Ayurveda Union of Midwest promotes India’s ancient system of medicine

Deep Prajwalan: From Left: Harish Kolasani, Sanjay Kumar Pal, Vaidya Ashlesha Raut, Vaidya Swati Mhaske, Vidya Nahar, Yash Desai, Poonam Gupta. PHOTO: AUM

Ayurveda Day was hosted by the Ayurveda Union of the Midwest (AUM) at the National India Hub community center in Schaumberg, IL, on Sunday, November 5, 2023. The theme was “Ayurveda for one health.”

Founded in 2022, AUM (ayurvedaunionofmidwest.org) is a regional nonprofit organization that represents five states— Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas—with the mission of bringing awareness of Ayurveda to the community and promoting the knowledge and practice of Ayurveda for the wellbeing of communities. 

The Ayurveda system that promotes, maintains, and restores health with holistic practices and natural medicines, Ayurveda Day fell on November 10 this year, coinciding with Dhanvantari Jayanti, organizers said. According to India’s Ministry of Ayush, 2023 Ayurveda Day was to be celebrated in about 100 countries.

The event in Schaumberg was free to the public and, received an overwhelming response from the community, as 200 attendees filled the venue.

A section of the audience of some 200 attendees at Ayurveda Day in Schaumberg, Ill., hosted by the Ayurveda Union of Midwest. PHOTO: AUM

Members of AUM who were not in Illinois participated virtually, extending the event’s reach to the 5-state region represented by AUM, organizers said.

Sanjeev Pal, a representative of the Consulate General of India, welcomed the audience and briefly introduced Ayurveda Day. Other guests included Harish Kolasani, founder of the National India Hub, which hosted the event, Poonam Gupta, chair of the Yoga and Meditation committee of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, Lemont, IL.

The event was strongly supported by SEWA International, Hindu American Foundation, Ananda Ayurveda Academy, National India Hub, Bestbrains, HemVeda, and Vyayama.

The evening’s theme was “mindful nutrition with Ayurveda and yoga.” The two-hour event included informative presentations by a panel of impressive experts moderated by Ruchi Saxena, and it concluded with an Ayurvedic meal.

Vaidya Swati Mhaske, B.A.M.S., founder of HemaVeda Ayurveda (Crystal Lake, IL), discussed food combinations that can be problematic and the significant health effects that they can cause.

Yashaswini Desai presented the benefits and uses of two of Ayurveda’s most valued, versatile, and powerful herbs— ashwagandha and brahmi. Desai, the regional director of AUM, is a technology professional as well as a yoga teacher active in several area non-profits, is now serving at Hindu American Foundation (HAF).

Vaidya Ashlesha Raut, B.A.M.S., M.D., Program Director of Ananda Ayurveda Academy and Chief Ayurveda Clinician at Ayurveda for Healing, discussed the importance of modifying the diet in response to changes in the seasons.

Vidya Nahar, who has taught yoga for nearly 20 years, is pursuing a PhD in yoga, and teaches classes in healthy vegetarian cooking, discussed yogic lifestyle and eating practices that support discovery of true self, such as not eating when emotionally upset.

Dr. K.V. Rao, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine specialist, and Ayurvedic practitioner, spoke on the ways that Ayurveda targets the use of herbs to individual clients and scenarios.

Afterwards, the panel took questions from the audience, and many attendees took advantage of the opportunity for direct discussions with the experts.   

AUM’s event was organized by Vaidya Ashesha Raut, AUM president, and Vaidya Swati Mhaske, AUM board member.

Membership in the organization is open to Ayurveda professionals and students, and others interested in the system to improve their lives, the press release said.



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