The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
My yoga journey began in 2005, when I traveled to India. As a dancer and former gymnast, I had taken a few yoga (asana) classes in the States, but I didn’t understand how yoga was different from other forms of movement until I decided to live in an ashram and immerse myself in the practice. This experience—daily meditation, chanting, asana, pranayama, karma yoga (service), an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle—began to awaken something in me that I didn’t even know I was searching for. I experienced a deep healing. I decided then and there that I would devote my life to exploring this system, and share what I learned with others.
Since then my journey has taken many unexpected twists and turns. Healing is, after all, a continuous journey. At the time I most needed it, the work of David Elliott found me, helping me heal a lot of old emotional wounds in my relationships, mainly through healing my relationship to myself. In 2012 I realized it was time for me to deepen my studies in Ayurveda, and I was accepted into the program at the Ayurvedic Institute. I had the honor of studying with Dr. Vasant Lad and his incredible staff for 2 years, becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner as well as experiencing another deep level of healing through applying the teachings of Ayurveda to my own life.
Shortly thereafter, I experienced the earth-shattering loss of my best friend and partner of more than seven years. Grieving this loss is a continual journey that is teaching me so much about life, love, suffering, and letting go. It has been difficult, and has also revealed how incredibly supported I am.
We all have within us the power to heal. Yoga and Ayurveda have not solved all of my problems, but they have provided me with the tools I needed to navigate life’s challenges with more ease and grace. Through aligning with the laws of nature, these systems provide a framework for understanding how to read the body’s signals when an imbalance arises, and provide guidance for restoring balance and awakening the healing wisdom within.
Debby Andersen, yogini, healer, and co-founder of the Hamsa School of Yoga and Ayurveda, blends the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda into a practical, modern-day path of self-discovery and healing. Born and raised near Des Moines, Iowa, she graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Dance and Psychology. An avid traveler, she fell in love with yoga while living in India for 3 months, where she was also introduced to yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. She completed her first yoga teacher training in India in 2006. Since then she has completed numerous trainings in yoga and the healing arts.
Debby is a NAMA-registered Ayurvedic Practitioner and is certified to practice Ayurveda through the Ayurvedic Institute (Albuquerque, New Mexico). She is registered with Yoga Alliance* as an E-RYT 500 and YACEP, and is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
*The yoga therapy components of my teaching are based on my certification as an Ayurvedic Practitioner and C-IAYT, and are not derived from my status as an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance Registry.