Sahara Rose is the author two best-selling books; Eat Feel Fresh: A Plant-Based Ayurvedic Cookbook and Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda. She has been called “a leading voice for the millennial generation into the new paradigm shift” by Deepak Chopra, who wrote the foreword of both her titles.
Sahara also hosts the Highest Self Podcast, ranked as the #1 top podcast in the spirituality category on iTunes. She is an Abundance Mindset Expert and guides people to pave their path to freedom, joy, and purpose. She is one of my inspirational teachers and I had the pleasure of catching up with Sahara after her whirlwind US book tour. We discuss Ayurveda, abundance, and innovation.
Q: Can you give us a quick rundown of Ayurveda?
Rooted in ancient India, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). Our bodies are comprised of the five elements of air, ether (space), earth, fire, and water. Everyone has varying amounts of each, and those combinations are divided into three energetic archetypes, or doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Your “mind-body type” as I refer to them (you can find yours here). In Ayurveda, when our dosha is in harmony, we are at our best, open to connect with universal source. This holistic health system is the oldest recorded in civilization.
Ayurveda saved my life. Before I rediscovered it, my health was deteriorating. Although at that point I was a qualified health practitioner, my diet was out of alignment with my dosha. I say rediscovered because learning about Ayurveda was like relearning a language I had spoken for thousands of years.
Q: It's clear to see the benefits Ayurveda has to the physical, mental and spiritual body. How does Ayurveda apply to something like building a business – to taking an idea and making it a reality?
All creation processes move through the doshas. Many of us are familiar with the chakras, the seven energy centers in the body. Each dosha relates to a chakra center, so we can look at the chakras to see where the doshas fit in creation.
Vata – Idea creation
When you have an idea, it lands in your mind – the crown chakra. The idea exists in the clouds and lands only on people who have the capacity to bring the idea to earth's plane. It's a great way to view ideas – they choose you, rather than you having all the pressure to “come up with them”! Then you start to ponder the idea; “I wonder if I can do this?” “Is it the right time for me to try this?” “How would this work?”. This is the third eye chakra.
Another Ayurvedic principle that applies here is the concept of ‘the mind', vs. ‘your mind'. In Ayurveda, the mind is a collective operating system that we're all running – a risk calculator. If the mind in you is stronger than your third eye, the mind will shut the idea down here. You may have experienced this when you see something and say “I thought of that a year ago!” – the idea wasn't right for you at that time, so the idea moved on to someone else!
If you have an open third eye, if your intuition is strong and you're ready for the idea, it'll move to the throat chakra. This is when you'll start to share the idea with trusted peers and speak it into the world.
Pitta – Execution
In the heart chakra, you feel the idea and reveal its purpose. A lot of businesses skip this step and go straight to execution. The heart is what connects the upper and lower chakras. It's not enough these days to have a business without heart, purpose, and passion – the market demands these qualities!
The passion from the heart moves into the solar plexus, the fire! This is the doing phase, the hustle! I love how the BossBabe community celebrates the Pitta in women. My dosha is Pitta so I'm a huge advocate and practitioner of execution! You have the idea, you've aligned it with purpose, now take action!
The Pitta is where many creatives or spiritual people – Vata types – come unstuck. They are great at coming up with purposeful ideas but not at making them a reality. In the body, Pitta is your digestion, where energy transforms. Without Pitta, you can't transform an idea into a reality. I encourage you to step into the fire and do more in the early stages before you delegate. Own your ability to execute!
Kapha – Enjoyment and surrender
The other side of not enough Pitta is too much. High performers can get stuck in the Pitta. You're too Pitta if you're moving from one goal to the next, doing too much without enjoyment! The way we move from Pitta is into Kapha through the sacral chakra, the center of pleasure. At the end of the day, you're supposed to enjoy what you do. On my book tour, I was starting talks with Bollywood dance parties! Make sure there's time for fun in your business too.
