Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Vargas.
So, before we jump into specific questions about SIMPLEVEDA, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2003, after many years in corporate America, I began a journey of self-discovery. At first and like most, my yoga practice was for the physical benefit and to de-stress from the toxic work environment. It didn’t take long before my practice allowed for deeper inquiry and I began to question my purpose in life. In 2005, I had a wake-up call after I tore my ACL in a skiing accident which left me with months of recovery and sent me into a deep state of depression. Growing up, I admired my grandmother’s sense of natural living, gardening, and “food as medicine’ and the idea of surgery was just not an option. So, began my journey of self-healing. Nervous, excited, and unsure, I left the corporate scene, cashed in my 401K, and moved to California for teacher training.
Upon returning to Dallas to teach, I began to realize what I was doing off my mat wasn’t supporting what was happening on my mat. My soul searching and desire to heal years of digestive challenges led me to Ayurveda. I was overwhelmed with chills and goose-bumps each time I read and studied this remarkable sister science to yoga. I began to implement Ayurveda practices into my daily life and my students began asking “what are you doing?”, I began to share what I was learning until I got to a point where I desired to go deeper and needed to learn more. In 2007, I moved back to California and enrolled in a 4-year program at the California College of Ayurveda where I graduated in 2009 as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think it’s easy to find gratitude for the things in front of us; a house, job, car, friends, and family. Finding gratitude for the challenges isn’t easy but is a beautiful practice because without them we wouldn’t evolve, grow, and learn. For the most part, my journey of starting a business has been smooth and I contribute that to my passion and yearning to be of service to others and to my friends and family who have supported me in times of doubt.
While attending school, I never saw myself starting an ayurvedic practice, never imagined myself as an entrepreneur. I was on my own healing journey and hoped to one day support my own family. However, during my residency, my mentors and supervisors guided me into beginning my own practice and taught me the “business of yoga” and I am forever grateful for their support. My best friend Kristen, a successful entrepreneur, gave me the confidence and cheered me on, my students became my first clients and trusted me with their health and a dear friend loaned me $500 to open up a larger office. My husband is my biggest enthusiast and I honestly couldn’t do this without him. My kids understand what I do and they are always willing to try a new recipe, drink my “dirt” herbs and help in the garden. Friendships and community is a gift from Divine Mother!
My advice to other women: don’t be afraid to peel off the layers of doubt to discover your greatness! Ask for help, lean on others for support, and be authentic in your words and how you show up, everything else will fall into place!
We’d love to hear more about SimpleVeda | Ayurveda + Yoga.
To say, I love helping women is an understatement! We are the backbone of our tribe and the healthier we are, the healthier our community! I am passionate about bringing nourishment and the science of Ayurveda to women in all stages of life; fertility, pre and postnatal as well as menopause. The unique nature of each woman requires specific attention and support, and I endeavor to work alongside women to empower them to remember their innate ability to heal and to create a life of radiant health!
The way I support clients is unique, mostly through individual consultations but often this could be through workshops, cooking classes, private yoga therapy sessions, and perhaps through herbal support. During consultations, clients can expect to work through 5 senses therapies to create healing with practices of yoga, meditation, right diet and lifestyle, sound and chakra therapy as well as holistic ways to heal from emotional traumas. I enjoy hosting and being part of woman’s retreats which I offer each year and will often be a guest presenter for others. For the past year, I have found a passion for teaching iRest | Yoga Nidra and look forward to bringing this into the community regularly.
Each year, I present to medical residents at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, helping them realize and make use of the benefits of Ayurveda coupled with modern medicine. I also REALLY enjoy bringing a greater understanding of Ayurvedic principles to yoga instructors through annual teacher training at The Yoga Movement and other yoga studios. My goal is to empower yoga instructors to help their students to live a life of vitality through the inseparable practice of Ayurveda and yoga. After all, that’s where my journey began!
I am deeply passionate about food, herbs all things plant medicine. You’ll find me bringing new products into our apothecary, creating ayurvedically inspired dishes and I have started a mentorship program for ayurvedic counselors.
For the past three years, I have obtained a proclamation from the city of Dallas to recognize the month of October as ‘Ayurveda Awareness Month’ and with that, we have an annual pop-up market where like-minded practitioners and healing arts businesses can come and educate our community.
I am also an active member of the National Ayurveda Medical Association where we aim to preserve, protect, and promote the science and practice of Ayurveda.
At home, the passion continues in our kitchen and backyard. As a herbalist, I try to grow as many of my own herbs and create healthy products for my clients and family. We are beekeepers and hope to add chickens to the family soon.
So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well-positioned for?
Women absolutely have opportunities in the healing arts and I am surrounded by them, each making a huge impact in their community. Yoga studio owners who are not only offering classes but workshops to support their students off their mat (that wasn’t happening back when I started), inspiring bloggers sharing their passion and educating us from their desktops, women who have started their own businesses just simply from a passion or interest and mothers who nurture and support their family but also see opportunities outside of a 9-5 desk job! I believe we can do anything if we acknowledge a growth mindset – take your interest, your passion, or a problem and turn it into a solution and career and life you love!
Image Credit: Emily Whitener + Dally Ross