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Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Intensive-Ayurveda Yoga

Awaken Your Spine 7 Day Retreat Blends the wisdom of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Chiropractic.

The Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered Retreat. The information contained in this course is so beneficial, that it is offered as part of our Enhanced Knowledge Program.

Dr. Cravatta has developed an amazing style of yoga to facilitate the unwinding from cellular memory.   Traditional Yoga Asanas are taught in an expanded manner that utilizes Shaktiveda Yoga’s Divine Sevenfold Path to release and rejuvenate.  From her decades as a chiropractor, she blends this information with her understanding of Ayurveda and Yoga to truly address imbalances that affect us physically and emotionally.

All Chakras are addressed with this style of Ayurveda Yoga – and the emphasis of this course is the release of cellular memory that is held throughout the entire spine – affecting both our physical and etheric bodies. You will learn in depth knowledge of cellular memory that is held in the Pelvic area – particularly the Root and Sacral Chakras – and the Cervical / Thoracic spine – Heart and Throat Charkas — and, how all of this relates to our Navel Chakra (our Power Center). Discover what your pelvic pattern is and how it relates to the cellular memory that needs to be addressed and released.  This is intimately related to the cellular memory that is held in the Heart Chakra and may manifest in the thoracic spine, shoulders, and neck. As these old imbalances begin to unwind, one feels clearer, lighter, and has the ability to view life in a renewed perspective.

This transformational course is taught in an atmosphere which allows you to go deep within.

Dates:   April 2016.

Each day is structured similarly to our Awaken Within Retreat – beginning with group yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Fee for Awaken Your Spine – Pelvic Pattern and Heart Centered:  $1,297  plus $224 for Ayurvedic vegetarian meals – if paid in full 3 weeks before the course begins you will receive a $30 credit towards Shaktiveda Retail products.

Ask us for suggestions of places to stay while attending the course. The course is held at Shaktiveda Ranch, Grass Valley, CA.

It is important to have a basic understanding of both Yoga and Ayurveda to be able to attend this course.

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Tips for Releasing Old Patterns and Cellular Memory

Through Dr. MaryJo Cravatta’s years of practice, she has seen that in order to truly assist her patients in healing their health concerns that it is absolutely necessary to address the deeper underlying energetic imbalances that pull them back in old patterns, old ways of thinking, and old ways of reacting. To do otherwise, is really just addressing the symptoms. Of course, one may say that with Ayurveda we are addressing the Doshic imbalances. However, what may be underlying the Doshic imbalances of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha? This perspective on healing is what Dr. Cravatta calls Shaktiveda Ayurveda and is based on her experience of helping tens of thousands of patients over the last 3 – 4 decades. Her understanding is through the knowledge that was given to her by her Guru Kriya Babaji.

For the best results, we suggest a pulse reading with Dr. Cravatta. However, to get you started, here are a few suggestions:

1. To release cellular memory, we need to honestly look at ourselves – our thoughts, our emotions, our ways of acting or reacting to what may come up in our daily lives.

2. Keeping a regular journal is very helpful. Do you see themes repeating themselves of how you may be responding to your interactions with others or to any stresses that  may come up in your life?

3. Have a regular time of peace and silence each and every day. This may be: yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, and / or times of contemplation.

4. Doing at least one of the poses on the Awaken Within Yoga DVD each day and taking the affirmations to heart. Choosing one of the affirmations to look at more closely and how your life would change if you lived the wisdom of that affirmation. This assists you in unwinding from cellular memory that may be stored in your Chakras and Layers of your Etheric Body.

5. Drinking one cup of Shaktiveda’s Healing Within tea – nice to have before meditation or yoga. As this powerful herbal formula loosens old cellular memory, we suggest that you only drink one cup per day. This is one of our main herbal products for releasing cellular memory.

6. Applying Shaktiveda’s Neuro Pattern Release Nasya Oil once or twice per day. This amazing oil is one of our main herbal products for releasing cellular memory.

7. Joining us for our distance Mind / Body Group Cleanse which is offered three times each year: January, May, and September. We offer our cleanse in two parts. Part 1 – Liver Cleanse – is highly effective for releasing physical and emotional imbalances. Part 2 also releases cellular memory with an emphasis on releasing toxins / ama from body and mind. You may join either Part or both Parts. Each Part is 14 days.

