My photo
Sedona, AZ
Lover of life, Ayurveda Educator, Certified Massage Therapist, aromatherapist, herbalist, mother of two beautiful crystal children, Jasmine Skye and Mira Shanti, wife, organic gardener, spa junkie

Saturday, December 12, 2009

40 days to greater inner peace

Did you know that scientists have measured the synapses in the human brain and discovered we think an average of 40,000-90,000 thoughts in ONE DAY!  Yikes.....  Add on top of that all of the outside stimulus, the car radio, magazines, newspapers, musak in stores, TV, internet, this blog ;), for me, my girls constantly talking to me... we are inundated with information and stimulus all the time...

Where do we get SPACE to not think??... to have epiphanies, to have source tell us what way to go, our intuition to be heard? What is our life purpose? Who am I?
Well, let me share with you, many of you already know this method, but hopefully this will validate and encourage you on your path.... meditation will help you find the peace it takes to allow these answers to unfold.

PLUS, meditation has been proven to lower blood pressure, increase the immune system, reduce depression, and decrease stress levels and stress hormones in the body.

Who wouldn't want less stress this time of year? Anytime really?  I could do without my mind playing its usual tricks on me.... 

Here is a great way to start or continue a meditation practice knowing that you are held by all of the other thousands of people across the globe committing too...  Winter Feast for The Soul.

"What nine months does for the embryo
Forty early mornings will do
For your growing awareness"

Jelaluddin Rumi

Join me with many other folks in this project...  January 15, 2010- Febrauary 23, 2010
Everyday for these 40 days, 40 minutes of meditation practice....
 photo credit to Lisa O'Connor

My daily practice will look like this:
Awake at 7am
drink a glass of room temperature water
Wash my face, scrape tounge and brush teeth
Apply few drops of nasya oil in nose
sit on meditation cushion, light candle and stick of sandalwood, or frankincense and myrrh incense
apply small amount of sandalwood essential oil (Source for sustainable sandalwood: Floracopeia Aromatherapy 
to third eye chakra/ajna marma to calm and pacify the mind
 meditate for 40 minutes.

please let me know if you are joining me and how your experience goes...


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Living in Sedona

As many of you know, I am now living in Sedona, Az. What a beautiful place!

Ayurvedically speaking it is full of air, ether, and fire from the sun. This climate is so different from where I was in Wisconsin, I am really having to reconstruct my diet and daily routines to find balance in my full Pitta nature.
I am bringing this up so we can talk about how climate and seasons affect our doshas, or essential nature. In Wisconsin my body was cold and my circulation was slowing so I was increasing ginger, black pepper, and other warming foods into my diet, this was good as the fire season had passed when summer was over.

In Sedona, air, ether and fire are present and so the first two days I was here my lips were bright red from the fire/sun/heat, it has been 80 everyday! I am going back to a bit of my pitta pacifying diet, increasing cilantro, coconut, lime, zucchini, rose petal tea and kale. Ooohh to balance the air and ether I am eating avocados, and cooking with ghee, clarified butter made by my yogi husband, Aaron. Doing daily Abhyanga, self massage, with Pitta pacifying oils such as organic coconut and organic sunflower oils helps too.
I have heard it will cool off a bit, into the 60's, so at that time I may consider ginger teas and organic sesame oil Abhyanga.

So basically Ayurveda gives us the tools to constantly assess ourselves and our current balance point so that we can alter our lifestyle and diet to find peace in our bodies, emotions and ultimately our spirit. This is especially important to remember when traveling, under stress and when the seasons are changing.....

Here's to your Samadhi!

Samadhi: oneness with ultimate peace

the beautiful lotus blossom picture was taken by a dear friend photographer of mine,
Todd Smith. This photograph, along with many more thought-provoking pictures, can be purchased at

Monday, October 12, 2009

International Spa Conference post bliss

an ISPA smile from Austin to you....

I must say there is something magical that happens when many like-minded people come together to share in a common interest.... and may I say, when the interest is SPA, the experience is taken to a whole new level! My days were filled with many new friends including the woman I met the very first day, Tracy. The ironic detail of our meeting was that she is from Sedona, and well, we are moving to Sedona in 2 weeks! Magic Happens!

As I review my notes and begin to try many of the beautiful offerings from the health and body care products I received, I will keep you updated.

Here are a few gems for you:

From the session SILK, Service in Loving Kindness by Holly Steil

"If you want to walk on water, you MUST get out of the boat" "Making a difference in someones life is walking on water"

"The greatest leaders are the greatest servants"

List your greatest gifts, your talents. Contemplate how your gifts can help you reach your life goals.....

