Category Archives: Peace

Balance For The New Year

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Patanjali’s system of Yoga provides us with methodology to break down emotional and physical barriers that prevent us from knowing self-love and subsequently love for another.

In Ayurveda, the physical practice of yoga is an integral part of healing one’s body and mind.

Patanjali’s Sutras, in particular the Yamas and Ni Yamas entail simple principles to guide us in conduct and intentions that help us attain Samadhi- or balance in the body and mind. In a world where stimulus comes from so many places– when the pressures of life, work, children become too much – relationships often suffer. Strong principles rooted in common sense can have a profound effect on your making a good choice for a long-lasting relationship.

These sutras called the Yamas and Ni Yamas, form a template of commonsense principles to live by.

Find Equanimity With Patanjali’s Ten Yamas and Ni Yamas 

  • Ahisma: To practice ahisma means to never injure any living thing.  This includes injury inflicted by words as well as physical violence.
  •  Satya: Always speak the truth. Live honestly.  
  • Asteya: Do not always need (things) or people.
  • Bramacharya: Respect your body. Practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
  • Aparigraha: Think about what you can do for others. 
  • Saucha: Physical clarity. Keep your physical space clean and clutter-free.
  • Santosha:.  Try not to be overly concerned with finding fault in others or situations.   Create a domain of moksha or shanti (peace).  
  •  Tapas: Internal fire. Your relationships will be stronger if you have a personal physical practice that creates internal fire. 
  •  Swadhyaya: Self-inquiry.  This may be the hardest of them all.  No one likes to look at their words, their daily actions.  Take time each day and ask yourself if there was a situation, action or thought that contributed to someone’s pain or suffering.  
  • Ishwara Pranidhana: Let go of all negativity.  Let it wash away and live your life-

Namaste

Ramona Bessinger

 

ramonabessinger@gmail.com

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

http://www.pranajunkie.net

Natural Solutions For Healthy Hair And Skin

For the hair:

I take generous amounts of ghee butter and scrub into strands of hair. I comb through my hair then braid it, creating a mask. Personally, I love to leave the ghee on my hair overnight then shampoo it off in the morning for extra deep moisture.
Steps to follow for your deep oelation:

Take chickpea flour and clean the surface of your skin by rubbing the powder all over your body.  Rinse flour-scrub off your body.

  • Pour all your fat, and essential oils into your hot water.
    Soak in tub for as long s you can stand it.
    Work the oil into skin and hair
    Towel-dry your body, and leave your healing oils on overnight to do their job.
    Make a ghee butter mask for hair and leave in overnight

 

 

Pink Flowers

For The Skin:

Coconut Bath

Half a jar of coconut oil
Essential camphor or mint leaves will do
Essential orange blossom or the peels of oranges
Try sweet smoky scent of khus, balsam, sandalwood, or jasmine.

Sesame Oil Bath

4 or more cups of Sesame oil
A generous serving of Shea butter is a must!
Essential rose or rose petals
Essential basil or basil leaves for the aroma
Hina, sandalwood or amber.

Sunflower Oil Bath

4 cups of Sunflower oil
Bergamot is a nice citrusy scent if the minty herbs are too much
Try amber or musk if the other oils are not available.

Home Renew

 

Ramona Bessinger LMT

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

401-442-6462

Ayurveda Massage by Ramona Bessinger LMT

“Nature is the true physician”  Susanna Way Dodds

www.elephantjournal.com/2016/07/the-right-essential-oils-for-our-doshas/

I love essential oils.   In this article I explore the possible essential oils for your body type.  What scents work for you?

Essential oils are a beautiful way to help soothe the doshas, the physical body as well as the spiritual body. When you are having an off day or feel out of sorts, just a brief passing waft of an essential oil can help shift your mood.

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Rejuvenation

 

The scent from an essential oil in the form of a sachet or diluted in a base oil, neat (pure essential oil) applied direct can be used as an external mood elevator.

The scent of essence of jasmine can activate a positive memory and evoke feelings of love and sometimes elation. Knowing which oil soothes your doshas can further add to your aromatic experience.

Add rosemary to your scalp to help stimulate the follicles and promote healthy hair growth.