8. For those who want to delve even further into releasing cellular memory, we suggest either attending our inperson retreats: Awaken Your Spine and / or Awaken Within.

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Almond Milk Recipe

 Almond Milk photo

Almonds are truly a super food. High in vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, and  mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

This queen of nuts protects our tissues and increases the ability of each cell to function optimally. According to Ayurveda, they are one of the most sattvic foods. Increasing our level of sattva assists all of our cells to flourish and rejuvenate. A food is categorized as being sattvic when it enables us to strengthen our inner wisdom, purity, harmony, and balance.

Have you ever made your own almond milk? The taste and nutritional benefits far exceed the commercial boxed variety. The average processed almond milk contains 1 gram of protein per cup, while your homemade almond milk has approximately 6 grams of protein. The amount of calories in this recipe will depend on the amount of water and honey. You may first want to try this recipe exactly as it is written, and then experiment by changing the ratio of nuts to water.


3/4 cup almonds soaked overnight (at least 8 hours)
4 cups of water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1 – 2 TBSP honey

This recipe went through a number of versions. Other almond milk recipes use the soaked nut with their skins and then strain the pulp through a sieve or nut bag (creating a massive amount of wasted nutrition). A high powered blender such as a Vitamix will literally liquify the peeled nut. If you do decide to strain the milk, there is hardly any remaining residue. To strain or not to strain, that is the question. Depends on your personal preference. Pouring boiling water over the almonds will blanch them to ease the peeling process. Pinch the nut between your thumb and index fingers – the peel will just slip off.

Put the peeled almonds in the blender container along with 2 cups of water (yes, begin with 1/2 of the water), the vanilla, salt, and honey. Blend on the highest speed until the nuts are completely processed. If using a Vitamix, blend until you feel the outside of the container is becoming warm to the touch. Then, decrease to a very low speed and slowly add the remaining 2 cups of water. Taste your almond milk to determine if you need to add any additional honey or if you would prefer to put it through a strainer. If it is grainy, you may just need to blend for a longer time. Store in the refrigerator in a glass bottle. Stays fresh for approximately 4 days.


You may desire to use a different sweetener such as Turbinado Sugar or Maple Syrup. Honey is listed in the recipe as it is also a sattvic foods.

Adding 1 tsp of Rose Water is divine.

Adding 1/4 tsp of cardamom is delicious plus Vata pacifying.

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Ginger Quinoa Greens


1/2 cup Quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 large Carrot – chunks
1/2 tsp No-Chicken Bouillon
Salt – few sprinkles
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Hing
12 – 15 Walnut halves
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Kale  – 1/2 bunch
1/4 Lemon


We will prepare this dish in two steps – first the Quinoa, then the walnuts and greens.


Put 1 cup of water in a saucepan adding the salt and No-Chicken Bouillon.  Bring to a boil.  Add the quinoa and carrot chunks.  Let simmer on low for approximately 25 minutes.

Walnuts & Greens:

While this is cooking, put the oil in a saute pan – add the Hing and walnut halves.  Saute on low heat for approximately 5 minutes – allowing the walnuts to become a golden brown (be careful to not burn them).  Remove the walnuts from the pan – add more oil if necessary to saute the chopped kale. Add the grated ginger and sprinkle the kale with a little salt.  Cover the kale and saute on low heat for approximately 5 – 8 minutes – stirring occasionally (and adding a little water if necessary).

Putting It All Together:

Combine the cooked Quinoa, Kale, and Walnuts in the pan.  Stir gently. Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Enjoy!

Ayurvedic info:

Walnuts are basically a TriDoshic food – being balancing to all three Doshas.  The predominant taste is sweet and astringent. This recipe is great for all 3 Body Types.  All Six Tastes are represented in our Ginger Quinoa Greens recipe.

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Creamie Greenie Soup

Are you so “over” the Green Smoothie fad with raw Kale?

Then, this recipe is for you!

Green Smoothies with raw vegetables go against basic guidelines of Ayurveda – and are particularly Vata Dosha aggravating.


1 medium Zucchini or Yellow Crooked Neck Squash

Medium pile of fresh baby Greens – ie: Chard, Kale, or Spinach

1 cup water

¼ tsp salt

Few sprinkles of black pepper

1 TBSP Olive Oil

½ Lemon

To prepare:

Chop the squash into small piece s and place in a medium sauce pan in the 1 cup of water.  Add the Salt and Pepper.

