Ayurveda practitioner uncovers the healer within
Speaking with Dena Kaigel, one immediately notices a sense of calm. Engaging and sincere, she is the type of person that looks others in the eye and makes them feel unique and important. A native of the Czech Republic, Kaigel is an Ayurveda practitioner in Atascadero, where she lives with her husband, Olan.
Just what, one might ask, is Ayurveda? A Sanskrit word that means “science of life” or “knowledge of life,” Ayurveda originated in India and is believed to be the oldest holistic health system.
Ayurveda, Kaigel said, is nature’s medicine for wellness. Humans are made up of five elements: ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. These make up people’s energies, or doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha; each has a certain function in bodies. Humans come equipped with all three, a Body Constitution, but with different configurations or percentages.
“We all have different combinations of these elements,” Kaigel said. “We are so connected with nature and feel what is happening outside in nature every day. We start feeling much better as we are in tune with nature. Ayurveda looks for the causes of our imbalances and removing the causes so they will not undermine our well-being.”
A healthy person, as defined in Sushrut Samhita, is “he whose doshas are in balance, appetite is good, all tissues of the body and all natural urges are functioning properly, and whose mind, body and spirit are cheerful.”
Kaigel’s first introduction to Ayurveda was nearly 20 years ago when she was reading Deepak Chopra’s “Perfect Health.”
“The book introduced me to Ayurveda and how we should be in harmony with nature; it resonated with me,” Kaigel said.
After studying more on the subject, Kaigel underwent an Ayurvedic deep cleanse, Panchakarma, to detoxify her body and open channels for better flow after experiencing health challenges with her nervous system.
“We get polluted by lifestyles – food, environment – everything influences us,” Kaigel said. “I felt so much better afterwards. Then, I heard about Mount Madonna Institute of Ayurveda opening near Santa Cruz, so I enrolled.”
Although Kaigel’s initial intentions for enrolling were to deepen her personal knowledge and for the benefit of her family, she soon came to the realization that she had to share Ayurveda with others.
“Initially, it was not my intention to have another career,” she said. “It just happened that way. It is very satisfying and rewarding; I see incredible shifts with small changes. So, naturally, when people feel better, I feel great. That’s my reward.”
And, according to Kaigel, practicing Ayurveda is not just about feeling great; it opens up a wider view that we are all healers and within us we have the power to heal ourselves.
“We all have the right to claim this happiness, but sometimes we just don’t know how to go about it,” Kaigel said. “Practicing Ayurveda has brought me wisdom and incredible peace. It keeps me centered and better equipped to deal with stuff going on around me.”
Kaigel is also certified in Reiki and offers workshops at Serenity Yoga Retreat Spa in Templeton focusing on insomnia. To learn more, call 903-3276 or go to www.HealingWithAyurvedaNow.com.