From Ram Charan, speaker to many Fortune 500 companies

Yes, unemployment levels are up to 10%, however, that means that 90% of the people have income from jobs and need your services, look for ways to serve the 90%. (my personal interpretation here is be an optimist!!)

From Bertice Berry, PhD

"When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny"

Check out this Holistic Organic Skin Food body care line. Delicious, PURE and so far, my skin feels great!!
Dr Alkaitis

To radiate and shine with an inner glow, your internal and external body must be in perfect health and harmony. Additionally, your skin care products do not only affect the way you look but also, the way you feel – inside and out. Your skin is the largest organ of the body, reflecting our states of vitality. Caring for it is not merely a quest towards superficial beauty, but an integral investment towards preventive health self-care.

As a research scientist investigating cancer treatments using plant life, Dr. Alkaitis concludes that there is indeed a correlation between our society's dependence on synthetic chemicals and the rapid increase in people suffering from cancer, disease and other degenerative illnesses. In probing the ingredient labels on products in the marketplace that are marked: 'pure' and/or 'natural' cosmetics, he discovered that these supposedly 'pure' products were actually constructed, derived, created from chemicals. Chemical-derived natural products do not support your skin's natural ability to heal.

Applying the synergy of science and nature, Dr. Alkaitis has created the Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skin Treatment Product line. These authentic natural products are steps towards your pure approach to beauty that is 'more than skin deep'. He discovered that only organically-grown plants or those harvested from the unpolluted wilderness contain the superior therapeutic properties. For you, this discovery means that each and every one of the Dr. Alkaitis skin care products are created exclusively via organically grown or wild-crafted plants and unpolluted sea life. Our herbal extracts are made in-house with pure water, certified organic grape alcohol and/or vegetable glycerins. To preserve the healing power of our products, we blend only small batches at a time. Simply pure and natural.

All life springs from the Earth and within this truth is the foundation of Dr. Alkaitis Skin Care.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

I am at the International Spa Conference in Austin TX

Hello all you spa and natural lifestyle lovers!
You will be happy to know that I am in Austin, TX at the International Spa Conference and will be taking notes on industry happenings, scoping products and talking with other wellness experts about how to bring wellness back home and spread it far and wide.

Stay tuned for details on products, speakers and much more!!

Why you SHOULD eliminate nightshades from your diet.

Dr. Lisa Raskin from Austin Tx has been kind enough to put together her presentation on nightshades. This is very important for everyone to read so I am sending it out to all of you. It is quite detailed so please take time to read it carefully. Please also feel free to spread it far and wide with proper credit where credit is due. Dr. Raskin can be contacted at if you have any further question or would like to make an appointment with her. For those of you who are doctors who want to attack the veracity of Dr. Raskin's research, please do so to me not to her and if you do please include all references to articles and scientific research. If you do not it will be assumed that it is your personal opinion only and i won't be able to pass it along. Removing nightshades from your diet will probably be one of the best things you could possibly do for your long term health.

Dr. Lisa Raskin

2525 Wallingwood Drive
Suite 901 TX Chiropractic Lic# 8376
Austin, Texas 78746 512-698-3902
Notes from nightshades presentation given on September 28th, 2009, Victory Day, during Vaidya R.K. Mishra’s Global Conference call on “SVAHAR or Life in Bliss through SVA Health”

Note from Dr. Raskin: I want to be clear that this was just a short review of the literature on the negative effects of eating
nightshades. Vaidya Mishra asked me to find some western knowledge that backed up the traditional knowledge from
Vaidya's Shaka Vansya lineage. If you do reproduce this article, I ask that you do not remove, add or change anything.
Thank you.)

We know according to Vaidya's tradition, that the nightshades tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers and eggplant affect the vibrational and physical channels in very negative ways.

It turns out that they are part of a very huge family of plants containing about 2000 species. The main culprit seems to be a type of chemical compound called alkaloids. There is one type of alkaloid that causes the most trouble and that is called Solanine. Solanine is a neurotoxin. Nightshades contain at least 6 OTHER neurotoxins, including atropine and nicotine. One of them is scopolamine which depresses the central nervous system and is used as a sedative, and in the famous 'date-rape' drugs.

Each of the neurotoxins in the nightshades affects humans differently. We know through Vaidya how awful nicotine is, because it shrinks the vibrational channels and its connection to cancer is well-known. Science has found that nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood from the heart. And it also causes the arteries to narrow. Nicotine is extremely addictive. Another neurotoxin in nightshades is atropine, a blocker preventing nerve transmission. The other three are powerful acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors that prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters needed for proper nerve function. Which means the neurotransmitters get stuck in the synapse, preventing nerve transmission and function.

These alkaloids that are found in nightshades help protect them from insects, so they are basically pesticides! Some potatoes are actually bred just to make pesticides....they are made into dust and spread over plants.

