We are happy to announce the following 2021 Ayurveda School scholarship winners. Thank you for all your soulful and love-filled participation. We deeply appreciate all of the honesty and effort poured into the submissions. Our team watched every single video sent and felt truly inspired by many! Without further ado, below are some of the recipients of this year's 2021 winners and their testimonials.
Aleksandra Kasikovic | Vancouver, BC | @through.healing
"Hello there! My name is Aleksandra Kasikovic, an old soul with a childlike love for life. I was born in Canada, raised in New Jersey and have spent my adult years living between the two countries. Raised by immigrants, I’ve had a more open-minded perspective of the world from a young age and a deep connection to my Balkan ancestors. I’m a scientist by trade but a creative at heart often expressing through writing, videos or movement. I’m deeply curious about the inner worlds of others, after spending many hours in self reflection over the years, and hope to support others in their healing journeys. Through my education at The Shakti School, I’d like to blend my scientific background with the ancient teachings of Ayurveda to create sacred circles for women to dance, express, heal and step into their fullest expression. My two words for 2021 are embodiment and expansion and I deeply believe Shakti School is a foundational part of this. I’m grateful to be a scholarship recipient and see how this program will allow me to step into my next chapter more boldly. When not deep in emotional processing, I can be found walking, dancing or laughing at astrology memes."
Amore St Ives | San Diego, CA | @modrnmedicin
"When I was a child my fondest memories included adventures in the magical forests of Portland Oregon. I remember exploring mother nature’s wonders for hours on end, enraptured by her smells, colors, sounds, and textures. I have always felt at home, intrinsically connected and inspired by our divine Pachamama and yearned to know about all her plants, animals and life-giving resources. This love for momma nature and all her gifts has only intensified through my years. She has taught me so much about herself through an understanding of intuition, respect, connection and blessed me with so many life altering experiences. Now after 40ish years I feel overwhelmingly called to share this wisdom with our world. I whole-heartedly know that we have the power within to heal our minds, body and spirit. Ayurveda provides the “how” to do this through loving awareness and awakening our innate knowledge. My service as a wellness luminary is to guide health seekers along their journey by providing a space that inspires, heals and passes down wisdom to help them lead happy, connected and purpose filled lives. This includes the creation of an Ayurvedic Wellness Café and Holistic Movement Studio called Modrn Medicin (MM) opening this year in San Diego, CA. MM uses a whole system approach to wellness through the inclusion of nutrition, movement and community. Shakti’s Ayurvedic program is instrumental in supporting MM’s mission to revolutionize our health paradigm and save our community through the simple yet profound healing system of Ayurveda."
Apoorva Valli Shankar | Chennai, India | @apoorvavshankar
"Hello beautiful souls! I’m Apoorva, and I’m from India. Ayurveda is part of my roots and has always resonated with me. In the last year. I considered studying it formally and, through a synchronistic occurrence, discovered the magic of Shakti school! I’m 29 years old and have worn multiple hats professionally- I’ve studied engineering, worked as a data scientist, done a course in teaching, worked as an educator, studied human development, and now work as a researcher. As a researcher, I’ve been reviewing the global socio-economic imbalances that COVID-19 has exacerbated. I’ve realised now is the perfect time for me to be studying Ayurveda because it is a map to understanding reality and a way for me to process these imbalances and understand my potential to transform lives around me, starting with myself. For me, this journey symbolises learning to digest my experiences, as well as our collective ancestral experiences, tuning into my inner voice and connecting with my true essence – my swastha. As Katie says- “What do I do next?” is one of the most spiritual questions on the planet! My goal is to combine my diverse experience to curate a loving space that unlocks self-expression and reignites our collective compassion through a focus on food, movement, emotional awareness, and spiritual enquiry, based on the holistic health philosophy of Ayurveda – It is my heart’s desire to be a transmitter of this knowledge- this vidhya. I’m so excited for everything ahead and eternally grateful to the powerful Shakti tribe for this life-transforming experience."
Ashley King | Independece, Missouri | @whimsicalmagick
"My name is Ashley King. I am a wife and a mother of two beautiful children. Although I am not currently practicing, I am a licensed massage therapist and a Yoga Teacher. But right now I’m a coordinator for a kid’s club inside of a gym. I’m going with the flow and seeing where that is going to take me. I am happy to be able to bring what I learn from Shakti School to my team and the kids where I work. I believe I will be able to help them ground and guide them in expressing themselves better when maybe at home they don’t have that option. I have a genetic condition called Peutz-Jegher Syndrome. It is a rare condition and polyps can grow anywhere, but mainly show up in my small intestine. I had my first surgery at the age of 7 and I have had 4 major surgeries total. Unfortunately, I passed it on to my daughter. I have been on my healing journey for about 10 years trying to discover ways to live life to the fullest and to be around as long as I can for my kiddos. When I looked into Shakti School, I knew deep in my heart that this was the school for me. To help heal deep wounds within me, assist my daughter in her journey with this condition and to help heal my community. I am so very grateful for this opportunity and super excited to be here."
