Acharya Shunya has always been the bright, unwavering flame leading Ayurveda students into truth. The world doesn't see Ayurveda through her eyes. And for people like Acharya Shunya, their path is lonely. Just ask Gandhi, Ammachi, or Mother Teresa. It is not easy to tread the path that few follow. But that lonely path touches far more people and brings the type of change this world needs. There is a hunger for this knowledge in its pure, unfiltered form. I've always loved this Robert Frost poem. The line, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" is all about Acharya Shunya.
Acharya Shunya has a special gift for translating these ancient principles into our modern-day life experiences, drawing upon her experience as a mother (of a teenage son and a pet dog), wife, daughter-in-law, etc., and often using her trademark sense of humor to illustrate her points in a more vivid way. I have appreciated Acharya Shunya's unshakable belief in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, which is so strong that she encourages her students to not take her word for any teaching, but rather to apply the teachings in their own lives and see how it makes a difference.
Acharya Shunya’s teachings are also genuine; in addition to her signature sense of humor, I have also witnessed her being moved to tears; she is incredibly humble and sincere and expresses her truth in the present moment without regards to what others might think of her. I particularly appreciate her willingness to openly share the challenges she has faced and overcome over the course of her own spiritual journey. Having overcome those challenges herself, she has a tremendous sense of empathy, compassion and understanding towards any bumps in the road that her students encounter. Acharya Shunya's sincerity has allowed me to tap more deeply into my own authentic voice to speak my truth even when it is uncomfortable and for that I am deeply grateful.
Sreedev M. Newman
Studying Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya has changed every facet of my life. In the first 9 months of my studies alone, I lost 13 lbs., regulated my hormones naturally, stopped getting frequently sick and my whole emotional outlook has improved. I am continually amazed at the beauty and simplicity of these teachings and how easily I can apply them to my daily life. I highly recommend that anyone interested in increased health, vitality and joy begin this journey for themselves.
Amy Lewis, Massage Therapist, Energy Worker, Life Coach, Entrepreneur
A personal transformation studying with Acharya Shunya inspired me to bring Ayurveda to Stanford, juvenile halls, and write for millions of readers online.
Ananta Ripa Ajmera, Founder of Whole Yoga & Ayurveda
When I think of Acharya Shunya, my heart swells with so much gratitude it’s as if it will burst. I was suffering in body and mind and soul, stuck in a life where I could not commit to anything but overworking and simply struggling to survive my mounting health problems. I can tell you now, that within a short span of time, I have lost 40 pounds, improved the quality of my skin, and eliminated 5 previous years of severe hives, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes.
Through that unhealthy period of my life (and even longer than that really) I was looking for relief, but more importantly guidance, knowledge, and hopefully answers. And as the proverb goes, “When you are ready, the teacher appears”. And “Wow!” what a teacher came into my vicinity. The sheer love and passion she held for Ayurveda and Vedanta, the wisdom that moved, motivated, and animated her, first led me to study with Acharya Shunya, and my body and mind began to rapidly improve. In 2011, I became a full-time student, ready to incorporate this science into my life full-time.
Acharya Shunya does not let you forget the bigger picture; it is your soul that leads you to knowledge like Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta. Throughout all my health problems, my soul never forgot that the goal is to be happy without reason, to be successful, and to be a participant in this game called humanity. My good fortune has led me to many teachers that helped move me through the dark times, but Acharya Shunya is one of those teachers that gave me the necessary tools to access my own strength, power and purpose.
Acharya Shunya is a powerful, honest, true-to-life teacher too. She speaks from the heart, leads by example, and is not afraid to look into her own life to teach through those savory or unsavory examples. These qualities have always been an important aspect in my search for teachers. To be taught by Acharya Shunya is to be in the presence of the Sun. Any remorse, guilt, or fear melts away the ice from the mind when listening to her speak and you begin to understand that darkness cannot survive the presence of light; unconsciousness can’t survive in the presence of consciousness. She moves you with her ability to expound the scientific and complicated knowledge of the Shastra (ancient textual knowledge) in accessible and modern ways. She also draws deeply from the accumulated knowledge of her own ancestral lineage. The lessons she gives are not based in “maybes”, she works with students from the ground up so that one can use their own discrimination and experience to see that these Shastras ARE true.
Ayurveda classes with Acharya Shunya have helped me reconnect with myself. I feel more unified in terms of mind, body and soul. I am more at peace with my blessings as well as my imperfections. I am more content and happy. I am looking forward to incorporate more practices from her Ayurvedic teachings. She has helped me in bringing the best out of me. I am blessed to be a part of this Ayurvedic journey with Acharya Shunya.
