My name is Monica Yearwood, and I am an ayurvedic practitioner and founder of Hamsa Ayurveda Lifestyle Center in Chicago. I am an herbalist and a cleanse expert who, like many health practitioners before me, stepped into the world of healing through the path of my personal process.
I have always been concerned with spiritual affairs. I started studying spiritual philosophy in junior high, and by the time I got to high school I was reading about Buddhism quite intensively. In college I studied philosophy and religion, but at the same time I grappled with feeling largely disconnected from the world and my place in it. By the time I was in my early 20s, I dealt with depressive and digestive issues chronically. I saw a traditional psychiatrist when I was 23 and walked out with 9 prescriptions for psychiatric medications. That was the tipping point, and when I determined that there must be another way. My first step was Shamanic work where I learned how to facilitate emotional release. From there I discovered Kundalini Yoga which led me to Ashtanga Yoga and then to getting certified in Yoga myself. After that, I moved to Fairfield, Iowa and went to the Maharishi University of management, and that is where I fell in love with ayurveda.
My studies at the Maharishi University of Management, starting in 2002, provided me with the foundation of daily practices that reconnect us to what we have lost, our intimate relationship with the earth’s cycles and cues. But it wasn't until I was further in my ayurvedic emergence that I truly understood that diet, herbs and cleansing methods are powerful healing methods that can drive complicated diseases into remission, and liberate the mind from chronic distress.
I’ve completed programs in Ayurvedic theory, detoxification strategies, diet, and herbal applications and was individually selected by Dr. Light Miller, one of our greatest advocates and teachers of Ayurveda, as a Panchakarma apprentice at her clinic in Sarasota, Fl.
Other studies have included:
- California College of Ayurveda with Dr. Mark Helpurn
- Maharishi University with Dr. John Hagelin
- Prana Ayurveda with Vaidya Mishra
- Nosara Yoga Institute with Dr. Don and Amba Stapleton
- And one of the foremost Western Scholars of Buddhism, Lama Surya Das.
I am a graduate of Dhanvantari Ayurveda from the Florida Vedic College, and am a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga instructor, and Panchakarma technician. I recently became a Sadhaka in training in the Wise Earth Ayurveda lineage led by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda.
I opened Hamsa Ayurveda Lifestyle Center, the only full service ayurvedic center in the city of Chicago in 2013, and started Hamsa Apothecary, an organic skincare and herbal supplement line, later that same year.