A little bit about the strange history of how nightshades became foods. Most are actually more famous as drug-type substances than as foods. The best-known are mandrake (which were thought to contain evil spirits), tobacco, and belladonna, which is also known as 'deadly nightshade'. Tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and potatoes were only ornamentals and not thought of as edibles until the 1800's. Tomatoes had their beginnings in South America and were actually eaten by the ancient Aztecs, but weren't introduced to Europe until the 1800's. So that means that Italy didn't have pasta sauce until the 1800's!

Now, before potatoes were introduced as a food, the peasant classes actually identified them as being poisonous. It was easy for them to tell because the flowers of the Deadly Nightshade (belladonna) plant and the flowers of the potato plant are so similar. Legend has it that Sir Walter Raleigh gave the potato plant to Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) as a gift. And then some aristocrats were invited to a huge banquet that featured potatoes in every course. The cooks, who had never seen potatoes before, discarded the potatoes and boiled the highly poisonous stems and leaves, which quickly made everyone very ill. The potatoes were banned from court, and given to the Irish!

Eggplant was actually called "The Mad Apple". In the Mediterranean area eggplant was thought to cause insanity if eaten daily for a month. A few spoonfuls of eggplant contain the same amount of nicotine as sitting in a closed room with a light smoker for three hours!

Now I'm going to tell you a little bit of what happens in the body when we eat nightshade veggies. There seems to be two types of nightshade poisoning, acute and chronic. Acute poisoning can happen from green or sprouted potatoes and tomatoes because they have so much more solanine. The symptoms can be cramps, diarrhea, dizziness and sleepiness. For many people these short term effects are even more intense, such as chronic migraine headaches, dizziness, intestinal disturbance, and 'food poisoning' like symptoms, which many people don't connect with nightshade plants such as potatoes.

But it's the chronic, slow onset symptoms that are even worse, because the effects of chronic solanine poisoning can be anything from IBS, joint pain, appendicitis, birth defects (including spina bifida), depression, endocrine suppression, especially thyroid, arthritis in all its forms, increased intestinal permeability, migraines, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, and interference in the absorption of calcium (up to 80%), iron, and vitamin D.

How does this happen?
Solanine has been found to do some very powerful things that disrupt the biochemistry of the body.

The first thing that it does, as I mentioned before, is that, like pesticides and nerve gas, it blocks the activity of an enzyme in nerve cells called acetyl cholinesterase. Without this enzyme, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine builds up in synapses, the junction between nerves, and creates a blockage of flow. This blockage of the flow of acetylcholine can have some very negative effects. In an overdose, it can affect our control of muscle movements, leading to muscle twitching, trembling, paralyzed breathing or even convulsions. Even though the solanine in one single potato isn't strong enough to cause such a huge effect, it turns out that it builds up in our tissues over time AND the body is very slow to break it down. It's not water soluble, and is not destroyed by cooking. It takes the body 1 to 2 1/2 months to get rid of the solanine from just one potato. It usually builds up in the smooth muscles and organs such as the intestines, heart, lungs, and endocrine system, mostly in the thyroid. Harmful effects may take years and years to appear. It might be the 10,000th baked potato with salsa on top that takes a person over the edge and makes them symptomatic. The good news here is that with total avoidance it only takes 4-5 months to excrete all your solanine, and symptom relief can be much faster.

OK so Solanine is a neurotoxin. But there is more.

The other thing that solanine does is that it seems to cause joint damage and inflammation. Many people experience stiff joints, painful wrists, ankles and knees. Researchers think that these nightshades cause excessive LOSS of Calcium from the bone and excessive DEPOSITS of calcium into soft tissue. Dr. Michael Liebowitz, a chiropractor who has given us many testing techniques and knowledge in the fields of dysbiosis, food and chemical sensitivities, started researching nightshades, especially solanine, when he stopped eating them and his chronic joint pain and dysbiosis improved.
He says that solanine basically takes calcium out of bone and deposits it wherever it feels like, leading to side effects including heart disease, arthritides, and osteoporosis. What he discovered is that if you have a patient who is doing everything positive about bone mass (the right vitamins, minerals, exercise, lifestyle, etc), and they are eating nightshades, the solanine in the nightshades sabotages EVERYTHING that they are doing and that patient will NOT gain bone mass. He found in his patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia, that as long as they ate nightshades, all supplements were worthless. The nightshades just cancelled out all the positive effects of anything they did.

Solanine is a cell disruptor (which means it causes the cell to rupture), and so it attacks the lining of the stomach and intestines as well. Many people who have been diagnosed with intestinal disorders such as celiac disease and Crohn's, and the common treatments have never worked, have become symptom free just by avoiding nightshades. It has even been shown as a cause for appendicitis.