Babette Weel-Engelgeer | The Netherlands | @BabetteDavinia
"I’m feeling blessed for being part of the Shakti School scholarship program. My name is Babette Davinia Weel-Engelgeer and I live in the low countries, also known as the Netherlands. For the past 1.5 year or so, I’ve been an outdoor mental health coach specializing in stress and burn-out. I’ve gone through a burn-out myself, for it is my tendency to take up too many things at the same time. However, over the past half year I’ve felt drawn more and more towards working with women. Having experienced the power of SHE in women’s circles, (online) workshops, dance, ceremonies, and festivals, I now feel a strong desire to help women heal themselves. This healing starts with me, so here I am! My Sankalpa for this year is this: becoming a holy vessel for the medicine this world needs. I want to uncover the light within me, letting it shine in order to inspire others to uncover theirs. I want to experience and embody the sacred feminine, so I can guide others towards an embodied and intuitive experience of their own divinity. Living, breathing, and becoming Medicine Woman. Practically, this means offering 1-on-1 lifestyle coaching, workshops, and retreats where women of all walks of life are invited to reconnect with themselves, nature, and others. I want to collaborate with other women, so we can create uplifting and empowering programs. In all this, I will forever be the teacher and the student."
Caleigh Hutchins | Wasatch Mountains
"My name is Caleigh and I was part of the first graduating class of Covid-19. I wouldn’t assume that to be impressive, however, as there have been many more to follow myself, but my college education came to a very abrupt halt, all of my teachers decided we were done for the year, and in my case, forever. I grew up in Southern California and I never once felt that I fit in, I cared about the almost complete opposite things that everyone around me did and I enjoyed being outside and away from the masses more than anything. Fast forward from college to the present and I have just started this very physical job living deep in the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range, and a desire to reconnect with my pre-covid yoga practice. When I was in school, I lived for my late-night hot yoga candlelight sessions that really brought my whole world to a calm center that I felt strong with, and not overwhelmed. I also found myself needing more in the meanings behind why I have felt the ways I have over the quarantine period. I met a wonderful person up here in the mountains that inspired and encouraged me to sign up for this ultimately enriching and bountiful experience for my soul and body."
Daiquiri Rodriguez | Texas | @criaturx
"Hey there, ladies and theys, my name is Daiquiri (pronounced da-ker-ee), I am 27, Latinx, a yogi, and momma bear. I am from, and living in, deep south Texas with my big little family of two moms, our son, three cats, and two dogs. I have done yoga for the past 6 years or so, but it wasn’t until this past year that I began a deeper, meditative healing practice (thank you pandemic!), which led me to jumping into a 200 hour YTT. It was around this time that Shakti School popped up in the ads on my social media feeds, and as I read through what it was all about my excitement blew up! What I felt I was missing my entire life found me! A natural, healthy, and holistic way of living and healing, to be a hippie, a yogi, a healer, a human who is connected to our Mother Earth. With the guidance and wisdom I will learn this year, I want to heal myself first and foremost before I guide those around me who are ready to heal themselves, whether in yoga classes or as a doula. I am ready to put in the work to peel away those layers that no longer serve me to reveal my highest self, to reach my highest potential. I have absolutely fallen in love with this program and am beyond excited to guide others with this ancient wisdom."
Destiny Robeson | Fort Leavenworth, KS | @Westcoastmystics
"I was born to a 3rd generation American mother with roots in Lebanon, Syria and Israel. I grew up around Los Angeles and I am the oldest of four children and the only one to graduate high school. I grew up surrounded by poverty, gang violence, drug abuse/addiction, incarceration and untreated mental illness. I suffer from a heart condition and several gastrointestinal conditions that interfere with my quality of life. The trauma I have experienced in my life has deeply influenced my inclination towards holistic healing and Eastern philosophies. I believe whole heartedly in the ability to rise from nothing and build yourself up to greatness and the ability to overcome all obstacles that the universe puts before us. I have lived in Alaska, California, New York and Kansas and enjoy traveling around the world. I work with PETA as a volunteer vegan mentor and I’m a certified life coach, RYT-200 and an inter-denominational reverend. I am beyond blessed to have received this scholarship to Shakti School level one! I plan to go back to college and obtain my degree in Psychology and eventually attend med school to become a psychiatrist. I want to integrate Ayurvedic medicine, life coaching techniques, Yoga, Meditation and Western medicine together to form a mind-body-spirit approach to psychiatric medicine and patient care. In the future I would love to be able to attend level two of Shakti School to deepen my understanding of feminine form medicine and to obtain my RYT-500 certification. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you all!"
