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Meet the Innovators: Robert Svoboda

This American Ayurvedic practitioner travels extensively to teach Ayurveda, astrology, and related topics "with as much humor as possible."

By Holly Hammond

Robert Svoboda is the first Westerner ever to obtain an Indian degree in Ayurveda and be licensed to practice Ayurveda in India. He lived there for 10 years, graduating in 1980 from Tilak Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, where Dr. Vasant Lad was one of his professors. He is author of 11 books, including Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution (Lotus Press, 1989), and the Aghora trilogy (Brotherhood of Life Books, 1986), about his guru, Vimalananda. He spends part of every year in India and travels extensively in the United States and abroad teaching Ayurveda, Indian astrology, and related subjects "with as much humor as possible."

"The Bhagavad Gita defines yoga as 'adeptness in action,'" comments Svoboda. "Yoga postures and breathing exercises are but two of the many actions that can promote skillful living. Improving one's diet, consuming herbs, meditating, chanting, ritual worship, and visualizations can also facilitate a health-promoting yoga practice. Such actions are most adept when they also promote health in others, not simply inflate the self. As Vimalananda, my mentor, liked to say, the purpose of yoga is to make every home a happy home."

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