I’m very excited to share a new service I’m offering, through the push from my dear colleagues at Blue Desert Hale. Please take a look!
Ayurveda Embodied is a 9-month, in-depth online Ayurvedic studies program.
This is your initiation to a lifetime of study. We invite you on this journey of learning, cultivation, refining as we continue our own. As students of Dr. Vasant Lad, we are committed to offering the depths of wisdom Ayurveda has to offer, beginning with philosophical roots and moving into the manifestation of health and disease. Heather and Emmie have each been studying Ayurveda for 15 years, and practicing for over a decade.
We are thrilled to share this program—a labor of love—from our hearts to yours.
Each module includes theory, practice, a sanskrit shloka (chant), a guided meditation, and suggested readings.
- Module 1 (May 21 -July 30) will cover cosmology, the doshas, and intro to self-treatment based on prakruti-vikruti paradigm and dinacharya (daily routine).
- Module 2 (August 6-October 29) includes seasonal kala chikitsa, assessment and treatment of agni (digestion) and ama (toxic by-products).
- Module 3 (November 5- January 27, 2020) covers manas (the mind), srotamsi (energy channels), prana (life force) and more.
The 3 modules are each 3 months long and can be purchased a la carte or as a whole, for a discount.
Who is this for?
It’s for anyone who wishes to improve their health and quality of life. You do not need prior knowledge of Ayurveda. This program will serve you immeasurably well for the rest of your life, as you learn to be your own best healer. It’s empowering, life-changing wisdom that we are honored to share in this way! If you are already versed in Ayurveda but have not attended a training program, this will deepen your knowledge.
What’s the format?
The program format is 2, 90-minute lectures and 1, live 60-minute Q&A session per month. There will be a Facebook group for discussion and questions, which Heather and Emmie will monitor twice weekly.
Our schedule will depend on students availability for the Live Q&A. You may watch lectures at your convenience.
To Sign Up Follow these Links:
By enrolling in the entire program, you receive a discount of $600.
Note: Meetings are held online, and locally in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You may be anywhere in the world to participate. ♥
Spring is the traditional time for detoxification. As the Earth warms, ice melts, rivers begin to flow, plants sprout and grow at a sudden, rapid rate, and our bodies release stagnant toxins built up throughout the Fall and Winter Seasons. Manifestations are springtime allergies, insomnia, tight muscles from the wind, runny noses & colds, phlegm, appetite change and more.
In Ayurveda, Spring is considered the best, most effective time to release these toxins and help them flow out of your body. Inspired by Pancha Karma, this cleanse follows a specific diet and incorporates herbs and practices to detoxify the deep tissues and organs of your body.
A jump-start of your cellular intelligence and innate ability to heal, this detox improves energy levels, sleep, mental state, digestion, and begins the process of improving long-term chronic conditions.
Four 60 minute meetings to guide you through:
1. Preparation of the Body
2. Internal & External Oleation
3. Elimination of Toxins
4. Integration back into your typical diet, or, use it as a way to kick-start a healthier lifestyle through a new understanding of food.
You will recieve:
*Healthy delicious kitchari recipes
*Step-by-Step, Day-by-Day Protocol
*An open forum for questions throughout the process. There will be lots of questions!
Dates & Times: We begin this Saturday, April 6th, at 9am MST.
Guided Group Program: $200
With a 60 minute private session with me: $275
Anyone who is curious is welcome to chat with me on the phone about the program to see if it’s a good fit. Send an email to email@example.com to set up an Introductory Conversation.
Minutes from missing my flight, I snuck into my seat just in time. The airport-dash adrenalin transformed into giddy excitement. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy sent me to tour Gaia Herbs’ Farm, to sit in fields of flowers in the heaven-on-earth that is Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Gaia Farm is nestled in Transylvania County, affectionately known as the Land of Waterfalls. It’s hard to imagine a better place to grow medicinal herbs than that rich, mineral-soaked soil, nourished by endless water. I couldn’t wait.
