Meet an Artist Fellow: Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yogi, Asal Shokati

Greetings. My name is Asal Shokati. I am a healing artist and consultant to holistic professionals and consciousness-based practitioners. I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and I currently reside in Houston, having called Texas home for the past twenty years. Although I initially got my academic education in management information systems and finance, the softer side of sciences, as well as the arts, enthused me the most. Roughly seven years ago, with what one may call a sabbatical, I took a journey out of the corporate world and into exploring more external and internal landscapes. Whilst exploring the world further, I was trained in various modules of healing arts including yoga, qigong, meditation, and later, Ayurveda. At the same time, I pursued consulting on exciting technology and space-related projects, painting abstract images, and practicing traditional Persian music with the Setar.

For a girl who was born in a metropolis in the middle east, I had the privilege of waking up and opening my eyes to the Alborz mountain range every morning. And year-round weekend getaways to the outskirts of the city leading to the peaks near the ski areas were absolutely a palette cleanser, making life in a busy city more tolerable. After moving to Houston to attend college, I began enjoying the warm and friendly atmosphere, but longed for a more natural place as my primary habitat. The city being flat with mostly horizontal and vertical city blocks, although very green, only intensified this longing. So I’ve taken joy in doing road trips to the Texas Hill Country and occasional visits to friends and family in other states where I could enjoy hikes and outdoor activities otherwise not possible here. When in Houston, I often take refuge in the Arboretum for walks, gentle yoga and qigong as well as meditation and contemplation. Morning walks and leisurely bike rides in neighborhoods and parks are fundamental to my overall well-being. 

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Greenery, rocks, bodies of water and winding pathways work as my reset buttons. Years later when I immersed myself in the time-tested wisdom of Ayurveda, I learned that spending time in nature has been used as a primary remedy in balancing various ailments. The color green carries healing frequencies to the heart energy, and in general the spectrum of colors in nature representing the spectrum of life have a balancing effect on not just the psyche but the entire system of our existence, the body, heart, and spirit. So I’ve been a big proponent of #NatureHeals as an umbrella term for utilizing the abundance of Nature’s Pharmacy.

Being by myself for two days in the comfortable, cozy and safe cabin allowed me not only to extend my Mondays’ digital media detox, but face my hidden inhibitions whilst still feeling connected and protected. My mind knew all I needed to survive was provided for and I couldn’t have wished for more. Feeling secure and grounded, I found a chance to contemplate on the innate fears of finding my place in the tapestry of life, regarding personal relationships, career path and overall health. It was a fundamentally raw and honest experience, one which led to another spiritual breakthrough. I read a lot of good materials, re-visited one of my favorite books called The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, and took a vow to refrain from reading for a week. Being right in the midst of rebranding my business and uplifting my practice, I couldn’t have asked for a more effective way to face my fears, remember my talents, and hone in on my zone of genius. I even felt nudged to outline the idea of a book I had been toying with for years. The rawness of the experience helped me be more creative and cherish the gift of interacting with my loved ones. I’d love to take them there to experience bonding in a natural setting and also want to go back to write chapters of my book in solitude. And nothing beats reconnecting to the circadian rhythm of nature and not relying on the clock; sleeping as darkness spreads across the land and waking up to the beautiful sun radiating its warmth on my skin. I was lucky to experience a few sunny and windy days at the Houston outpost in May. 

You can keep up with Asal on her Instagram and her website.

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