To cook:

Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  After 3 minutes, place the baby greens in the pot along with the olive oil.  Continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.

Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender until a smooth consistency.

To serve:

Add the lemon juice and then serve.

Serves:  2

This soup is suitable for all body types and especially balancing to Pitta Dosha.

Read my upcoming article on the perils of Green Smoothies in our next newsletter.

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Red Lentil Kitchari with Butternut Squash

Red Lentil Kitchari with Butternut Squash

Red Lentil KItchari with Butternut Squash - Version 2


2 cups Water

2/3 cup Red Lentils – washed and drained

1/3 cup White Basmati Rice – washed and drained

1/2 tsp No Chicken Bouillon (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp Hing  (optional)

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup Golden Raisins

3/4 cup Butternut Squash – chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1 1/2 tsp Pitta Spicing Blend (or other curry powder)

2 TBSP Shredded Coconut

Place all of the ingredients in the water in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook approximately 45 minutes. You may use  more water if you prefer to have this to be a soupier consistency.

Sprinkle with lime or lemon juice after you have removed it from the heat.

Serves approximately 2 to 3

This Kitchari contains 5 of the Ayurvedic Six Tastes. When we add a green vegetable, we then have a delicious meal with all Six Tastes.

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Chia Seed / Coconut Smoothie


4 – 5 oz Coconut Milk (Silk)
4 – 5 oz Soy Milk (Silk) or Almond Milk
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 Ripe Banana
2 – 3 Clementines
1 Ripe Pear
Optional – Blue Berries or a combination of berries
Optional – 2 TBSP Protein Powder
Optional – 1 TBSP Pecan Butter

Soak the Chia Seeds in the Milks approximately 4 – 8 hours – may be left on the counter.

Put all of the ingredients in the Blender or Vita Mix and blend well. If using frozen berries, be sure to blend until at least room temperature or slightly warm.

Serves 1 – 2

This Smoothie recipe is suitable for all 3 Doshas.  Chia Seeds are an excellent source of Omega 3’s, protein, and anti-oxidants.  The word Chia means strength – and with being packed with all of the super nutrients in these tiny seeds, we can see why they have been given this name.  They are known for being an energy booster – assisting in maintaining proper blood sugar levels, thereby stabilizing energy.  The nutrients in Chia Seeds is also known to facilitate hair growth.

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The Healing Benefits of Nasya Oil


The Ayurvedic healing therapy of applying nasya oil is one of the easiest and quickest ways to receive effective results from herbal products.  Dr. MaryJo Cravatta has shared her years of experience with nasya during an interview with Cate Stillman of  We think that you will find this podcast very interesting and informative.

Which Nasya Oil is right for you?  Read the descriptions below to assist you in deciding the nasya oil that you would like to purchase.

Shaktiveda Herbal Nasya Oil Descriptions

Allergy Relief Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 3 times per day or more if needed. You may also coat the inside of your nasal passages with a drop on your finger tip – this will provide a barrier between you and the external allergens.

Suggested Uses: You will find this nasya oil to be soothing to dry or inflamed nasal passages and reduces the symptoms of allergy or hay fever. May be used all year round, but is especially beneficial whenever allergies are a concern.

Balance Within Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 2 times per day.

Suggested Use: This nasya oil is the companion to the herbal formula Healing Within. Applying several drops in each nostril several times per day will bring a sense of peace and emotional wellness. Ideal to use in conjunction with the Awaken Within Restorative Yoga DVD.  It is soothing to Pitta emotions and brings calmness to the heart. It may be used as a marma oil on the Heart, Navel, or Sacral Chakras.

Breathe Clear Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 4 times per day or as needed.

Suggested Uses: This is a natural decongestant that addresses sinus, nasal, cold/flu symptoms. Great to use in the morning before Pranayama. Or use at bedtime to clear your nasal passages for better sleep. It loosens mucous without having a “stimulant” effect – therefore, it is not Vata disturbing. Suitable for all Body Types.

Depth of Being Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 2 times per day.

Suggested Use: This nasya oil is the companion to the herbal formula Lightness of Being. Applying several drops in each nostril in the morning or afternoon will increase focus, clarity, energy level, and improve expansion of awareness. It is great applied before meditation or yoga. It may also be used as a marma oil on Talahridaya (Palm) and Ajna Chakra (Forehead).

