The Seattle Ayurveda Fair, a free community fair, took place on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Sunset Hill Community Center (3003 NW 66th Street) in Seattle. The event’s mission was to celebrate Ayurveda, knows as the “science of life” — a system of natural healing and alternative medicine, that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. About 200 attendees visited the fair.
“Ayurveda is a complete science of living that embraces all aspects of our day-to-day life,” said Sarah Kruse, an Ayurvedic practitioner. “It teachers us how each individual can create and maintain a unique and harmonious lifestyle. The first step in doing this is understanding the play of the elements (air, fire, water and earth) and doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) within our bodies and the environment.” This quote from Kruse was included in the “Harmonizing Vata Dosha” flyer passed out at the event.
At the event, numerous local Ayurveda practitioners, were invited to showcase their products, businesses and services. There were live chanting performances, workshops and talks.
At the fair, we sat down to ask Gwen Nagano some questions. Nagano is the president of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association:
1. Can you tell us a little more about how the fair got started?
In March of 2013, Nagano and her colleague Carolyn McClean, both Seattle area Ayurvedic practitioners and educators, went to Portland, Oregon, to attend their first-ever free Ayurveda fair. The Portland fair was organized by LeeRoy Allen, a Portland practitioner.
“Their event was outstanding and very well attended,” Nagano said.
McClean and Nagano returned with notes and a clearer vision of how they wanted to organize their Ayurveda event in Seattle. They searched for a similar venue, one nested in a residential setting, that engaged and invited the participation of the local community. The first event took place on October 12, 2013 and had just over 200 attendees. “So we chose to give it a go for 2014,” Nagano said.
2. What is the Ayurveda fair?
“Our primary goal with the event is to offer free education to help the community learn more about the science of Ayurveda. This science has the ability to enable oneself to manage their own health care, own their part in finding balance and wellness with simple circadian and element-based practices.”
3. What was your favorite moment of the event?
“There were many of these moments, but my personal favorite is to look around the room and see the hugging, the smiles and the heart felt seva [selfless work] from everyone that turned up for the event. Our Ayurvedic practitioner community is well established and supports one another through sangha [community] gatherings and other combined efforts. It is a true blessing to have such a supportive community.”
4. What did you learn from this year’s event and what do you hope to do differently next year?
“We learned that we have not yet outgrown our space and we will return to the same venue next year. We also reaffirmed what we learned last year, that many people attending the event come for the workshops and spend the entire day.”
For the next fair, Nagano plans to work with a catering company that can accommodate the needs of the attendees during the fair.
5. Anything else, you’d like to add?
“This year, I had four wonderful individuals supporting the operations and planning. I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’ for their seva and heart felt efforts [to] Nickole Gonzales, Heidi Mair, Kathleen Whalen and Trish Foss.”
Nagano and her colleagues are excited to share the Ayurveda philosophy and teachings with everyone in the community. They invite you to learn more at www.ayurvedawama.com
[Photo by Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose – CC BY]
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