Dr. Laksmana Das (Lawrence Roehrig), M.A.S., P.K.S., E-R.Y.T wears many hats in the world of Ayurveda. His impressive resume speaks volumes about his dedication to the art of healing and his commitment to passing on this ancient knowledge to future generations. As an educator, he imparts wisdom in various classes, ranging from Ayurvedic Consultation and Evaluation to specialized courses on the Nervous System, Dermatology, and Chronic Disease. Moreover, his role extends beyond the classroom, guiding students through internships and providing invaluable real-world experience.
His journey into Ayurveda began at the renowned California College of Ayurveda, where he completed his studies in Ayurvedic Medicine. Dr. Das holds a trifecta of certifications that reflect his expertise – Medical Ayurvedic Specialist, Panchakarma Specialist, and Registered Hatha Yoga Therapist. However, his quest for knowledge did not stop there. He pursued postgraduate programs at Greens Ayur Hospital in Kerala, India, deepening his understanding of Ayurveda at its very source. His thirst for wisdom led him to luminaries such as Dr. David Frawley and Yogini Shambhavi, enriching his expertise further.
However, Dr. Das’s journey encompasses more than just theoretical knowledge. He has immersed himself in practical aspects of healing, studying herbalism under the guidance of author Brigitte Mars and delving into the culinary side of Ayurveda through numerous Ayurvedic Cooking courses. Additionally, his exploration of Sanskrit Mantra therapy with Yogi Baba Prem adds another layer to his holistic approach to health and well-being.
Dr. Das’s commitment to Ayurveda goes beyond the academic realm. He has authored numerous programs and curricula for yoga studios, cleansing routines, and workshops, making Ayurvedic wisdom accessible to a wider audience.
In this interview, we dive deep into Dr. Laksmana Das’s journey and his insights into Ayurveda.
Can you share your personal journey of how you came to practice Ayurveda? What sparked your interest and what motivated you to pursue it as a career?
Life was seemingly going just fine until Yoga and Ayurveda turned my world upside down. This is how I have always thought of my introduction to both Ayurveda and Yoga.
In the mid-90s I was introduced to Ayurveda through the writings of Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Frawley. The perspective of looking at the body, health, and healing as more than just physical was quite revolutionary to me. Idle curiosity turned into a mission when in the early 2000s my now husband started to have symptoms of high glucose. Using what we knew he successfully returned his labs to normal. I took a Yoga Teacher Training in Denver Colorado that introduced Ayurveda in 2008. By this point, I realized I could only study on my own so far and needed a teacher. This is what brought me to CCA.
I have to this day a deep fondness and reverence for the historical lineage of Yoga and Ayurveda and was so grateful and enthusiastic by the work of Dr. Halpern who synthesized so much classical knowledge and the principles of Yoga and Ayurveda into a relevant and modern real-world methodology.
Initially, my studies were to simply understand wellness on behalf of myself and my family. Perhaps my understanding of myself changed, or perhaps my understanding of family grew. As time went on and my studies deepened, I went from student to practitioner to teacher. For me, each step was a natural conclusion. Like what many of the students have shared with me over the years have said, studying Ayurveda is not like studying anything else, rather, it feels more like re-remembering something that was always there.
As an Ayurvedic teacher, what do you find most rewarding about sharing your knowledge with others?
Seeing the lightbulb. I think all teachers find this the most rewarding. And in the field of Ayurveda seeing that lightbulb makes a difference to humanity. It is one more healer who will share a holistic vision of health with the world, making it that much better.
For aspiring Ayurvedic students, what advice would you give them to make the most out of their learning journey?
Listen within. Mother Nature and the human heart contain all of the Ayurvedic knowledge. It is inherently within us already; we just need to create an optimum environment to re-remember. Ayurveda is a living tradition and just like any person it grows and evolves with time. Each new student adds their important perspective and voice to the continuing evolution of this ancient healing art.
What are some of your favorite Ayurvedic tips or daily practices that you personally incorporate into your life for overall well-being? How have these practices positively influenced your health and lifestyle?
Chewing mindfully and taking a lunch break.
For me, Āyurveda is about the simple things that make a big impact. I have a personal sadhana that is very important to me, and I won’t start my day without it, but it is the tools I go to during the day that matter most for me. When I notice any agitation within my body, I have noticed throughout my life I begin to eat fast. One time I decided to count, and embarrassing as it is to admit, it was 1-2 gulp. Me chewing fast when I am nervous is a go-to response and it has become a sort of personal humor for me to see myself slip so easily into 1-2 gulp.
Making lunchtime special is another favorite, if not the most. We are nothing without our big bright solar friend. I have sometimes thought; What if the Sun decided to take a day off? So Lunch for me is honoring the highest point of the day with our Solar friend. The Sun reminds me of the nourishing effect of a warm consistent friend that always shows up.
Throughout your journey as an Ayurvedic teacher, what have been some of the most inspiring success stories or transformations you’ve witnessed in your students? How does witnessing these positive changes fuel your passion for teaching Ayurveda and helping others on their path to well-being?
Seeing the graduates of CCA thrive and share Ayurveda in their unique and creative ways is an inspiration. Watching CCA students step into their own practice and hearing their patients become inspired and successful in their own journey is something I am very grateful to witness and to be a part of. It is a true opportunity to witness a living, holistic, and ancient tradition such as Ayurveda evolve in the gifted hands of our graduates.
Do you also see patients in practice and are you open to receiving more new patients?
My duties to the students and the college have expanded and as such I am no longer able to see patients.