Divine Intervention Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 2 times per day.

Suggested Uses: Ideal to take before meditation, pranayama, or yoga – or any time. This Tri-Doshic Nasya Oil brings a sense of connection to the Divine – facilitates the release of old behaviors / patterns (Pragyaparad) that are keeping you from being your best. Assists in releasing addictions. Effects are enhanced when combined with Clarity Within Formula.

Luna Rejuv Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 3 times per day.

Suggested Uses: To ease the physical & Emotional symptoms of Post Menopausal Women. These phyto-hormonal herbs work synergistically together to assist the body / mind to bring greater balance. Many Menopausal women find that using this nasya oil before bed facilitates a better nights sleep. To enhance the effectiveness, it is best to use this in conjunction with Luna Rejuv formula.  May also be used as a transdermal oil placing several drops on to inner wrists, breasts, abdomen, or inner thighs.

Neuro Pattern Release Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 2 times per day.

Suggested Uses: Balancing to the brain wave patterns – releasing old thoughts / behaviors and allowing unwinding of cellular memory. Many people find that using at bedtime allows them to gently release old patterns while they sleep.  After a period of use, you may experience a release of negativity and thoughts that no longer serve you.

Serenity Within Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 3 times per day or more if needed.

Suggested Use: This nasya oil is the companion to the herbal formula Calm Within. Applying several drops in each nostril several times per day and in the evening will facilitate releasing stress, quiet the mind, and assist in relaxing the neck and shoulder area. Effective for relieving headache pain. It may be used as a marma oil on Talahridya on the bottom of the feet and on Ajna Chakra on the Forehead. When used before bed, it encourages a deeper nights sleep. This is our best selling nasya oil – and for a reason!

Shanti Luna Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 3 times per day.

Suggested Uses: Balancing to hormones of Menstruating women. It is especially effective during the 2 weeks before the period to assist with PMS.  May also be used as a transdermal oil placing several drops on to inner wrists, breasts, abdomen, or inner thighs. Combines well with Shanti Luna Herbal Formula and Massage Oil. Tri-Doshic

Solar Rejuv Nasya Oil

Suggested Dose: 2 drops in each nostril 1 – 3 times per day.

Suggested Uses: Balancing to hormones of men of any age. Increases strength & Vitality.  May also be used as a transdermal oil by putting several drops on the skin. Tri-Doshic.

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Quinoa Kitchari – Pitta Balancing Recipe

Moong Dahl

Delicious, high protein, easy to digest Kitchari.  You can easily put this recipe together and be sitting down to enjoy it within the hour!  Traditionally, Kitchari is made with Split Moong Dahl (split mung beans) and white Basmati Rice.  In this modern version, I have substituted the ancient grain, Quinoa for the Rice.  


1/2 cup Split Moong Dahl – rinsed & soaked over night

1/2 cup Quinoa – rinsed

2 cups water

1 1/2 tsp Almond or Olive Oil

1 tsp Pitta Spicing Blend (Shaktiveda Herbal)

1 TBSP Shredded Coconut

1/2 tsp fresh Ginger – grated or chopped

1 tsp No Chicken Bouillon (Better Than Bouillon Brand)

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1 medium Sweet Potato, Carrot, or Yam – diced

8 – 10  Asparagus Stalks – cut (May substitute Green Beans)

1/2 Lemon, juiced


Fresh Sweet Basil – chopped

Fresh Cilantro – chopped

Serves 3 people (or 2 as a one pot meal)


Rinse the Moong Dahl and soak over night (or at least for several hours) as this assists the beans in being more digestible.

Soaked Moong Dahl
Soaked Moong Dahl

To cook, use a medium sized  pot with a lid.  I prefer using an enamel coated cast iron pot (Le Creuset) as it allows for even distribution of the heat, but any pot will do.  

Begin with putting the oil in the pot, turn on the heat, and then add the next 3 ingredients:  Pitta Spicing Blend, Shredded Coconut, and the fresh Ginger.  Stir and lightly saute the spices for several minutes on a medium heat – do not allow the coconut to become brown.

