Colette Jyothi Park, Ayurveda Practitioner

What is happiness to you?

There are two levels of happiness to me. One is the happiness that I find in those small moments of joy – such as connecting with others, attending a fun dance class, laughing and being present in the moment.

Then there is the deep contentment that comes from following the most sacred wishes within my heart. For instance, being an Ayurvedic practitioner was a deep calling in me that started in childhood and it brings me such deep joy to be practicing this wonderful traditional herbal medicine in order to help others heal.

How did you come to your level of positivity and what did you have to overcome to achieve it?

Growing up, I was very blessed to have a wonderfully open-minded mom, who signed me up to learn transcendental meditation at the age of 11. It was a blessing having a foundation in meditation at such a young age and I remember the feelings of joy that bubbled up inside of me. I feel that this has helped me have a positive disposition in life.

At the age of 20 I embraced change in a big way by moving from my home country of South Africa to the UK to work and study. As an Ayurvedic student I experienced challenges such as working full time whilst juggling a degree and I also had a passport issue halfway through, which forced me to leave the UK in order to resolve it. Over the years I’ve learnt not to let fear hold me back from doing what I want to do. These different experiences in my life have taught me patience, faith and persistence in achieving what is truly meaningful to me.

Can Ayurveda help a person be truly happy, and if so, how?

Yes absolutely! Ayurveda is an amazing science, which celebrates the uniqueness of every being. It teaches that only through maintaining a balance that is unique to you – physically, emotionally and mentally – can you be truly happy. By understanding your unique mental and physical constitution, you can take steps towards greater balance and joy in your life. Ayurveda after all is all about having a healthy body and mind so that you may achieve your highest goals.

How do you keep up your good spirits in the current time of uncertainty?

Practising Ayurvedic self-care helps to keep me grounded and calm. I usually choose one simple form of self-care each morning and evening, whether it is a couple of drops of oil in each nostril, tongue scraping or self-massage in the morning, or a grounding foot or head massage before bedtime. I also enjoy daily walks in nature with my dog, which makes me feel in touch with nature. With a dog you learn to embrace and appreciate all types of weather – whether it is wind and rain or a bright sunny day. I think it is a good teaching for finding the silver lining in whatever life throws at you. I’m also blessed to have a wonderfully supportive husband who keeps my feet firmly planted on the ground. Hugs and laughter help too!

Please share your happy secret

Taking moments to connect with our breath and noticing how our bodies are feeling during the day. We all tend to live in our heads and often forget that we have bodies crying for our attention. Coming back to my breath and feeling the sensations in my body always help me become more present.