The Mountain Way
Generosity, integrity, and grit are an integral part of mountain culture. The feeling spills over into Gaia’s farming philosophy. This farm doesn’t just produce herbs en masse, but participates in an intricate dance between plants, rain, earth, and sky. In return for being tended with such care, the plants grow strong and vibrant, offering powerful polysaccharides for immunity, adaptogenic abilities for fatigue, and emotional lift for heartache.
On The Farm
After a long breakfast our group followed Gaia’s founder, herbalist Ric Scalzo and master herbalist Mary Bove, ND down into the farm to “meet the herbs.” An interweaving of knowledge and experience took place as each herb was described in detail. Bioscience intertwining with Ayurvedic philosophy, Dr. Bove’s experience as a midwife with Scalzo’s rich understanding of plant medicine. No detail left unturned, herbs that act together in formulas have been intentionally planted side by side. Here are some gems from those walks.
Ginkgo Biloba & Hawthorn Berry
Gathering under thickly leaved trees, we are reminded of Gingko’s memory stimulating effects. Neighbor to ginkgo grows hawthorn, the well known heart tonic. Their placement honors the symbiotic relationship created by ginkgo and hawthorn when put together in a heart-mind formula.
Gotu Kola leaves are the shape of a brain! This Ayurvedic herb’s function as a nervine tonic comes as no surprise. Gotu kola is one of the strongest herbs for improving memory and focus without overstimulating hot Pitta constitutions.
Passion Flower & Ashwagandha
Enormous, dewey purple flowers with curling petals nestle sleepily in their vines. Passion flower is wonderful herb for those who can’t sleep, or suffer from anxiety. Coupled with ashwagandha, the famous Ayurvedic adaptogen, this duo replenishes an exhausted adrenal system with an excellent night sleep.
Echinacea is Gaia’s claim to fame. Pink flowers dotted with hundreds of buzzing bees stretch into the distance. No one in our crew of herbalists was nervous of getting stung- It was clear they were here to feast on pollen! Echinacea, when prepared properly, is a powerful immune tonic. If you need an emergency “I can’t get sick!” remedy this cold and flu season, echinacea is your best bet.
Lemon Balm & Holy Basil
Lemon balm and holy basil make up another symbiotic pair. Lemon balm brings happiness, while holy basil helps you feel calm in the eye of the storm. This centered, grounded contentedness is the place from which we all make our best decisions, where creativity blooms, and connect deeply with our needs. In this mad world, lemon balm and holy basil are truly our allies.
On our final evening at the Farm, we gathered around in a half circle to listen to the stories of Doug Elliot. In this interweaving of tales with songs, we learned how to make a berry basket from spring poplar bark, that blackberries won’t sweeten without a late frost, and a tale all about three generations of chicken-egg-stealing snakes. Mr. Elliot jokingly incorporated his Parkinson’s tremor, then gracefully let his shaking left hand mold a mournful vibrato on the harmonica. That moment in particular speaks volumes about mountain culture. Hardship comes and goes, and sometimes stays around a long time. There’s no need to worry much- just accept and simply go on living. In my dreams that night, I heard folk tunes and stories as old as the mountains themselves.
The next morning, I boarded a plane bound for Santa Fe. New Mexico’s beauty is different- stark and wild in contrast to lush green. Dry air and big skies overhead, replaces humidity and a near canopy of trees. While it’s good to be home, a little part of my heart remains in the Land of Waterfalls.
P.S. If you are as heart-struck as I am about Appalachian Storytelling, take a peek at the North Carolina Storytelling Guild.
Click here for the full article.
I’m very happy to share my recently published article on Ayurveda and Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s been quite a journey putting this story together over the past year. A big, huge, incredible thanks to Honey Colony for publishing this piece that means so much to me. If you have the time today, please take a moment to read 5 Ways Ayurveda Helped Me Regain My Life From Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s a compilation of the many alternative practices that changed my life, with a big, shining focus on Ayurveda. Please share this information with those suffering from autoimmune or autoinflammatory conditions. There is relief in unexpected places.
