As a child, my mom was sick and used Ayurvedic practices to increase the quality and quantity of her life. She taught us the power of thought, meditation, yoga and eating well, encouraging compassion, humility, and a respect for all beings. She incorporated Ayurvedic principles and techniques into our diet and daily lives. She read Dr. Lad’s book, Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing which is full of her highlighter and pencil markings. This book is one of my most sacred possessions. I recently found a recommendation form from an Ayurvedic consultation she received in the early 90s; the herbs, asana, and pranayama techniques are ones I now recommend to clients and have studied extensively. She was a pitta/kapha constitution.
In college, I studied sacred text of Eastern Religions including Ayurvedic and Vedic text. I taught workshops and lectures on Ayurveda and immersed myself into the tradition of Vedic culture through sacred text. I learned a lot about herbs from a local Gullah man who owned a herb shop down the street from me in Charleston, SC. He had all kinds of majestic jars full of dried and powdered herbs. When I would visit him, he would talk my ear off about comfrey, dandelion, peppermint, mullein, and I loved every minute of it. Something felt so familiar and intriguing about his herbal apothecary.
After college I lived on an alternative medicine herb farm in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. I was the apprentice to a master herbalist and acupuncturist. She spent hours mentoring me on alternative and herbal medicine, teaching me about how we are all unique representations of the qualities found in the elements. She encouraged me to sit with a herb and meditate on what it has to say to learn how it can heal. These herbs were allies and friends; I had a unique relationship and understanding with each one. She was a huge support to me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. We grew Ayurvedic, Chinese, & Western herbs and it was on this land I realized my path was with alternative and herbal medicine.
When I moved to Ashland over ten years ago, I worked for Ayurvedic Rasayanas making traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Mixing, blending, and compounding herbs further solidified my experience and deepened my existing knowledge and love of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs. It was a tremendous learning opportunity. When visiting the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland for a job opportunity, the Apothecary Manager at the time encouraged me to seek formal training. My fire was lit and I knew studying directly with Dr. Lad was the next step.
Guided by something greater than myself, I was accepted to The Ayurvedic Institute where I studied for three years. One of my mom’s dreams was to visit Albuquerque and I pondered this while driving to the desert from Oregon. I completed the Ayurvedic Practitioner clinical program and 500 hour Ayurvedic Yoga teacher training. I stayed an extra year to work as one of Dr. Lad’s herbalist for his practice, attending all of his seminars and retaking as many classes as they would let me.
Since arriving back to Ashland five years ago, I have been through a period of growth, working as an herbalist and Apothecary Manager for a local cancer clinic for a couple of years and now working with Banyan Botanicals, an Ayurvedic Herb company. I have been finding my groove with what it means to practice and embody Ayurveda. I am so deeply honored to have the opportunity to work with Siskiyou Ayurveda and establish my personal practice, Shine Ayurveda. Our intention is to carry on the legacy of Dr. Lad.
I am fulfilling a life long dream to share this profound wisdom to support others on their own unique healing path. We are a community of light. To celebrate our differences and uniqueness is one of the many beauties of this ancient medical science. I like to think my mom would be proud knowing what an impact her own relationship with Ayurveda has had on my life path.
Ayurveda is something so deeply connected to my being. The saying “the more you learn, the less you know” has never resonated more than when it comes to the study of Ayurveda. It is ever evolving and growing and truly teaches us to be the best beings of light we can be on this earth.