Basil, sweet orange, and essential bergamot combined elevate the mood.  Heal what ails you the natural way.

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Ramona Bessinger LMT

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

Lift The Veil: Know Your Dosha And Know Yourself

“We are the universe” Deepak Chopra

And the universe is in us all.  According to classical Ayurvedic texts, one of the benefits of understanding ones dosha  or body/soul type is to visually see the body as a system not unlike the universe or nature.

The Maharishi Mahesh says: “It’s as if we live in a house which has a vast treasury of rooms. Only, we have forgotten about them. Instead of living a life of royalty, we go about in poverty.”

Rather than live in spiritual and physical poverty, consider using the five elements as a way to bring “royalty” back into the physical body:  see fire, water, earth, wind and ether as visual representations of the body and spirit.  Understanding doshas becomes a way to demystify your emotional and physical self.  Seeing the body as part of nature, in fact a mirror of nature, can help us to know what we need to maintain physical and emotional balance “sama” (peace and tranquility) or “moksha” (liberation from emotional pain).

In western society, the body is understood from a very clinical position, the bones, the tissue, the organs and the brain all have a function.  

While this clinical way of knowing our bodies is every bit important to our physical evolution, seeing our bodies from the ancient perspective allows the individual to see his or her body in a way that is aligned with the the natural world.  For example, fire in the body manifests in part as passion or anger, it can serve us positively or negatively.  Fire needs to be present in the body as it ignites us and helps us to move and to act.

Conversely, too much fire extinguishes earth elements needed to remain steadfast and grounded.  Understanding the body in this way is a beautiful compliment to our modern kinetic vision, together, the symbology alongside the practical takes us to the next level of physical awareness and spiritual wellbeing.

Let’s drop all veils and explore the doshas as they live in the body.  How can knowing your dosha help you to be happier?  How Can You Pacify Your Dosha Imbalances And Live A Better Healthier Life

Take The Dosha Test. What Is Your Body Type?

According to classical Ayurvedic texts, one of the benefits of understanding ones dosha or body-soul type is to visually see the body as a system not unlike the universe or nature.

Knowing your dosha can help you to understand your body type as well as your psychophysical make-up. Rather than live in a state of imbalance, consider using the five elements that comprise the doshas as a way to bring an intrinsic understanding of your physical and emotional self.

There are three doshas: all three are present at birth and make up your constitution; this is also called your prakruti or your DNA.

  • Pitta Dosha is represented by the elements fire and water.
  • Kapha Dosha is represented by the elements earth and water.
  • Vata Dosha is represented by air and ether.

The elements fire, water, earth, wind and ether act as visual representations of the body and spirit.  These five elements are present in everyone’s body at birth.

As you go through life, cultural, social and personal experiences shift your doshas and cause imbalances to the body and mind. The first state is called your prakruti, it is your birth constitution. As your life evolves, another state called vikruti manifests in the body, this state evolves as a result of social, cultural and emotional conditioning.

Together your vikruti and prakruti create a picture that makes up who you are.   At birth, you could be a combination of vata, pitta and kapha. Then as you progress through life, the elements wax and wane vis a vis life experience and socialization.

If your vikruti dosha is vastly different from your prakruti, your body is most likely out of balance and will need to be looked at and corrected.

Consider a brief analysis of your doshas and see if you suffer from imbalances.

Pitta

If you have a pitta imbalance then you have too much fire and water. You are hot-tempered, outwardly judgmental of others, stubborn, prone to rashes, hives, and digestive disturbances? You may find it difficult to love but desperately seeking love, and yet never feeling loved? Remember excessive water and fire destroys, so you need to counter pitta disturbances with activities that extinguish the fire.  Bring ether, and air into your life: For pitta imbalances, daily yoga is helpful. Long walks, swimming, and self-reflection can help restore the imbalance to a state of moksha or balance and clarity. Pitta disturbances may also benefit from cold-stone therapy, gemstone therapy and abhyanga (warm oil massage)

Kapha

Do you suffer from kapha imbalances? Too much earth and water? Are you sluggish, tired, and secretly judgmental of others? Are you inwardly suffering pain?  Are you holding on to pain, material items or both?  Do you struggle with weight gain and a sluggish digestive system? Are you always the giver and yet inwardly resentful of giving too much?

