Sahara Rose is the author of the globally renowned bestseller "The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda" and the "Highest Self Podcast", ranked as #1 in the spirituality category on iTunes. Deepak Chopra described Sahara as a "leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift". In the following interview with Your Om, Sahara tells us how Ayurveda can help heal a broken heart, which books will transform your life and what advice she wish she was given a couple years back.
Sahara states that: "Ayurveda is about teaching you the tools to empower yourself. That's what I advocate, but I believe the only way Ayurveda can live on is if we adapt it to modern times". Coming from a Persian upbringing, influenced by the American culture and finding her path in the Indian ancient healing system, Sahara contains in herself the energy to change the world. She embodies what she advocates: joy, purpose, and consciousness. A path ranging from junk food to raw veganism, from being diagnosed with asthma to orthorexia, she finally found herself immersed in the world’s oldest health system, where the mind and body are interconnected.
A couple of years ago, while volunteering in New Delhi (teaching health and sanitation in the slums), I remember being named ‘the cow’ by locals. Following a raw vegan diet, I was the only person they’d ever seen eat exclusively raw greens. I had heard of Ayurveda back then. To be honest, I thought it was some woo-woo ancient practice that had no scientific evidence. The way my veganism was an uncommon strange practice to the locals, Ayurveda was ancient witchcraft to me.
Therefore, you can imagine I didn’t get into Ayurveda because I thought it was fun, hip or trendy - I got into it because I needed it. My body was shutting down: digestion out of whack, bones constantly getting injured, handfuls of hair falling out every time I brushed it. Confusion was my normal state of mind. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life: I couldn’t sleep, constantly wired & being on edge, I was unable to focus. On top of that, I didn’t get my period for 2 years.
On that trip to India was when I decided to seek help from an ayurvedic practitioner. The moment the doctor saw me she said: "Beta (in translation: daughter), you are too pretty to never have kids" . Without any prior explanations, she knew that my hormone levels were severely unbalanced and that I was infertile… at 21. What I was soon to find out is that my Vata (air energy) was out of balance to the point that my body had gone into perimenopause, I was at risk of osteoporosis and early-stage Alzheimers. Besides all this sounding like proof to my worries, I didn’t know what to do.
We all want more
to come back to less
I so wanted to listen to everything she has to say but the suggestions she gave me were: ghee (Indian clarified butter), mung beans and rice for the rest of my existence. I knew that this couldn’t be true.. that there are so many Blue Zones who didn’t only eat Indian food. A lot of the suggestions also made no sense to me, some of them being: no mushrooms, no fermented foods, no raw foods ever… So I dove in and spent the next two years living in India studying everything there is to now about Ayurveda and becoming certified in Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking. The download came to me instantly when i was 21- I will create a new paradigm, a way to integrate Ayurvedic wisdom with modern recipes and take the best of Ayurveda and the best of science to create something new, real and fresh. I wrote thousands of my own recipes, brought my body (period, too) and brain back into balance.
These later became the recipes to my upcoming book, Eat Feel Fresh: A Contemporary Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook, which is out October 2nd. I am so excited to share this book with you, for which I took a trip back to India to take all the photography in villages, slums, deserts and magical cities where Ayurveda comes from.
Our first love is ourselves. Ayurveda teaches us that when we cannot love ourselves, we cannot love anyone else. Ayurveda has plenty of self-care practices from abhyanga to dry-brushing that will keep your mind busy and away from the heart break. That's why I also love Tantra and understanding the power of our sacred sensuality.
I recommend my book, Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda, which breaks down Ayurveda in practical terms, but also goes in-depth about all of it's facets, from nutrition to digestion to spirituality to self-care to psychology.
Those who are in alignment with themselves and also take action upon the world around them. Physically and mentally, healthy women are in touch with their highest selves and bringing that out into the world. They are the ones who see their dharma as an extension of who they are and work tirelessly to make the world a better place
As an entrepreneur, author and podcaster, my plate is often very full with meetings and deadlines, so I commonly stay awake past midnight. I believe nothing happens to you and everything happens for you: for your growth and wisdom. I ask myself what is the spiritual lesson behind the problem, afterwards addressing it on a deeper level.
4. Abhyanga self-oil massage;
5. And drinking warm water!
There is tons of science-backed research showing Ayurveda is in line with the latest research. For instance, 80% of our serotonin is stored in our gut or the biological differences between the brains of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. However, some of the suggestions (such as avoiding mushrooms) are not scientifically backed and actually come from the British rule (they didn’t want people injesting psychedelic mushrooms, which grow rampantly in India.) So before anything else, be critical, take everything with a pinch of salt (not literally!). My new book, Eat Feel Fresh, is my updated version, called Alkaline Ayurveda, which takes the best of the old and the new
The guidelines of Ayurveda are eternal — the details can be disputed, like the ones I mention above. If you truly understand Ayurveda, you know it is a living and breathing science that is always changing according to the needs of the individuals it serves. So in that perspective, Ayurveda can never be outdated because it’s not set in stone
Deepak Chopra is my biggest inspiration and mentor for bringing Ayurveda to the western world and beginning the discussion of consciousness, way before it was cool. He has dealt with so much and still stands with nobility on the path. I am so honoured that he has written the forewords of both of my books.
1. Is there a quote which caught your attention this month?
"Don’t talk about it, be about it".
2. If you could have someone cook you breakfast every morning, what would you like it to be?
A warming low-glycemic green smoothie from my book "Eat Feel Fresh".
3. What do you think men could learn from women? And vice versa?
Men could learn vulnerability. Women could learn strength.
4. Which of the four elements of nature do you feel closest to and why?
Water—a duality of grace and fluidity. The strength and power.
5. What advice do you wish you were given when you were younger?
- School is a bunch of BS.
- Focus on what sets your soul on fire.
- No one gives a shit about your grades.
- Do your thing, you’re way past it all and the entire system is an illusion.
6. Could you recommend 3 spiritual books, that have shaped and influenced you the most?
Books are not what have influenced me but the teachings of my mind. Go to nature and listen to the sounds of the birds chirp, the rain fall and the wind blow.
These are the books that will transform your life.