1. Can you describe your state when you felt the desire to stay at the ashram.. and other details that youd like to share?
In 2004, I was rear ended in WA on my way to Acupuncture clinic in school. It affected my left leg and right arm/neck. Working with that injury has been a 10+ year journey now. At that time I practiced Ashtanga 1x/week with an incredible teacher. She tried to help me modify but ultimately it was too much for me at that point. I was basically told I could no longer do yoga. Fast fwd to end of school two years later I was traveling in New Zealand on my own. I intended to sit for a Vipassana meditation in the north but had begun traveling south and loved it! I met a woman in a hostel that had just been to Anahata Yoga retreat on a beautiful man top outside of the city of Nelson. They had space in their monthly “explore yourself retreat” and I decided that sounded much better than sitting still for another 10 days.
After such a rigorous study program of 6.5 yrs for acupuncture school, I wanted to get back in my body! Anahata ended up revealing to me the heart of yoga and the art of living it beyond the class, and going much deeper. I was invited to go to India with them the following year to their guru’s ashram. I honestly had never wanted to go nor had any plans to do so. Through life’s ups and downs, I ended up going with them the following year….the Divine hand guided me into an incredible time and a life changing journey into yoga. The call is deep. I have made big life decisions from a yogic perspective and they have challenged me and also given me the tools for those challenges. I have spent about 1 year total in the ashram and I truly appreciate the chance to go there and be in such a space of service, feeling the power of a whole community working together and practicing together.
Our mantra is to Serve, Love, Give. Ashram is a “place of work” and fosters a space of deep learning, discomfort at times and very fond memories of beauty and peace. I think my teacher Swami Niranjan put it best “Ashram life is like a dream, a beautiful dream that passes in a very inconvenient and uncomfortable manner” Lol. You kind of have to experience it to know if it is for you or not. I feel it is my home away from home and always look forward to returning. Due for a visit soon in fact!
2. What was it inside you that pulled you to be a “healer” as a profession, or you can define it any way that fits your definitions?
[some of these are big questions Bob!!] I suppose I have always been called. Its hard to say when… I just remember caring and feeling way too much or more than other people since being a little kid. I was born into Sunburst community in Santa Barbara county [closer to Lompoc; http://sunburst.org/] and remember meditating at a young age. I could feel trees and animals and peoples energy. I helped friends in high school with nutrition and herbs once to help a friend to overcome heroin withdrawals. I was always there to listen to and try to help solve friends issues. I always joke that my profession picked me…seems to be written this life, my main task has been to accept! Ultimately I feel that we are each our own healer…there is so much to be uncovered and that is the gift! Typically meant as a very specific gift for each of us. We do need help to rediscover our power, to reach those funny places on the back 😉 and to get some new perspective and that is why I love “healers.” I feel like anyone who is a healer allows people to be themselves and loves them for that… really sees the essence and wholeness so that the person struggling can start to see it too and recover. I think asking for help is great and I recommend bringing yourself along for the process! As in checking in when advice is given or maintaining that connection with higher self while receiving body work, rather than being passive about it. It is different than expecting another to “heal,” it is taking responsibility for one’s own part of the experience and therefore connecting with the gift.
3. what was the most radical or most helpful your service rendered? do you have a list of testimonials?
I do have testimonials… need to collect more but I haven’t been great about doing it regularly in written form. Have some on my website, under construction currently but coming along! erikaeddy.com and some coming in on facebook [see below for the links]… will be getting some from yoga students too. Yours is appreciated if you want to share! Also have some on yelp…
Goodness, I have seen too many wonderful things… One story that stands out is a 6′ 6″, 300lb. man who came into my clinic in WA with two canes, sweating and unable to complete his new patient paperwork because of the intensity of his back pain. He was very shy of needles and would not allow me to do much. He cam 3x that week and was not using any canes within 4 days. That was pretty amazing! On a regular basis, the most radical shift I see is after a client has relaxed and fully come “home” to themselves and a more peaceful perspective. I feel every day what a miracle it is to be fully present, awake and alive, regardless of what a person may be enduring or learning to heal. A peaceful mind makes everything feel better 🙂
4. In my encounter with your healing modality, I fell asleep and felt so totally refreshed. Can you explain? Is it a personal thing or perhaps its cultural in the sense that we in north america seem to be rushing around making sure we have money for food and shelter. Did you see a difference in India? and please elaborate on any of these questions.
It is very common to fall asleep or feel drowsy during a session. One of the main side effects ( or benefits as I like to say!) is the release of endorphins, our “feel good” hormones. Taking time to consciously relax is not practiced these days, or napping for that matter! and I believe should be. I teach people Yoga Nidra to aid with this kind of awareness. When a person feels relaxed they have less pain, sleep, eat and heal better. It takes about 20 min for the body’s energy to make one full circuit. In an acupuncture session, needles are left in 20-40 min or longer depending on the goal of treatment. Your body was able to rest more fully as the treatment was helping to harmonize all of your organs and meridians.
