STUDYING THE GUNAS: Ayurveda, the never-tiring teacher
My first experience of Ayurveda was in Thailand. A friend who practiced Ayurveda was explaining a client whose symptoms had her puzzled. When she was done explaining, I began to extrapalate a solution. What I enjoyed most was not that my solution was correct but rather that it was entirely logical. A science based on reason rather than pretense.
Within months I had begun studying with one of the foremost western teachers, Vaidya Atreya Smith. Atreya is both a gifted teacher and a phenomenal diagnostician, and I was inspired to deepen my knowledge and continue in his tradition of healing from the source. His remarkable clarity and demystification of Ayurveda enabled me to strengthen my understanding. I am still fortunate to continue to call him my teacher.
PHILOSOPHY: The science of observation
To be a gifted physician one must develop the ability to objectively observe.
Ayurveda is not a science based on judgement. More precisely, it is a science based on the consequences of one's actions. It does not limit a person to living a strict and severe life devoid of freedom, but rather encourages choices armed with the knowledge of cause and effect.
Observation is integral to Ayurveda, and it is how this science came into being. Without observation the three doshas, five elements, seven tissues, twenty attributes, or any of the other Ayurvedic fundamentals would not have been "discovered".
A daily practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga has enabled me to develop an attitude of humility and objectivity. Abandoning judgement of myself on the mat has enabled me to see things for what they are.
Years of teaching have honed my skills as an observer of the subtleties of the body and, even more so, the subtleties of the mind. Observation, knowledge and experience create moments of insight, the key to unlocking the mysteries on the inside.
TRAINING: Physician, heal thyself
My formal Ayurvedic studies were at the European Institute of Vedic Studies with Vaidya Atreya Smith and Dr. Sunil V. Joshi. My most recent training at the EIVS specialised in Dravyaguna - the principles, qualities, actions and therapeutic profiles of herbal substances in Ayurveda.
I have made several trips to India and interned at Dr. Joshi's clinic in Nagpur, Maharashtra. This was a unique opportunity to broaden my experience in a panchakarma clinic with a physician believed to be the leading specialist in this field. It was in Joshi's clinic that I was schooled in the healing hands-on therapies of Ayurveda - training in shirodhara, varieties of basti and the modalities of abhyanga.
QUALIFICATIONS: Stamps of approval
I have been awarded four diplomas by the European Institute of Vedic Studies for my studies in Ayurveda. The most recent certification being awarded for study in the field of Ayurvedic Herbal Pharmacology, an education that enabled me to more deeply understand the energetics of herbal formulas and their prescriptive healing effects on the individual. I am a professional member of National Ayurvedic Medical Association, an organization that governs and protects Ayurveda as a profession in the United States.
I am a licensed massage therapist in Maine (MT5032) and a member of the Association of Massage and Bodywork Professionals. My massage style is primarily rooted in the Ayurvedic tradition but borrows from modern philosophies to suit individual needs.
I have also completed several courses of study in Yoga including pranayama, philosophy, kids and pre-natal. For the benefit of my personal practice it has been a humbling honour to have studied under many of the well known Ashtanga teachers most notably Ron Reid, Tim Miller, Philippa Asher, Eileen Hall, Sharath Jois and Nancy Gilgoff.