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An Interview with Dharna Tiku, Ayurvedic practitioner, Expat & Female Founder!


The Her Expat Life team recently spoke with Ayurvedic practitioner and female founder Dharna Tiku about her experiences living in an expat lifestyle and running a business.


1: Congratulations on opening ArujAyur, an Ayurvedic medicine healing centre. Can you

tell us why you opened this space and what you have experienced while being an

Ayurvedic practitioner?


Thank you so much! Being the founder of ArujAyur and an Ayurvedic Physician by profession, I

am also an Ayurvedic enthusiast by heart and am incredibly grateful for being able to help

people across the globe through Ayurveda. I have been extremely passionate about holistic

health and wellness and have practiced as an Ayurvedic physician for the last 14 years

including in several established Ayurvedic clinics in Singapore and in a Multi speciality hospitals

with an integrative medicine approach in India. I then started a business that focuses on this aspect of Ayurveda and Nutrition. At ArujAyur we offer personalised Ayurvedic consultations and find the best health & wellness practices for our clients and help them take proactive steps to improve their health and reduce their risk of illness.

While practicing Ayurveda I have come across thousands of patients with different health

issues. Initially it was challenging to manage with the minimum supplies of Ayurvedic

supplements, due to valid regulations. However, I did some research and revised my treasured

Ayurvedic texts and realised that many health conditions can be beautifully managed by

correcting the lifestyle and diet, since then my prescription includes diet and lifestyle guidelines

and helped my clients with multiple health issues like Eczema, Psoriasis, PCOD, digestive

disorders, metabolic disorders.

During my early years I also worked at a Multi speciality hospitals as a Medical Officer, with an

Integrative Ayurvedic set up in India. There I learnt and realised that Ayurveda compliments

mainstream medicine very well and speeds up the healing process of patients admitted to (ICU

and other departments) for different health conditions.


2: As a female expat originally from India and now living in Singapore, what have been

the biggest challenges you have faced so far, and how did you overcome them?


I came to Singapore soon after getting married and had no clarity on how long our stay was going

to be. It's been 15 years now and counting. I had no idea of how and where to start my

professional journey in Singapore as Ayurveda wasn't very well known at that time.

Willingness to adapt and be open-minded to new experiences and ways of life, has been key

for my personal and professional growth. Networking and building relationships with people,

joining wellness communities, being aware of and embracing cultural differences, and trying

new things are all important aspects of living in Singapore and have helped me connect with

people in a better way.


It has been an empowering journey so far. Expat living in Singapore can be a unique and

exciting experience.


3: What inspired you to open ‘ArujAyur’ in Singapore?


Starting a business that focuses on holistic wellness, Ayurveda, yoga, and preventive health

care is very fulfilling, meaningful and most of all close to my heart. Not only can ArujAyur help

people improve their health and well-being, but you can also make a positive impact on the

community. Preventive health care is a key aspect of Ayurveda and has been gaining recognition as a more effective approach to maintaining health and preventing illness in Singapore and across the

globe. People are more careful about their health and wellbeing now than ever before and have

realised the need for and importance of preventive healthcare.

The idea behind ArujAyur is to help people take charge of their health by taking proactive steps to

reduce their risk of illness.

Ayurveda sees each person as a unique combination of Doshas (Body Types), and that there

are different health practices advised that work better for each body type.


4: What is your advice for other entrepreneurial women who want to advance their

careers and are looking to get into the Ayurvedic space?


As a female entrepreneur, its important to have confidence in your abilities and trust in your

decision-making. Surround yourself with supportive people and focus on your accomplishments

and successes. Networking is an important aspect of any business and can be especially

beneficial for female entrepreneurs. It can help connect you with potential clients, partners, and

mentors. Building trust is essential for any business. It can be helpful to be genuine, transparent, and

open in all your interactions. Being genuine and authentic this means being true to yourself and

your values, and not trying to be someone you're not.

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of medicine that can be beneficial for female

entrepreneurs to help balance emotions, calm the mind, improve stress response and thus

increase productivity. It promotes overall health and well-being


5: As a successful female, what are your top tips for other women looking to relocate?


