Wise Earth Ayurveda
I recently attended a five-day intensive Ayurveda training program called Wise Earth Ayurveda Women’s Health & Spirituality. I’m still vibrating from the experience and wanted to share it with you.
“Contemplate your womanhood; you are uniquely powerful as a woman.” – Maya Tiwari
Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, WEA, was the first school for Ayurvedic studies in the USA. Established in 1981 by Maya Tiwari, affectionately known as Mother Maya. Her main goal was to share the ancient Vedic knowledge of sadhanas (sacred daily practices) that align us with the rhythms of nature.
It’s a simple yet profound philosophy that brings us back to our roots and our very essence, for we are all comprised of the same five elements as everything else in nature: space, air, fire, water, and earth.
Most of us in today’s world are so far removed from these practices and from our connection with nature in general, that we suffer individually and collectively from disease (dis-ease), disharmony and imbalance.
Cardinal principles of Wise Earth Ayurveda
Realizing the true Self to be one with nature
Practicing humility through surrender
Committing to inner harmony
Restoring cosmic, cognitive, and ancestral memory
Honoring nature’s nourishers, food, breath & sound
Sacred Practice Sadhana
Aligning every activity in accordance with nature’s rhythms
Cultivating inner awareness and knowingness
I serendipitously met Maya Tiwari last year after reading her book The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Ayurvedic Healing. I was deeply affected by her story of self-healing from terminal ovarian cancer in her early twenties. By reconnecting with her ancestral roots, healing the wounds that had been passed down for generations, and using the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda Inner Medicine, Maya found herself free of cancer and headed for a life of deep spirituality and service to others.
Maya Tiwari’s story of self-healing from cancer resonated with my own healing journey with fibromyalgia. Although I endured but a fraction of the extreme suffering that Maya did, my almost-seven years of chronic debilitating pain was the turning point in my life that led me to the world of holistic health and healing. Under the guidance of WEA teacher Sarita-Linda Rocco, we learned practices that are particularly healing for women.
Wise Earth Ayurveda practices for women
- Ablutions (Daily cleansing and strengthening of sense organs)
- Abhyanga massage for head, feet, and hands
- Ginger Compress Therapy
- Pichu Therapy (Warm oil therapy that is deeply nourishing for many ailments)
- Uttara Vasti nourishing and strengthening of the womb
- Lunar Cycles
- Daily Vedic Chanting
- Hip and back massage for women
- WEA breathwork
- Treatment for women recovering from sexual abuse, abortion, miscarriage
The core of women’s health is Shakti, the primordial feminine healing energy
Everything we participated in was linked to our Shakti energy, composed of rhythm and memory. This was a small group of women (and one dear man)–maybe twenty of us, including a number of incredible assistants. I was struck by how young some of the women were. One was only 26 years old but creative and wise beyond her years. Others were mothers with young children (one has four and traveled all the way from western Canada to Pennsylvania). I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful sign this is of the changes happening in our world. These young women clearly are empowered by their Shakti and are determined to make this earth a better place for themselves, their families and those lucky enough to come in contact with them.
As if all of this incredible knowledge and energy wasn’t enough, our meals were lovingly prepared and chanted over each day by Sarita’s husband, Ayurvedic Chef Dhira-Michael Rocco. The fresh, seasonal foods he served us were specifically chosen for women’s health. Food, breath and sound are at the core of WEA practices and my experience living this for five days was nothing short of transformational.
If you’re a woman and are unaware of this underlying creative force within you, I encourage you to get in touch with it. It will revolutionize your life. Read more about the philosophy of Wise Earth Ayurveda.
So, back to my serendipitous meeting with Mother Maya. I was with my friend, Michael, and we were a bit early for a late afternoon movie in the Village. He asked me if I had been to the little bookstore called Namaste Bookshop around the corner. I hadn’t, so we went to check it out. I noticed a table in the middle of the store with stacks of Maya Tiwari books on it. I said to Michael “Oh, look! I love her! I just read her book for the second time.” And Michael pointed to a sign and said, “Well, she’s going to be here tonight.” So my first meeting with Mother Maya was not in a big auditorium but in a tiny little metaphysical bookshop with about twenty other people. Isn’t life amazing?
I will be returning to the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in May to study with Maya Tiwari herself. I am one lucky Ayurveda-obsessed woman!