Solanine is a true poison. Extracts of nightshades are now being used as a rat poison. When Dr. Liebowitz tried to get a sample of Solanine from a chemical supply, the company was very hesitant to sell it because it is such a strong poison. He finally paid $95.00 to receive only 5 mg which had been extracted from a potato. There was a huge skull and crossbones on the jar!

What's interesting to me is that the symptoms of solanine intake have been well known since the 1800's and we have done nothing about taking them off the market as food. Potato breeders have tried to keep the solanine content of potatoes low. But no studies have been done that determine safe levels of nightshade plants. None. People eat them and are not made IMMEDIATELY sick, so it was assumed, and still is, that nightshades are safe. They do not look at the chronic effects. And to make things worse, the solanine content in potatoes increases under light. Under grocery store lights, the amount of solanine can exceed the safe limits by 9 times within 24 hours. Potatoes used to be sold in burlap bags to keep them from being exposed to light, but now they are out in the open in supermarkets, or in transparent plastic bags.

There has been a popular belief, approved by the FDA, that the antioxidants in tomatoes can prevent prostate cancer. But the most recent study not only failed to prove this, they found that the men who had high blood levels of beta carotenes (those who might have eaten lots of tomato products) had the MOST AGGRESSIVE form of prostate cancer!

When I started doing research on the nightshades I was surprised to find out that there seemed to be only one 'hard' scientist studying the role of nightshade in poor health. His name is Dr. Norman Childers of Rutgers University. I subsequently ordered his books and he is amazing. He deserves credit because HE is the one who has really brought the subject of nightshade poisoning to the attention of the public. It is only because of his work in the 70's that the connection between nightshades and poor health are well known. Now he currently has data on over 50,000 subjects in his almost 40 year study who have been on the no-nightshades diet and they have recovered completely or shown great improvement, some leaving canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. (His website has a great deal of information and some of his research. (

Dr. Childers is convinced that the poisonous effects of nightshades are far more extensive than joint and gut problems. He feels their negative effects are systemic and all-inclusive and could be causing such afflictions as Alzheimer's and Cancer. The tomato used to be called 'the cancer apple'. He says "The nightshade plants, when found in pastures, are ruinous to livestock. If a cow were to graze in a field of nightshades, in a short time they wouldn't be able to walk anymore. Farmers have known this for over 100 years and today those plants are…. destroyed before they can cause any harm to the animals. The nightshades are subtly and eventually ruinous to us...and we die ten to 30 or more years early."
Dr. Childers says that some day scientists will take note but says, like tobacco, people are addicted to these foods and would rather look the other way!

What is so amazing to me that Vaidya's tradition, thousands of years ago, knew these vegetables were poisonous. We are truly so fortunate to be students of this tradition.
Childers, N.F. Cancer-my experience. The Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation.
Childers, N.F. Childers’s diet to stop arthritis, The nightshades and ill health. (1981). Somerville, NJ: Somerset Press.
Childers, N.F. & Russo, G. The Nightshades and health. (1977). Somerville, NJ: Somerset Press.
Childers, N.F. Nightshades – The number one health problem. The Arthritis Nightshades
Childers, N. Ph.D and.Margoles, M.S. M.D. (1993). An apparent relation of nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis.
Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery, 12:227-231.
Fowler, M. Nightshade free pain free. (2007). LaVergne, TN: Grass Fire Media,
Liebowitz, M. & Wilson, J. Treating the complex patient 2009 [Videotapes]: Scottsdale.
Mateijian, G. What are nightshades and in which foods are they found? Newsletter for The World’s Healthiest Foods
Peters, U. & Leitzmann, M. & Chatterjee, N. & Wang, Yinghui & Albanes, D. & Gelmann, P. et al. (2007). Serum
lycopene, other carotenoids, and prostate cancer risk: a nested case-control study in the prostate, lung, colorectal,
and ovarian cancer screening trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 16:962-968.
Researchers refute lycopene benefits, find association between beta-carotene and aggressive prostate cancer. (2007)
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center News.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello sweet ayurveds and man it's hot! (finally!)

Well, my friends this summer has been an amazing diversity of beauty and chaos. My sweet house is still up for sale, my life a bit in question.... and then, I got an amazing offer.... the kind that made tme think god/goddess/universe has ACTUALLY been listening to my prayers. I may have clarity about my immediate future very, very soon.... so, for now I will spare you the details and get on with the summer care portion of this blog....

It's hot I am crabby, what to do????
From an ayurvedic perspective this is the peak of Pitta season. It can be very aggravating and irritating time if one is out of balance.... I am going to share with you some tips to bring love, joy, playfullness and bliss back into your summer...