One of the biggest changes I have experienced with implementing Ayurvedic practices is that I cook much more often, even if it is often just a simple meal of kitchari. It has been an interesting experience trying to have more forethought to soak mung beans and rice the night before and timing my day so that I have time to cook 30 minutes to an hour before meal times. It often feels that my life revolves around when I am going to eat next, but it has brought a nice routine to my day.
I look forward to continuing these practices. I started with just a few practices and cooking a few meals, and surprised myself by slowly adopting more practices including making my own beauty products and tooth powder, which I thought I wouldn’t have the time to ever do.
There are two keywords that come to mind: trust and calmness;Trust towards my body that it will heal and retain health, and Calmness of my mind.
I am no longer paranoid with any and every symptom that pops up in my body leading me to navigate to webMd and such sites to look up what are the potential diseases I might be prone to. Rather a trust has developed that my body will heal and is getting better with the right kind of foods and herbs I am ingesting. This has in turn led to a calm state of mind; an attitude with is helping me even with my relationships and people around me.
These two things are the most profound changes I have experienced since Ayurveda entered my life. And this is what keeps me going to align myself more towards the nature's rhythm(my sankalp). There is definitely an improvement in my routine in terms of my waking and sleeping hours, oiling of my body, having meals on time and acclimating to the changing seasons but a lot of work needs to be done before I can call myself healthy.
The knowledge of herbs is my favorite part of the course. After every video I feel more humbled towards these plants and nature.
Shivani Gupta, Atlanta
The most important thing I learned with Acharya Shunya was to trust deeply in the natural unfolding of this human life. During my first year of studies, I was going through a very difficult time, battling with a serious physical illness, depression, and massive anxiety about the future. Petrified of making the “wrong choice” in life, I was unable to take a step in any direction. I remember coming up to Acharya Shunya one day after a class with tears streaming down my face. I just looked up at her like a lost puppy. I couldn’t even speak because nothing felt true anymore. I had been trying to define myself all of my life. Forcing myself into these tiny little boxes, so I could try and make sense of it all.
Being immersed in Ayurveda, Vedanta, Yoga, while studying with her, I found that my boxes were disintegrating at a rapid rate, and I felt naked and scared. If I wasn’t all of these things I used to define myself by, who was I? Acharya Shunya just sat with me in silence for some time and looked into my eyes with deep compassion. Then she gave me a mantra, “Om Tat Sat,” which means “truth always is.” She told me to repeat this mantra whenever I thought of it, especially if I was feeling sad or anxious. Sometimes, I would chant this mantra 108 times, and other times, I would just think about it. It always reminded me to trust in the great unfolding of the universe.
The seeking never stops. I am always finding new boxes hiding in the corners of the attic. But the difference is that I know the boxes are there, so I am less surprised when I find them. Sometimes it feels like a am a wise old woman looking back at my life, smiling knowingly at all of the times I thought I was failing at life when, in reality, it was just leading me to something better. Like a snake who is shedding its skin, we must allow our misperceptions to fall away naturally, until what we are left with is truth.
Around that time I was diagnosed with a chronic digestive disease called Ulcerative Colitis. Studying with Acharya Shunya, I experienced firsthand the effectiveness and transformational power of this 5,000-year-old system of healing and to my amazement watched my body heal completely from my so called 'incurable disease.'
Brittany Barrett, Founder of Daily Ayurveda
If 4 years ago anyone told me that there would come a day when I understood the root of health issues I had been experiencing, let alone be able to improve them and ultimately resolve them I most likely wouldn’t believe that person, until it actually happened…….
Several years ago I started experiencing quite severe digestive issues that nobody seemed to find the answer to. Weeks of searching and experimenting with various cures turned into months and then years. Countless doctors, practitioners of various disciplines, clinics seen and resources spent for the promise of cure only to find myself feeling quite much worse and deeper entrenched in physical and emotional pain. I was depressed, scared and hopeless…..But something deep down didn’t make sense, something deep down was telling me to keep searching, that abundant health was possible.
