Interview: Rippan Sandhu

Spa Ayurda owner, Rippan Sandhu, shares her passion for wellness & her journey with opening an unique New Zealand business and developing her all-natural skin care line, Ayurda.

Why is wellness your passion?

Wellness to me is way of life, our birth right. I have always believed that mind rules the body and body rules the mind. Even modern science has rediscovered that how we think and feel has a direct impact on our immunity and overall health. There is growing body of research establishing the intricate connection of mind, body and spirit as well as the value of health practices that encompass all three aspects.

Since a very young age, I have observed how these simple practices can help maintain a natural balance and mind/body rhythm. Even though they did not make much sense to an 8 year old girl then it did not take me long to understand the value of Mind-Body Balance. I regularly follow these practices as they help to keep me grounded and calm, allowing me to better manage my busy life.

My family moved to New Zealand in 1996 and my husband, Dr. Ajit, founded the first Ayurvedic clinic in Auckland and this is when my interest in Ayurveda and wellness escalated. I worked closely with him in managing the business and realised that therewas a need in New Zealand for an authentic wellness spa destination.

Being that you and your husband work so closely together how domaintain the relationship?

My husband and I have been married 22 years and have worked together the majority of this time. We keep our working relationship strictly professional and respect each other’s differences in how we work. We both have our moments but keeping good boundaries between our work life and our home life is very important.

How does a typical day begin for you?

My day begins with Gratitude- a little ritual that helps me stay grounded and focussed throughout my day. Before I get out of bed I give thanks for all the blessings in my life, my family, my health, my team and this existence which is followed by 10 to 15 deep breathes while clearing my mind & let any thoughts that creep in float by. Next,I take a few minutes to think about my day and what things are most important and require my attention. This helps me balance my busy life as a dedicated mother, wifeand business owner.

Before I have a shower, I always do a self-massage for 5- 10 minutes with warm sesame oil as to help lubricate the joints and tissues and further moving the toxins while helping with muscle tension.

What is Ayurveda & why is it good for people?

Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of healing and literally means “the science oflife” ( Ayur=life, Veda=science or knowledge). 
Many people don’t realise this but yoga comes from Ayurveda and the fact that Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine have their roots in Ayurveda. More than just a system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a complete philosophy of life that reminds us that health is the balanced and active link between our environment, body, mind and spirit; it leads not only tothe wellbeing of the individual but also to the wellbeing of the universe as it restoresharmony and balance in our lives.
Ayurveda recognises that we are all different and that each of us has a unique mindand body. This takes all the guesswork out of getting healthy. The benefits that followare not only felt in your body – they are also seen in your mental and emotional wellbeing.

How did you first get introduced to Ayurveda?

Having grown up in India, my family was very much into Ayurveda. I remember our weekends were quite special in that we always had set aside time for massage or oiling the hair. I learned at a very early age the benefits of massage and how calm itmade me feel. This was the key reason why Spa Ayurda offers wellness treatments for children ages 6 and up as kids benefit from a nurturing human touch which leaves them happier, calmer and with increased concentration levels.

Ayurvedic cooking was a big part of my upbringing. My mother was a great cook but she also had this amazing knowledge about herbs and spices and would often give these to us for cold, flu, aches etc, which sparked my interest into healthy cooking.I love cooking and incorporating particular Ayurvedic herbs and spices that nourish the body & mind that help with digestion as well as supporting overall energy levels which impact our temperament and body-mind constitution.

How does your business, Spa Ayurda, differ from other spas?

Spa Ayurda (pronounced ‘I–yurr–da’) translates as ‘the bestower of longevity’ is positioned at the top end of the Auckland spa market and it was my intention to offer something different than other spas.

We felt there was a gap in the Auckland market and what is on the offer is more or less the same within the spa sector here. With wellness our focus and embedded in tradition of Ayurveda, we introduced Spa Ayurda to the local market. Spa Ayurdais first authentic Ayurvedic wellness day spa that customises its treatments based on our client’s unique requirements as opposed to one size fits all approach using specific therapeutic oils, herbs and aromas along with wellbeing advice to help achieve optimal balance and nourishment for their mind-body constitution.

Our treatments are about helping people find wellness as well as balance in their lives – we offer luxurious customised facials, therapeutic Ayurvedic massages as wellas a range of other authentic treatments such as the Shirodhara. The Shirodhara is a deeply relaxing treatment that helps one achieve a sense of clarity and grounding like no other.

Spa Ayurda also proudly features its exclusive all natural skincare range called Ayurda.

Why did you develop Ayurda skincare?

I developed Ayurda as I noticed that there was a lack of quality yet effective natural skincare based on Ayurvedic principles in the market place. I believe our customers are ordinary people like me. Our lives can be very demanding at times and there isno time for complex skin care regimes. And with this simple mantra in mind Ayurda, a simple, affordable yet effective skincare that caters to unique skincare and lifestyle needs was born.

Ayurda is a premium Ayurvedic spa and skincare range based on the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, which recognises that each person is unique, what works for one may not necessarily work for another. At Ayurda, we believe that beauty and well-being are interconnected and beautiful, glowing skin is merely a reflection ofinner well-being.

Ayurda’s secret is in the synergy of the ingredients and the intention of those involved inthe making of the product when combined with our wellbeing & lifestyle suggestions, they become a powerful combination that helps our clients to feel good, age well and live better.

Does Spa Ayurda offer a natural alternative to Botox & chemically basedtreatments?

At Spa Ayurda our whole approach is to promote longevity and our treatments work to bring total physical and mental rejuvenation. In regards natural anti-ageing,our all-natural 24 Carat Gold Facial is our most luxurious facial on offer. Gold is renowned for accelerating cellular renewal, promotes skin elasticity, increases blood circulation & hydration while reducing fine lines and preventing premature ageing. It is a very pampering experience and uses our Ayurda 24 carat Gold leaf serum combined with a synergy of gentle Ayurvedic techniques and exotic ingredients customised for individual beauty, relaxation and wellbeing.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to open a business that is not mainstream?

I recommend that you have a clear vision about your business and ensure you do ther equired research before jumping in. It is important to realise not everyone will be open to what you do or offer at first but to know that by educating people about yourservice or product and how it will benefit them in their lives is key.

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