Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani is an integrative psychiatrist, neuroscientist and social entrepreneur focused on bridging the gap between Western and Eastern practices through a proactive approach to health. Currently, he is an addiction psychiatry fellow at the University of California San Francisco, where is also a member of the TrPR (Translational Psychedelic Research Program) team, on which he is focusing on the treatment of mental illness using psilocybin. In addition to serving as the mental health advisor to MUD\WTR, Dr. Appasani is chief medical officer at PYM Health, the founder & CEO of The MINDS Foundation, a producer of mental health-themed films and operates a private practice.
Where were you born and what was your childhood like?
Born in Boston, MA, USA. Raised in a small village, Humnapur (India), from 18 months to 4 years old with my grandparents. Transplanted back to Boston for the rest of my beautiful upbringing in a household that stressed shared decision-making and an older brother that served as a resilient role model. Dinner table conversations often led to debates with my biochemist father and my mother moderating.
What is your favorite way to de-stress?
Disconnecting from technology and getting into nature and then cooking a meal with all ingredients from a local farmers market.
What is a quote that inspires you?
"The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence."—Jiddu Krishnamurti
Who is someone you love to follow on social media?
Instagram: @livinlikelarz, @theasherg, @wrdsmth
What is a goal that you have for yourself?
We are often the creators of our own prisons. I find myself doomscrolling and feeling inadequate with where I am in life, but remind myself daily that none of those feelings are backed by any truth or evidence. Continue on my ritual of daily journaling, aim to compose three poems a week, and start working on my book proposal.
Describe your morning or evening ritual.
My morning ritual continues to evolve, but includes waking up around 5-5:30 a.m. and drinking a glass of hot water with fresh ginger, lemon, turmeric and dash of honey. Follow this with a brief meditation and then a warm cup of MUD\WTR while jotting down any stray thoughts. As a physician, my mornings tend to get quite hectic and hence I've had to make an intention to wake up earlier.
My evening ritual starts with moving away from all electronics and screens at least one-to-two hours before my intended bedtime. I then make a warm cup of MUD\WTR :rest and consume slowly as I settle into my meditation cushion. Evenings are for my longer meditations of 30 minutes or more followed by journaling with candlelight.
What is your favorite way to make your mud?
MUD\WTR :rise with 50 percent hot water, 50 percent macadamia mylk, a touch of turmeric, raw honey and coconut creamer.
How do :rise and :rest make you feel?
:rise gets me into a balanced flow state without the typical anxiety that I used to get from consuming high numbers of espresso shots daily. The act of making my morning mud has become a meditative practice that I believe is a part of the whole experience. :rest has worked its magic on me now, too. As someone who historically has slept poorly, :rest has allowed me to ease into the evening and into my journal and finally receive restful sleep accompanied by magical dreams.