About 1.5 years ago I came across a book written by Acharya Shunya called “Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom.” I was immediately captivated by her storytelling and completely taken by the empowering ancient wisdom that was reaching out to me through the words of this teacher. I felt as if my entire body knew that I found something much deeper, something that made more sense to me than any healing approach ever did. I started seeing positive changes while applying everything I learned from the book so I wanted to know more. I reached out to Vedika Global and found out that I could take a self healing class on Ayurveda that offered deeper studies and interaction with Acharya Shunya herself. I signed up for the class and never looked back!
For me, Ayurveda Self Healing course has been a magical journey deep into the wisdom of Nature who is my first Mother, as well as a journey deep into the Mind-Body-Spirit being that I am. I have learned to understand Nature, her cycles and how they affect me. I have learned to see what an incredibly generous provider and healer Mother Nature is if only I allow her, if only I respect her rhythms and follow them. I have learned to re-connect with her and to respect her. And I am truly in awe to have discovered such a deep and rich world, to have learned so much about my body, my mind, my spirit and how deeply all that is intertwined!
I have learned to see my body for what it truly is - an incredible creation of Mother Nature, that is capable of powerful transformation and healing if listened to and allowed!
While going through the class and applying things I have learned I have observed that my sleep has improved, my elimination has improved, my skin has improved, my digestion has improved. I have more energy. I have a better outlook on life! I feel empowered that I can understand Nature and her ways and since I am her creation therefore the ways of my body and mind.
Cooking and eating which was a dreadful and difficult ordeal filled with anxiety and physical pain due to sickness transformed into a favorite fun activity where I feel as if I am a magician creating delicious and healing, yet simple elixirs for my body and mind.
Although there is still much work to do with recovery from illness, I feel so much better than I did even a year ago, let alone 4 years ago when the disease started. When a relapse happens due to my own overindulgence in food I know exactly what caused it and I know exactly what to do to quickly remedy it and get back on course towards healing.
I am deeply grateful for this wisdom, this Science of Life and Acharya Shunya who brought it into my life! It gave me much more than hope, it gave me deep understanding and tools to create my own radiant health.
Studying the timeless teachings of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with Acharya Shunya has brought an enormous expansion in how I live my life. I surprise myself with a new-found, but very grounded understanding of my own capacity for healing, joy and equanimity.
Of particular note for me is the space Acharya Shunya lands, particularly when she is passing the wisdom of her phenomenal lineage. It is exquisite!
The other teachers are also excellent. They have an infectious enthusiasm and use slides, examples and anecdotes to make learning easy and fun. And I am learning so much! I am paying much more attention to the seasons and gradually incorporating more and more practices into my daily life.
Since January 2019, I have been participating in Acharya Shunya's ayurveda course. This past year has been one of many transitions for me:
chronic dilapidating back pain (preventing me from working), separating from my partner into single motherhood and an ebb and flow of questionable mental states.
This course and the knowledge that Acharya Shunya shares has helped me in the best way possible. It has given me hope. I can feel the sun on my face and know everything is alright. I see the magic in every little plant. i know in my heart i am worthy of love and health and peace. Shunya gifts us with this knowledge in such a beautiful and simple, yet eloquent, way. Not to mention funny! I giggle in every class. It was a big financial investment for me - but worth every penny and more. I will carry this knowledge with me forever and hopefully pass the wisdom of ayurveda to my children.
I don’t have the language to describe the nature of my experience in studying with Acharya Shunya... or what it truly means to me. What I can say is that there is something unspeakable within me that is growing, by the grace of this wisdom & practice. A remembrance is rising in my heart & in my life. I am grateful to my dear teacher & to her lineage. I know there is no looking back from here....
Medgar Marcus Rogers, Instructor, Adult Developmental Issues
I have never participated in a program that addresses your body mind and soul simultaneously and encourages the best self care so that you can become the best practitioner, full of experiential knowledge and compassion to deal with mental and physical issues. My Ayurvedic journey with Acharya Shunya has filled me with confidence and self love.
Laurie Alessandra Das, CMT
It is with deep gratitude and love that I write this testimonial. As a Holistic Nurse Practitioner who has had years of schooling, both traditional and non-traditional, I must say there is no comparison to what I have received as Acharya Shunya’s student. It has been the most holistic, heartfelt approach to living a healthy, well balanced, spiritual life. All aspects of our wellbeing were addressed in a forum of unconditional love and wisdom, touching my inner being, and allowing me to accept and grow with the knowledge I have been receiving. Yes, transformation has occurred, slowly but surely. I think the greatest change that has happened is I feel I have become a more conscious being who feels connected to a greater source of Health, Light and Love. I have learned how to care for my body, mind, and spirit in a more conscious way through the guidance of Acharya Shunya’s Ayurveda teachings and her many blessings. I am her dedicated student of more than six years now, and this path only continues to grow and evolve. Many people comment on my appearance lately. It’s not the physical aspect, but something else, a glow or beauty of some type. I know this is an opening of the heart and Shakti, an inner strength that carries me along my path of Dharma. What an amazing experience it has been. We are so fortunate and blessed to have Acharya Shunya blazing the Path of Transformation for Humanity.
