I first met Varsha at a Maharishi University of Management Welcome Weekend dance party and picnic at Fairfield Waterworks Park. We were both first year students. Like most colleges, Maharishi University of Management organizes fun “get to know you” activities for incoming freshmen, and this party/picnic was one such event. Most of us newbies were lingering on the sidelines eating our veggie burgers and chips while the returning students got the dance party started.
Now, I’m going to let her speak for herself and in her own words. Allow me to introduce to you a dear dear friend and fellow (is there a feminine version of that word?) Maharishi University of Management alumnus…Varsha Solanki….
Let’s start with the slightly more personal, how you get a feel for who Varsha is questions…
Q: What are your favorite extra curricular things to do?
A: I love to dance, crochet, go for walks, yoga, write, shop, travel, and eating good food.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: My all time favorite book is “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda. It’s slow for the first few chapters, but it definitely picks up.
Q: What meal do you find most satisfying? Dessert?
A: The meals that I find most satisfying are home-made Indian meals, which are flavored with spices. If it doesn’t have enough spice to it, I feel like I have not eaten anything.
As for dessert, I have many favorites. For those who know me, they know that I definitely have a sweet tooth. Being a health major and really passionate about my line of work, I will proudly admit that I love chocolate…chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sundaes, chocolate cake, etc.
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
A: I’m super duper ticklish
Q: What’s your favorite color to paint your nails?
A: I love French manicures and as for my feet, I love to paint them a sparkly tone of maroon and both my big toes must have flowers on them. Without flowers, the pedicure does not feel complete.
Q:Who inspires you?
A: Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, and my parents are my source of inspiration.
Now, the serious(ly good) stuff…
Q: What’s your personal philosophy about health?
A: My personal philosophy of health is that your health is in your hands. Health does not mean an absence of illness, disease, or imbalance. Health is flexibility. Health is the ability to cope with the imbalance you may have. True happiness is the foundation of maintaining health. If you are blessed with great health, appreciate it. If you have an imbalance, never give up and search for your healing.
Two of my favorite quotes related to health are:
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison
“Without proper diet, herbs are of no use. With proper diet, herbs are of no need.” – Charak Samhita
Q: Tell me more about ThinkVedic.com and why you started it.
A: Think Vedic started off as a blog to promote the principles of Ayurveda and health. Today, Think Vedic has expanded to include principles and knowledge of modern health and nutrition.
I started Think Vedic because I wanted to be able to share my knowledge, experiences, and thoughts about life, health, wellness, and spirituality. I want to be able to support and motivate others so that they can be empowered to take their own life into their own hands.
Q: What is your most memorable MUM class?
A: The most memorable class I took at Maharishi University of Managment was titled, “Prevention.” This class basically set the pace for everything I have done since then. I had my first aha moment in regards to health in this class when I realized that prevention is easier than cure. I enjoyed almost all of my classes because not only did I learn a lot, I was also very close to all my classmates at the time. We were such a small group, that we all bonded so well.
Q: Why did you choose to study at Maharishi University of Management (MUM)? Are you glad you did?
I chose to study at MUM because I wanted to study Ayurveda. I was looking for something more than just a traditional degree that also gave me room to grow and develop my full potential.
I am so glad that I chose MUM because they were some of the greatest years of my life. I feel satisfied and content with my education. The time I spent at MUM allowed me to develop into who I am today. After all, I did create the foundation for my professional development during my undergraduate years.
Q: What was it like living in the dorms?
Living in the dorms was a lot of fun. Once I moved into the vastu dorms, I started making real Indian chai for everyone and we would often have chai in the mornings before class. I remember running to meditation and the domes in the morning and staying up late watching movies, eating snacks, or just talking.
Note by Anna: Every student at Maharishi University of Management learns the Transcendental Meditation technique and has the option to learn advanced meditation techniques. Those that opt to learn certain advanced techniques can meditate together in the dome shaped buildings on campus.
2nd note by Anna: I lived in the dorms with Varsha for a little bit, she makes GREAT chai!!
Q: What did you decide to do after graduating? And how did you decide to do it?
A: It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do after I got my BA. To be honest, when I graduated, I had ideas, but no real sense of where I was headed, so I decided to try a few things out.
After I graduated, I went to India for a few months thinking that I may want to pursue more advanced training in Ayurveda. I checked out many colleges and spoke with many Ayurvedic physicians. But as I spoke to colleges and applied for entrances, it just didn’t feel right. My inner gut was telling me that I did not want to be an Ayurvedic doctor. So I dropped the idea of continuing my studies in India, but the bright side of it was that I did find an Ayurvedic doctor who is now my mentor.
From India, I returned to San Diego and I was hired by a Maharishi Ayurvedic Health Center to be their health educator and run the center. The few months I spent there, I became clear that my passion for educating is greater than consulting. Although my position as a health educator was rewarding, it was not what I was looking for.
Still feeling lost and confused, I decided to go to a community college and take some pre-requisites so that I could apply for medical school. While I took these classes, I realized that without a doubt, I did not want to be any kind of doctor. I did a lot of soul searching during that semester and I accepted that I am a healer and I want to help others, but conventional medicine was not going to help me to accomplish my life purpose.
So I started to search online for master’s degrees in health education and I found John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA where I am now finishing my Masters in Holistic Health Education and Nutrition.
Q: What are your future plans?
After I graduate in June, I am moving back to San Diego and I plan to continue to work as a health educator for Health Solutions Services, Inc. I’m also getting married in November and I will then be moving to London. Once I’m settled in London, I have two thoughts of what I would like to do. My first option is to work with children and educate and empower them to make healthy decisions from an early age, or the other option I may pursue is to continue to be a corporate health educator, providing health lectures and wellness coaching. I also plan on continuing to do one-on-one nutrition and Ayurvedic consulting.
You can find out more about student life at MUM here.
And see what other MUM alumn are doing, here.
If you’re an MUM alumni, leave a comment or send a message and let me know what you’re up to!
|Anna Bruen is a MUM alumnus who graduated with a degree in Sustainable Living. Anna is the resident blogger here at MUM. To learn more about Anna take a look at her introduction post.|