Edalí Gutierrez | Mexico City | @edaligc
"Ayurveda is hard. Let me explain: if learning a new language is already challenging, immersing yourself in a different worldview requires all of your mind, body, and spirit. But it’s also fascinating. So yes, Ayurveda is hard, but it’s also fresh and nourishing. My name is Edalí, I live in Mexico City, and connecting to my feminine side changed my life. The call of my heart is to create a holistic health project in Mexico that will help the modern, strong, independent woman connect with her sexuality and femininity in a way that can be down to earth and applied to her day-to-day life. I’m convinced that the relationship with our bodies has an impact in our quotidian existence and in our relationship with people and Mother Nature. One of my objectives is to also make it accessible andaffordable for women with low economic resources, so that their income isn’t a limiting factor in their journey to holistic health, which I plan to achieve through partnerships with different non-profits and through “scholarship programs”. My goal is to empower women through the awareness and connection of their bodies to create a change from the inside that will -eventually- resonate in a society that has set aside women’s needs and health. It’s part of the revolution and awakening women are experiencing all over the world and it’s my honour to share it within my own country."
"Hi, I’m Jazmine. I am a social worker and yoga teacher. I have been in the counselling field for 13+ years. In 2013, I began to experience workplace burnout which in turn led me to pursue yoga teacher training and other eastern-based approaches. This was when my healing journey began… not just for the burnout but for a medical condition I had developed in my youth. This shift also altered the way I helped to support my clients; whereby I started to incorporate both eastern and western traditions into my counselling approach. Through this journey to healing, there was an ongoing tendency to try and learn from authority figures how to heal myself. I was going into it with the mentality that I didn’t have the answers and that “experts” had the answers. What drew me to Shakti School was the strong emphasis of attuning to the inner healer - ultimately recognizing that the sacred answers to my own healing lie within. My life journey led me here, to the sacredness of Ayurveda. The teachings of Ayurveda have been the most nourishing and holistic approach to self-healing I’ve had the honour of being gifted with. It is the path to help support my own healing journey, and also a holistic lens that will help me best support my clients. I am deeply honoured to be a Shakti School Scholarship recipient. Much gratitude to the teachings, teachers, Shakti team, and the loving community I am now a part of."
Josefine Anna Evelina | Northern Sweden | Earth Playground Project
"After many years of suffering from IBS, chronic stress, fatigue, eating disorders, emotional overload, spiritual disconnection, sexual traumas and physical pain, I went on a deep quest of finding alternative ways to heal the suffering I was experiencing. I began to realize that the vast recovery was deeper than merely physical or psychological. This woke a burning desire within, where I saw how I could transform my journey into one of service by sharing the teachings of Natural Medicine. Today I live a life that is fully aligned with my heart, soul and spirit. I follow the song of Nature and believe in the universal force of Love. I want to dedicate my whole life to be of service for my global community by offering affordable education in natural healing modalities. I know in the depths of my being that when we come together in circles our innate potential will naturally blossom; we can reclaim our greatness and step fully into the Natural, Soulful Leaders we are. Without the love, guidance and support I have received from the teachers that believed in me and my potential in becoming a leader, I would not stand here today. That gift is what I want to give to all the people around me as well. I want to offer the gift of coming Home. Coming Home to Love, to Self, to the Raw Expression of who you truly are. Because in my arms, you are all welcome."
Justyna Połeć | Poland | @justdeliciousx
"I’m 26 years old yoga teacher and feminine energy mentor from Poland. I finished law school and I was working in a law office, but I realized this is not my purpose. I changed my life completely and went after what my heart was calling… nutrition and yoga. I went to India for yoga teacher training and become interested in Ayurveda as well. It was 3 years ago and since then I’m teaching yoga. Currently I’m living in Thailand and I love to learn more about Ayurveda that’s of course why I very much wanted to join Shakti School! Since 2 and a half years I’m running my own business, which started as fitness and nutrition oriented, I made 4 healthy living ebooks! With time I developed my business as well. I become interested more in women’s health. I’m creator of courses for Polish women about yoga philosophy, spirituality and health, which I’m so blessed to teach! I would love more women to connect to their own natural cycle, feel less stressed, enjoyed life as it is, know how to individually and durably take care of their physical and mental health. I’m so pleased to be able to expand my knowledge in Shakti School and bringing the ancient knowledge into modern hearts, which as I long for connection with nature."
