Claire Paphitis – or The Ayurveda Coach – got interested in Ayurvedic practice after a tough year. A former international music agent who studied music at the prestigious King’s College London and Royal Academy, she’d just had her first baby, but had also lost her mum. Not surprisingly, her energy and health suffered.
“I’d had migraines as a teenager and never wanted to take the medicines: they didn’t work and it seemed like there must be a better way. I’d heard of Ayurveda but I hadn’t really understood it, but then it really helped. It’s the oldest complete system of care in the world, but it’s about balance, and that’s the secret: not fads, or heavy detoxes, but about delicious self care.”
Delicious is the word, with Ayurveda being strong on a natural process of gut healing. The human microbiome has gotten a lot of focus in recent years in the ‘hard sciences’, with the findings in the lab confirming what the Ayurvedic system seemed to have figured out by trial and success 5000 years ago. “All disorders impact digestive fire,” Claire says. “So cooking and spices are there to re-balance the gut and the life. Of course, there are many other aspects to the practice, but gut healing is central and a great place to start.”
Claire trained in London at the Ayurveda Institute under Dr. Deepika Rodgrigo, originally from Sri Lanka, “She’s a wonderful woman; a great healer” she says. Now practicing in London, Reigate and even globally through on-line consultations, Claire sees a lot of thirty-something women burning out. “I see young women’s bodies almost collapsing through the excessive drive to have it all: stress, over doing the gym, extreme diets. One of the things we work on is to stop trying to fit the picture painted for you, and to make your own version of life and what’s important to you.”
Although there are many technical terms with words like Dosha, Ojas and Agni, Claire stresses that it’s the interactions between these elements of life that are the focus of a consultation and treatment. “We talk for an hour about every aspect of life, and you leave with a personalised diet and lifestyle plan and a selection of ayurvedic herbs to support your journey. Then we have a 25 min follow-up consultation in a few week’s time. Patients typically report improved health, energy, digestion, sleep, mood and where needed – weight loss.
To help people who can’t access her skills directly, Claire is writing a book titled “Relight your Agni: Essential Ayurveda” out with Ebury Press on August 13th. “My whole life has changed since I started this,” she says. “Although I was a kind of ‘mummy’ as an international music agent, the focus there was on wants and drive; now it’s on a much more sustainable, joyful life. Helping others achieve that is wonderful. My inspiration is my daughter: we moved out of London to Reigate to have a family, and it’s a great place to live. I can get up to London in 45 minutes; we can get to the coast; it’s friendly; great schools, cafes, shopping, parks and countryside.”
In short a balanced place to live… perfect for a coach of Ayurveda.
The Ayurveda Coach