An Interview with Sankari Wegman, Ayurvedic Consultant at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa
By Linda Egenes
For many women today, it’s hard to find a moment to breathe, let
alone take care of your health. Whether you’re working in the office or
in the home, raising your children or caring for elderly parents—it’s a
balancing act just to get through the day.
Yet taking care of yourself and staying in balance mentally and
physically is central to meeting all the demands of your family and
“Women today have so many areas of life to attend to, it’s important
that they set aside time to maintain their own health and happiness,”
says Sankari Wegman, an Ayurvedic expert at The Raj
Maharishi Ayurveda Health Spa in Fairfield, Iowa. A wife and mother of
two young children, she herself juggles work, teaching and home life.
Here she offers six simple suggestions from Maharishi Ayurveda to create more balance today.
1. Vata – The Key to Balance
“The key for women to stay in balance is to take care of Vata dosha,”
Sankari says. “When Vata dosha goes out of balance, it can manifest as
worry, stress and tension. And because it is fast-moving by nature, it
goes out of balance easily and then leads the other doshas. So Vata
dosha is the key to staying calm and healthy.”
Vata dosha, which is the mind-body operator that governs movement in the body, is quick, rough, dry, and irregular by nature.
“To balance Vata, it’s important to maintain a regular daily routine,
starting with a consistent, early bedtime and waking time,” Sankari
says. “Regular exercise, regular sleep, regular meditation, daily yoga,
daily Ayurvedic Oil Massage, regular mealtimes—all of these things help keep Vata dosha in balance.”
2. Enlist the Help of Family
Where do you find the time to add these extra items to your daily
routine? For Sankari, the solution is to involve the entire family.
“It can be hard to fit anything new into your already-busy life,”
Sankari says. “But the good thing is that your family can do it with
you. Then you don’t feel separate from your family while taking care of
For example, when she’s doing her daily yoga asanas, her children
follow along. “They don’t have to do it perfectly, but they are learning
healthy habits that will stay with them for life,” notes Sankari. “When
you have a regular daily routine, the whole family is on that routine
and benefits from it.”
3. Plan Time for Yourself
Once or twice a week, arrange for your husband or friend to take care
of the kids so you can take a break from your chores and
“Taking dancing classes once or twice a week in the evening, or
meeting a friend for a walk early in the morning—these are things I do
just for me,” Sankari says. “I get to exercise and share time with
friends. I think it’s really healthy for women to take a break, to do
something that brings joy, whether it’s taking a painting class, meeting
friends for breakfast, or going to the gym.”
Sankari likes exercising with her friends, because they help motivate
her. “The key to balancing Vata dosha is to be regular, so combining
exercise with meeting friends is a great way to bring more encouragement
and support to staying on a healthy daily routine.”
4. Melt Away Stress with Deep Rest
The importance of good sleep and daily meditation cannot be overestimated.
“There is a tendency for women to do so much for others, to get
tired, so you need to make sure you schedule time to rest and rejuvenate
with your daily meditation,” Sankari says. “Even though time is tight,
you can juggle your schedule to make time. Alternate with your spouse,
or meditate before the children come home. Just having that focus, the
rest you gain in meditation goes a long way.”
Sankari and her husband, Keith, follow a set morning routine, where one practices the Transcendental Meditation® technique and
the other starts the children on their Ayurvedic Oil Massage, bathing
and breakfast. Then they switch roles, so they both get to meditate.
“They see us meditating, and they see it as Daddy’s turn, Mommy’s
turn,” Sankari says. “And now that my son is 5, he is doing the
children’s meditation, so he takes his turn too.”
Sankari says she doesn’t feel guilty about the time she spends away
from her children, because her children like it when she meditates.
“When you’re rested, you dive within yourself and replenish, and you
come out with more love, more to give.”
5. Eat Wholesome, Non-GMO, Organic Foods
Eating regularly (at approximately the same time each day) and eating
well-cooked meals helps balance Vata dosha and leads to strong immunity
for the whole family.