Kelsi Dwyer | Cincinnati | @krae_squared
"I am sure many of you can relate, but 2020 was a rough year for me. My name is Kelsi, and I am a 33 year old mother of two in Cincinnati. I have been a yoga lover for a decade, and I began a mediation practice during quarantine to help manage stress. When my partner and I split in May, I knew that I needed something healthy to focus my energy on. I discovered Shakti School through following Katie on social media, and I found myself being repeatedly drawn to the idea of it. I am a registered nurse and I have always been most passionate about women’s health. Along with the huge responsibility of raising two young women in this modern world, I simply feel like this program is exactly where I need to be. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and integrate Ayurveda into my life and share it with the people around me. "
Kyanne Kerbel | Iowa
"Meet Kyanne, an entrepreneur, beauty & wellness consultant, ayurvedic bodywork practitioner and an unshakeable optimist dedicated to supporting you on your pathway to personal wellness & healing. Kyanne is currently enrolled in Shakti School but plans to use her training and education to develop a Panchakarma Retreat Center in Iowa. "
Lauryn Mumbi | Nairobi, Kenya | @mumbilauryn
"I am Lauryn Mumbi from Nairobi, Kenya. I feel excited, loved, felt, known and the scholarship was a surprise and I say thank you to the higher power and to Shakti School. Sometimes we get to the right path after pain and that is why being fully present makes you notice every detail. My pain story made me aware of guides, the first being my experience. Ayurveda so far has been an eye opener on all aspects of my life, and I want to use it to heal myself and those around me. Nothing about my life is lucky but I have seen a lot of divine guidance. Through the few lessons so far I am getting to understand me better and also hear my inner guides, I am able to make decisions without asking others what they think and I would love this to be the experience of everyone I come across. I used to do yoga just as an exercise but from the sub dosha lesson I learnt the purpose and uses of some inversions and I had a lot of ‘Ahaa’ moments. Someday I will be an Ayurveda doctor this makes me excited."
Lindsey Osborne | Afton, Virginia
"I live in Nelson County, Virginia with my husband and our two young boys. I have had a life-long love for non-allopathic healing modalities and Reiki has introduced me to the incredible healing potential inside of and connecting us all. I've been profoundly moved by what I've learned so far at Shakti School and the healing potential of Ayurveda is seemingly unlimited! I’ve been a veterinary assistant, volunteered with wildlife, managed my own equestrian business, belly danced, and performed as a singer-songwriter. Most recently, I went back to school to start a new professional chapter as an MSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Leader. Throughout my education and time spent working in the hospital it became evident that the care provided was one-dimensional and I quickly found myself disillusioned with Western medicine. Shakti School has been an inspiring new step towards creating a health coach practice that will feel more authentic and soul-nourishing for me and my future clients. While working as a Labor & Delivery RN in a high-risk, busy unit I was having deeply empowering experiences with my two out-of-hospital births. I loved the midwifery holistic approach to care where the body’s intrinsic wisdom is respected. My hope is to establish a holistic practice that utilizes Ayurveda and Reiki in combination with my RN skills to serve all women on their reproductive journey."
"My name is Lori Satter, I am from Houston, Texas and have had the opportunity to live in many locations, but always find myself back in Texas. I found my way to Ayurveda about 12 years ago while immersed in the yoga world, studying all the branches of the Vedic Sciences, Yoga, Astrology and Ayurveda. In 2013, I left my husband and found my digestion suffering, I turned to Ayurveda to help me return to balance and since then I have strived to live in accordance with an Ayurvedic lifestyle. In 2019, I left my job and went back to school to become an Esthetician and knew then I would be an Ayurvedic Esthetician, merging the best of East and West to offer my clients holistic based experience. The skin is the largest organ in the body and what you digest both physically and emotionally or lack of digestion will show up in the skin. My aim upon graduating from Shakti School is to guide women to feel comfortable in their skin, helping them seek balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually, so that their true inner radiance shines."
Maja Michalewska | Denmark | Simple Alive
"My name is Maja, I am originally from Poland but currently living in Denmark. I am deeply thankful to Shakti School for supporting me in pursuing this career and self-healing path thanks to the scholarship. The Ayurveda School has become a second home for me, where I charge batteries, deepen my compassion and discover new paths towards self-healing. All of which supports my deepest heart-desire to share this ancient knowledge with women in my home country and across Europe. I am deeply rooted in the sustainable way of living, including a conscious lifestyle and diet. I have been sharing this knowledge for some months now with wonderful women and men who want to do something good both for our planet and themselves. Additionally to lifestyle coaching, I guide moon meditations and organize online sessions where people from around Europe gather together to go inside and connect to their inner source of power. Ayurveda has given me a deep sense of peace and grounding, which I believe is highly needed nowadays. Nevertheless, this is just the beginning of my healing journey, which has already given me such strength to continue supporting others that I cannot wait to see how it all develops in the coming months!"
"Who am I? I am a lot of different things, but mainly I am a small town girl who has big dreams and a big heart! I knew from an early age that I had an ability to help people feel better. I had a very unique childhood growing up in a very small and isolated town surrounded by mother nature. The connection to the land and traditional teachings I received helped to show me that when you live a balanced life, health just comes easier. I started my nursing education right out of high school and have been a registered nurse for 13 years. Although I’ve enjoyed nursing, deep down I have always known I wanted a career that could offer more. Not only to the clients I serve, but to myself as well. Assisting to empower the clients I work with has always been so much more rewarding than the allopathic concepts of medications to treat illness and the ‘hospital’ as the expert. Over the last few years I’ve begun to shift my focus to more holistic areas of healthcare. The addition of the Shakti School has been a blessing in my life, and truly came to me with divine timing. My career goals going forward are to be able to provide healing and growth on an individualized basis outside the walls of a hospital. I am so looking forward to continuing my progress towards my true passion and purpose in life. Thank you so much for this opportunity, I feel so honoured to be given this partial scholarship!"