Please eat these foods:
  • COCONUT, in the form of chutneys, young coconut, coconut water, coconut bliss ice cream
  • LIME, squeeze over all veggies, squeeze into room temperature water with a leaf of mint
  • RAW SUGAR, yes the sweet taste is perfect for this hot time of year
  • TAMARIND, can be hard to find... but is excellent for scraping the channels and leaving you ama-free!
  • PROTEIN, paneer, split mung beans, keep that pitta fire under control
  • DARK LEAFY GREENS, kale especially.....
  • SUMMER SQUASH, sweet and juicy, rich in soma (nuturing, lunar, pacifying vibes)
  • all things sweet, bitter and astringent
  • GHEE

Please AVOID: these foods aggravate, are acidic and close channels so prana can not flow correctly through the body... nightshades have nicotine which is addicting and a central nervous sytem stimulant which over time can exhaust your immune system and ultimately bring you away from the bliss you are seeking!

  • ALCOHOL (if you must water it down and avoid red wine, it is VERY heating)

Other tips:

  • self massage with coconut oil, you can also add essential oils of: rose to open the heart, vetiver (very cooling and mentioned in ancient texts), sandalwood and lavender.
  • sleep out or take a walk under the cool moon light
  • only exercise in early morning before sunrise, keep exercise mellow, not too vigorous or pitta will become aggravated (swimming in non chlorinated water is best)
  • drink cool water with organic rose petals in
  • a small amount of clove will detoxify and open channels so prana can flow

overall LOVE LOVE LOVE and play play play....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ch Ch Ch Changes....

Hello Everyone,

I am offering many specials this week at Samadhi Spa and Wellness because I am leaving Saturday June 14th for Door County, WI.
I have accepted a summer job at Lavender Spa in Egg Harbor, Door County, WI. Please come visit me!


Head to Toe Bliss

This 90 minute treatment is designed to nourish your summer skin, relax your mind and body, refresh your spirit and honor those hard working feet!
Bliss is awaiting you in the form of an aromatherapy full body and head massage,herbal foot soak, peppermint foot scrub and reflexology treatment.
Leave with an extra bounce in your step!

90 minutes for $75 (you save $35)

Therapeutic Spa Massage
A session where you will naturally ease into relaxation while you are breathing fully and allowing your mind to unwind. Enjoy a blend of warm Ayurvedically -balanced oils, Aromatherapy, biodynamic flower essence oils, healing touch, Lomi Lomi, steamed towels and Swedish massage as your senses delight in bliss.

SPECIAL: 75 min for $60 or 100 min $85

Ayurvedic Bliss Treatment

This 120 minute treatment includes an Abhyanga and Shirodhara.

Ayurvedic Hot Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Warm, herbal infused oil is gently massaged into
skin using rhythmical, lymphatic strokes. The
skin is nourished and rejuvenated by the specialized
oils. Finish feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and
deeply relaxed.

Warm herbal oil is gently poured between the
eyebrows and across forehead encouraging deep,
transformative relaxation while allowing the mind
to unravel and a meditative state to unfold. Hair
and scalp deeply nourished by herbal infused and
balancing oils. Great for those suffering from headaches,
anxiety, stress, or depression.

120 minutes $133

Please call me soon!
608 632 1325

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ayurveda and Transformation

As I sit here contemplating next weeks class (in case you didn't know, Aaron and I are teaching a Monday evening series on Ayurveda) I received an email... It was entitled "Fear of Transformation"
I read it and WOW. This story explains exactly where I have been dwelling the past 6 months or more- flying through the air in between the trapeze bars that swing us through life... you know these bars, they are the seemingly "safe" places we dwell in "security" while we remain the same, eat the same food, have the same thoughts, talk to the same people, attend the same classes OR no classes, drive the same route to work and school... YIKES. I have been unknowingly suspended in the air between these trapeze bars wondering what and when the next bar will come into view...

Well, the bar showed up.... it said "teach this class, or else", it said, "do not eat tomatoes this summer;) it said "keep your faith radha, ahhhhll is well" a bar that says, BE PRESENT, BE IN YOUR LIGHT, RESPOND WITH WISDOM. It is AYURVEDA.

We are so blessed to be given the gift of Ayurveda in this life. We have been blessed because we have been given the gift to embrace fly through the air between the seemingly stable bars of life with support. I believe this support to be the healing science of Ayurveda.
The science that understands when it is time to eat a different food, think a different way, smile at a stranger... this is the science of LIFE. Full, unabridged, uncensored BLISSFUL life....

Please join me.....

OH, if you want to read the full story on the trapeze bars, check it:

from CD in AB again. I like this because it is so real.

