Ayurvedic Wellness -

Melanie MacDonald

I am a Clinical Ayurveda Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist, Certified Massage Therapist, Registered Yoga Therapist, and have had other areas of extensive training without a fancy title, essential oil therapy, herbal medicine, nutrition, healthy cooking and meal planning. It wouldn't be complete these days if I didn't add, mama to three wonderful children, wife to a loving husband, aspiring natural food chef and work-in-progress domestic goddess.....

My yoga practice began during high school in the early nineties but more regularly in the summer after I graduated and it helped me to be focused and flexible through my college years as well as healing gymnastics injuries (majority of childhood was spent in competitive gymnastics), pre-arthritic conditions, and anxiety.   I graduated from UC Davis in 1998 with a BA in History and lots of hours mentoring and working with children in classrooms to build experience toward a teaching career. I also spent my time in Davis dancing with Nexus Modern Dance Collective. I moved to San Francisco and began selling health insurance and loved taking dance and yoga as often as I could.  Soon I realized that I wanted to inspire and guide people to practice health daily in their lives and possibly I could make a difference with children helping them get on a health minded path early on....which led me to the next venture.   I started substitute teaching in schools in Sonoma County approximately in 2000 and simultaneously enrolled in massage therapy school where I received my first massage certification (CMT).  

I began to study yoga more extensively and attended and completed my first yoga teacher training (2002), however I began teaching informally in 2000 at a time where there weren't many yoga teachers in the town I lived. Once I received my certification I became Yoga Alliance registered and my hunger for more yogic knowledge only grew. I felt alive and lite up with energy that had been waiting to be accessed, putting all those years of feeling intuitive and kinesthetically aware into it's proper dharmic path. I continued further with massage therapy trainings as well, studied Thai Yoga Massage, Acupressure/Marma therapy, Raindrop Essential Oil therapy, pre and post-natal massage, medicated oil treatments, facials, huna energy work, pranic healing and marma point work, acupressure, and other specific therapies and modalities. I also continued further yoga teacher trainings and attended extensive retreats and workshops both yoga and energy healing based, on a path of deep self discovery. 

In those years I completed advanced yoga teacher trainings with (to name a few) Kofi Busia, Shiva Rea, Richard Miller, and received prenatal and postnatal certifications with Stephanie Halderman and Devorah Blum. 

Through these years of self study and my own needs for digestive wellness having had grown up with digestive issues from the start, I taught Yoga for Digestive Wellness workshops from 2002-2005. Fueled by my own digestive challenges through child and adulthood and inspired by how much yoga and ayurveda aided in my healing, I began to help people find their way to digestive wellness as well. I and my clients noticed how the digestive focus helped lead the way to healing other ailments and symptoms in their body. I wanted to gain more experience in ayurveda, study it further and become a clinical practitioner. During those years that I found ayurveda, I knew it was an essential piece on this yogic path and the missing link to these digestive wellness classes I had already been teaching. And so I searched for what would be my next healing and wisdom seeking venture.

I enrolled in California College of Ayurveda in Grass Valley, California, a state- approved school, internationally recognized, and highly respected in the ayurvedic world, in September of 2005. I completed my internship in April 2007 and graduated in May 2007. Through this program, I have become a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist, nutrition consultant, herbalist, ayurvedic body therapies provider (including abhyanga/oil thereapy, shirodhara, nasya, swedana/steam therapy). I have continued to further my education with both CCA and also with Dr. Vasant Lad in New Mexico. I travel to Albuquerque at least once a year as well as take online seminars (webinars) with Dr. Lad who continues to ignite my love for this medicine as his deep wisdom pours out of him effortlessly and with such grace.
While I continue my education with seasoned ayurvedic specialists, the real practice is in the self-study!  To live ayurveda in my own daily life, with my family, and in my professional practice is to truly hold the science and practice in real time and close to my heart. As I've continued to learn, study, gather information and live with hands on experience in Ayurveda's nutrition, herbal medicine, plant medicine, yoga, meditation, bodywork therapies, and energy medicine I have been able to feel it's precious gem of a healing tool. These modalities, all under the umbrella of Ayurveda, bring such peace and wellness to my body, mind, and spirit.

Ayurveda offers the tools to better understand ourselves and others. It helps guide  us on our path to complete health giving us the responsibility to live it in our daily life. By doing so we can feel our best, follow our dharma or purpose, and live to our fullest and most joyful existence. 
Thank you for your interest in this magical and medicinal ancient science.