Kamala Debra Reaghard, Holistic Nurse Practitioner
Acharya Shunya has been my Ayurveda teacher and spiritual guide for more than a decade now. Through her guidance and wisdom she helped me overcome and surpass obstacles with a grace and dignity that will never allow me to carry such burdens again.
When I met Shunya, I had both physical and emotional troubles that I lived with every day - heavy burdens I carried around with me everywhere with much confusion as to why they were presented to me. I was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and scared. I was clinging to past grievances and life's disappointments while quietly managing day-to-day anxiety and anger. It was difficult to separate one of these emotions from the other. At the time I saw two options: break free from my suffering or learn better skills and Ayurveda tools to endure the ongoing angst. I could not conceive of any other way out. I only knew thoughts of slaying or living with my perceived demons. Shunya taught me another way of being that required no struggle or fleeing. Rather than push or pull at how our life unfolds, there is an option to consciously accept, and truly find peace, with life's unfolding.
Before Acharya Shunya began teaching me, or even counseling me, she modeled how one can live with a chronic health issue and thrive beautifully. She models this every day - for every single day I have known her over these years; I have traveled with her, I have lived with her for a month at a time - and there is no wavering. For this reason I deeply respected her firm words to counsel and teach me the importance of properly caring for myself - physically, emotionally, spiritually - all equally valued. Through her guidance she gently put me in touch with my own capacity to heal my body and mind, igniting a slow steady flame of knowledge. As I felt the draw to becoming a dedicated student of this knowledge I had a feeling of deep relief and falling, or surrendering, into the wisdom of Ayurveda and Vedanta, as unfolded by her. Decades of deep effort to change were transforming into an ease of acceptance.
Today, many years later writing this, I am reminded of the gift of Ayurvedic self healing Shunya's soul put before me - like a wonderful birthday present all wrapped up. I eagerly opened it and relished in the newness, the potential, the appeal of it. Shunya guided me over the years and made sure I knew how to use the wisdom tools properly, how to take care of my body and nurture it over time, in it's "ever changing and evolving state". And to acknowledge it each day and take it everywhere I go. She encouraged me to expand how I use my body and explained the significance of sharing myt health and knowledge opportunity with others Today, I continue to sit at her feet and learn (even as I gratefully give back as her teaching assistant), and enjoy my gift of the lived wisdom of Ayurveda and Vedanta. I need not do anything in return other than to remain open and receptive to receiving the teachings of this wisdom. I am grateful to write such a story of a revealed and quiet health and happiness from within.
Vimala, Teaching Assistant - Alchemy through Ayurveda Course, Former Board Member, California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM)
Acharya Shunya is my teacher. She has guided me in a gradual transformation via spiritual awareness, mental health, social consciousness, and improved physical health. Her amazing teachings, as well as her personal interaction, have always felt genuine, and have naturally seemed to make sense - I was not expected to make a leap of faith. Based on having Acharya Shunya as my teacher, I have achieved a greater sense of peace and calm, and a confidence that life can get better and better, largely based on a greater understanding of who I am, and the nature of the world we live in. I feel like I have acquired knowledge and tools to help others, as well as myself. As an example, I remember Acharya Shunya’s first lecture on Ayurvedic Psychology, where she began with the basic framework on how an individual can approach his or her life, both in terms of what he likes about his life, as well as in terms of aspects of his life he finds more negative, unsettling, and disturbing. Just in hearing her talk, I achieved a peaceful state, and in fact, one I was searching for when I majored in Psychology at the university level. I can honestly say that I learned more useful information in how to approach my own life in Acharya Shunya’s opening teachings during the first hour than I did in my entire study of Psychology that covered several years.
Steve Longbotham, Operations & IT Consultant
After 10 long years of depression, insomnia, vertigo, along with inability to lose weight, Ayurveda, the science of life, gave me the answers I needed to get on the road to recovery.