Roasting Spices
Roasting Spices

Add the strained Moong Dahl and the Quinoa, stir and allow to lightly saute with the spices for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add the water, No Chicken Bouillon, and Sea Salt – bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  After 5 minutes, add the diced sweet potato, Carrot, or yam.  In 15 more minutes, or about 1/2 way through cooking, add the cut Asparagus (or Green Beans).  

Total Cooking Time:  approximately 45 minutes – or until the dish is the consistency of cooked Rice and you no longer see any water in the pot.  Some people prefer a more liquid Kitchari – in this case, you would begin with more water.  

Finished Kitchari
Finished Kitchari

Before eating, squeeze fresh lemon juice and sprinkle some chopped fresh Basil or fresh Cilantro if desired.  

Ayurveda Information:  

This recipe contains all 6 Tastes.  According to Ayurveda, having all 6 Tastes at lunch and dinner allows your body to be more easily satisfied and allows the cells to assimilate the nutrients in a more complete manner.  Many times when one does not feel satiated or satisfied after a meal it may be due to not having each of the 6 Tastes at that meal.  Watch our YouTube video on 6 Tastes for more information.  

This recipe is TriDoshic – this means that this recipe is suitable for the 3 Ayurveda Body Types – Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.  

The spices and the Asparagus in this recipe makes it Pitta  pacifying.  The underlying basics of Kitchari makes it a dish that is wonderfully balancing to Vata Dosha –  and in particularly to Apana Vata (the downward moving Vata in the lower abdominal area responsible for having a good bowel movement and releasing toxins in the body).  

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Walnut Coconut Spread-with Omega 3

Eating healthy and getting enough Omega 3 in your diet does not have to be difficult!  Try this delicious and easy to make walnut coconut spread – completely ready in just a few minutes!!  Most everyone loves the flavor of walnuts with cinnamon (a hot bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon & walnuts, or a cinnamon bun with walnuts).  Now, you can have this delightful combination in an easy to use spread.


3 cups Lightly Roasted Walnuts

1/4 cup Coconut Sugar

1/8 – 1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Cinnamon


To roast the walnuts:  Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degrees.  Place 3 cups of walnuts on a baking sheet – no need to oil the sheet. Roast for 8 minutes.  Let cool for approximately 5 minutes.

Lightly Roasted Walnuts
Lightly Roasted Walnuts

The foundation of Walnut Coconut Spread is walnut butter.  You will be amazed at how quickly your walnuts will turn into butter – within seconds!

In the food processor with the S blade:  Put the warm walnuts (this is going to be fast – so, be sure to not overly blend – watch the time!) turn on the machine for approximately 20 seconds – the walnuts will now be finely ground.

Finely Ground Walnuts
Finely Ground Walnuts

Open the lid and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Blend again for another 15 to 20 seconds and watch as it turns into a thick paste.

Remove the lid another time and add in the salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar – and blend for approximately 20 to 30 seconds or until you have a smooth consistency.  If you would like a thicker spread, then blend for less time.

Walnut Coconut Spread
Walnut Coconut Spread

This delightful spread is delicious on toast, in hot cereal, on apple slices, or stuffed in a medhool date – be creative and explore the possibilities.

Ayurvedic info:  Walnuts are basically a TriDoshic food – being balancing to all three Doshas.  The predominant taste is sweet and astringent.  This spread, with the coconut sugar, is particularly beneficial to Pitta Dosha – but all 3 Body Types can certainly enjoy!

[box] Mega nutrients in a little nut!

Walnuts rate the highest source of Omega 3 compared to other nuts.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids have become a hot topic over the last few years.  Is your diet rich in them?  Have you resorted to taking Fish Oil for your daily dose?  (This may not be a comfortable option, especially if you are vegetarian or if you are concerned about the contaminated fish supply.)  


Many of you have heard that it is important to have the correct ratio between Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  Sounds complicated.  It is actually quite easy.  If you eat a diet with a wide range of vegetables, vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds – you are probably getting your needed dose of Omega 6 – especially if you eat dairy and eggs.  In fact, it is actually damaging to your body to eat too many Omega 6.  This is where Omega 3 comes into play.  If you put your attention on several good sources for Omega 3 in your diet, then you do not need to worry about the ratio – you will have a good ratio.  Eating Walnuts, along with Flax, Chia, or Hemp seeds on a regular basis can be simple to implement into your diet.  Look for my other recipes for delicious methods!