Fear of Transformation
Danaan Parry

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I'm hurtling across space in between trapeze bars. I spend most of the time hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar-of-the- moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It's empty, and I know, in that place that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth; my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well-known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me, I hope that I won't have to grab the new one. But in that knowing place I know I must totally release my grasp on the old bar, and for some moment in time hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new one. Each time, I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on the unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of "the past is gone, the future is not yet here." It's called transition. I have come to believe that this is the place where real change occurs.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a "no-thing", a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that's real too. But the void in between? That's just a scary, confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be gotten through as fast and unconsciously as possible. What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up, to avoid where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang-out" in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the place where change happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ayurvedic Series Underway

Thank you to the students at the Monday evening series on Ayurveda. Last weeks class we talked about the history of the science of life, the doshas, the elements and the qualities. We also discussed how wellness and disease manifest. At the end of the class we even dappled into taking our pulse and seeing which dosha is strongest...

I am so thankful that I am able to share my love for wellness through Ayurveda with all of you...

Next weeks class on the Bliss Cleanse will be equally full. Compiling the notes I am realizing I must teach a 4 week course on Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking!! Stay tuned!!

Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009




LEXINGTON, Ky. - Enough is enough! For far too long, we've allowed the message of spa to be about luxury and pampering; caviar facials and champagne baths; an experience only to be had by the rich and famous. All the while consumers have been telling us the No. 1 reason they spa is to relax and relieve/reduce stress. Consumers are looking for wellness, for ways to live a balanced life - and spas are about living your best life!

"Spas are not about luxury - they're about re-charging your battery, taking time to re-new, and learning how to take care of yourself," said ISPA President Lynne McNees. "Spas are about health, reducing stress and aging gracefully. The key is to take the information you learn at the spa, and incorporate it into your daily routine at home."

From the 2008 ISPA Global Consumer Study:

  • The No.1 reason people around the world spa is to relax and relieve/reduce stress.
  • In 11 of the 15 countries surveyed, overall wellness and health was one of the top three reasons consumers spa.
  • In eight of the 15 countries surveyed, healthcare practitioner recommendation was one of the top three motivators for visiting a spa.

More than just tried-and-true treatments like massage and facial, the spa is the place to go to educate yourself on how to live a healthy well-balanced life: teens can learn how to care for their skin, moms can learn to cook healthy meals and guys can find out how to deal with all that pent up stress.

"With so many spas going above and beyond, there's no reason not to spa," said McNees. "Our ISPA member spas are focusing on wellness, by offering information on the healthy benefits of spa, including healthy living articles in monthly newsletters, adding fitness classes, educational workshops, and developing programs focused on regular maintenance, and not pricy pampering."

About the International SPA Association
ISPA is recognized worldwide as the leading professional organization and voice of the spa industry. Founded in 1991, ISPA advances the spa industry by providing invaluable educational and networking opportunities, promoting the value of the spa experience and speaking as the authoritative voice to foster professionalism and growth. More details on ISPA are available on

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blissful Spring Cleansing

photo by Todd Smith of

I had the great fortune to listen in to a conference call with my Ayurvedic teacher, Vaidya RK Mishra on the topic of Spring Detox. What a treasure.

I discovered that in Spring, vasant in sanskrit, nature is coaxing us into detoxification just by introducing warmth in the atmosphere... basically what happens is this: the channels (srotas: physical channels, nadis: vibrational channels) of our body that carry prana, blood, oxygen, toxins (oops) and more to our organs and systems of the body, literally freeze in the winter. When this happens all of the prana, toxins ect get stuck in the channels. Ick! When the weather starts to warm the channels expand and allowing everything to move and circulate, thus spring colds, mucous, allergies, ect (from the toxins). Funny thing is, you can sick in spring even if you are following agood routine, getting enough sleep, drinking pure water, ect...

Remedy: Give our bodies some help by aiding in the detox of the channels. This will be of great benefit to your overall health and vibrance.
How you ask?
  • drink plenty of warm, not hot, spring water daily
  • get 8 hours of sleep per night
  • increase the amount of time you exercise (note: it is important that you only exercise by using up to 50% of your energy. How do you know when you have reached this point?? by your breath. When you notice you need to breathe through your mouth, it is time to stop. Breathing through the mouth increases adrenaline and the flight or flight stress response. Not exactly healthy or balancing for your body to be put in this stress state repeatedly)
another note: I do know of ways to increase your endurance and prepare your muscles and body to receive more prana during nose breathing exercise, inquire if interested.
  • exfolliation of your skin; this will open up the channels and absorb vibrational toxins
  • aromatherapy inhalation for sinus congestion or inflammation
  • enjoy the beauty and aromatherapy from spring flowers
  • make detoxifying soup with coriander, barley, zucchini, daikon radish and dark leafy greens
  • avoid heavy oils, deep fried foods, excessive sweets, heavy meats (chicken and fish OK), anything that takes a long time to digest, large beans
  • do not sleep in the day time
Hopefully this gives you a good idea of a simple way to assiat your body in detoxification in the Spring. If you are interested in a home cleanse supported by detoxifying bodywork, including massage, Marma Therapy, body scrubs and body wraps, and aroma steams, please call Samadhi Spa and Wellness.

