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I spoke with Varsha Khatri a few weeks ago when she came to Fairfield to visit her alma mater. She is a graduate of the BA degree in Physiology and Health in 2008, and about 3 years ago, she settled with her husband in London—where she was born. There, she began a health practice called Illuminated Health which has become quite successful. Varsha utilizes Maharishi AyurVeda, yoga, nutrition and herbal medicine to help her clients achieve balance and health. The word about Varsha and Illuminated Health is spreading.

Varsha grew up in San Diego, CA and realized early on that she wanted to become a doctor. It was the fact that her mom’s pinched nerve from a car accident could not be correctly diagnosed, that propelled Varsha to a search for answers outside of the realm of traditional Western medicine. Even after diagnosis, doctors were not able to help her mom, so Varsha knew that the answer was not within traditional, modern medicine. Her mother’s continuing pain led them to take the advice of a family friend, who recommended yoga. After just a few weeks of practicing yoga, her mother was completely healed. Varsha witnessed how alternative modalities can truly help, and became determined to find something more effective and viable in solving health issues.

She found a treatment modality that could create balance so that disease could be manageable in an unique program in Integrative Medicine at Maharishi International University (MIU). She enrolled in the BA program at MIU to broaden her understanding of health, and to go beyond the muddle of stab-in-the-dark, medical diagnosis. Her family had no background in AyurVeda or Transcendental Meditation, but Varsha knew immediately that MIU would be right for her. Once there, her appreciation of the ancient principles grew in leaps and bounds, and she quickly learned Transcendental Meditation, and then the Sidhis.  Says Varsha, “My friends call me resourceful—there is no need to re-invent the wheel! Maharishi AyurVeda offers scientific research on ancient principles of health and wellness. It’s the real deal–and highly effective.”

After graduating the BA program in Physiology and Health, Varsha went to JFK University on the west coast, where she studied and earned a Masters in Health Education and Nutrition. She graduated in 2011.

Today, Varsha finds herself increasingly in demand at her practice, Illuminated Health, in London. Her practice has grown by word of mouth, through satisfied clients. She combines the best of nutritional solutions with traditional Maharishi Ayurveda and helps her clients balance doshas with her knowledge of food, yoga, meditation and herbs.

Varsha learned about the most important component of health — digestion. Varsha explains, that if digestive fire is dim, the food we eat is not assimilated properly and then, toxins (or ama) are created. This is the root cause of imbalance and eventually, disease.

Varsha employs nutritional testing to determine the best foods each individual should eat to create health. “Each patient is unique, with individual needs, so I combine traditional AyurVedic herbs and spices with the foods needed to charge up absorption of nutrients and offset weakness,” explains Varsha.

She never forces lifestyle change on her patients, so, for example, if they eat meat, she doesn’t impose a vegetarian diet. “I use nutritional and allergy testing to determine what is deficient and depending on results, I customize a plan to create holistic balance.” Her focus is to locate and handle areas of individual stress—a major cause of disease in our modern world. In this regard, she recommends yoga classes, which she offers to groups or individually. “I have had excellent results with (hatha) yoga for children who have ADD or ADHD. That, along with nutrition, effectively addresses attention deficit and hyperactivity in kids,” Varsha told me.

“It’s an organic process on several levels,” she says. “Foods eaten should be organic and fresh and whole. And food choices should proceed naturally from each individual’s lifestyle.” Her practice continues to grow organically, as well. “The growth is exponential–If someone had told me four years ago that I’d be looking to hire a nutritionist or a yoga teacher, I’d have never believed it!”

Based on ancient principles of Maharishi AyurVeda, Varsha applies the wisdom of ancient sages found in Charak Samhita, the original Vedic text about health, which declares that one person’s medicine is another’s poison.

Varsha is working on the big picture of the world of health. She is currently working on a book that brings together Maharishi AyurVeda with Modern Nutrition for everyday living. “The need is very real for a new paradigm of health which is more effective at solving health issues,” says this bright, young business woman. “I like that Maharishi AyurVeda combines ancient wisdom with modern science.”

Varsha is a shining example of the power of focused attention to one’s vision has in making a vision become reality. Her advice to anyone who aspires to make a career of Maharishi AyurVeda, is, “Keep focused and follow your dream, no matter what anyone says! Work hard towards your dreams and success will be there.”

Lisa Moseley is a contributor to the MUM blogs. Over the past 15 years, Lisa worked a realtor in the DC/MD and Fairfield area. Prior to that, she taught computer software in the government at the DOJ and EPA. She got her BA in English at FIU and has raised five children (and has four grandchildren).