Internationally Respected Ayurvedic Teachers Receive Honors in Santa Fe January 10

Back row: Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), a friend, Nicolai Bachman, two friends; middle row: Lynn Dimet, Jennifer (Yogamaya) Beckman, Anya Kamienska, Howard (Hamsavatar Das) Beckman, Shambhavi Chopra, Rani, Amadea Morningstar, Ivy Amar, Lian Reed; front row, sitting: Neela David-Richardson, Lisa Bauer, Jill Marks, Julie Deife

Photo by Angela Werneke

Many Santa Feans are drawn to Ayurveda for its cultural integrity and non-violent principles.

East Indian author Shambhavi Chopra, internationally acclaimed Vedic scholar Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), and long time local Ayurvedic practitioner Ivy Amar were honored for their achievements in the field of Ayurveda on Saturday, January 10 in Santa Fe.


“Ayurveda, a 4,000 – 5,000 year old system of healing from India, has a strong following here in Santa Fe,” said Amadea Morningstar, director of the Ayurveda Polarity Therapy & Yoga Institute, the local organization hosting the event. “In a time of big box culture, Ayurveda offers simple healing solutions that bring order and sanity back into our lives. Each of these individuals has been a pioneer in conveying these concepts and practices to the general public. While we have a remarkably rich concentration of Ayurvedic teachers living right here in northern New Mexico, they most often teach abroad.”
The event had a dual purpose. “We wanted to honor these teachers for their past achievements, and gather with them to meet present challenges in a positive way.” The current crisis between India and Pakistan, as well as in the Middle East and other parts of the globe, call for creative solutions and positive input on a local level. “Findings in physics as well as research on prayer released by Santa Fe resident Dr. Larry Dossey indicate that focusing a clear healing intention on a person or issue can have a measurable, positive impact. Our intention was to create such a gathering in support of multi-cultural harmony here in Santa Fe now, with the purpose of reaching as far as India.” While many present had never gathered before together, the group meditation with the intent of sending focused healing energy to India and Pakistan was quite strong.
Ivy Amar opened the ceremony with a fire ritual in the Agni Hotra tradition. Amadea Morningstar, founder of APTYI, followed with presentations of respect to our guests for their many years of creative service and inspiration in the fields of Ayurveda and Yoga. Vamadeva (Dr. Frawley) reminisced informally about his twenty five years of working with Ayurveda in the West., noting that some guests present went back in his personal history forty years! Shambhavi Chopra sang an exquisite song of the Devi. There was a deep feeling of love among those of us fortunate to be there.
The Ayurvedic Institute, Santa Fe Community Yoga Center, Banyan Botanicals, and The Ark bookstore joined with APTYI to sponsor the event. Other kind sponsors included Annapurna Chai Shop, Julie Deife and Robert Belinoff, Lian M. Reed in memory of Michael Hopp, and Rowan’s Leaf Herbal Inc. Special appreciation goes to Michael Clark for hosting us at the Tropic of Capricorn greenhouse and nursery on the first full moon of the new year.
The Ayurveda Polarity &Yoga Therapy Institute was formed a year ago to offer a fresh look at education in ancient healing arts.

About Our Honored Guests:

Ivy Amar is one of the unsung early pioneers of Ayurveda in the U.S. She was certified in Ayurveda in 1987 by Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was a Panchakarma therapist in the Institute’s Wellness Center.  In 1988 in Nagpur, India, she became the first western student of Dr. Sunil Joshi with whom she trained extensively in Panchakarma Therapy.
In 1989 Ivy co-founded The Ayurveda Center of Santa Fe to offer Panchakarma, and teach Ayurvedic principles of health and nutrition. In 1990 she trained in pulse diagnosis with Drs. Pankaj and Smita Naram of Mumbai. In 1994 she created Ayurveda at Spirit Rest, a residential retreat center for Panchakarma in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
In 1990 she learned the ancient Vedic practice of Agnihotra from Shree Vasant Paranjpe and has been performing this daily sunrise/sunset fire for purification of the atmosphere ever since. As a Homa Therapist she loves teaching and sharing this healing science with others, hosting gatherings at her home on new and full moon nights.
In addition to Panchakarma, Ivy provides supportive methods of investigating the mind’s role in relation to dis-ease. She has extensive background in Living Essence Counseling and is a graduate of Byron Katie’s The School for the Work.
Ivy now maintains a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her kindness, creativity, enthusiasm, and gentle care are well known in this area.

Shambhavi Chopra
is one of the foremost Yoginis or women teachers of the deeper aspects of Yoga coming out of India today. She shows how yogic practices of ritual, mantra and meditation can bring the power of the Goddess into our daily lives. She is the author of two important books on the Goddess, Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within and Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess.
Her ability to express the inner Yoga secrets both in the written and the spoken word is rare, if not unique. She is able to impart special tools of inner transformation that can change the lives of even ordinary people. Her clear teachings and magnetic personality have already touched the hearts of people throughout the world, helping to awaken the Yoga Shakti within them.
Her collaboration with Pandit Vamadeva Shastri, Dr. David Frawley, has benefited many people and created new inspiration in integrating the deeper aspects of yoga with healing. This influence can be seen in the book Inner Tantric Yoga.
Shambhavi is also trained in Vedic astrology and teaches special yogic methods of working with the energy of the planets along with the worship of the Goddess, which she shares in her consultations.

Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)
is a recognized Vedacharya or teacher of the Vedic knowledge in India. He is the author of more than twenty books published worldwide over the past thirty years. His work addresses Ayurvedic medicine, Yoga psychology and Vedic astrology, along with their interrelationships and practical applications as tools of both personal and collective transformation.
These words from the Buddha describe Dr. Frawley well: “We are but guests visiting this world, though most do not know this. Those who see the real situation, no longer feel inclined to quarrel.” He has worked tirelessly on behalf of his students and Ayurveda for many years.
Vamadeva is currently the director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico (, which offers courses, training programs and retreats. Some of his titles include Yoga and Ayurveda, Ayurveda and the Mind, Yoga, Inner Tantric Yoga and Ayurvedic Astrology, and Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide.

Our Sponsors:

Tropic of Capricorn – Santa Fe Gifts for Garden and Home

Annapurna Chai House Restaurant

The Ark Bookstore

The Ayurvedic Institute

Banyan Botanicals

Rowan’s Leaf Herbals, (505) 466-6740

Santa Fe Community Yoga Center

And all our other kind friends, much thanks, you know who you are.