To counter your kapha imbalance consider foods that drive agni or internal fire in the system.  Smaller, fewer meals.  Seek out partners that are not needy. Take up walking. Book a weekly garshana treatment (vigorous massage using raw silk gloves) to order break up the stagnation. Individuals with kapha disturbances need to dance, they should move as increase their metabolism. Individuals with a kapha imbalance should surround themselves with music and art and anything that increases their metabolism and breaks up stagnation.

Vata

Do you have a vata imbalance? Too much ether and wind? Is your head constantly in your ideas and projects? Are you quick to change from one relationship to another, perhaps a bit flighty? Is your constitution sensitive? Are you always running from love?  You probably have many lovers, and find it hard to stay focused enough to be with one man or woman? Vata imbalances feel the need to constantly move. In meetings they will be the person who can’t sit still. The vata dominant person needs a great deal to hold their attention.

Individuals with a vata imbalances would benefit from regular shirodhara treatments, or massages, they need pampering and lots of attention in order to restore calm in their body and mind.

Ideally, you want to be an equal balance of all doshas; kapha, pitta, vata.  Fire, water, ether and wind need to be balanced so you feel good in your emotional body as well as your physical body.

Get ready to feel great

Once in a state of moksha or balanced doshas, your five senses will be ignited, serotonin levels will increase, breathing deepens, the digestion is restored to balance, love returns and ones relationships with the world will be more balanced.

We have all known this feeling of balance.  It is called presence of mind or peace. It is a state of grace and love, a state of expansion and movement, it is a state of creativity and joy.

Understanding who you are and what your dosha type is will help you to make sense of all that ails you.

This is not to say that everything will be perfect all the time, because for sure there will be times when life hijacks your inner calm, and your doshas run wild in the body.

But knowing your body in this way can unlock the tools needed to combat physical and emotional disturbances.

Know your dosha and know yourself. Live free.

 

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

For more information on Ayurveda Bodywork, contact Ramona Bessinger @

ramonabessinger@gmail.com

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

Could Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Be The Answer To Peace and Equanimity?

Ayurveda and Everlasting Peace

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/06/ayurveda-and-your-path-to-lasting-love/

R

Embrace all ten principles expressed in Patanjali’s yoga sutras, and I guarantee everlasting love will come your way.

Patanjali’s system of Yoga provides us with methodology to break down emotional and physical barriers that prevent us from knowing self-love and subsequently love for another.

In Ayurveda, the physical practice of yoga is an integral part of healing one’s body and mind.

Patanjali’s Sutras, in particular the Yamas and Ni Yamas entail simple principles to guide us in conduct and intentions that help us attain Samadhi- or balance in the body and mind. In a world where stimulus comes from so many places– when the pressures of life, work, children become too much – relationships often suffer. Strong principles rooted in common sense can have a profound effect on your making a good choice for a long-lasting relationship.

These sutras called the Yamas and Ni Yamas, form a template of commonsense principles to live by.

Patanjali’s Ten Yamas and Ni Yamas To Try And Live By

  • Ahisma: To practice ahisma means to never injure any living thing.  This includes injury inflicted by words as well as physical violence.
  •  Satya: Always speak the truth. Live honestly.  
  • Asteya: Do not always need (things) or people.
  • Bramacharya: Respect your body. Practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
  • Aparigraha: Think about what you can do for others. 
  • Saucha: Physical clarity. Keep your physical space clean and clutter-free.
  • Santosha:.  Try not to be overly concerned with finding fault in others or situations.   Create a domain of moksha or shanti (peace).  
  •  Tapas: Internal fire. Your relationships will be stronger if you have a personal physical practice that creates internal fire. 
  •  Swadhyaya: Self-inquiry.  This may be the hardest of them all.  No one likes to look at their words, their daily actions.  Take time each day and ask yourself if there was a situation, action or thought that contributed to someone’s pain or suffering.  
  • Ishwara Pranidhana: Let go. Literally try to let go of the need to control everything. 

