Interview with Georgia McCall

interview-gloria-mccall

Georgia McCall, allows nature and its seasons to guide her daily rituals and wellbeing. A mender of energy, she is driven to help others physically, emotionally and spiritually heal.

Her healing modalities are rooted in Ayurvedic principles and practices and reiki's understanding of energy. She founded HUM Ayurveda, based in London, as a platform to engage with her clients and aid them in finding nourishment and balance.

McCall unfolds the basics of Ayurveda and the love triangle between healing, mother nature, and the self.



What led you to Ayurveda?

Honestly, desperation. I had exhausted so many avenues in regards to my physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing and was running out of options to turn to.

In 2018, I met a radiant ayurvedic doctor in Goa who changed the trajectory of my personal healing. I learned that my raw vegan diet and high-intensity workouts were in fact having a negative impact on my body. Armed with a bundle of herbal supplements and new diet and lifestyle rituals I started my journey with Ayurveda. I began to eat warm and nourishing organic foods and applied Ayurvedic practices to my daily routines. Slowly I started to heal. Naturally.



“For the best part of my early 20’s and 30’s I suffered from anxiety, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, sinusitis, and low moods”.

What inspired you to create HUM Ayurveda?

HUM was born out of a passion for travel, health and wellness, and my time spent in Bali, India and Sri Lanka.

I fell in love with Ayurveda as an ancient science and its simple yet profound ways to heal. HUM has become a platform to share and practice my deep appreciation for Ayurveda with others.



What is the meaning of HUM?

The word hum comes from the So Hum Mantra which has a special meaning in Vedic philosophy and it’s often the mantra given to those new to the practices of yoga and mediation.

So Hum is a phrase comprised of two Sanskrit words and the literal translations are:

So: “That” Hum: “I”

Therefore, the translation of So Hum is “I Am That.”

Vedic scholars have interpreted the “That” in the mantra to represent the Universe, and it is now widely understood that the So Hum Mantra symbolizes the fact that we are all connected to the universal energy that is constantly supporting and nourishing us in the ways we need and desire. The So Hum Mantra can be a great fit for your meditation, offering balance with the universe.



What are some simple ways one can introduce Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom into their modern daily life?

I always advise my clients to implement Ayuvedic principles gradually. I think this allows one to achieve maximum results and to maintain the practice. Starting with simple things like tongue scraping, dry brushing, abhyanga (self-massage, drinking golden milk, and herbal teas, and getting to bed by 10 pm is a great place to start.

Discovering your Dosha by signing up for a one on one Ayurvedic consultation is a great next step to understanding your innate strengths and weaknesses and to nourish your mind, body, and soul with appropriate food and lifestyle choices.



Can you tell us about Ayurveda’s connection to the seasons and the three doshas?

Ayurveda suggests living in harmony with our natural environment is key to staying healthy and balanced. Eating with the seasons and adjusting our routines to accommodate for the time of year, enables us to sync with the natural rhythms of life. Understanding our own nature and the qualities of each season is the starting point for making the healthiest choices, supporting a healthy immune system, optimum digestion, and maintaining energy.

According to Ayurveda, we are composed of the same elements that we witness in nature: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. A combination of these elements create the Doshas, or the energies of the body and mind. The three Doshas in Ayurveda are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each Dosha is made up of two of the five universal elements and Dosha relates to a season.

Vata is made up of the elements of Air and Ether and considered to be Fall/Winter because the wind is rough and the cold is bitter.

Pitta is made up of the elements of Fire and Water and considered to be Summer as the sun is high and intense.

Kapha is made up of the elements Earth and Water and considered to be Spring, a time of new beginnings. This is a time when nature, once again comes to life as flowers bloom and people generally feel more energized.

We all have a unique ratio of all three Doshas within our bodies but we have a tendency to be more dominant in one. Ayurveda aims to promote good health through balancing the three Doshas with one’s environment through a series of diet, exercise and lifestyle practices.



What healing roles do plants and herbs play in Ayurveda?

Herbs, plants and spices are at the heart of the Ayurvedic tradition. Practitioners rely on the healing powers of herbs, plants and spices to treat their clients holistically. Using botanicals grown from the earth to cleanse the body, boost defense against disease, and keep the mind, body and spirit balanced. Many of the herbs and spices we have in our kitchens today have been used for centuries promoting mental clarity, weight loss, lustrous hair, healthy function of the liver, beautiful skin, a robust immune system and overall vitality.



Can you share your favorite ayurvedic recipe with us?

Kitchari /kitch-uh-ree/ meaning ‘mixture’ in Hindi. Kitchari is the ultimate healing recipe for all Doshas or Tri-Doshic. It’s a one pot meal of lentils and rice delicately flavored with herbs and spices. It’s warming, easy to digest, as well as healing and soothing to the system.

Serves 3-4

1 cup yellow moong dal
½ cup white basmati rice
2 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil)
4 cardamom pods, cracked
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
5 cups water or more
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric


Optional:

2 to 5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables
1. Rinse the moong dal + rice 3 times, or until the water runs clear.
2. Measure all spices into a cup.
3. Heat the ghee or coconut oil in a large pot. Add all of the spices and sauté together on medium heat for a minute until fragrant
4. Stir in the moong dal and rice. Add 5 cups of water and chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, lid on.
5. Cook for 40 minutes or until the dal and rice are completely soft.
6. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped herbs.




What are your daily beauty and wellness rituals?

My dinacharya (daily rituals) are sacred to me. I rise with the sun and practice 45 minutes of pranayama, meditation, and journaling where I always write a list of things I am grateful for. I then splash my face with cool water, tongue scrape to get rid of Ama (accumulated toxins), brush my teeth and do Jala Neti to clear my sinuses before showering. I prepare a warm, nourishing and grounding breakfast of porridge and chai tea.

Lunch is always midday.

In the evening I have a light, easy to digest dinner around 6 pm followed by Abhyanga (self-massage), yin yoga, self-reiki, diffusing essential oils, meditation and some more journaling before lights out at 10 pm.

I’m extremely conscious of the things I put on my body so no toxic products, such as makeup and chemical-free washing detergents are a must.



How does your energy work relate to Ayurveda?

From my own experience, they serve one another. Ayurveda and Reiki are my most powerful practices and the foundation for my health and wellbeing. Reiki is a real act of self-love and a wonderful practice to reduce anxiety and ease aches and pains. Sitting quietly, turning inward and healing myself through gentle touch is my absolute favourite hour of the day.


“Over the years I have turned to a number of healing modalities to nourish myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so I can show up for life with ease, grace, comfort and gratitude.”

What is your favorite emotion?

Joy! After many years of pain I relish and deeply appreciate the joyful moments.

During the COVID lockdown I spent 10 weeks in the countryside with family. I was really able to slow down and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures, such as baking a cake, reading a book, basking in the sun, walking in nature, and listening to my family laugh. The notion of slowing down is not freely encouraged in our society, which means we aren’t given the time to notice and appreciate the joyful moments that exist in the day to day. Instead, we are trained to look outward to find joy. When in truth, joy can be found in almost anything as it comes from within.



What does the word soften mean to you?

To soften is to surrender. A reminder to take a deep breath and let the process unfold naturally. Less pushing, controlling, demanding, or rushing and instead allowing myself to let go entirely.

A wise friend always reminds me, “If it's for you it won’t pass you by”.



How do you achieve your eupnea ?

By practicing breathwork and Vedic meditation. I sit for 20 minutes, twice daily, silently repeating my personal mantra. It’s such a healing practice with endless benefits.

For more, follow Georgia @humayurveda