“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
– John Muir
It was a magical moment of clarity that I remember as if it were yesterday. One late afternoon a few years back, I was relaxing on the beach at the Sivananda Ashram on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Sitting comfortably and cross legged on my bright yellow cotton sarong the soft, cool sand came up to meet and support me. As I close my eyes, I can hear the peaceful rhythm of the waves in the ocean calming my mind. The setting sun was at the ideal time of day to provide a nourishing warmth inside my being, the lightness of the gentle wind whistled between coconut tree leaves and gently swept over my skin. It was a time of day at the ashram before dinner, when most of the guests and staff were scarce, so it’s easy to feel as though you have this peaceful edge of the island all to yourself. It was in that moment, when I began to consciously feel the elements alive not only in nature, but deep inside of me. The separation between nature outside of me and nature inside of me began to dissolve. Perfect harmony.
This time at the ashram was sacred for me. I was living there for several months and blessed enough to work for one of my mentors, Lalita Devi, in the Well-Being Center offering Ayurveda body treatments and massage. It was a transition time of my life, moving from Washington, DC to New York City. I committed to letting go and allowing clarity to flow in with asana practice, meditation, ayurveda study and community.
Why did I want to study Ayurveda? Over almost ten years ago, I was living in Washington, DC, attending massage school, working hard in the restaurant industry and had been studying with my first master yoga teacher, Susan Meyer. Although taking asana classes slowly began to shift my life, I was still faced with some imbalances that were ready to be set free.
I had a horrible case of pinkish red, weeping eczema/psoriasis covering the anterior side of my arms, between my fingers and behind started breaking out behind my knees. After multiple unsuccessful treatments from quite a few dermatologists. Talk about stress feeding more stress. My yoga mentor, Susan, asked me if I had tried Ayurveda. Never hearing of it before, but tired of putting very strong steroids on my skin with no results, I sought out a Ayurvedic Practitioner, Don Diggs, in Bethesda, MD. I fondly call him “Dr. Diggs”. He not only assessed acute symptoms, but listened to my life story and complete health history. I have never had a consultation like this before; I felt the sweetness of surrender, someone is listening to all of me. He then prescribed a “pitta pacifying” regime including asanas, food lists, meditation, Ayurveda herbs and the application of neem oil and aloe.
It got worse before it got better, but Dr. Diggs was determined the “fire” needed to come all the way out and this was the route. And… it did, using the science of Ayurveda, the root of my imbalance began to heal. Within that year, I had two barely visible breakouts. Under the care and guidance of Dr. Diggs, Ayurveda text reading, dosha specific yoga study, more herbs, neem and aloe, my eczema has dissipated. The fire came out. This natural and intuitive way healing began my love for the poetry of Ayurveda.
I am eternally grateful to my teachers who put me (and keep me) on my path, fellow healers, family and friends who love me unconditionally and the beautiful angels who make their way to my workshop offerings and my massage table.
If you are intrigued or feel a spark inside of you, I deeply encourage you to open your heart and experience the 5 elements as a boundless, living, breathing part of your daily life. Please enjoy these ancient seed offerings and join me to live a more harmonious life with nature, others and especially within ourselves.