Vaidya "Shaaranya" Geetanjali Chakraborty
What inspires me about Ayurveda is that food is the first line of defense. This science helps us gain a therapeutic understanding of food and its importance in healing. The humble kitchen becomes a powerful force in bringing health back to our families. Ayurveda empowers us to become self-reliant by understanding our own constitution, and developing an awareness of imbalance, along with the knowledge of restoring balance. It is a completely revolutionary approach that empowers us with a democratized language for health.
Geetanjali is a California-based Ayurveda practitioner and consultant. She has been a speaker at various national conferences like the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), International Herb Symposium, Samuel Merritt University, California Institute of Integral Studies and Silicon Valley's Health Technology Forum and At One International Festival in Suzhou, China where she moderated a panel of Ayurveda doctors. She pioneered a donation-based clinic at the India Community Center in Milpitas, where she has served over 300 clients. She teaches introductory workshops on Ayurveda at Stanford University on a regular basis, focused on a diet and lifestyle perspective of seeing “food as medicine”. Before her Ayurveda career, Geetanjali was a molecular biologist at Georgetown and Stanford University.
Geetanjali has a Master of Science (MS) in Biochemistry from Georgetown University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Maharishi University of Management Sciences. She is a graduate of Vedika Global's five-year Ayurveda Clinical Specialist Program. After graduating, she also served as its Dean of Ayurveda Studies for 2 years.
The Swakitch Story
In the late 19th century, a man decided to undertake a strange pilgrimage, not to temples, but to villages, where he would give a curious gift to the women of the village. The gift was of nine seeds of plants that would aid the women in protecting the health of their families. This man would explain to them how to use these plants, and his claim was ambitious: “Respect and nurture these plants in your homes, and you will never be overpowered by sickness in your home.”
As a pilgrim, he did not charge any money for these seeds or for his teaching. Instead, he relied on the generosity of the villagers, and they responded by taking care of him wherever he went. In his own humble way, without any fundraising or grants, he had undertaken to transform the health of his land.
Beyond the seeds and the teachings left in the hands of the village women, this man laid the foundation for a new model of health. One that is not held captive in ivory towers of learning, but made accessible to those of humble means.
This story is immensely inspiring to me, and the word Swakitch is made up of 'Swa' + 'Kitchen.' Swa is the Sanskrit root for self-reliance (swadheen), swadisht (delicious) and swasthya (good health). Swakitch is dedicated to promoting self-reliance through the Ayurvedic kitchen where you can manage your health and lifestyle through a delicious diet made with healing spices. Swakitch is a modern pilgrimage inspired by all my Ayurveda teachers, with the tools of our time.