Namaste

Ramona Bessinger

 

ramonabessinger@gmail.com

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

http://www.pranajunkie.net

Ashtanga Yoga: Why Lineage Matters

The Ashtanga yoga lineage matters for me because the very best practices of yoga, breathing, and medicine theories are addressed in all the postures of the Ashtanga series.

The practice includes an understanding of the body and the main energies of the body. Keeping in mind that illness surfaces when energy in the body is out of balance, the postures or asanas are designed to restore balance, eliminate phlegm, break up stagnation.

Each posture has specific health benefits. The transition from one posture to the next, the deepening of each layer in the posture enhances health benefits in the body. The Ashtanga practice incorporates physical shapes (asanas) with behavior and lifestyle techniques designed to restore the body and mind to homeostasis. Not to be confused with gymnastics, the ashtanga practice weaves thousands of years of Ayurvedic principles, and Tibetan healing concepts.

At the root of Ashtanga yoga is an ancient text known as the Yoga Korunta. The Yoga Korunta is a text outlining the benefits of purifying the mind and body by eliminating the the obstacles or distractions of day-to-day life. The Ashtanga practice is a systematic approach to movement devised by Sri K Pattabhi Jois, his practice incorporates the teachings of his teacher Sri Krishnamacharya who also studied the principles of the  Yoga Korunta.  

Krishnamacharya’s teacher, Ramana Mohan Brahmachari learned from a sage known as Rishi Samana. One key principle the sage Rishi Samana passed along in his teachings was to awaken the five senses through breathing and physical movement.  At some point over the past 100 years, the principles of Ayurveda and Ashtanga yoga evolve together to create Ashtanga yoga as we know it today. Ayurvedic principles that discuss how to awaken the senses through yoga, diet and breathing.

In Mysore, the torch was passed from Krishnamacharya to Sri K Pattabhi Jois who was born in South India not far from Mysore, and who commenced studies with Krishnamacharya in 1927 as a twelve year old boy. He became a professor at the Maharaja’s Sanskrit College and taught yoga from 1937 onwards. Guruji – Pattabhi Jois, passed away in May 2009.  His teachings live on and are advanced at the yoga shala in Mysore India.   Currently, the practice has been passed on to his to his daughter Saraswathi and grandson Sharath, while his granddaughter Shemee teaches in Bangalore.  The lineage has been taught to only a handful of certified ashtanga teachers throughout the world who have earned the certification through years of training and practice.  

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 Moving through the postures in a hot yoga class with any yoga teacher is interesting to me.  I always get something from a practice whether it is Bikram, Power Yoga, or Shiva Rea, I always learn something and I always enjoy the movement.  But for me, the practice of yoga is in the tradition and lineage of Ashtanga.  Through a daily ashtanga practice, I have learned so much.  Not only technique, asana and pranayama, but the deeper levels of the practice that include the effects of each asana on the musculoskeletal system, the importance of nourishing the spine and nervous system, and how the asanas help to restore the body and mind to homeostasis.  

i-Tf77QpL-XLContrary to some ways of thinkingAshtanga is not just gymnastics, the practice runs deep; it helps me to understand the value of breathing, the value of living, and knowing peace.  

To practice ashtanga yoga, is to study the teachings as they have been passed down for hundreds of years, it is a gift I will never stop feeling gratitude for.  For me, the value of my Ashtanga practice resonates off the mat, it follows me in my day-to-day life and infiltrates everything I do.

The body, the asana and shapes become geometric tools that enhance love, life, and the senses.  It is a continuum, a vortex of never-ending information passed down from sage to teacher to student.  This is why lineage matters to me and why I am thankful for the current teachers who inspire me, and for the knowledge I am able to pass on.  

Lineage matters.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

Vastus Shilpa Shastra: The architecture of your personal space

Having a peaceful, well-organized home free of excess items, free of dirt and clutter has a beautiful effect on my mind and body.  At the very core, a calm household, a beautiful clear space helps me to be a better person, teacher and mother.

