Board of Advisory
My journey with Ayurveda began in the 1970’s with meditation, learning the terms ‘satva’, ‘rajas’ and ‘tamas’ as doorways to observing my mind’s cycles. In 1986, I had the great good fortune to meet with Dr. Robert Svoboda, who had just published his first book in India and was touring Canada to begin his teaching mission. He suggested I meet his teacher, Vaidya Vasant D. Lad.
Right from hearing his name, I knew my destiny was involved and subsequent met him by divine grace in 1989, beginning a diligent and compelling apprenticeship with Dr. Lad for 12 years. Still today, I continue studying Ayurveda with him and all teachers, such as clients, students, colleagues, scholars, the environment and my own inner changes. During the 1990’s, the late and beloved Dr. Thricovil Sukumaran became a most significant influence in my understanding of Ayurveda, especially Kerala style panchakarma.
I was also privileged to work on the inception of the National Ayurveda Association in the US, where I was learning, practicing and teaching at the time, becoming a founding member. Returning to Canada in 2007 for undertaking my father’s end of life care, I became very interested in Ayurveda Geriatrics. Now in my 70’s, my goal is to serve through Ayurveda, whose wisdom was generated for alleviating suffering and becoming one’s true Self.
Some of my goals as an advisor to the Board of Directors are to support the A.A.C. purposes of unity, consumer guidance, continuing education, government interface and ethical practice of the sacred and comprehensive science of Ayurveda. Of particular interest to me are the goals of implementing AYUSH International Standards of Practice, securing practitioner insurance coverage and supporting importation of all tried and true Ayurvedic medicinal substances. All of us will be needed to realize these lofty goals, and I plan to contribute what I can to our successes, with the grace of the Board and membership.
Namasté. Born in India, Sonia considers herself to be a lifelong student of Yoga. She finalized her training in Kundalini Yoga from The Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Introduced to yogis and swamis at a young age, she developed a deep interest in Yoga, Ayurvedic sciences and eastern philosophy to help her face different challenges in her life. With her background in the Federal Public Service for the last 27+ years, Sonia took an initiative to develop lunch hour wellness sessions, incorporating office yoga, mindfulness and Ayurveda. She continues to advocate the awareness of Yoga and Ayurveda in the workplace, being called upon to do Town Hall sessions, regularly.
Since 2016, Sonia has been teaching at Ottawa’s largest yoga studio, PranaShanti. More recently, she completed her Ayurvedic Chef training as she aspires to be an Ayurvedic health counsellor. Sonia feels privileged to share her knowledge of Yoga, Ayurvedic Sciences and Cooking in her workshops, yoga sessions and private consultations. Sat Naam.
Himalayan Yoga Master and founder of Akhanda Yoga. A teacher of teachers, Yogi Vishvketu facilitates trainings and workshops internationally incorporating diverse aspects of Yoga practice into his classes: asana, pranayama, cleansing kriyas, Ayurveda mantra and meditation. He calls this holistic style of teaching Akhanda Yoga.
A yogi at heart, Vishva-ji has studied and practiced Yoga and the Vedic healing arts in the Himalayas since the age of 8 and holds a Ph.D. in Yoga Philosophy. He is co-founder of the Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram Trust in Rishikesh, India where he lives part of the year. With his fun-loving nature and infectious laughter, Vishva-ji inspires students and teachers from around the world to live the yogic life with joy and dedication. He is also the author of Yogasana: The Encyclopedia of Yoga Poses (Mandala Publications).
Dr. Vineeta Ahooja
Dr. Ahooja is a board certified cardiologist who practices cardiology in the GTA with a special focus on advanced cardiac imaging . Her training has spanned four countries where she was has had the opportunity to practice under various healthcare systems and treated conditions of a variety of demographics . She completed her undergraduate BSc in human biology at the University of Toronto, medical school at Kasturba Medical college in Manipal India as well as the University of the West Indies and her residency and fellowship at Detroit medical centre/Wayne state university . She has received certificates of merit and appreciation of service in several hospitals through the years . In addition, she has completed training in Ayurvedic Medicine in 2014 at Caish in Toronto and has a special interest in Ayurveda and it’a role in cardiovascular disease.
Lynda Spieser is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, a 500-hour Kripalu Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher, a Yoga Health Coach and an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist.
As author of the ‘CLAS Age-less-ness’ Series, Lynda teaches modern applications of the time-tested wisdom of Ayurveda to individuals in her clinical practice and to groups of engaged women, meeting weekly and committed to holding each other accountable for automating new, rejuvenating habits. Diet and lifestyle self-care practices, tailored to the individual’s unique constitution and state, and in sync with the rhythms of nature, evolve them to balance, harmony and thrive.
Ms. Vishnupriya Thacker, New York
Vishnupriya Thacker, Founder and CEO of Vedic Synergy, Inc. (based in New York City): is a certified holistic Ayurvedic Wellness and Spiritual Healing Coach, accredited by the AADP, with a focus on mind-body-spirit well-being. She has completed her training in the time-honored science of Ayurveda under a renowned Ayurvedacharya learning about the health issues faced in the US and India. In addition, she has studied at the reputed Institute of Integrative Integration, where she was trained in a variety of lifestyle coaching methods. Her knowledge in spiritual healing has been gained by learning from a guru (who has since taken Samadhi); and exploring various spiritual/energy healing modalities through different training programs and books.
She is passionate about spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda, Healing, and Spirituality globally; and towards this aim, she has created a practical ‘Rise like a Phoenix’ Coaching program at Vedic Synergy for mind-body-soul transformation. The program aims to support the audience on the most important journey of life – to one’s Higher Consciousness or ‘I AM’ – that will result in higher vibration, joy, and fulfillment. Along with this, she holds group workshops on Ayurveda, cooking with spices, and meditation.
Vishnupriya grew up with conventional medicine (her father was a doctor) during her childhood in India; through which she got insight into the human body, ailments, and most importantly compassion for those looking to heal. In her mid-twenties, she moved to New York City where she has had an extensive corporate career spanning 20 years across the Investment Banking and Technology/Business arenas, which provided her with an in-depth understanding of the stresses that are faced by working professionals. Her diverse experience, knowledge, and empathy, makes her a suitable bridge from the mainstream to holistic healing.
The mission of Vedic Synergy (www.vedicsynergy.com) is to spread this gift of Ayurveda and Spiritual healing that we have received from the ancients across geographical borders, and thereby contribute to raising the positive global soul energy.