Mie Ravnholt Lohmann | Denmark | @mie_ravnholt_energiterapi
"Katie and the Shakti School have called for me for years. But life with a husband and three boys have taken up all my time and money. A life filled with depression, anxiety and stress has kept me busy trying to get by. I became a parent early in life and did not have any healthy skills with me from my upbringing to be a parent, so I began a journey of getting to know different perspectives of parenthood and finding my own way. This has been an ongoing learning process and still is, but as my eldest just left the nest, and my two other sons are getting older, I have more time and energy to begin my own journey and to start to take care of myself. Being aware that taking care of myself earlier, would have made my life more pleasant and helped me to be the parent and partner I have set a side myself to be. I have a deep longing to help other women towards this awareness as soon as possible. It feels like a deep intuitive knowledge has been forgotten in women and it is time for us to remember. I long to remember and support other women in doing so too. But my own healing and remembering is the first step towards this. And The Shakti School feels like home and the place to support me on the journey both my own healing and helping others. It brings tears to my eyes of gratitude every time I think of this opportunity I have been given."
Monica Martinez | Palmdale, CA | @Moni_mrtnzz
"My name is Monica Martinez. I live in Palmdale, CA, I’m a Mother of 2 and grandmother of 2. Holistic Healing modalities have been very important to me for a few years now because I’ve used them on my own healing journey and have seen results. I’m now 50 and have had a few female issues throughout the years. Doctors couldn’t find the problem, they kept saying it was nothing yet wanting to give me meds to experiment. My father who passed away last April due to kidney failure, I know could’ve been healed by Ayurveda treatments in India, however I couldn’t afford taking him due to the pandemic. Due to my father’s passing I became more interested in Ayurveda. I want my kids, grandkids, mom and sisters to really benefit from the knowledge I would have in Ayurveda, especially my mom whom all these years they’ve been telling she was dying of liver cancer, but she’s still here. At the moment she is fighting for her life, a wrong dosage of medication was given to her at the hospital caused so many health problems for her. I realized the hospital is not where she is going to find healing. I’m on a mission to learn all I can in this Ayurveda course to especially help my mom heal, my immediate family, myself and as many people as I can in this world."
Nastassia Matsulevich | Abu Dhabi | @nastassia_matsulevich
"My spiritual journey started around 7 years ago, when I first tried yoga. It showed me the deeper meaning of the word “lifestyle", where you are not doing exercise only, but working on establishing your mind-body connection. In 2019 I had a trip to Nepal. Somewhere on the roof of Kathmandu during a yoga class with singing bowls, a revelation came to my mind “I want to do this myself”, to teach, connect & heal others. Fast forward to 2020, I found myself in Rishikesh, India, doing a yoga teacher training, meeting people & gurus, & obviously starting to pay attention to Ayurveda. I decided to slow down & spend time alone. Panchakarma, a well-known Ayurvedic detox program, seemed like an answer to my problems. I felt heavy, my digestion was slow, I had skin issues, constant fatigue & compulsive eating. The results were stunning. I literally felt my body cleansing inside & out. This changed my life, I finally felt the inner peace & harmony regained. Currently I teach a few yoga classes a week. And it became clear to me that modern people are looking for answers. On how to balance their lives, how to eat well, how to recover from stress & better manage their daily activities. My eagle eye vision is to offer that knowledge & advice on improving their lifestyle. Coz Mama Nature has it all for us. We just need to listen."
Palloma Pires | Chicago | @pallomitaomshanti
"My name is Palloma and I currently live in the Windy City-Chicago. First of all, I am humbled and so deeply grateful to be able to return to the teachings of Ayurveda. After dealing with so many detours and different cycles in my journey, I honor my intuition which led me to be here in this present moment connecting with Katie and all the Shakti School sisterhood where I feel loved and very welcomed. I grew up by the ocean in Brazil and since my childhood my connection with nature has always been special… I remember stopping and admiring the diversity and colors of many exotic flowers & plants…I would fall in love with the delicacy and strength of nature portrayed on its flora, over and over again… but it was during my yoga teacher training, after so many springs that I had the opportunity to learn more about the sister science of yoga. That’s when I felt a strong desire to go deeper into this beautiful science of life. My heart intention with my spiritual education is to embrace, understand, respect, live and share the beauties and sacred teachings of Mama Nature through Ayurveda/Yoga/Sacred Feminine focusing on bringing awareness, consciousness, wellness, love and light, especially to sisters in vulnerable situations by assisting them, reasserting their relationship within their wildish nature, allowing these women to overcome the pressure and struggles of today's patriarchal society, by finding the medicine through a path of self-love and self-worth where they can honor themselves in the purest and most truthful form: LOVE! Com muito amor~"
Prishaniee Naidoo | Johannesburg, South Africa | @prishaniee
"Hi there, my name is Prishaniee Naidoo. I am 26 years old from Johannesburg, South Africa. I found Shakti school at a time in my life when I was exploring my spirituality. I was studying to be a yoga teacher and Ayurveda is a word that came up a lot in those spaces. I was so excited when I found Shakti School and did the free introductory course into Ayurveda. It was in doing this course that I was drawn to the work being done at Shakti School and there was no way my soul would not let me peruse this path. I was beyond honoured and so grateful to be a recipient of the Shakti School scholarship. After receiving my Scholarship, I was worried and stressed about my health as I had thought I had come to some sort of resolution with my insulin resistance and PCOS. I had always been using Ayurvedic remedies, I was just not aware that that is what it was called. I am therefore, determined and committed to the work we learn at Shakti school. I hope to use what I learn to help me better understand myself and to share this vast and beautiful knowledge with those around me as well as my community. My aim is to use these teachings to guide and inspire women that I meet to understand their own wisdom and power."