Why is that?  The answer may be in the Ayurvedic principle of Vastus Shilpa Shastra

Vastu shastra is based on various energies that come from atmosphere like solar energy from sun, cosmic energy, lunar energy, thermal energy, magnetic energy, light energy and wind energy. These energies should be balanced to enhance peace, prosperity and success.  Over the past three months I have been completely consumed with a very difficult and tumultuous move.  Specifically over the last month when the actual move took place.  I found myself completely out of sorts both physically and emotionally.  Conversely, as the move progressed, my overall physical and emotional state adjusted positively.  IMG_1644

As I settled into the house I started thinking about the space, the light and orientation of of my furniture.  I knew intrinsically that the placement of all items either felt right or did not feel right at all. Wanting to know more about the relationship of space on the body, I looked to the Ayurvedic principles.

In Ayurveda, direction is an important concept: what we see affects our doshas, (our physical balance) Like our bodies, our homes, our spaces should always be free of clutter and excess.  Like our bodies, a cluttered home can contribute to feelings of unrest or sickness.   According to the Ayurvedic texts on Vastus principles, if your home does not adhere to rules of directional flow and balance, then it will be a place for all sort of problems and worries.  In part, this explains the overall feeling of unrest and worry I felt during my own move and transition.IMG_1647

The Vedic understanding of physical space and  arrangement is called vastu shilpa shastra.  It means to balance your home in the a way that balances all the elements.  The way I understand this concept as it is explained in the classical texts is that lines created by objects in the home should direct your attention to the east, west, south, and north.  Obstacles that prevent the flow of these energetic lines towards any direction cause physical and emotional stagnation. This could explain why the process of moving boxes, and disorganization cause emotional and physical stress.IMG_1640

My home is not fancy or grand, but rather it flows and offers me a feeling of peace and possibilities.  As I moved out of my old house, then into my new home, I found myself almost obsessed with creating open clear spaces that evoked calm and joy. As items fell into place, I started to feel better.  I reorganized, rearranged until everything had a home and faced the proper direction.  My kitchen and living room face southeast in the direction of Fire.  This flow is appropriate and comfortable for cooking and for eating, the other rooms all feel well-balanced and peaceful.  The Ether in my home or middle spaces are open for clarity.  Grounding, stable furniture allows for the Earth energy to provide a stable sensation while windows allow the Air element to provide oxygen for healthy sleep and or for meditation. IMG_1705

Finally, in my resettling journey, I have kept in mind the following Ayurvedic principles:  my home is not just a building or an address, it is shelter, a place I long to return to, a place that keeps me warm and cool, it is a place that helps me to connect to nature and also the spirit.  My home is my sanctuary and I am grateful for all it provides – It is that simple.

Prateeksha : You long to go back to your home.
Ashraya : Shelter for you
Chaaya : Shadow(A shade for you to cool down)
Prakriti : Nature
Sannidhaama : Holy place


Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

Surrender to Peace with Shirodhara and Yoga

In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali says “Error in judgement arises from knowledge that is based on a false mental construct”.

Our minds can often create stories that are narratives fed by panic and fear.  For example, someone  practices yoga a certain way or follows a certain lineage of yoga, maybe they cough during a class, or maybe they cut you off in the parking lot or said something that threatened your belief system.  You are right, and the other person is wrong?

Or maybe the answer is that there is no right or wrong?

To quiet the narrative (chitta) and to live without judgement, anxiety and suffering can result in a happier state of being. Shirodhara like yoga, clears away the false narrative, it reduces anxiety and stops the mind from feeling panic and anxiety. What yoga does for the body and the tissues of the body (the dhatus) – shirodhara does for the mind.

Yoga and shirodhara are excellent ways to restore the body to homeostasis. Both practices soothe doshic imbalances and beg the question, what good can come from constant judgement of others or the constant need to be right?

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali states that “when you are in a state of yoga (union) all misconceptions (vrittis) that can exist in the mutable aspect of human beings (chitta) disappears”  Through breathing, pranayama, or taking a shirodhara treatment, the veil of judgement and anxiety drops away.

As Marianne Williamson says: “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here”.  Just as fear is learned, we can train our minds to feel otherwise.  If yoga is not accessible to you, then try a series of shirodhara treatments and experience the benefits of peace.

