The ‘My Daily Routine’ series shares the daily life, work, and interests of men and women who follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle. It’s an opportunity for you to take a look at the daily practices that shape a healthy and happy life with Ayurveda. Please enjoy this interview with Erin Autumn Douglas of Banyan Botanicals Ayurvedic Herbs.
AyurvedaNextDoor (AND): What type of work do you do?
I help lead our customer & community relations team at Banyan Botanicals. I’m primarily working with professionals and creating partnerships on the west coast. I work in our Ashland, Oregon office, it's super sweet here. We have a beautiful garden where we eat our lunch and observe the deer, and Wednesdays are kitchari days when we take turns preparing food and eating together. The people I work with have become family and we are all so in love with each other and the higher values of a conscious workplace. At Banyan we are real people doing our best to incorporate Ayurvedic principles into our busy lives. Each morning I look forward to our “stand up” meeting, which feeds my soul. I also enjoy connecting with our amazing customers on a personal level. I feel blessed to work in the Ayurvedic community with such inspiring and self-aware people.
AND: What fitness activities do you take part in?
I take two daily walks with my dog Bucky, practice yoga 1-2 times and week, and try and hike a few times a week—the nature in southern Oregon is just amazing! Some of the gals in the office hike every Sunday for “trail therapy”. In the winter I love to go snowshoeing at Crater Lake.
AND: What are you currently passionately involved in or excited about?
I am a karma yogi at heart and enjoy serving humanity in my own small way. I am the co-founder of a non-profit called Learn Grow Lead. We serve neglected and poor children in third-world countries by providing their educational expenses. Our goal is to help communities create sustainable models of income in which they can fund school scholarships. One of our pilot programs includes The Helpers Farm in Ghana, Africa. We will also be completing an orphanage in Ghana, Africa this year.
Another passion is world travel (I have India and Bali magnets in my heart) and will be headed to India for the 7th time this December to attend the Ayurveda Conference at Vaidyagrama, and while there will also receive Ayurvedic treatments and visit a beautiful temple community in southern India. I am saving up money for a 50th birthday trip (I am currently 42) with the vision of taking at least a year off to travel, meet, and be with different women healers of the world.
AND: What are you most proud of that you’d like people to know?
Gosh! What a great question. I guess I am most proud of my personal evolution, of all the internal work I have done in an effort to become a more happy, healthy, fearless, and more fully loving human being in the world. I’ve traveled inward (and outward) to understand all the blocks I consciously and unconsciously built around my heart, blocks that were keeping me from being fully authentic, giving and receiving love, and offering my gifts to the world. I still have a lot of work to do!
I continually say yes to expanding and growing and stepping outside of my comfort zone. In fact, in early October I spoke on behalf of Banyan at an Ayurveda conference. Five years ago, I would have been terrified to speak in front of a large group of people. But, a fun fact about me, (that I laugh at today), in the year 1992 I was the second runner-up in Miss Teen Arizona and my talent was public speaking! Life can shut us down, it’s up to us to constantly work to keep an open and authentic, fearless heart. I’ve also started taking singing/voice/mantra lessons this year as a way to get in touch with my voice and truth.
AND: What 5 Ayurvedic practices do you do every day without fail?
I scrape my tongue every morning!
I give myself a warm oil massage at least 4 days a week, and at night before bed, I give myself a quick foot massage to help ground before sleeping (I love Banyan’s Sleep Easy Oil for my foot massage ritual).
I take Triphala Tablets every single night to help with regular elimination (a nice daily poo).
I cook at least one nourishing meal at home daily. When I am home, I spend every Sunday in the kitchen cooking beautiful seasonal meals.
I have a sweet and simple gratitude practice every morning. And at night I take an inventory of my day and ask myself if there is anyone I need to apologize to, and how I can learn from any trying experiences during my day in order to grow.
AND: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am also so proud of doing a serious 40-day sadhana (spiritual purification practices) for my late brother TJ who took his own life in 2005. It was the hardest and most important thing I’ve done in my life.
I’ve scattered some of his ashes in the Ganga in India as well as had multiple fire pujas in his honor, donated money in his name to build a Buddhist temple, and many other offerings all in hopes of helping clear family karma and assisting him along his way. I also memorialized his short life by funding a water well in Ethiopia in his memory. The plaque on the wall reads “Your Songs Bring Us Closer to Heaven…Don’t Stop Singing – Rumi”. I look forward to visiting that well and the community it serves in the next two years.
I am looking forward to meeting a good spiritual man that I can relax and share this sweet human life with! Ask and you shall receive.