Ayurvedic Practice Inspiration: How focusing on ancient rituals and practices shaped five American wellbeing heroes Shiva Rea, Deepak Chopra, Ali Cramer, Rod Stryker and Sarah Finger

Ayurvedic Practice Inspiration: How focusing on ancient rituals and practices shaped five American wellbeing heroes Shiva Rea, Deepak Chopra, Ali Cramer, Rod Stryker and Sarah Finger

In the sea of wellbeing gurus and pundits, the ones that truly stand out have adapted ancient wellbeing traditions to better address chronic contemporary mental and physical health issues.

These five heroes we are celebrating today focus on making ancient rituals and practices applicable to contemporary life.  Here at Malavara, we use traditional Ayurvedic practices to infuse your modern life with the essence.  For a quick fix, our Body Oil is scented with an elixir of pure essential oils including cardamom, bergamot, orange, mandarin, lemon, clary sage, vetiver, patchouli and cedarwood.

Check out the five heroes we are celebrating today, and how learning about their practices can help guide you on your Ayurvedic journey.

Shiva Rea

Shiva Rea is one of the most inspiring women we’ve encountered.

She was on a PhD path in dance anthropology until she broke her pelvis in a car accident, was evacuated from Topanga fires and lost her mother to brain cancer -  all in the same year.

That year taught Shiva that the vinyasa (flow) of life is: change. And that we must live our deepest passion now. She changed from being, in her own words, “a tight, disconnected, over-thinking, type-triple A, pitta athelete and academic” into a yogini who was in tune with the flow of nature and her innate happiness.

Shiva brings the power of yoga into the flow of life and her Prana Vinyasa classes feel like fluid dance sessions. We love how Shiva combines dance, science and music with flow yoga. Her practice connects you to the core elements of your own body as well as the flow of nature and life itself. Prana Vinyasa moves through a progression of salutations (namaskars), sequences, and peak asanas to inner regeneration and awareness.

Your Daily Practice:  Ayurvedic Hair Oil

To take Shiva’s philosophy to your beauty regimen, rejuvenate your hair and senses with our Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir.  Our hair oil helps drain toxins from your head, which relieves stress and calms the mind, unlocking deeper, all-rounded wellbeing through the mind-body connection, which is central to Ayurveda. Not sure how to use hair oil?  Check out some of our best tips for using hair oil.

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra satiates our need to combine data and science with ancient tradition.

Co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing and a pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, Chopra is also an MD. He has written over 85 books, with our favorite being Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine. It is groundbreaking and includes the latest scientific research on the connection between the body and mind.

When patients who had been given just a few months to live made inexplicable recoveries in Dr. Chopra’s own practice, he began his search for answers. He returned to India, to explore the world’s oldest medicinal tradition, Ayurveda, and combined its insights with conventional medicine, neuroscience, and physics. Amazingly, Dr. Chopra discovered a "network of intelligence" in the human body with the potential to defeat cancer, heart disease, even aging itself - Quantum Healing is a great read.

Your Daily Practice: Introduce Vetiver Oil Blend

We’ve also used science along with Ayurvedic tradition to create a fragrance for our products that’s beneficial for both your body, mind, and soul. The Lime Vetiver blend combines pure essential oils of cardamom, baies rose, bergamot, orange, mandarin, lime, clary sage, vetiver, patchouli and cedarwood to create a sophisticated, multi-layered and uplifting blend, rich with the heritage of India.


Ali Cramer

We love Ali’s philosophy that yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. A yoga and Ayurveda teacher in New York City, Ali began her career as a professional dancer. When a friend suggested she try Yoga to help heal her dance injuries, she didn’t know that taking the advice would completely change her life.

While Ali is well-versed in the doshas, she believes, just as we do, that there are general Ayurvedic principles and rituals that work for everyone.

“While we are all our own unique beings with our own unique needs, there are some generalizations that can be made…in the same way that for all of us, if we never sleep, we’re going to feel terrible, if we’re eating nothing but junk food we’re going to feel terrible….there are also things that pretty much I can guarantee will make us all feel good ” (here’s a link to the full video About Ali: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPToh5TKTk)

All her flows are based around the pitta, vata, or kapha seasons, and you'll experience an intuitive mix of yoga, Ayurveda and the chakra system to balance out the imbalances of daily life.

 Your Daily Practice: Balance through essential oils

Create balance with your skin with our Lime Vetiver Body and Hand Wash.  Gently cleanses while moisturizing with plant-oil humectants and an elixir of fragrant essential oils that aid in balancing the mind, body and soul, like bergamot, patchouli, lemon, and babies rose.


Rod Stryker

“Sleep is a transition from minutiae to expansiveness.” - Rod Stryker

Rod Stryker is the founder of ParaYoga and ParaYoga Nidra, which is the science of deep relaxation and healing.

Yoga Nidra (or yogic sleep) is a guided meditation to induce full body relaxation and deep rest. It helps quiet the overactive mind, inviting it into a deep, conscious meditative state, in which brain waves slow down. It feels wonderful and has helped with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and insomnia.

Stryker defines ParaYoga from Sanskrit as meaning “the highest result possible when we put in effort.” His methodology involves deep study of tantra, Ayurveda, and yogic philosophy. His book, The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom, was published in 2011 and has been widely celebrated in the yoga world for encouraging inner fulfillment and complete joy through a look into our innate human desires as outlined by the yogic tradition.

We are so looking forward to Stryker’s upcoming book, Enlightened Sleep.

Your Daily Practice: Heal and de-stress with massage

Heal your skin with the nourishing properties of our Lime Vetiver Body and Hand Lotion. Kokum Butter rejuvenates damaged skin cells and heals and conditions skin, while Aloe Vera nourishes and hydrates skin.  Pair with the De-Stress and Calm Body Lotion Massage to relax and ground your mind delivering the mind-body connection that is Ayurveda.


Sarah Platt - Finger

We love Sarah’s grace, symmetry and poise. She is the co-founder of ISHTA Yoga and the private yoga teacher of Dr. Deepak Chopra. We follow her on Instagram where her writing and visuals go a long way in making us feel calm and centered.   

Sarah believes that the practice of yoga can be used as a microcosm of the reality we create for ourselves off the mat, and that a deeper awareness of our physical, mental, and emotional habits can both transform and empower us to connect to our most authentic self. She fully understands modern stresses and aggravators and we love how she applies yoga to calm them. 

Your Daily Practice: Connect with Ayurvedic essential oils

Calm your stresses and soothe your skin with our Lime Vetiver Body Oil. Moringa and Apricot kernel oils replenish and nourish your skin while essential oils awaken your soul.  We’ve used patchouli oil, great for spiritual awareness, and cedarwood, clary sage, and vetiver to strengthen your spiritual connection. 

Tell us below if you incorporate yoga, meditation, or a beauty ritual inspired by these teachers.  We’d love to hear about your journey.



Tejal Ramnathkar Engman is the co-founder of Malavara. Having left India at 17, she has come full circle to her herb-mixing granny's Ayurvedic beauty traditions. Tejal lives in Washington, DC, and her new year's resolution is to squeeze more hot yoga into a schedule that is currently consumed by a rambunctious 4-year-old, a day job in real estate, and her passion, Malavara.

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