We greatly admire people who pursue their passions and stand proudly for what they believe in. Our first guest in our Inspiring Stories interview series is Aruna Swarup, mother of Prakti Beauty founder, Pritika Swarup! Read on to learn more about her overall philosophy of life and how she maintains balance through Ayurvedic practices (she meditates every single day!), how she stays true to her inner self, and more.
Who first introduced you to the practice of Ayurveda?
My parents introduced me to Ayurveda when I was very young. Even before I came to truly understand the principles of Ayurveda it was a part of my day-to-day life. I was raised on an Ayurvedic diet and used simple hygienic practices. One of the earliest practices I can remember was a blended drink that combined dried fruit, almonds and black pepper that my parents would give me during my exam time - this was when I realized these remedies really work.
“One of the earliest practices I can remember was a blended drink that my parents would give me during my exam time - this was when I realized these remedies really work.”
How do you integrate Ayurvedic practices into your everyday routine?
My entire day is divided according to Ayurvedic diancharya. It’s a routine that utilizes daily habits and rituals in order to promote balance between mind, body, and soul. My morning routine incorporates watching the sun rise, meditation and prayer, Pranayama (a yogic practice that focuses on the breath,) warm water with lemon and a light meal. In the afternoon I take a fifteen minute walk and my lunch consists of sattvic (seasonal) vegetarian foods. Sometime between 4:00-6:00 PM I’ll meditate as the sun sets. Before bed I meditate again by chanting a mantra “om namah shivaya” to calm and balance my mind. I also take one teaspoon of triphala, an Ayurvedic herbal remedy, and mix it with warm water - it aids in digestion and boosts the immune system. I also only take cold showers which is incredible for circulation.
What is your view on wellness? What makes you feel your best?
For me, wellness involves aiming to feel physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced. In Ayurveda it’s called “tridoshic balance.” I feel my best each day when I practice yoga and meditation. It leaves me feeling energetic yet calm, centered and happy.
Who first introduced you to skincare? How has your skincare routine changed over time?
My mother first introduced me to skincare using simple homemade recipes. Even when I was experiencing acne, scarring, etc. these simple remedies were all I ever needed. Later in life I took an Ayurvedic healing course and adapted the products and practices in my routine to be more in line with my dosha (in Ayurveda there are three doshas or metabolic types: vata, kapha, and pitta.) Today, I still use homemade remedies combined with all-natural products. I’ll take a leaf off my aloe vera plant and apply the gel all over my face to hydrate and soothe my skin. I also ingest aloe vera gel - the plant has so many incredible benefits!
Even though I’ve been in the U.S. now for over 30 years, I’ve always felt connected to my culture. I carry Indian culture with me everywhere I go.
Can you share one mantra that you incorporate in your routine?
When I meditate I chant “wahe guru,” for about 3 minutes. It’s a powerful mantra that brings joy and light deep inside your being.
How do you stay connected to your culture?
Even though I’ve been in the U.S. now for over 30 years, I’ve always felt connected to my culture. I’m proud to carry Indian culture with me everywhere I go. I teach and practice yoga every day, I celebrate our festivals year round, keep in close touch with my family and friends back in India, I read books like the Bhagva Gita and Ayurvedic journals. Indian culture is constantly with me.
What is your beauty philosophy?
Beauty comes from within. A smile and positive, beautiful thoughts in balance with a calm mind goes a long way. My meditation practice keeps me connected to my inner self so that I can enjoy every moment of life no matter what comes my way.
What inspires you in all of your practices and rituals?
My inspiration comes from my husband, children, students, meditation gurus, and the natural world around me. My meditation practice keeps me inspired by connecting me with both my inner being and the higher being.
“Beauty comes from within. A smile and positive, beautiful thoughts in balance with a calm mind goes a long way.”
How do you Find your Fearless?
My fearlessness comes from my meditation practice. I can overcome any obstacle through meditation - I get to know my inner self. I’m a peaceful, pure consciousness/soul. I’m powerful and blissful. I feel love and kindness and spread love and kindness to everyone.