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Beginning Year 5 – Rasa Ayurveda Continues

mayashakti ayurveda

I hoped to create an image that portrayed a woman – a Goddess in us all, standing surrounded, nourished and delighted by all the elements of Nature, while positively enjoying her potential to protect and revere Life.

Dear Friends,

How does a dream become manifest? Usually, the path is filled with mysterious challenges and Grace. We wouldn’t call it a journey if we traveled to our destination in a “straight line…!”

It was just a little more than 4 years ago that we opened the doors of Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women to her first patients and retreatants. It’s often said that most small businesses close within the first 5 years. While we haven’t quite made it through this nascent, tender time, we have every confidence that Rasa Ayurveda will arrive at year’s end, steady and strong!

So far, Rasa Ayurveda has been a place of healing to women from more than 20 countries around the world, and to local Malayalee women, too. Traditional healing practices have been sustained, and women young and old–from East and West–have discovered and developed their relationship with the power of Ayurveda to bring every woman healing, happiness and a well-lived life. And Rasa Ayurveda has been a “home-base” for many local families, and for The Muthashi Project, our outreach program helping keep the knowledge of native plants and traditional kitchen medicines alive for coming generations.

In sorting out computer files recently, I came across a collection of graphics showing the evolution of our MayaShakti Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd company emblem. (MayaShakti Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. is the Indian company operating Rasa Ayurveda.) The images illustrate a process similar to the creation of Rasa Ayurveda: Start with a vision and some determination. Ask for involvement and participation. See what comes…! Refine. Reapproach. Be willing to wait. Go forward again with faith, and the vision will come into reality.

How does a dream become manifest? Usually, the path is filled with mysterious challenges and Grace. The journey is not a “straight line…!”

Woman by Win Ng

I loved this Win Ng image as a young girl. The simple naturalness of the female subject, her relatedness to the natural environment and Nature’s creatures, her innocence, and her divine wings–and the whole circle embracing all–never left my memory. This was the main inspiration for our MayaShakti Ayurveda emblem.

Holding the WorldI also loved the image I’d used for years in my Ayurveda work with women in the West: a woman’s hands, holding the world,  offering the world to all, while also caring for our Mother in warm, loving hands.

I began to communicate my vision to graphic artists, first, Val Sivilli, who came recommended by a friend. Val drew for hours, and came up with this image…

First Attempt

I felt the drawing had potential, but didn’t fully embody the qualities I knew I needed to see.

Next, Dawn Stevens jumped in to move the drawing toward my vision. First, she took the image a big step back. Faceless Devi!


Dawn created this rendition:

Version 1 by Dawn Stevens

And after more discussion, a softer Goddess Woman:

Version 2 by Dawn Stevens

Clearly, the image was incubating, taking it’s own time. I wanted it to be finished, but could see that “she” was truly NOT ready to be born! Other demands forced the project to a halt repeatedly. While balancing so many aspects of establishing Rasa Ayurveda, there were many times the emblem had to wait for an infusion of money, or the time to pay attention.

At last, Sean Schexnayder – owner of Blu Design and the husband of a wonderful woman who’d been a student for an training – offered to help. First, he worked on making the hands more natural. (Drawing the human form in perspective is no easy feat!)

Hands Study

And he listened to what I wanted to see, and did some drawings to move the project along…

Version 1 by Sean

Version 2 by Sean

With a little correction from my brother Sanju, I wrote out the Malayam words for the 5 Great Elements of Ayurveda – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space – to include in the circle.

And at last, graphic artist Phyllis Glanville, gave of her time and energy to create the final emblem you see at the top of this post – a true fulfillment of the vision I had hoped to see realized. I’d never asked for a crown, actually. But there’s been no letting go of the crown, and I’ve come to love the leaves that turn our Devi into an Earth Goddess, and every woman who comes to Rasa Ayurveda, a natural queen. And if you look carefully at our emblem above, you can find each of the Five Great Elements – in the landscape of Nature in which we all are born, live –and one day– give our body back to.

We’re grateful to everyone who participated in the development of our company emblem!

This process so closely mirrors the creation of Rasa Ayurveda. It’s two steps forward–and sometimes, one step back. But wherever we find ourselves at any given moment, and whether it seems our journey has us moving forward or back, fast or slow– there is always healing happening, and so much creativity and generosity flowing. Always we are surrounded by the goodness of Nature’s Great Elements, and by the chance to heal. And to make life juicy, right now!

Wherever you are in manifesting your dreams, we wish you well. And we look forward to welcoming you soon, to Rasa Ayurveda…

Niika Quistgard, CAS (Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist)
Founder & Director, Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India