Raven Jones | Midwest, US | @raven.f.jones.3
"Greetings! I’m Raven Jones, located in the Midwest region in the US, and very grateful to be starting this journey this year. I’ve always had a love and interest in holistic healing since I was a teenager, due to some chronic health issues since I was younger, and have been working with herbs personally about 7 or 8 years now. Along my journey I have tried a lot of healing modalities and have resonated with some like breathwork, ecstatic dance, working with cacao, and sound healing. I plan to combine my Shakti School training with other healing modalities that I resonate with to offer something unique and healing to others. I don’t honestly know what that looks like yet but I know my main focuses will be mental health and healing the heart space. I want to be part of offering more safe spaces to others to be their most authentic self and move through this life from a place of healthy love, not fear. My IG handle is raven.f.jones.3, I’m not posting that much currently as I’ve been focusing a lot so far this year on decluttering and releasing all that no longer serves me on this new journey but will be more active in the near future. Blessings"
Rebekah Sarino | Vancouver, BC | @bekah_sarino
"Hello Shakti family! My name is Rebekah Sarino and I currently live in the West Coast of Canada in Vancouver, BC. You can find connect with me on instagram @bekah_sarino. A little about me - I have been on a journey of remembrance of self for what feels like years now and feel in the past year I have really come home to myself. I have a passion for helping others and do so through my work as a Yoga teacher and Reiki healer. I tried many times to do the traditional path of education and every time found myself falling ill or having something pull me out of it. The latest attempt I was in a Behavioural Sciences degree and 2 years into it, after having asked for clarity - slipped on ice and hit my head outside of school. This caused me to completely redirect my vision and turn inward where I began to heal myself along side the help of my team of alternative medicine practitioners. I later found I had been practicing energy healing through my meditations and was called to Reiki and Yoga and nutrition as a form of self-care. I was longing for a program that encompassed and focused on holistic healing - interweaving the wisdom of the mind, body, and soul as a way of finding balance and lasting health. Ayurveda seemed to encompass ALL of that and just like that Shakti School appeared on my radar. This scholarship provides me with the opportunity to dive deep into the ancient practices of Ayurveda and develop the skills and experiences to share and help others to heal and live a life in alignment with their highest most radiant selves!"
Rosie Yadid | London, UK | @rosieyadid
"Ayurveda initially entered in my life during my first Yoga Teacher Training. It felt wonderfully intuitive. A visceral nod, an initial point of contact with my inner knowing. I could feel the stirring of something inside me that was bigger than the space I was currently occupying. After a blissful month in paradise, my transition back to ‘the real world’ was brutal. I became crippled by my own expectation – I had absorbed all this beautiful knowledge, but back in the thick of it, within the reality of my life, I couldn’t muster the love to offer myself these gifts. I felt shame in my newfound awareness and inability to integrate it into my life. Yoga and Ayurveda were added to the list of ways I was failing to live up to my potential. It was a long time before I practiced again. Amidst the collective grief and uncertainty of the pandemic, some of us received the gift of pause. In this space I have begun teaching and learning again. Shakti School is an anchor, gently guiding me towards the wisdom that sits at the heart of me. The embrace of the feminine is softening my edges and encouraging me to investigate my toxic perfectionism. This shift in perspective is vital. I am allowing myself to heal, rather than demanding it. In my life, I usually identify as an artist more than anything else. And what I am coming to understand is that Ayurveda is the art of health. With art there is no right or wrong, only what moves you. There is no ultimate prescription, no finish line. It is simply a process of listening."