“Learn to eat those foods that are healthy for your body type, and
avoid those things that are hard to digest,” advises Sankari. “If you
are tense or worried, for instance, it’s not a good idea to eat salads
for lunch every day. Rather, you’ll want to soothe Vata dosha and eat
warm, fresh, cooked foods and consume warm drinks.”
Preparing home-cooked meals is healthier and draws the family
together. For example, for winter breakfasts, Sankari prepares hot rice
cereal or cream of wheat, with cooked apples and raisins that she soaks
“This is something the kids love and is good for my husband and me
too,” she says. “It’s so important for women not to skip breakfast, to
sit down for a warm meal rather than eating on the go. It helps start
the day right and balances Vata dosha.”
If the family has to eat outside the home at lunch, one Ayurvedic option is to prepare kitchari
(a full protein made of rice and split mung-bean dhal that can be
carried inside a small thermos), along with steamed vegetables.
“It doesn’t have to be complicated—you can provide a simple
home-cooked meal that is much healthier than what you or your children
would purchase,” Sankari says.
For the evening meal, it helps to have part of the meal prepared
before you come home from work, so you don’t feel pressured and hungry
while you cook. You could prep the veggies in the morning, or prepare
soup or veggies with grains in a crock pot.
“Even making fresh flatbreads (chapatti)
is an easy thing to do, once you get the hang of it,” Sankari says.
“Kids love forming the dough into balls and rolling it out.”
Sankari finds that her children have become accustomed to warm foods
and drinks, and even request them. “I’ve been giving my older son warm
water or warm Organic Calming (Vata) Tea,
and now he doesn’t crave cold drinks. The warm foods and warm drinks
support good digestion and won’t throw Vata out of balance, thus
contributing to better immunity.”
6. Support Your Mind and Body with Herbal Food Supplements
Taking herbal food supplements can help reduce stress and boost immunity.
“Vital Lady is
ideal for increasing energy levels and clarity of mind, and helps a
woman balance so many tasks at work and at home,” Sankari says. “For
women over 40, Rejuvenation for Ladies helps restore that youthful glow. It promotes cellular regeneration, which slows both biological and psychological aging.”
Sankari keeps Bio-Immune in her medicine chest to help purify toxins and to support the body’s natural immune response. She also recommends taking Maharishi Amrit Kalash regularly to rejuvenate the mind and body and improve immunity.
“I highly recommend Stress Free Mind and Stress Free Emotions,” she says. “These are wonderful, powerful supplements to help us manage the stresses we encounter every day.” Worry Free
is also a powerful Vata-balancing formula. It addresses Apana Vata and
is useful not just for worry, but also for general balancing of Vata.
Stress Free Mind is ideal for anyone who is under mental pressure at
work, or who is prone to worry and mental tension. Stress Free Emotions
helps us handle emotional stressors that are causing irritability or
sadness in our lives, whether from the family, money pressures, or work
relationships. Sankari cautions that because they are potent, it isn’t
necessary to take a lot to get results—just follow the directions on the
Since Vata dosha also governs the cycles of a woman’s life, such as
menstruation, it’s important for the busy woman to give her body extra
support, Sankari says. “Smooth Cycle helps us to maintain monthly cycles that are balanced and even blissful. And for the menopause years, Midlife for Women I and II help balance Vata disturbance and help keep the menopause years smooth and comfortable,” she says.
For your best energy, emotional balance and immune strength,
Ayurvedic experts emphasize the importance of maintaining a balanced
state of digestion (agni). Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus),
taken nightly before sleep, supports regular elimination and
detoxification. It also helps the body assimilate food and other herbal
formulations. It is considered the one Ayurvedic herbal to take daily.
Sankari also recommends consulting an expert in Maharishi Ayurveda to
learn which herbal supplements and dietary and lifestyle
recommendations are most effective for your mind-body type. And whenever
you’re taking herbal supplements, she advises following a regular
routine and eating the right foods for best results.
While creating balance in your life can take some effort, it’s an investment well worth making.
“Every stage gives a flavor of the next stage,” Sankari says. “You
may not feel you have the time, but if you take care of yourself now, it
helps you feel healthier in the future—so you can support and enjoy
your family in a blissful way for many years to come. Sometimes it’s
hard to see the big picture, but taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for your family.”