I suggest using social media groups and online forums to connect with other women who have

relocated to the same country. They can offer valuable advice and support. Be open to new

experiences and new ways of doing things. Learn about the local culture, customs, and traditions. This will help you understand and respect the people you'll be living among.

In general, having an open mind, being adaptable and showing mutual respect for local culture

and people can help you successfully navigate the process of relocating to a new country.


6: What advice do you have for expat women in building new relationships and a support

system abroad and in the workplace?


Relocating to a new country can be an exciting and a challenging experience. Working on

personal development should be a priority, I don't skip my meditation, breathing practices and

Sun salutation, as this helps me keep resilient and calm.

Being adaptable to new situations and unexpected challenges is going to be helpful in your

professional growth. Be open to learning and try to be flexible in your approach to problem-

solving. Look for local groups and organisations that align with your interests. Joining a

community can help you feel connected and supported in your new home.



7: What advice do you have for female expats looking to take care of their health or

understand the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine healing?


Its never too late to take charge of your health. Start with simple steps of setting a DAILY CLOCK for yourself, schedule the same time every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will tune your biological clock and will reduce the risk of metabolic and digestive disorders.

Quiet time is a must! INVEST 10-15 minutes in complete silence and if you know how to

MEDITATE, is the best! This will rejuvenate your mind, making you focused and calmer.

It's always advisable to get a tailored program for yourself based on your body type. Ayurveda

recognises three main body types (Vata- Air, Pitta -Fire, Kapha - Water), this helps in preventing

and managing various health conditions. Each Dosha is associated with certain physical and

psychological characteristics and understanding your dominant dosha can help you tailor your

Ayurvedic treatment plan to your specific needs.

Focusing on Gut health is of the utmost importance, as most of the diseases arise from the Gut

(known as Agni in Ayurveda). To have a healthy Gut, right food and Tailored Diet plays an

important role. Gut-Detox is advised to regain Gut health, if needed! Ayurveda guides and

tailors Diet plans based on the guidelines of How to eat? When to eat? What to eat as per Body

type? What not to eat? What proportion to eat as per your Gut capacity?


At ArujAyur, the body type is analysed by PULSE READING along with an hour of consultation.

After understanding the Ayurvedic Geno-type of a person, a specific diet and lifestyle plan or

Detox is tailored based on the principles of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda focuses on promoting balance in the body, mind, and spirit to prevent and treat

illness. It can be an effective form of healing for female expats, as it considers individual

differences in body type, lifestyle, and environment. Ayurveda can be a valuable tool for female

expats looking to improve their health and well-being.


8: What are the benefits and challenges you've faced as a female entrepreneur?


My biggest challenge has been the lack of available advisors and mentors which is vital for

professional growth. Finding the right support network isn’t always easy. Additionally, balancing

work and family responsibilities was a bit challenging. As a parent entrepreneur you have dual

responsibilities to the businesses and to the family; finding ways to devote time to both is key to

achieving that elusive work-life balance.

There are the moments of self-doubt that every business owner faces, and it needs to be

worked out and do not wait for perfection before starting your business.

I believe with the right resources and support; women can successfully navigate the unique

challenges they face and achieve great success as entrepreneurs.


9: What do you do in your spare time?


Prioritising “Me-Time” is on top of my weekly planner! I cannot do a day without my breath work,

meditation and Sun-Salutation, which is the best time for self-rejuvenation.

Spending quality time with family, cooking meals for them during weekends. Brushing up on my

hobbies, for instance I love to paint, sing and play sports. I value spending time with a group of

friends that motivate and support each other. Reading books and or articles on health and

wellness keeps me updated about the latest developments in the health and wellness field.

10: What goals were you able to accomplish by opening your business in Singapore?

One of the mottos for ArujAyur is to focus on preventive healthcare and so far, ArujAyur has

been able to deliver that to its customers keeping overall health and wellness as a prime focus.

ArujAyur endeavours to continue this journey of healing for the time to come.



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