In Conversation
  • Name
    Pratima Raichur
  • Doctor of
    Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Location
    India & New York City
  1. What are your most important daily rituals?

    I’ve long believed that everything that we do can be a ritual. That said, there’s a big difference between a habit, the things we do in default mode, versus, a ritual, where we imbue something with intention. A ritual is something we activate because there is awareness behind the action. Something as simple as drinking water can be a ritual if we place intention behind it to activate the nourishing practice of replenishing our bodies.

    My most important ritual begins first thing in the morning so that I can start my day with positive, life-affirming intentions. Upon waking, I sit up in my bed and take three deep breaths. Breath, to me, connects us to the entire world. Everyone who has ever lived has breathed and shared this very air. My three breaths remind me that I am part of the infinite energy of the universe. Before I get out of bed, I then go through a gratitude ritual. I energetically thank my parents, my guru, my husband, my children, my friends, my clients, and everyone who makes my life beautiful, as well as those who challenge me. I thank the universe for being alive and having one more day to get closer and closer to the truths of my soul. Then I water the plants — even if they need as little as a teaspoon. I take a moment to breathe the air the plants are breathing and tell them that they are loved.

    I have been performing these morning rituals for as long as I can remember. This small journey helps me feel alive in the world. My rituals enable me to surrender to the wisdom of the universe as my day unfolds.

  2. Ayurveda is known as the science of life but your focus has always been skincare. Why did you choose this as your medium for healing?

    Skin talks to me. When I observe skin, nails, and hair, they tell me what is going on inside the mind, body, and spirit. I get a holistic inner picture from these external cues. Simply put, our outer layers are a reflection of our inner being. These are my entry points into how I guide people through the knowledge of Ayurveda and how they can make the best choices to increase balance, happiness, and vitality. The beauty and complexity of Ayurveda are that the teachings provide 72 different ways of looking at a blemish to determine, for example, which energy and emotions someone is experiencing and what’s out of balance. When you compare this to Western medicine, which currently has 3 primary identifications for blemishes (whitehead, blackhead, and cystic) you are able to see the depth of wisdom Ayurveda provides.

  3. What advice do you have for people struggling to live a more balanced life?

    Life shouldn’t be a struggle but many people feel pulled in so many different directions these days that stress seems to be ubiquitous. One of the foremost principles of Ayurveda is that each person is a unique being with their own microcosm of blessings and needs. To give the most precise recommendations, I  would typically seek to understand the individual and their life circumstances, but I do have some universal suggestions that everyone may find useful:

    • Simplify your day. Make a conscious effort not to plan too many things, to finish one task before moving on to the next, and be in the moment.

    • Prioritize proper nutrition. While each person, depending on their dosha, has different needs, generally speaking we could all avoid excess sugar (which makes our energy spike up and down), and lower our intake of dairy, red meat, alcohol, and fried foods that are taxing on the liver and add stress on the body’s digestive processes.

    • Sleep well. Facilitate a nighttime ritual by lowering the lights and turning off your devices at the same time every night.

    • Notice your thoughts. There will always be external circumstances that are objectively stressful but the way we think and respond will either add to the intensity or reduce it. Remember that the degree of stress is a perception and that everything is temporary.