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Interview with CAAM Volunteer, Halaen Shipman

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Halean has spent over 25 years in the oncology field, both in direct patient therapy and software project management. Although her experience was rewarding, she experienced burnout and decided to pursue her passion in natural healing modalities, specifically Ayurveda. Halean received her Ayurvedic Practitioner Certification from Southern California University in 2021. Along with intense Ayurvedic Nutrition and Culinary training from Bhagavat Life, Halean is also a Reiki 2 Practitioner.

“ I am now giving to myself, healing and now really enjoying learning this amazing science.”

A: How did you discover Ayurveda?

H: After much stress and complete burn out from an IT job, I was on a kayak tour in Hawaii and overheard a guide tell a young woman to follow her passion, find what makes you happy and do that. I had forgotten the importance of that and when I got home started searching back into my younger passion of natural medicine. Ayurveda kept popping up, I actually got a bit curious and finally took a look and that was it. My next search was for schools.

A: What are your goals?

H: To help others in some way with GI health, Reiki and Animal Care. I would also love to educate Medical Doctors on general Ayurveda methods they can apply with their patients.

A: How did you find out about CAAM?

H: Through school, SCU.

A: Which volunteer projects are you a part of and which do you enjoy the most?

H: Chai with CAAM, IT Conference Support and assisting with some Canva creations. I enjoy all of Chai with CAAM support from contacting the speakers with a welcome letter of details for the event, creating the FB, IG flyers, setting up the event in WiX for the email promotions and supporting the evening presentation.

A: What is your favorite part of volunteering?

H: I felt it was time to start giving of myself to others who are doing so much to elevate Ayurveda. Mostly creating the flyers, being in the presence of the speakers, seeing how Mary and Mamta so gracefully handle it all.

A: What advice would you give to someone who wants to volunteer for CAAM?

H: Sign up! Mary and Mamta are fantastic as well as the community vibe of it all.

A: Who are some Ayurvedic Pioneers you look up to and why?

H: Dr. Vasant Lad for providing relative western medicine information in tandem with the classical teaching and Dr. David Frawley - he captivates me with his spiritual and conscious teaching from vedic science.

A: What are your hopes for the future of Ayurveda?

H: I would love to see the forward momentum reach out to healthcare centers, schools and mainstream the practical use of Ayurveda..

But mostly that it will be taught in schools and practiced collaboratively among all communities. That it may restore the basic way of living whereby helping thy neighbor and bargaining with what you have, that would be wonderful to move back into for the love and happiness of all beings.

A: What is a quote you live by?

H: ​Under the shell exists the bonding of all life, EQUAL and Pure. Look within and beyond the shells, for there lies peace, love and Union.

Interview by Anjali Udhwani, PharmD, Awc, RYT200

Anjali Udhwani practices as a community integrative pharmacist and yoga instructor with an Ayurvedic perspective. From teaching AyurYoga classes for the YMCA San Francisco, to guiding people on how to incorporate holistic paths into their health and wellness journeys, she has served her local communities for over 15 years. Anjali’s life path has taken her from the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to the rolling valleys of the SF bay area. Anjali continuously educates herself in the practices of Ayurvedic and Yogic philosophies, hoping to meet and help others along the way.

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