Anoint yourself with the healing oil of a shirodhara treatment, infuse the body with pranayama, then watch the fear and the anxiety slip away.  It may be that simple.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

For information on shirodhara and other healing treatments, please visit me at

http://www.bluewaterayurvedamassagetherapy.com

http://www.pranajunkie.net

 

The Beauty of Shirodhara

 

Wanting to learn more about how this beautiful Ayurvedic treatment works, I began to look into the many types of shirodhara as well as the health benefits of regular treatments. What I have learned about shirodhara is both beautiful and fascinating.

What is Shirodhara?

Shira means head and dhara means unbroken flow. While relaxing on a warm massage table, a copper bowl or urn is filled with warm oil. Out of a small opening at the bottom of the urn flows a steady stream of warm herbal oil onto the forehead. The direct stream of warm herbal oil stimulates the pineal gland.

According to Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, the author of Ayurveda Natural Secrets to Healing and Longevity, there are many ways to practice shirodhara, but the most common way is to receive the treatment in isolation, or for the very best results it can be in done in a 21 day treatment series. It is believed that the entire body is affected positively by shirodhara.

Benefits of Shirodhara

According to a published study in 2007 conducted by Southern California University, the effects of regular shirodhara treatments result in  improved sleep patterns and reduced anxiety.

How it all works

The steady stream of warm oil over the forehead stimulates the pineal gland or the third eye. It helps to calm the nerves and soothe anxiety. It is said that the stream of oil helps the pineal gland to function more efficiently.

The Pineal Gland and Shirodhara

There are many schools of thought which explain the healing benefits of shirodhara treatments, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that the gentle stream of oil over the forehead stimulates the pineal gland in such a way that the circadian rhythm in the body resets itself.

The idea as it is expressed in the Ayurveda Encyclopedia is that the increased melatonin production helps the individual receiving the treatment to sleep better.

Finally, a secondary benefit from a shirodhara treatment is that the oil nourishes your scalp and hair. If you are experiencing dryness, try a shirodhara treatment and judge for yourself. The beauty is in the oil.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

 

In 2016 Resolve Never To Be Right Again

 

Quiet the chatter in your mind.  Make room for space, calm and ease

Chitta Vritti is the Sanskrit term to describe the constant flow of chatter in the brain. Chitta means seeing a situation through a sense, or a story. Vritti means repetitive waves of nervous energy. Together, the words paint a picture of a state of being that is loveless and worry-filled.  Known also as “monkey-mind,” the chitta vritti state of mind is wrought with nervous energy.

As the chitta vritti takes over, worry manifests and grows in the mind.

Space for calm and space for love is diminished and replaced with fear and anxiety.  The senses are dulled, the mind’s capacity to remain in a calm, loving state is also impaired. When this happens, the “monkey-mind” is takes over the calm mind.

In our quiet minds we can experience love, like in prayer or meditation. 

To love is to ignite the process of illumination in another being. This can only be done if your own mind is able to receive illuminating thoughts and feelings. Love is cellular growth, it is the exchange of energy. It the giving and the receiving of energy.

Being in a loving state is healthy

If love expands and allows for cellular growth, then the absence of love is cellular destruction. It is a slow death of the self. Every time you focus on an un-loving thought, you restrict breathing, prana is shortened, and cellular growth is diminished.  What follows are actions based on worry and fear, and in this space, no love can exist.

The negative monkey-mind destroys

The thinking mind is the part of the mind that sees the world and reports back to the brain. In this exchange, the mind has the ability to make choices about what it sees. In Sanskrit it is explained through the principle of tejas. Tejas is electric current in the body, when prana is strong, tejas is strong, when prana is weak and the monkey-mind is present, the body’s tejas is weakened.

Kundalini Shakti

Tejas helps the release of chitta vritti or chatter in the mind, it is released with the inhalation and exhalation of oxygen.  As you breathe and meditate, the bio-spiritual combination of kundalini shakti is released and the chitta vittri is pacified.  In this soothed state, the mind can make way for love, peace and calm.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

 

http://www.jamestownhealingarts.com/