Ayurveda – Life Knowledge

Ayurveda means life knowledge. It is a holistic healing science based in nature practiced for over 10,000 years. It’s depth, beauty and efficacy lies in the fact that it is integrated within the laws of nature. Ayurveda goes beyond addressing the current state of health in the body in a symptomatic way but brings healing to the very root. An Ayurvedic doctor (vaidya) can help guide you in learning your elemental birth constitution as well as your current elemental state. Through diet, lifestyle, herbs, and ayurvedic therapies one can build optimum health.
When there is harmony with the relationship to yourself, in turn it creates harmony with the relationships outside of you and consciousness at large. The lens of Ayurveda gives us an opportunity to look at how we intake and expend prana from our minds and physical bodies.


Ayurvedic therapies

Abhyanga and Shirodhara complement meditation by calming the mind and allowing the body to sit comfortably. Meditation with the benefit of Ayurveda helps to balance and harmonize the body so that it may receive deeper healing.


Abhyanga, a flowing, synchronized massage performed by two therapists with herbal oil deeply nourishes and relaxes the body.


Shirodhara, the continuous pouring of warm oil on the third eye, calms the nervous system and activates the body’s healing potential.


Ayurveda’s main goal is to strengthen the immune system in order to create health, happiness and longevity in the physical body while acting as a foundation for spiritual progress in Yoga.

Meet the therapists

Cecilia Fernandez-therapist

Cecilia Fernandez
An Ayurvedic & Neuromuscular Massage Therapist

Cecilia Fernandez
Ayurvedic Practitioner & Neuromuscular Massage Therapist
Cecilia has dedicated her life to being a student of holistic healing and has studied the Art of Ayurveda for the past 12 years, she offers a compassionate approach to healing blended with diagnostic skills and insight. She received her primary education with Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurveda Institute, she is certified as a practitioner, AyurYoga therapist. Additionally, she worked in the Pancha Karma Clinic performing Ayurvedic therapies for cleansing and rejuvenation. Currently she studies at Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Her massage certification is with advanced training as a neuromuscular and orthopedic therapist for acute and chronic physical conditions.
As an ayurvedic practitioner she teaches workshops, provides health consultations, is one of the primary ayurveda therapists for Dhyanyoga Centers’ Ayurveda programs. In addition to her work within the Dhyanyoga Centers, Cecilia is the owner of East Bay Ayurveda Healing and Holistic Massage in Emeryville, California.

Janani English
A Medical Manual Therapist & Ayurveda Massage therapist

Janani has over 30 years of experience in various teaching and therapeutic capacities including yoga instruction and therapy, osteopathic manipulative therapy and ayurveda therapies. Janani is one of the primary ayurveda therapists for Dhyanyoga Centers highly regarded Ayurveda Week Program and is also a senior yoga instructor at Dhyanyoga Centers where she has taught for over seven years. In addition to her work at Dhyanyoga Centers, Janani maintains an office in Lafayette.


Andreea Ichim
Orthopedic Therapist

Andreea specializes in Orthopedic Bodywork and practices functional as well as structural treatment methods. Her training includes certification in Zen Bodytherapy, Hanna Somatics and one-on-one mentoring in Ayurvedic therapies. In addition to her private practice, Andreea owns an organic spa that offers Ayurvedic treatments. Her interest concerns Ayurveda as a comprehensive and holistic healing science that unfolds as a living art.

Elizabeth Nielsen-Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Beth Nielsen 
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner & Trauma Consultant, Yoga Instructor

Beth specializes in the treatment of trauma, abuse and relational issues. After participating in a two-year Tsunami recovery project in South India, in 2008 she founded Lotus Circle International (LCI) a nonprofit that provides training and treatment for integrative trauma healing to underserved populations worldwide. LCI Projects have focused on women’s empowerment and sex trafficking recovery in India and Nepal, as well as post civil war recovery in Sri Lanka.

My favorite treatments, of all treatments, are abhyanga (full-body oil massage) and shirodhara (oil gently poured on the forehead). Every time I receive these treatments, I feel as if I've just been on a weeks-long yoga retreat. I recommend these ancient therapies to one and all - to restore you, to heal your ailments.


Over the past several years I have experienced many treatments with Janani, Andrea, and Cecilia. They have helped in amazing ways, over a spectrum of issues, both acute and chronic. I highly recommend an exposure to an experience of excellence with them.


The union of yoga and Ayurveda
is unique and complete;
as the yogis state,
it’s like “adding a beautiful fragrance to gold.”

If you are interested in joining the “River of Prana” retreat, please fill out the registration form.