Here's to Spring flowers!

Spring Class Series- Vata and Pitta and Kapha Oh my!!

Spring time is to renew, refresh and rejuvenate!
Join Samadhi Spa and Wellness on a four-week journey that leads to Bliss.

Demystifying the Science of Life: Ayurveda
with Radha Crawley, CMT and Ayurvedic Educator and Aaron Schwaller, CAE and Marma Specialist

Monday Evenings 7-9pm from April 27- May 16

This series will introduce you to the concepts and terminology of Ayurveda while giving you the confidence to use them in your everyday life. Open your heart lotus and let your light shine with the oldest healing modality known to man. We will experience Marma Therapy to achieve states of Bliss, Aromatherapy to open your heart, Pranayama to balance your mind, Mantra to allow the light of your soul to shine and more! Leave with handouts and inspiration to lead a life of Bliss!! This experience is not to be missed as it is a culmination of wisdom passed down for the last 5000 years!

Week 1: The Basics • Week 2: The Bliss Cleanse: feel blissful while cleansing to boost your immunity and enhance your clarity
Week 3: Daily routine to keep you in balance • Week 4: How to balance your body type

Cost: $88 for all 4 classes, or $25 per class • Call if you are interested but finances are a concern

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thank you Ayurveda for giving us these Ideal Foods for Spring

Spring is synonymous with renewal, freshness, new growth, and birth. I know personally I am always looking for what greens I can throw in my blender to feel that burst of health and freshness. I put together this post to give you some freshness for your spring menus… May it grant you the clarity you need to meet your dreams!

Find at the bottom of the posting a Spring Grocery List filled with foods that will keep the Spring thaw from goo-ing up your insides!
I will also include a couple recipes from the foods on this list so you can have a bit of inspiration for your Spring elixirs.

As with all my recipes and suggestions for PURITY, please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

Renewal Smoothie (enjoy all spring long!)
Feel free to be creative with your smoothie and add in anything you like from the Spring Grocery List
1 ripe papaya

1 cup blueberries

1-2 pinches ginger powder

a lot of spinach

3 leaves of kale

a dash of either agave syrup or maple syrup

pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

blend until frothy and delicious. add a bit of water if you like....

Spring Cleansing Soup: Kitcheree
serves 4

3/4 cup long grain brown rice

3/4 cup split mung beans (can be hard to find)

1 tablespoon ghee

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8tsp ground fennel

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground tumeric

1 pinch saffron

4 -5 cups water to your preference.

optional chopped vegetables of choice: dandelion greens, kale, peas, carrots,

soak split mung overnight. drain and rinse before adding. in saucepan on med/high heat add ghee and mustard seeds, allow seeds to pop and then add rest of spices, except tumeric (it is sensitive to burning). Heat spice in ghee for 15-20 seconds, careful not to burn. Add tumeric and rinsed beans and rice, stir until covered with spices. Add water and cook for 30-40 minutes until soft.

Serve with lime or lemon wedge squeezed over top and salt to taste.

Spring Chai from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair

4 cups water

10 whole cloves

12 whole cardamom pods

12 whole peppercorns

2 sticks cinnamon

4 slices fresh ginger 1/4" thick

1 cup almond or rice milk (freshly made preferable)

maple syrup to sweeten

Bring water, spices, and gingerroot to boil in a pot. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Add milk, turn off heat add sweetener to taste.

if this seems like too much work try Organic India's Tulsi Masala Chai

Spring Grocery List
This list is a guideline for an ideal low-fat diet taking more salads, leafy greens, veggies, beans, sprouts and berries.
• indicates best choice
• please also take in account where you are at in your specific balance. My husband could not go a week with out having an Avocado which is not recommended for Spring. However, if you feel like kapha (the Spring dosha) is balanced in your system, you have more freedom to vary from this list.

Dried Fruits*

Alfalfa Sprouts*
Bean Sprouts*
Bitter Melon
Brussels Sprouts*
Chilies* dried
Collard Greens*
Dandelion Greens*
Hot Peppers*


Brown rice, long grain

Bean Sprouts*


Ghee (in moderation)
Rice milk

all good in moderation

Maple Syrup
Raw Agave Nectar

Bay Leaf
Black Pepper*
Curry Leaves

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Research from Organic Consumers Association

This is good news seeing as many of these products are on the shelves in natural foods stores and food cooperatives. NOTE: the certified organic brands all came out clean in the testing...

