Vedika Global brings Ayurveda to India schools

Students making and trying out face packs made with kitchen ingredients

Students making and trying out face packs made with kitchen ingredients

After completing three years of in-depth education in Ayurveda at Vedika Global Foundation for the Living Wisdom of Ayurveda Yoga and Vedanta, due to life, or may I say through the workings of karma, after marriage with Coimbatore based Indian Ragav Naidu, I moved to India in 2011.

I was wondering how I would give back from the fund of knowledge I had received from my teacher Acharya Shunya Pratichi Mathur.

I was glad I was able to convince a local school to allow me to teach “An Introduction to Ayurveda” series as part of “life skills curriculum”. I decided to teach disease prevention (swasthavritta) via healthy lifestyle (dinacharya).

• In November 2015, a three-session “Introduction to Ayurveda” series was conducted for all 4th and 5th level students (approximately 225 students total).

• In April, 2016, five-session “Introduction to Ayurveda” series was conducted for 10th Standard students (approximately 110 students).

International Yoga Day – Ayurveda Classroom Celebrations – June 21, 2016
• A 3-hour afternoon event was held for more than 300 students, parents and teachers
• Guest speakers, Dr. Sai Deepa Nedungadi (Vaidya and Yoga teacher) and Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty (a leader in the organic farming movement) underscored the importance of Ayurveda with Yoga along with healthy food.

• Students of the Ayurveda program shared their experiences and what Ayurvedic practice or recipe they tried and the effect it had on them.

A few parents said it was the best program they had ever attended at the school.

One boy came up with wonderfully clever slogans to summarize each of the five sessions:
1. Introduction: “A small step towards a redefined lifestyle”

2. Dinacharya: “Do it once, you make a penny. Do it every day, you make a fortune”

3. Agni and Digestion: “Food for the Body isn’t enough, there must be food for the Soul”

4. Beauty: “Your outer beauty will capture the eyes, your inner beauty will capture the heart”

5. Ritucharya: “The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success”

The Gurukulam training I received under my teacher, Acharya Shunya, greatly shaped the way I taught my students. She taught me about Seva, selfless service and Sadhana, living the noble teachings.

The students’ feedback furthers my conviction that this type of education encouraging self-inquiry and self-care can effectively elevate what schools offer students. The children who respond best to the one-size-fits-all and regimented school system may achieve in some areas of academics and meet certain behavior expectations. However, a gurukulam-inspired classroom climate allows a chance to internalize, live, shine and connect with knowledge in multidimensional ways.

I feel blessed to be able to share the life changing wisdom from my teachers and Shastra.

Ishani Lauren Naidu