Romny French, Founder of Seva Wellness
I met Acharya Shunya when I was about to turn 60. I wasn't looking for a teacher, or at least that wasn't my conscious intention. My heart had been torn apart that year when my 19-year old son had been hospitalized and my world just didn't hang together in the same way it had before that incident. But, that was the good news! Because when I met Acharya Shunya, my heart was more open than usual, and her presence seemed to call out for me to listen in a new way. I had heard of Ayurveda medicine, but knew next to nothing about its principles. The first two months of studying Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya put me on a path of healing that was anchored in day-to-day practices, like getting up early, eating at regular mealtimes, or drinking hot water upon arising in the morning. My mind calmed down, as I changed my diet to include Ayurveda meals cooked with ghee. I lost 10 pounds with no effort, and began to trust that taking care of my physical body would have great benefits over time. In this case, “trust” was just as important as the recipes we were given in each class. The dietary recommendations were not given blindly, but in the context of an ancient science that explained how and why human beings prosper when doing certain things, and suffer more when they go against some basic principles of health and well-being. It sounds pretty logical, but, in fact, the teachings healed a place in my heart, while they reached my rational mind, too.
The process of listening and contemplating on the knowledge Acharya Shunya was delivering was like receiving pure mountain water, after having been accustomed to drinking chemically altered recycled water from a reservoir, having forgotten how the essence of real water is almost a magic elixir.
In truth, the practices of Ayurveda are very ordinary. The wonder is that they are drawn from a complete system that emphasizes positive measures that prevent disease from taking hold in the body. I cannot say strongly enough how thankful I am that I met Acharya Shunya and participated in the classes she designed to give us the best chance ever of integrating practices that were aimed at each student's own healing. Thank you, Baba (her grandfather and teacher) for recognizing that Acharya Shunya would grow into your lineage holder and bring classical Ayurveda to California. And thank you, Acharya Shunya , for saying yes, so many times in the face of odds that, on the surface, may have seemed intimidating, and for sharing your love and knowledge with so many dedicated students.
Suzanne Saucy, Retired Language Teacher
I first met Acharya Shunya at a bookstore in Mountain View in 2009. At the end of the session, I walked to the stage to say hello to her and funny enough, I was in tears. I couldn’t quite understand what the tears were about but now I know. Acharya Shunya gives a deep sense of security to anyone who walks up to her. It is a similar feeling that one has in a temple where we surrender and know that we are in a safe space and no one is judging us. She looked straight in my eye and said, “I was waiting for you. We have a long way to go together.” I couldn’t understand or rather process it in that moment. I was married only for 2 years at that time, had a full-time job, and had grown up in a business-driven family. To summarize, I’d say I had “everything” I needed except for the purpose of my life. That is a question I have always wanted to answer. What am I born to do or solve? I realize now that such a question is by no means unique to me, and people of all cultures grapple with this question.
I was so drawn to Acharya Shunya that I decided to study Ayurveda with her. She had helped me find my life purpose through Ayurveda.
Shaarayna Geetanjali Chakraborty
I have spent much of my life seeking deeper knowledge. This has inevitably led my journey inwards.Who I am today is reflected not only in the knowledge that I am receiving from my Ayurveda education, but in the manner in which that knowledge is being conveyed to me.
In my studies under Acharya Shunya, Ayurveda self care is being taught in accord with tradition. It is an integrated experience, which starts with unearthing true awareness of the Self, healing our own experience of ourselves, our lives, and our worlds. It is only once we heal ourselves that we have the capacity to heal others, and the insight to apply this venerable tradition to healing our communities.
Our teacher presents us with the opportunity to discover truth for ourselves, to shine the light of Vidya (True Knowledge) on the recesses of our soul, so that it may illuminate every facet of our being. In this way, it encourages an embodiment of the principles of Ayurveda, to apply it as a lived practice. The education itself connects three great sciences, that were never meant to be practiced in isolation: Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta. These teachings are offered in such a way that the principles are understood and can be applied to body, mind, and consciousness.
From the moment you begin studying, you enter a classroom environment that is harmoniously congruent with the principles being taught, which is conducive to true higher learning. What’s more is that Acharya Shunya’s teaching style is so warm and inviting! The word ‘teacher’ is not enough to describe our teacher. Our beloved Acharya Shunya carries with her - her Sampradaya, her living lineage of Vedic Truth. She grants us access to a source of wisdom, which has been passed down uninterruptedly from time immemorial to bless us in the here and now, to allow us to rise to our most wondrous heights and find the truth hidden within. May the light of true knowledge through these studies illumine your Being too!