All over the world people are rushing. Ironically, I see that in India too especially in cities. It is not true everywhere of course but just like here, it is a choice, a state of mind. Basic needs are always top priority. Our whole world has become consumer driven. I have found in my life that I seem to be some kind of ambassador to remind the east of its deep and beautiful traditions. I have literally taught “yoga” to Indians in India. lol. And Chinese medicine to Chinese in Shanghai. A medical intuitive told me 15 years ago that I would be a “bridge” between the east and west. I find she was right! I love to help people understand eastern philosophy and reap the benefits to improve quality of life.
5. From all the modalities that you have studied, what has been the most important as in healing the other or since you actually dont do the healing what is it that is healing? Do you believe or know that what you are “creating” is a space for the person’s own body and make up become nourishing again so that a healing per se can occur? answer and elaborate if you wish.
My story with healing has always been and continues to be in ways: Healer, Heal Thyself. I do not claim any title or position as such and think of it more like being a conduit for good, true, helpful clarifying frequencies to support a person to return to their true nature. Truth is what heals. Unfortunately we are often so deluded by habits of thinking and perception that we block the clarity or distort it and cant remember or feel what is true. I like to help people gain clarity and freedom on all levels of mind, body and spirit. There’s no greater feeling than being aligned with your higher power and able to receive the blessings that are all around us! I help people reconnect to truth.
Of all the modalities I have incorporated, studying Reiki really took my practice and understanding to a new level. I trained to Master/Teacher level in 2007-08 on the Olympic peninsula in WA. During that time, I spent a lot of my free time in nature, amongst beautiful lush trees and fresh air. I worked 5.5 days at my acupuncture clinic and took one shift per week staying with my Grandpa who live about 2 hrs away and had dementia. My life was caught up in service and solitude in nature. My whole family helped out and we all had our “shifts”. Mine was saturday so that if he didn’t go to sleep I could at least sleep in on that one day. I had one day or half a day off/week, it was a very disciplined time. This lasted a year or more during which time my focus and practice was heightened. I ran Reiki all the time and used it on myself and everyone around me. I got to practice a lot! It really helped to hone my skills and heighten my perception of myself and the world. In order to manage the stress, I also began dancing 5 rhythms at a studio in Olympia WA. It saved me! I could go 3-4x/week in the eve and release all the tension. It was a gift to be able to embody that energy and to have those challenges to heighten my awareness and inner strength. I think all the pain and dysfunction I have experienced makes me a better listener and a kinder practitioner. I know what it means to suffer and am not in denial of it. I sit with my pain and witness others. It is not in a morbid sense. It is what allows the healing. I do try to create a safe space and the most optimal environment for healing to occur.
My treatment room space has a healing wall on one side [dana cummings-eco chic designs] and has many intentional items and prayers to enhance the sacredness of the space. My intention is that all feel safe, seen and cared for there.
6. When I left your office, I found myself drifting to simply want to walk slowly along the path/street along shell beach. Something magical happens when I slow down. It seems pretty simple and wise but I get so easily caught up in the speed and the need to get things done. Any remedy or radical dissection procedure you know of that can permanently alter this cultural given, as it were? You can include humor as well in this answer or answers.
Im so happy you were able to allow that space! That sounds like returning to truth, true nature. I like considering thought habits as delusions. Continuously changing delusions, distractions from what is actually important a lot of the time. Its time for all of us to question these habits. To really ask ourselves what feels good or better, to notice that it happens at all! Thats how it changes. To pay attention. We must learn to listen to the rhythms again; rhythms of self, nature, the planet, the cosmos. The more we start to honor and activate that space inside ourselves, the more it can impact others. We are vibrational beings. We respond to vibration and frequency. Even without words, our peaceful frequency can change the world. It starts with each one of us being kind to ourselves- shifting to positive and supportive self talk. Staying connected and showing up each day to practice. I find there are tons of gaps in my practice, always unfolding into a deeper understanding- same themes, new challenges watching it all. I am always in a humble awe at how much there is to be aware of in life!! And how much we get to learn if we allow this inner openness to grow.
7. The next morning I woke up at 5am and walked very briskly along a path in the front of my home where the creek is. I felt so energized and found myself doing push ups against the various picnic tables; almost as if I was being called to strengthen my body that I had lost touch with.
Any insights, acknowledgments or was it simply a normal result from your session? please comment as much as you want…
Sounds like you got a nice reset! That is not necessarily an every time result. There can be the same general feeling of well-being with each session but just as your nature, the seasons and all the cosmos change, your needs and experiences with treatments will likely change too.
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