With so many different approaches to self care, wellness, and spirituality at our fingertips, how do we know what works? One of our favorite ways to learn about new practices is, of course, to see what our friends are doing, and how it’s working for them.
That’s why we’re excited to announce our new series, Radiance + Ritual.
Radiance + Ritual is an interview series that takes a deeper look at individuals in our community who are living in their glow—what wellness rituals they practice, what self-care looks like to them, and what routines help them achieve their best self.
Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and a neighbor to us in Oakland, with a beautiful perspective on everyday magic, ancient wellness practices, and ancestral connections.
Introduce yourself! Who are you, what do you do for a living, for fun?
Hi everyone! My name is Sachi Doctor and I am the founder of Elemental Alchemy, an Ayurvedic lifestyle company that offers handcrafted products and personalized holistic health services.
I’m also an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher and tea maker from a lineage of Indian healers and doctors, which means I’ve been imbued in both Eastern tradition and Western medicine since childhood.
Sachi’s approach to ayurveda
After years of feeling like I needed to switch back and forth between these two worlds, I strive to marry the wisdom of both, blending Ayurvedic principles and yogic philosophy with physiology and functional nutrition to help individuals understand their mind-body composition, and ultimately, to empower them to reclaim agency for their own health.
This passion to deepen self-awareness permeates my personal life, too; I tend to seek experiences that offer opportunities to learn, grow and connect with others. I also love to create—DIY home projects, recipes, adventures…. intimate experiences that make others feel at ease, special and loved.
Though when I’m wanting to take a timeout for myself, I either roll out my yoga mat or curl up with a book: I love well-told stories and an endlessly fascinated by people and the myriad of ways we live, love and compose our lives.
Walk us through your morning ritual and skin care routine
There is nothing that gets me up and out of bed like the anticipation of a fresh cup of masala chai. It is my absolute favorite morning ritual and one I savor each day.
A family tradition
Beyond the taste, the recipe itself has a history, passed down from my grandmother to my mother and on to me. Grinding and boiling the spices each day anchors me in these multitudes, a lineage that I feel holds me.
Each brimming mug-full feels soothing, sacred and special.
Once it’s empty I like to extend the feeling of sweetness by playing my harmonium, signing songs I also learned from my mom. Eventually, I realized the time and shift gears to preparing the for day ahead.
In addition to selecting clothing that best matches how I want to feel on a given day, I take care to help my skin feel as bright as my energetic body. This means gentle exfoliation, a brightening serum, hydration gel and always SPF!
What's your wellness philosophy?
To me, wellness isn’t a fixed state that once achieved or established we can ignore; it is dynamic, ongoing and in direct relationship with nature’s rhythms, the ebbs and flows of life.
And because it shifts in relationship to the world around us, I believe that it’s essential to invite a sense of childlike curiosity and wonder into our daily experiences — a sense of wonder and awe.
It’s with this mindset that we can shift the experience of self-care and wellness from one of self-doubt and comparison to one that fosters self-awareness, joy and mind-body harmony. Something both sustainable and supportive.
How do you get your glow: Internally, externally?
I am a seeker of everyday magic and beauty. From new blooms on a tree in the neighborhood to overhearing a child giggling, I try to remain as open as possible to daily moments that are truly awe-some.
And I think it’s this spirit that enlivens me, inside and outside. It keeps me present vs preoccupied, smiling vs staring at my phone… There truly is so much beauty in the seemingly mundane, and it’s the greatest joy to realize it over and over again.
With so many health trends out there, what ones are sticking for you right now?
What I love about Ayurveda is that is it a time-tested holistic health system (5,000) years old that is so vast, we often don’t realize how old a lot of these newer trends are.
From turmeric milk and adaptogenic herbs to neti pots and aromatherapy, the rishis who passed on this philosophy had their finger on the pulse.
And with so much to explore within Ayurveda, I try to stick to these tried and true traditional practices; After all, if they’ve lasted longer than some civilizations, they must be working!
What's your go to Annmarie Skin Care product?
What's one wellness essential you can't live without right now?
Only one?! Hmm… as the days get windier and the evenings cooler, it would have to be nightly Abhyanga, a self-administered warm oil massage is massage that is an integral part of the daily routine recommended by Ayurveda for overall health and vitality.
If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see on Radiance + Ritual, please email [email protected]