The final chakra is the root chakra, where we birth to our ideas into the world. Like children, we have to let them grow and let them go. I've seen through my work that ideas become bigger than you can ever imagine if you trust and surrender to the process. Relinquish control so that you have space for new ideas to land, cycling back into the Vata.
Q: Your latest book, Eat Feel Fresh, a modern plant-based approach to Ayurveda, is so innovative! How did you overcome the doubts that many of us face when trying to make something our own?
I battled those doubts before releasing the book. There are Ayurvedic purists out there that don't like change. I was fearful, often thinking “Who am I to change this 5000-year-old system?!” The truth of the matter is – who am I not to?
The first step is being honest with yourself. It's easy to take something that works for everyone and pretend it's good enough for you. In my case, the old way didn't work for me. I would have been lying to promote that. Ayurveda healed me when I made the modifications.
Innovation from truth has purpose and passion built in. It has an ease, a flow.
Sometimes we can get swept up in innovating for innovation's sake. Like a rebel without a cause, those attempts run out of steam.
Confidence is also important. I know from experience that sharing your truth is enough. You are enough! There's no prerequisite required to being you! Qualifications, number of years practicing, amount of followers – these don't matter. If you're doubting yourself because you think you're lacking, flip your perspective. The lack of those things might be the very reason your voice resonates with your audience. Speaking your truth in confidence will attract a niche that is on your vibration.
Finally – be courageous! Aside from Deepak Chopra (who wrote his book when I was born), I didn't have anyone to follow. I went into the wilderness and there was a lot of uncertainty. Those closest to me tried to make me carry their doubts. I had to be strong to stay the course. It comes back to what I mentioned earlier about ideas choosing you. Sharing Ayurveda in a 21st century way is my soul's purpose. The pain of not doing it would far outweigh any ‘failure' from trying.
Q: We've talked about business creation and innovation. How does money fit into the equation? How do we foster a positive relationship with money?
Like sex, most of us didn't get a clear “money talk” when we were young. We just observed our parent's love/hate relationship with money. So the first step to building an abundance mindset is to learn what money is. If we break it down, money is energy. It's pieces of paper and numbers on a screen that we've collectively assigned the value to, a very Vata energy.
If money is energy, then the stories you attach to money frame your relationship with it. The next step is to evaluate your money myths. Whatever they are, you'll be able to find evidence for them. For example, if think that “money makes you a selfish, greedy person”, you'll be able to find greedy rich people. If you think “money gives people the freedom to support causes they care about” you'll find generous people.
You need to dive deeper into your subconscious and look at why you have these beliefs. What did you parents teach you about money that made you believe these stories? What experiences did you have that shaped your current money mindset? A scrupulous mother that knew where every cent went? A carefree father that had a lot of debt? Friends that got pocket money while you didn't?
Once you have a clear picture of what your money story is and why it's formed that way, you can change it. You can write your own story and reframe your relationship with this energy and ownyour true value. I got into this in greater detail, including unlocking your Abundance Dosha Type, in my Abundance Mindset Masterclass.
Q: What's one unexpected benefit and one unexpected challenge of being your own boss?
The best benefit is freedom! I love reporting to myself and deciding my days. Do I want to be creative? Am I in a Vata mood? Do I want to get things done? Am I in a Pitta mood? Do I want to rest and recharge? Am I in a Kapha mood?
The main challenge I face is getting the right people around me. My work helps people find their path – so much so that I've had staff leave to chase their dreams! Which is amazing, I wouldn't have it any other way! But I do need help to run my own business! So I'm using the doshas to guide my hiring. Honestly, I need more Pitta-Kapha energy in my business. Any Pitta-Kaphas looking for work in LA – hit me up!
To find your dosha, take Sahara's unique online quiz that determines both your mind-body dosha. You can listen to Sahara's podcast on Spotify, iTunes and SoundCloud. Sahara’s groundbreaking books are available wherever good books are sold.