoring my desires and aligned with my soul’s true purpose.

The themes and philosophies that I’ve explored throughout my life are incorporated in this holistic system of healing: psychology, spirituality, medicine/healing, and metaphysics. Ayurveda teaches that a meaningful and joyful life must involve a healthy mind, body, and spirit; and how emotional and psychological components – if not addressed and healed – can contribute to dis-ease. In the wise words of Dr. Sunil Joshi, a guest teacher at Kripalu, “The root cause of disease is not listening to your soul.”

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of honoring who we are and being true to our own self. It’s not simply about treating symptoms, but about proactively creating a healthy life – one that includes balance, bliss, and personal fulfillment.

I continue to enhance my Ayurvedic knowledge, and most recently completed an intensive seminar on “Mind & Disease: The Flow of Pathology from Mind to Matter” at The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. I am also proud to be a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) and currently volunteer on one of its sub-committees.

As founder of Your Balanced Self LLC, I have created a practice that allows me to integrate my personal passions with my academic and professional experiences, in order to help others live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. It is my joy and my privilege to share this wonderful gift with my clients.