OCA's New Study Finds Greatly Reduced Carcinogens in Personal Care Products

  • Press Release: New OCA Study
    Follow-Up Tests of Leading Personal Care and Household Cleaning Brands Reveal Improvements in Levels of Carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane
    Organic Consumers Association, For Immediate Release: March 6, 2009
    Straight to the Source

Adam Eidinger - 202-744-2671
Ariel Vegosen - 516-732-0579
Ronnie Cummins - 218-349-3836
Sheila Huettl - 310-455-8952

ANAHEIM, CA - Today, a new follow-up study was released that assesses levels of the petrochemical carcinogen 1,4-dioxane in leading conventional as well as "natural" and "organic" brands of personal care and household cleaning products. The results indicate significant improvement for 23 products from sixteen major brands that had formerly been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane in a similar study held in March of 2008.

Both of these studies, which looked specifically at products that come in contact with the skin, were commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a watchdog group with over 500,000 members, and were overseen by environmental health consumer advocate David Steinman (author of The Safe Shopper's Bible). The independent third-party laboratory, Bodycote Testing Group, known for rigorous testing and chain-of-custody protocols, performed all testing. The products selected for the study are available at popular retail outlets.

As was the case with the former study, the new results showed that products bearing the USDA Organic seal (such as products from Dr. Bronner's, Intelligent Nutrients and Terressentials), were totally free of 1,4-dioxane.

Many companies with products that tested positive for 1,4-dioxane in the March 2008 study were cooperative with the Organic Consumers Association and provided re-formulated products for the new study. Brands whose products showed significant improvement since the last study include: Earth Friendly Products, Ecco Bella, Giovanni, Jason, Johnson & Johnson, Kiss My Face, Life Tree, Method, Nature's Gate, Planet Ultra, and Seventh Generation. (Seventh Generation also donated $10,000 to help fund this follow-up study.) Three companies named in a lawsuit filed in June 2008 by the California Attorney Gen... based on previous high levels of 1,4-dioxane in their tested products have reformulated and their products tested clean or nearly clean in the current study: Alba (Avalon), Citrus Magic, and Nutribiotic.

Several brands claimed to be working on product reformulations that were not ready in time for this study, including: Nature's Gate, Healthy Times, and The Village Company. A spokesperson from Whole Foods Market, which is also a defendant in the California Attorney General's lawsuit, reports they are reformulating their private label 365 Everyday Value products according to their new Premium Body Care Standards, and will be rolling them out to the stores by mid summer.

Some of the leading brands with products testing at the highest levels for the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane were Dial, Palmolive, Head & Shoulders, and Body Essence. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap had the highest levels of the carcinogen at an alarming 204 ppm (parts per million), ten times higher than any other product's current results in the study.

Based on the presence of potentially dangerous levels of 1,4-dioxane, legal notices have been served this week by David Steinman to Mrs. Meyer's, Dial, and others. According to Ronnie Cummins, the National Director of the Organic Consumers Association, "The OCA pledges to keep up the pressure until every brand claiming to be 'natural' removes 1,4-dioxane and other problematic synthetic chemicals from their products."

About 1,4-Dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a petrochemical "known to the State of California to cause cancer" under Proposition 65. Due to its toxicity, many consumers would not expect to find it in "natural" or "organic" branded personal care products. The contaminant 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process, which is a cheap shortcut companies often use to provide mildness to harsh cleaning ingredients. 1,4-dioxane is also a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant, according to the California EPA, and it is a significant groundwater contaminant. While previous studies have revealed the presence of 1,4-dioxane in baby, children's and adults products and those mislabeled as "organic" and "natural", this latest study shows the toxin is being significantly reduced as many brands reformulate.

Further Resources
Download Printable Version of this Press Release (doc)
Download the Test Results (pdf)
OCA Fact sheet on 1,4-dioxane
OCA's Coming Clean Campaign
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Environmental Working Group

my definition of PURITY

Why Purity? I believe this to be the element that will allow True expansion on our planet.

Purity comes from the heart center, or Hridya point in Ayurveda. It is the gem that resides in the middle of our heart lotus. When we apply purity in our lives, our heart lotus slowly blossoms and reveals the sparkly gem of Truth inside. This Truth will lead us all towards the right food for our bodies, the perfect partner in life, and our Dharma, or path of virtue.

Everything posted on this blog will have it's roots in PURITY. From the organic body care products and spa services I review to the Ayurvedic balancing recipes and words of wisdom I share. May the contents inspire Truth to blossom around you!