Rosie Young | Atlanta, GA | @rosietheteenieyogini
"Hey, I’m Rosie! I’m a yoga teacher and travel writer, and I’ve spent the past 4 years nomading across the globe and building out my small corner of the wellness travel world. 2020 brought the birth of my daughter, Jasmine Paradise, and the pandemic saw to the devastation of many travel/retreat businesses, including my own. Being homebound in Mexico for the Covid-19 pandemic inflamed many abusive aspects of my marriage and seemed unescapable, and at the same time, postpartum depression colored everything in a very existential light. I poured my heart into Yoga and Svadhyaya and used it to explore the full range of the motherhood experience, from extreme love to extreme suffering. It was my way of begging the universe for guidance, you know, that original suffering and initial cry for help that tends to proceed big, earth-shattering spiritual awakenings. My inquiry into what it meant to be happy — or to not be happy — brought me to Shakti School. I felt the call. I felt what I now recognize as ‘hope.' Yoga had always been the light I used to illuminate the shadows, but the tool of ancient Ayurveda and Tantra held out a loving hand and offered to show me the way through. Being a survivor of an abusive marriage, and experiencing the deep, dark throes of new motherhood, have taught me a lot — and it is my ultimate goal to share what I have learned (and will always continue to learn) about Ayurveda and Yoga with other women, so that the collective can uncover bliss and deep love in what often appear to be a dark, lonely world. Isn’t it so fortunate that our experience can truly be anything but?"
Sandhya Menon | Dubai
"I hail from India, the land of Ayurveda. So right from my childhood Ayurveda was part of my life unknowingly. Which is why I never valued it and took it for granted. I ate homecooked food during my growing up years and we rarely ate food from outside. I got married and shifted to Dubai. That is when I actually starting ignoring my health and began eating unhealthy junk food. The stress of work added to it. I had my two kids. Though I managed to give them healthy food, still I could not strictly follow a healthy regime. Although I would always avoid allopathic medications for myself and my kids and treat them with home remedies. It was 5 years back that I had severe knee pain and was diagnosed with RA. That is when I began treatment with an Ayurvedic practitioner. I decided to take my health seriously. However, I was not relieved of the pain completely. In spite of being on medications on an off, the flare ups were unbearable and I would go into depression during such flare ups. My practitioner never explained as to why I was having this pain or ways to reduce my stress or depression. While I was fine on days when there was no pain, on days I had my flare ups I would be shattered and lost. That is when I came upon Shakti School. Call it my intuition or my inner calling, I strongly felt this is my path to healing. Also, I could heal other women like me who could be going through a similar journey. I was honoured to receive the scholarship from Shakti school. Today as I go through the sessions, I become aware and enlightened. I respect and value my body a lot more than I did before. I have already noticed positive changes in my health by applying what I am learning in Shakti school. My wish is to pursue a career in Ayurveda by helping people to follow a path in wellness."
Sara Rollins | Appalachia | @sarasmiles15
"My name is Sara Rollins, and I come from the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. I am truly a teacher at heart, and have a passion for ethical outdoor recreation, and holistic practices that support overall well-being. I am blessed to be studying Ayurveda with the Shakti School this year after waiting for the right time since the very first group. Through this course, I hope to continue to solidify practices in my own life that I love and believe in to keep my own cup full so I can support others in need, especially those in rural areas who really need these practices, but often don’t have access to them. I love the format of slow, one-0n-one work with people, and my goal is to combine my unique set of skills in music, yoga, outdoor recreation, and Ayurveda to support individuals as they work to achieve whatever they want out of life. I live in my van full-time with my love, Burt, and our precious Norwegian Elkhound Lola. He is a musician, and I work on a research team for a podcast in it’s preliminary stage about the Appalachian Trail; my primary work for the podcast is bringing to light the dark history in the United States regarding the treatment of the indigenous natives of this land. I’m also a graduate student through Prescott College working toward my Master’s in Outdoor Education and Leadership. My undergraduate degrees are in Music Performance and Music Education."
Sara Tonini | Cape Town, South Africa
"I am Sara, a soul alchemist, a womb-wisdom keeper and an Earth ambassador. I am the scientist and the shaman, the academic and the witch. The bridge between the structured logic and the fiery creativity. For many years, I have lived in the beautiful land of my Mind, where I was privilege enough to nourish my studies, up to getting a PhD in the social sciences. I followed my passion all the way to Cape Town, my home away from home. To a passionate researcher in the field of social trust, cultural taboo and ethnic diversity, South Africa is simply the place to be. Living in an incredibly interesting, yet very tough reality required me to have a strong balance in my own life. Mens sana in corpore sano, they say. I have thus started to embark on a journey of radical self-love through embodiment practices. Conscious breathing, conscious dancing, herbalism and yoga all brought me a step closer to a fuller version of myself. To feel whole, though, I needed Ayurveda in my life. As I work more and more in the poorest and most disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Cape Town, I see Ayurveda as a political practice, one of justice. I joined Shakti School to gain the knowledge and to access its teachers’ wisdom to be able to support and empower women (and their children) in taking deep care of themselves and their communities in a holistic and inexpensive way, in harmony with Nature and its cyclicality."
