Getting to Know Chitra
Doctor of Ayurveda
Chitra is an Ayurvedic Doctor who began as an energy healer looking for a language for what she did naturally. After a 20-year exploration, finally landed on Ayurveda, a whole complete proven ancient system of medicine that encompasses all the holistic practices, including nutrition, massage, yoga, essential oils, lifestyle modification, and much more.
She spent the late 80s and 90's being schooled in and practicing a mixed bag of approaches to healing after being introduced to her own innate energy work by a curandera. Some methods were extremely esoteric and some practical.
When she got a call from her mother with news of her father's failing health, she completely focused on caregiving and spending time really understanding the needs of an aging population and why most methods, while providing some short-term relief did not address the cause, and created all sorts of other complications.
She became completely disillusioned by the health care system (which wasn't hard) as well as new age holistic practices that focused on the founder's technique and teachings.
Why didn’t those methods work completely? Were there ways of healing that were both specific and effective and had thousands of years and millions of good outcomes behind them? Was there a system that did no harm to the body, got rid of the disease, got to the cause, and even rejuvenated the body and mind? It took time but she found Ayurveda. Once finding Ayurveda she discovered that while the principles were sound the methods and practical application were not suited for modern-day women who lived outside of India.
In 2009 she began her formal studies of Ayurveda while running an organic food-buying club, teaching yoga and an active healing practice taking weekend classes. After all the foundation of health is having access to clean whole food and appropriate exercise. At the suggestion of her husband, she moved to Albuquerque to study at the Ayurvedic Institute with Dr. Vasant Lad.
Unfortunately, life happened and she had to put her dream of graduating on hold.
Caregiver once more
Her husband, who was very much a holistic health-conscious yoga practitioner, who had been diagnosed with cancer. The lesson of this experience was to fully understand the role of the mind and social influence on health and healing.
All things Change
She promised her late husband that she would pursue the completion of her formal Ayurvedic schooling at the Ayurvedic Institute. She discovered that her journey and education had gone beyond the scope of what was being taught at AI at the time.
She had by then become one of the first Westerners to tackle the editing and translation of the Ashtanga Hrdayam with Dr. Sanjay Pisharodi.
In 2017, she organized and facilitated the first online Ashtanga Hrdayam study group which was open solely to practitioners of Ayurveda, attendees included novices as well as well-established Ayurvedic doctors and teachers. Today there are a few of these groups which are directly descended from the original study group.
There was still something missing...
She decided to become a Doctor of Ayurveda by her 61st birthday. AND DID!!!
Chitra currently lives in Albuquerque, NM (the traditional land of the Pueblo of Sandia and Tewa). She is exploring the notion of being an expat or at least the notion of spending a few months of the year living out of the country.
She's a mom to 4 cats who are forever walking in front of her Zoom camera seeking attention.
She is currently committed to dedicating the remainder of her life to the promotion of Ayurveda specifically as it pertains to menopausal women making sure that a woman's health is more respected, her natural processes not medicalized, and sustainable.