Thank you, Honey Colony, and endless gratitude to all the wonderful people who have stood by my side on this 15 year journey.
(This is how happy it makes me! The story of this amazing day coming soon.)
Transform your bathroom into a luxury status sauna. Follow these simple instructions and your stress will melt away into the bathtub! Follow these simple instructions to create a sauna in your very own bathroom. Then, instead of hopping in the cold car to head home, you can just make a cup of tea, curl up, and get cozy.
Benefits of Sweating
Detoxification of skin and organs
Revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin
Relieves muscle stiffness, pain, and tension.
Reduces numbness, stiffness, rigidity, heaviness.
Improves mobility of the joints
Balances nervous system
Your home sauna may be used a la carte, or as an essential step in detoxification. If you are doing home Pancha Karma, begin your sweat immediately after morning Abhyanga. You may even begin to fill the bathtub while the oil is still on your body. As you heat up, your pores will open to absorb the grounding, nourishing healing oil. Simultaneously, ama (toxicity) that has been loosened by home PK practices will be eliminated. In Ayurveda, it is best to nourish while detoxifying, so that no deficiency or healing crisis is created.
- A small bathroom easily converts into a sauna.
- Insulate: Cover your windows so cold air does not leak in from outside during cold weather. Roll up towels and place them at the bottom of the door.
- Heat: Close the curtain to seal in steam. Fill the bathtub with 4-6 inches of very hot water. You may also use the few inches at the bottom of a shower.
- Prepare: Fill a medium sized bowl with cold water and soak a washcloth. Every few minutes, squeeze some cool water onto your face, back of neck, and top of your head. You may leave the cold washcloth on the top of your head if you like. Rose water hydrosol is a lovely way to keep from overheating while in your home sauna. Simply keep a bottle within reach as spritz your face every few minutes. Have a glass of warm water or ginger tea next to the bathtub.
- Ambiance: Your swedan is meant to be a healing experience in which toxins are removed from your body, that calms your nervous system. Keep lights dim, light candles, add soft music if you like.
- Swedana (start sweating): Place towels on the floor to keep your feet warm. Pull the shower curtain back half way and sit next to the bathtub. A chair or the side of the tub will do just fine!
- Meditate: What to do while sitting in the bathroom doing nothing? For some, this sitting quietly can be quite uncomfortable! Go ahead and simply close your eyes and enjoy the peace. The heat of the steam will naturally slow down your mind.
For some people doing nothing can cause anxiety or aggravation. If you notice these feelings, a great way to work with what comes up is to meditate. Choose a simple phrase that feels powerful and healing to you and repeat it in your mind. When you notice that the phrase has disappeared and you’re thinking about something else, go back to the phrase. Some options I love are:
- Healthy, Happy, Whole.
- So Hum: In your mind, say So as you inhale and Hum as you exhale. That’s all.
- My Body is Healthy, Vital, and Strong.
- Create an affirmation of your own that supports your healing process.
Less is More
For some, especially those of Vata and Kapha constitutions, it may feel like you could stay in the comfort of your sauna all day. Swedana treatment is traditionally done for no more than 10 minutes in a sweat box. Since your steam will be less concentrated, 15 minutes will be fine. Pitta predominant constitutions should not exceed 10 minutes in the sauna.
Instructions complete! The only thing left to do is wrap up in warm, soft clothes, make some tea, and curl up with your favorite movie. And the cat!
If you’re ever in Western North carolina, i highly recommend a visit Gaia Herbs.
Pictures speak louder than words; Here are some of some of the most commonly used herbs in the Ayurvedic and Western pharmacopeia.
Tulsi (commonly known as Holy Basil) ready for a close up!
The Tulsi Fields
Lemon Balm. Happy and Calm.
Gotu Kola and her taller neighbor, Echinacea.
Gotu Kola up close. In some parts of India, centella asiatica is known as Brahmi.
Six acres of echinacea lay beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains in Brevard, North Carolina. Grown with love by Gaia Herbs.