Sarah Corradino | Peoria, AZ | @modern_hippie.life
"After being diagnosed with Endometriosis in 2018, I knew that I wanted to help women navigate their health through finding the root cause of what they are going through. There is not a lot of information on Endometriosis and the cause, so trying to treat it makes it very difficult. I found through holistic practices and with the help of my medical team, that I have been able to successfully manage my symptoms. During the last year, I was thinking about going back to school to become an ear for those who feel they are not being heard in the medical field. However, I decided that I wanted to be more involved with women and their journeys and creating a process on how to heal not just their bodies but their souls. After completing the Ayurveda Wellness Coach - Level 1 program, I am looking forward to joining level 2 to extend my knowledge and then open a whole Mind, Body and Spirit sanctuary for all women looking to increase their Agni. After learning that Katie teaches the importance of integrating western and eastern practices together, I knew that this is the program I wanted to study. I am not 100% sure where this journey will take me, but I am very excited to be on it."
Sita Rachel | Germany | @in.everydirection
"My name is Sita Rachel, I‘m 22 years old and live in middle Germany. Since about one and a half years I am in contact with Ayurvedic teachings, which is very valuable to me. I am interested in holistic health and have a vision of connecting Ayurvedic knowledge & wisdom with trauma therapy to help humans and communities to heal and nourish themselves and each other on all levels – body, mind, soul and in their social context. Ayurveda, as well as the understanding of trauma, the nervous system and basic knowledge in systems theory are big gamechangers for me, to look at myself and the life around me from a new angle. It makes me realize how much we are the creators of our lives. In the big shifts of these times I ask myself more than ever how I want to live and what is really important in life. In my heart I realized that I just want to serve life and encourage the aliveness & consciousness in myself and my surrounding, support community spirit and be more Here & Now than anywhere else. Besides that I love dancing, moving my body. Also, I just started making music (guitar and synth) again after a long pause, just for joy. I am very grateful to be part of the amazing, empowering Shakti School community! If you resonate with me, I am happy to see you on Instagram: @in.everydirection"
Sophia Parks | UC, Riverside | @sophia.sea.yoga
"My name is Sophia Parks, and for me it’s quite simple why I chose to study Ayurveda. I feel like much of the world has lost the art of true healing and continues to cover up health problems instead of understanding your whole being. I hope to share my knowledge with the BIPOC community and make the balance of health more accessible. I came to a more holistic form of healing because I have struggled with GI issues and skin imbalances and am working to bring my whole body into health so these issues will clear. I am passionate about yoga and Ayurveda and have been teaching yoga since 2019, you can see more about my classes on IG @sophia.sea.yoga. I am from Murrieta, CA and attend graduate school in infectious disease at UC, Riverside. This serves as a constant reminder that we are all struggling with dis-ease in one form or another. I am constantly in a male-dominant and male-thinking environment and have been craving feminine energy. As women we all have the power to be healers and it’s time for the world to recognize us in all our strength and power. My hope is that we rise up together to heal ourselves, each other and the world around us!"
Türkan Demirdöğen | Istanbul, Turkey | @thornn_apple
"As far as I remember I have been feeling wounded inside and outside, throughout my 30 years of life I have suffered from scoliosis and eating disorders. Incessantly tried to fix my bones and my body that I despised; with great effort tried to seek everywhere the reason behind my restless spirit. Luckily, I was passionate enough to expand my inherent love for nature and follow my intuition that I finally realized the precious essence flowing through me was always within me. I could feel it like the delicious fragrance of blossoming flowers, like a wild ocean wave, like the rising of the sun... All inside and outside of me; the loving force of creation pervading all the universe and the miniverse within me. Shakti School has become a nest holding my restless spirit; a magnifying love glass for my senses through which I can look deeper, closer into my bones and my tiny cells yearning for attention. As I slowly and steadily drop the veil before me everything started to feel right. I feel so honored to be a part of this lineage of love that words are not enough to express my gratitude for this opportunity. It breaks my heart to see many women suffer from eating disorders and body hate and the fact that I will have the chance to bring forth the unique medicine growing inside me, fuels my passion in this journey. I would love to utilize these ancient and modern teachings of Ayurveda and Tantra that I am gradually integrating, for the amelioration of the women experiencing this suffering. I aim for weaving the practices with kind compassion so as to remind my beloved sisters of their inherent connection with the radiant essence within their being and help them to rebuild this lost connection with divine spirit."
Vipula | Chennai, India | @vipulapaithankar
"My name is Vipula and I am from Chennai, India. Currently pursuing my master’s degree in Psychology and teaching yoga during my free time, I had always hoped to open a holistic centre for healing but it wasn’t until I came across Shakti School on Instagram that I had thought of Ayurveda as the missing puzzle for my vision. I couldn’t help but be in awe of this school and the community of powerful women who believed in a healing method that was so close to my heart. My journey with Ayurveda started with a quite simple discovery of shared wisdom from my mother about traditional recipes, leading me to start up a small and gorgeous home garden thoroughly inspired by all the resources that nature has to offer us and connecting me to the roots of my existence. The knowledge and possibility Shakti School gave me about healing generational trauma through unlearning and traditional ways came as a surprise, as it would allow me to understand myself and help thousands of women do the same or more. I am happy and excited to have this scholarship that would help me stay curious and thrive with abundance of ancestral wisdom. Thank you Shakti School of Ayurveda for this wonderful journey you have guided me into."