I started dancing at 4 years old. I danced throughout college, earning degrees in Dance and Psychology, but had no idea where it would lead me. By the time I graduated, the years of dancing had already taken a toll on my joints, and my body was in pain. My mind was convinced that I was broken. Like most people in pain, my reaction was to shut it down, mostly with alcohol, but also with other things like food, distraction, and buying anything that promised to “cure” my pain. Of course nothing worked.
Shortly after graduating from college, I found myself living in an ashram in northern India, learning and practicing Yoga and Ayurveda. This experience—daily meditation, chanting, asana, pranayama, acts of service (karma yoga), an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle—began to awaken something in me that I didn’t even know I was searching for. I began to heal.
Yoga is a path to healing the mind through the body, and, in turn, Ayurveda gives us tools to support the body, so we can feel safe and at ease in the mind. Ayurveda and yoga are ancient systems that offer us timeless wisdom: their teachings are woven into the fabric of nature, and reside in each and every one of us.
My journey has taken many unexpected twists and turns. 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 was accepted into the program at the Ayurvedic Institute. I had the honor of studying with Dr. Vasant Lad and his incredible staff for two years, and became an Ayurvedic Practitioner while experiencing another deep level of healing.
Just when everything was going so well, I experienced the earth-shattering loss of my best friend and partner of more than seven years. Grieving his loss is an ongoing journey that is teaching me so much about life, love, suffering, and letting go.
We all have within us the power to heal. Yoga and Ayurveda have not solved all of my problems, but they provide me with the tools I need to navigate life’s challenges with more ease and grace.
These days, we are bombarded with external noise, urging us to cure our pain or heal ourselves through various diets or pills. The problem with these approaches is that they don’t take into account the most important factor in healing—you. You are unique, and your healing journey will be unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing, and Ayurveda honors that. I’m here to support your journey, and help you access the wisdom that is already alive in you.
Debby Andersen is an Ayurvedic Healer and Yoga Therapist with more than 15 years of experience exploring and sharing these systems. Co-founder of the Hamsa School of Yoga and Ayurveda, she blends the 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. She fell in love with yoga while living in India, where she was also introduced to yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. She completed her first yoga teacher training in India in 2006, and went on to study Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad in Albuquerque, NM and Pune, India. Other teachers she has studied with include David Elliott, Dr. Claudia Welch, and Francisco Kaiut.
Debby is a NAMA-registered Ayurvedic Practitioner and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. 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. She is based in San Antonio, Texas.