My Path to Ayurveda Through Kundalini Yoga

By | 2014-06-23T11:52:01+00:00 June 23rd, 2014|Healing|0 Comments

My Path to Ayurveda Through Kundalini Yoga | ItSerendipitous is the first word that comes to mind when I think about my path to Ayurveda. About seven or eight years ago, I was invited by my dear friend, Karen Cerato, to attend a Kundalini yoga class in Hollis, NH. She said, “Please come with me. My neighbor and close friend, Sarah Brassard, is starting to teach Kundalini yoga classes in her beautiful barn and I know her teaching style will resonate with you.” I was familiar with Kundalini, as I had dabbled in years past, yet it never quite called me to dive in. I agreed to go, and still remember the day I met Sarah and entered her sacred space. Our practice that day was magical. I felt a spiritual connection not only with my teacher, but with my own inner voice. I needed to come back. I needed Kundalini yoga back in my life with some permanence.

After many years of practice with Sarah, and many life twists and turns, I could not deny that I needed to make a career change. My current job as a homecare and hospice Occupational Therapist was not fulfilling me anymore, and my inner voice yelled too strongly to ignore it. So I made a “love it/don’t love it so much” list to help steer my thoughts. I loved my Kundalini practice, but did not want to teach. I loved cooking, but did not want to be a chef. I loved patient care, but hated that insurance dictated my time and licensure ruled my course of action. I wanted to get to the root of my patients’ illness process, knowing there had to be a mind-body-soul connection, hence, dis-ease. Soon after I made this declaration of wants to the Universe, I heard about Ayurveda.

Ayurveda, defined as “the science of life” or “wisdom of longevity,” is the sister science to yoga. It is the oldest holistic and preventative medicine, rooted in India. Kundalini yoga focuses on self-awareness, discipline, and self-dedication. Kundalini yoga and Ayurveda work in synchronicity, both unlocking the human potential for deep spiritual and physical growth. Both practices assist the human being in finding balance, discovering their true nature, or Prakriti, and unlocking the door toward great self-empowerment. What a seamless relationship these two sciences share! Through individualized plans comprised of diet, lifestyle, pranayama, meditation, exercise, herbs, and bodywork recommendations, Ayurveda felt like the perfect next step for me.

Now two years into my Ayurvedic private practice, I feel complete on so many levels. I am able to integrate my 17 years of western medical OT practice with this amazing Eastern medical practice to guide my clients in healing themselves. The teachings of Kundalini yoga help me stay centered in my own energy and truth, allowing me to be fully present in my personal and professional life. Funny how the paths we take bring us full circle. Serendipitous, I would say.

Much love,


Please welcome Janelle E. Salzman to the team!

Janelle E. Salzman, OT/L, ALC, owner of New Hampshire Ayurveda & Therapy, PLLC, is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant, Occupational Therapist, and Reiki Master. Janelle has a lifelong love of health and healing, with a diverse education in both Western and Eastern medicine.

Ayurveda is the oldest holistic and preventative medical practice in the world. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on the many facets of health including diet, lifestyle, detoxification, sleep, exercise, and mind/body/soul connection.

You can learn more about Janelle’s work here:

You can contact Janelle here:

About the Author:

Sarah Brassard’s passion lies in teaching people how to create a foundation for self-care, a method of wellness that brings profound opportunities for transformation. She is the author of Inside: A Guide to the Resources Within to Stay Vibrant and Alive Through All Life’s Challenges. The book details the self-care practices and protocols that sparked her healing journey and that she has been sharing with students and clients for the past fifteen years.

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  1. Doug French April 4, 2015 at 2:57 am - Reply

    I found this article very useful and timely. I am just finishing up my bachelors of integrated studies and looking to go on to possibly a Masters in O.T, P.A., MSW. or even a PHD. in Cultural Anthropology. I feel your dispassion on some level with all these sciences because they are restricted by believe systems, insurance companies and are often huge investments of time and money to get the degree or be licensed.
    I currently teach a modified Kundalini Yoga and Tai Chi class to elderly or disabled people while also providing in home health care services that also use modified exercises to help people. I feel I am already an O.T. and yoga/ tai chi teacher in ways since I use those techniques naturally in my services ( I too dabbled in yoga and tai chi for 30 years and am trying to find a permanence in my practice as well).
    For my group of students, Tai Chi and the stance and breath work seem to be having the most effect since walking most of us can do. They tell me their balance has improved. I use martial art stance work as a foundation for many of our exercises. Many cannot get down on a mat so I teach chair yoga as part of class for those who can’t stand. It is worth noting I have a number of pretty healthy fifty year olds in class who do the same workout as the others do and continue to come to each class. It is wonderful to see how Tai Chi and Yoga continue to benefit someone regardless of where they are at.
    As I now look to getting back into the academic system for O.T. or P.A. in the hopes of being in a better position to help others, I wonder if the licenses and education are necessary. Could you have just become a Ayurvedic doctor without those other degrees? Does having the O.T. license continue to open doors in a way that just being a Reiki or Ayurvedic doctor wouldn’t?
    As I look at a science education, I feel I have to incorporate the alternative methods as I go, or it is going to be quite a stale career. Becoming a doctor of Chinese medicine for me might be a better way to go. I am not sure, as mentioned, I am only sure that a personal practice and commitment to it will be needed as a glue to hold the rest together.
    I know I don’t want to be restricted by traditional methods, insurance companies or the law….. This being said as another stage of academia maybe beginning… it is hard to learn a system I may not be all that interested in to begin with, or maybe outdated in much of what it is teaching us.
    What are your thoughts again, on the need for traditional education, alternative education, personal and professional experience and how they all blend?

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