Meet our first artist in residence, whose latest work is a love letter to our very own stretch of coastline, as a way of re-focussing her connection to this ancient corner of Cornwall.
Written by Libby Taylor
Q&A With Sunita Passi
Sunita, welcome! It’s so lovely to have you here with us at Bedruthan. Tell us a little bit about what your workshops have been covering whilst you’ve been our Artist In Residence.
It's been fabulous! So, I'm here, sharing my book, The Doctor Won't See You Now, which is about staying healthy while the medical system is rebooted. This is really all about helping people better understand their bodies, their minds, and their health as well as all the amazing tools and techniques that you can integrate into your own life. It’s about natural medicine but also how people can become more confident with things that they can do themselves.
You started life as a journalist, what inspired you to make the change to an Ayurvedic journey?
Well, I had a shift myself. I was leading a very busy career working for a news agency that took me all over the world, I was spending four months living in a country, jumping to the next country, and burning the candle from both ends - as we do when we're living like that. I was then put on a project in India, I'd already begun to go down more of a spiritual path, so I started to bring in the yoga, mindfulness meditation to support my own health. It was then that I started having Ayurvedic treatment and I was literally blown away, I resonated so well with it and I wanted to know more.
I was in a fortunate position where I was able to take some time off from my journalism career and I actually ended up staying in India for a year, retraining, and going on a very personal healing journey myself. I came back to the UK and did go back to journalism for one more year but my mind had already moved on. That’s when I set my practice up in London and then in 2005, launched the training academy.
You’ve got your book in front of you here, The Doctor Won't See You Now. This feels like the perfect combination of your early journalism career and your discovered love for Ayurveda. Tell us a little bit about what the book entails and for whom it is written.
This book was birthed during lockdown. I think we all have been feeling and experiencing certain things and these last two years were really the impetus for the book. I always thought my first book was going to be a B2B trade book for therapists and practitioners, however, during lockdown I had so many of my clients and students reaching out for support, I really felt I needed to get all of this content down into a book now.
The book is also very philosophical. I've been thinking about this stuff for years, how people are living their lives, how technology is moving us in a certain direction, how there is a disconnection between people. When I lived in London, for example, I barely knew my neighbours. All of this impacts our health and our vibrancy and how we're experiencing wellness.
This, of course, is all wonderfully narrated in Ayurveda, but what I wanted to do was bring it into modern times. I wanted to really share that concept and that philosophy and give people the tools and the techniques, with a bit of a laugh. This book is not a copy and paste of an Ayurveda book, it’s really more about philosophy with health and well-being.
The final chapter is all about spirituality in the future and the impetus there is to get us thinking about what do we want to birth now that we're at this fork in humanity. What is the world we will want to create together? How can we learn from this ancient knowledge? How can we actually move forward in a way that really supports all of us?
If somebody is brand new to Ayurveda and looking to make a wellness change, what is one thing you can suggest that might start them in that direction?
There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness and meditation and yoga and nutrition, and there's lots of information about that already out there, but one thing I think we don't talk about so much is actually self-massage and the power of self-massage.
It is such a beautiful ritual and can really enhance the quality of your day. It’s so simple as well, it's just the oiling of your skin and being present in that moment. Making sure you are spending a few minutes, every day, just paying attention to your beautiful feet, paying attention to your beautiful curves, paying attention to your beautiful hands, and actually giving yourself that time to really connect with yourself. So, I would say, for just two minutes every day, try that.
That sounds fabulous! And finally, how has it been presenting and talking about the things you love here in a sunny Mawgan Porth?
Goodness me, well, it's like returning home whenever I come here. I've been visiting now for over 10 years, we started working with Scarlet through my company Tri-dosha right at the beginning, and every time I’m here it's just always such an awesome experience.
It's just being connected to all of your beautiful elements - to the sea, the air, having conversations with the staff here - it's always really pleasurable and very positive.
I also think when coming down here, it just, it's very grounding. It's just a great place to reconnect and I think being here at Bedruthan definitely gives you that.
Sunita Passi's book The Doctor Won't See You Now is available to purchase from our in-house shop, Create Cornwall. Keep up with Sunita, and find out more, here.