Seems I've been experiencing a lot of "soul healing" these past couple of weeks. Reconnecting to my earlier life, running into former colleagues, meeting up with forgotten friends and associates, healing the soul of my past....
Kicking it all off was a healthy Peel's brekkie last week with my dear way-back friend and colleague, the lovely, talented and grounded Angela Shore. I wanted to learn more about her just-launched spiritual business endeavor, test samples of which she had so graciously sent me the week prior. I needed to search her soul and get to know the aptly-named Jiva-Apoha, which means"soul-healing" in Sanskrit. Her new brand captures the essence of East and West, blending the two cultures of India with Native American Indian, and aims to heal by instilling clarity, guiding and directing one's energy and spirit, raising our collective consciousness, all part of Jiva-Apoha's mission.
Angela, whom I know from her early days as a restaurant promoter and more recently as a photography rep, says she merged Indian Ayervedic principles with Native American Shamanism after a fascination with Native American Indian culture led her to the Southwest in her early 20s and then into holistic healing in India over this past decade. Her energy work and education (she's certified by the Kerala Ayurvedia Academy and has studied at the School of Ayurveda and Panchakarma in India) organically blossomed into exotic oils, sourced from herbal farms in India, the US and South America. Her ultimate dream? A wellness eco center, somewhere warm, tropical and healing.
For now, Angela offers selected exotic Jiva-Apoha oils in medicine bags, but she's gearing up to include "various handmade and vintage indigenous beaded necklaces, black and white vintage photographs, unique arts and crafts, classic guru clothing and limited edition Jiva-Apoha t-shirts." She gifted me a tee with her brand's guru gentleman on the front. I love the distressed neckline and hems and its subtle spiritual yet rockin' message on the back: "In 1967...Patti Smith, first credible rock shaman moved to New York City."
While 1967 is a crucial date for Jiva-Apoha, the feather is an equally important touchstone for Angela, who has one tattooed around her wrist, uses it as the hyphen in the brand's logo and wears one as an adornment in this press shot, below, taken by family friend and fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene.
Photo by Liz Von Hoene
Jiva-Apoha's "scent-illating" (my word) oils are natural sesame and sunflower based mixed with herbal -- plant- or flower-based -- or mineral therapeutic grade oils. You can personalize a signature blend (there's a questionnaire she administers to ascertain your energy needs) or order from the website's existing oils. Each 8 oz amber bottle of body oil ships in its own handmade cloth or deerskin medicine bag. Face oils -- there are two, named Sundara (Beauty) and Sundara (Handsome) -- are available in .5 oz dropper-topped bottles. There's an oil made specially for babies and another specifically for joint issues.
Angela sampled me with Kama (Love), Atman (Spirit), Amma (Mother) and 1967 Body, plus Sundara Beauty. They all have amazingly soothing scents and truly soften your skin, but my favorite so far is Kama, whose healing qualities boast tranquility and calm from pure essential water lily, lotus, ylang ylang and black musk oils. I tend to be drawn to sweeter smells and definitely need tranquil calmness! I also adore Sundara, which is comprised of grapeseed, jojoba and vitamin E oils blended with sandalwood, jasmine, lavender, Roman chamomile and rose oils. The lavender is particularly healing for me, obviously, as one of my girl friends just told me that my skin looked better than it ever has and was glowing. Testimony I'd say is pretty Soul-Healing.