Updated: Mar 24
Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. I'm Bridget Baylin, and I'm an Ayurvedic health counselor. I'm also a yoga teacher and artist.
Q. What is Ayurveda?
A. Ayurveda is a unique way to understand your constitution. There's a piece in all of us that comes from the moment we are conceived - it's a never-changing aspect of ourselves. Some call it our true nature of spirit. It's a combination of different qualities within which lie, your creative, unique beauty, and what you bring to the world that's different from anyone else. It also encompasses specific vulnerabilities. Our focus is to get you as close as possible to that unique spark in Ayurveda. We call it the Prakriti. Then we look at where you are now, in this is your vikruti.
It's like a little puzzle that you work with to start to understand yourself. We look at what you're like and what are the qualities that define you. We look at how you process everything from all of your senses.
The path toward health in Ayurveda is getting closer and closer to your true nature of spirit.
We always try to see how it's going with digestion in your tummy and with your elimination and things. So no matter what is happening, mentally, spiritually, physically, we're going to go there first and see if we can get that working a little better.
Q. What are your Doshas?
A. The doshas are categories we use to describe our natural temperament. The doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and they are based on elements of nature. We don't have a perfect way of contextualizing that in Western thought. Essentially this energy exists in everything. It's in our personality. It's in the trees. It's in furniture. It's in every single thing. It's energy between what exists.
Pitta is fire and a little bit of water. Pitta is transformation and digestion, and it has an exact way of being. Kapha is earth and water. They say it's the Dosha of love, basically connectedness and attachment and things. Vata is ether and air. Vata is the idea of movements, wind, and things.
And then we look at where that exists in you, both in your physical attributes and personality. We can look at where you live, what season it is, and start to categorize these doshas. When I work one on one, we'll develop a percentage that you are, and here's what you probably are. And here's where you are now. Once we have a general idea of where you are and where you should be, we create rituals and routines to help. I try to encourage people to think of the rituals as little golden friends to help you feel things come up in your mind or body. You can start to categorize those feelings as having Dosha qualities, and you begin to have tools that can help you feel better.
It helps to know where you are, where that thing is, and what you can do about it.
Q. I love that your approach is a little more philosophical. How much information can I get by distilling back to my most authentic perspective and comparing it to what I should be? If I am very fiery and only a little airy, would you recommend that I eat more fiery stuff to get my passion back or something...?
A. Whatever your constitution is, it's perfect. But it leaves you susceptible to specific imbalances. Put yourself in an environment which predominates experiences that are the same as that Dosha, instead of creating balance. You're going to encourage an overflow of that type of situation. And that can lead to physical symptoms and mental symptoms. And so we start to be able to predict what is likely to come up for you and discover what already has. Ayurveda can have a healing influence on everything in your life. And that's why I believe in it so strongly. We explore how we can live out our Dharma, our purpose in the world. We have the best chance of doing that if we feel good. We feel comfortable in our skin, and we're doing what we're meant to do.
Q. Can the digestion help with kids as well?
A. Absolutely. Any age. I got into Ayurveda because my daughter had a lot of allergies and skin issues.
Q. That's awesome. How is she now?
A. She's excellent. I mean, this was several years ago. I would say that my whole family is more balanced than they were before. I think a lot of it had to do with my healing that I did going on this journey. I'm not perfect, but everyone is a little more balanced than before. There's a lot of acceptance -- that this is my nature. And that's the way my nature is. So I can accept that instead of trying to be more of one other thing that you aren't necessarily designed to be. It's more about identifying and realizing that what makes me strongest is when I'm most myself. This science helps you start to see yourself more compassionately.
Q. How does a session with you work?
A. There are different Ayurvedic certifications. I'm a health counselor. I do an initial consultation intake session with follow up sessions, weekly or monthly, from anywhere between 6 months to one year. I do a physical assessment to take pictures. I look at the person's tongue and pulse. I'm looking for the doshas' qualities in those areas. I do not make any medical diagnoses. I don't treat anything, but what I'll do is come back with a report of findings. Here's where I see your constitution naturally. And here's where I see your doshas right now. And then I'll give you a few lifestyle recommendations, and they'll have to do with digestion. What are you having for breakfast? Let's try this instead and maybe keep a food journal, tongue scraper, you know. It'll be a couple of different things. And it'll be here's your plan for this week. Typically I would see you once a week, and then maybe, once every other week, and then once a month after you get used to it. And each time, we'll go and check-in with the recommendations that you have so far. And then you would get a few new ones. So it's working with a coach or somebody again that's helping you organize the structure of getting on to our Vedic lifestyle. We want to build habits and routines that people can use to be healed forever.
Q. I like your approach. I feel like there's so much information out there, and I could try a sure thing, but it's not meant for my makeup. It doesn't work.
A. Exactly. one of my favorite quotes that I heard from my teacher, “Ayurveda, is everything.” There's no judgment in this. Everything that you're doing, everything that surrounds us, none of it is good or bad. I think that takes a lot of pressure off of this is how everything should be. And if you're not feeling right, this is how you should get there. We're going to help you find more balance. Should I be doing keto? I don't know; maybe, maybe it's okay. Maybe not. You know, perhaps it worked for your neighbor. But I don't know if it'll work for you. Let's see.
Q. That makes a lot of sense. I always hear, well, this worked for my girlfriend, but it didn't work for me. Why isn't it working for me?
A. Exactly. And it's not your thing. So I think that's a cool way to personalize yourself who you are and how you can feel better in your way.
Q. What are some common misconceptions people may have about Ayurveda?
A. I think the biggest is that it’s complicated. I work with many people who have dabbled, say, they're interested, but find it hard to keep on track. I think it helps to have support or have a counselor or a class or somebody who can guide you with anything new. I think it helps to talk about it with somebody; People also believe it goes against western medicine. I would say, I'm such a believer in western medicine, I'm so thankful for it. I feel this goes hand in hand with whatever anyone is dealing with. I see this as complementary. Anything that helps you to get your health under control is positive. But it is not a substitute for medical care. If you have a cardiac arrest, go to a hospital.
Q. How do you stay grounded?
A. My number one thing is meditation. My meditation practice is something that I've learned I cannot live without. I do it every day. The most healing way I found is sitting with my mind and observing it more and more compassionately. I do some form of yoga practice six days a week. That is not to say that I do some full Ashtanga Yoga. I sometimes do yoga practice with two sun salutations, a backbend, and a Savasana. I'm human, and life is always happening, but I do what I can.
Q. What led you to yoga? What was that journey? And how does that look in terms of being more balanced?
A. I used to be an attorney. I worked a ton. I didn’t have a physical outlet. I was not very athletic or anything else growing up. I didn't find beauty and joy in using my body in any way. I was working in Washington DC when September 11th occurred. I was starting yoga around that time, and I was working in the Capitol. I got anxious to the point where it was difficult for me to function. Yoga helped me through. It was a way of calming myself down. Starting to use my body to process emotion was something that I didn't understand before. I didn't have those tools. But I needed that respite from my fear and worry and constant activity. At the same time, it brought me closer to my creative spirit. Yoga completely changed me. I became a yoga teacher. And I felt pretty comfortable with that. I started getting closer to my creative capabilities. I started painting again. The interest in Ayurveda was always there from yoga, but I got my certification because of my daughter. When I opened my practice, I had a few people who wanted to work on it. And that started working great. I started my little company, and now I work for the M Clinic. I didn't have a plan for it. My life just went in that direction.
Q. Beautiful. How can people find you if they want to work with you?
A. My Instagram @atwellnesscenter You can book appointments through themclinic.com