Natural Awakenings Richmond September/October 2023

Page 25

Spiritual Tourism


Guiding Children Through Trauma and Anxiety


Sustainable Traveling Practices

QUALITY HEALTH CARE at a Fraction of the Cost



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2 Greater Richmond Edition

Greetings and welcome to another invigorating edition of Natural Awakenings Richmond! As we dive into the heart of this issue, we’re thrilled to explore a topic that resonates deeply with all of us: Inspired Living.

Life has an uncanny way of presenting us with moments that inspire us to elevate our existence, to seek out the extraordinary in the ordinary, and to embrace practices that nurture our body, mind and soul. In this edition, we journey into the realms of inspiration, where we'll delve into the transformative power of travel, the serene allure of the ocean and how to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to focus inward and reconnect with self.

For me, traveling is more than just a change of scenery; it’s an opportunity to escape and unwind. Through the experiences of fellow travelers, we unveil stories of self-discovery, resilience and expansion of self-awareness. Whether it's immersing oneself in a new culture, connecting with kindred spirits from across the country or finding solace in the embrace of nature’s wonders, the power of travel is undeniable.

Life has an innate ability to stir our souls, encouraging us to seek out the extraordinary even in the most ordinary of moments. In this issue we also explore the profound practice of turning our gaze inward. Through personal anecdotes, and expert insights, we uncover the art of listening to our intuition, nourishing our inner wisdom, and making choices aligned with our authentic selves. Join us as we navigate the labyrinth of introspection and discover the clarity and purpose that comes from seeking answers within.

May you find inspiration in every page to live a life that is meaningful, vibrant and attuned to your deepest desires. Just as a traveler navigates uncharted territories and a seeker delves into the realm of inner wisdom, let us all embark on this exploration of inspired living—a journey that empowers us to live with intention, purpose and a renewed zest for life.

Thank you for accompanying us on this incredible voyage. Here’s to embracing the transformative potential of travel and the timeless wisdom that emerges when we turn our gaze inward.

Inspiringly yours, Regina


Publisher Regina Hall Rudolph

Associate Publisher Heather Nygren

Editors Tammie Jones

Randy Kambic

Martin Miron

Design & Production Patrick Floresca


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3 September/October 2023
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4 Greater Richmond Edition

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5 September/October 2023 24 18 16 12 12 TRAVELING WITH PURPOSE Nine Destinations for Spiritual Enlightenment 16 HELPING KIDS COPE Guiding Children Through Trauma and Anxiety 17 ECO TRAVEL 101 18 SAVOR THE PRESENT MOMENT How to Add Mindfulness to Mealtime 21 YOGA ON VACATION Simple Poses and Tips for Travelers 22 ECO-FRIENDLY U Sustainability on the Rise at U.S. Colleges 24 STEPHEN COPE on Finding Your Calling 25 UNVEIL INNER RADIANCE WITH DIVINE FEMININE ENERGY HEALING SERVICES 26 MEDICAL TOURISM Environmental Concerns and Navigating the Risks and Rewards
DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 8 health briefs 9 business spotlight 10 global briefs 16 healthy kids 17 eco tip 18 conscious eating 21 fit body 22 green living 24 wise words 26 healing ways 28 calendar 30 resource guide

RVA Community Fridges Reach is Growing

RVA Community Fridges currently has 13 locations in the Richmond area that are stocked, cleaned and maintained by the community for the community. With an eye toward cultivating sustainable partnerships with other mutual resources in the area, two of the latest installations include in front of MAD RVA's Meadowbridge Community Market, in Northside, and next to the free farmstand at Fonticello Food Forest, in Southside.

They have also strengthened their relationship with Food Not Bombs by sharing a new space dubbed “Matchbox Mutual Aid” to better handle large or time-sensitive food distributions, as well as have space to do group meal preparation, which aligns with their zero food waste goals and better supports neighbors without the ability or means to cook. They eventually want to handle general donation drop-offs and host community events. Move-in is slated for fall/winter, so volunteers are needed more than ever.

RVA Community Fridges is always looking to connect with folks in the community, whether it’s setting up a food pantry supply drive at a school, connecting a business to make an in-kind donation or making homecooked meals to share.

For more information, visit and See ad, page 2.

Water Water Everywhere

JamesRiver Week 2023, from September 9 through 16, celebrates the wonders of Virginia’s largest and most historic waterway. Maymont will host programs for all ages that highlight the beauty, wildlife and conservation of the James River watershed.

Activities include an exhibition, Inspired Art of the James River, animal keeper talks, crafts and art making, a family night hike with environmental educators and workshops on rain gardens and wildlife photography. On September 15, there will be a screening of A Sturgeon Story, a documentary on their comeback from near extinction, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and sturgeon experts.

Most programs are $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 2 to 12, and free for Maymont members and children 2 and under. Reservations are recommended at Location: 1000 Westover Rd., Richmond. For more information, call 804-358-7166, ext. 304, or visit

Tools for Positive Change

The Richmond Community ToolBank provides easy access to tools and equipment for nonprofit organizations, community groups and volunteers to catalyze positive change and amplify the impact of their projects and initiatives. Through the lending of tools, we ensure that these valuable resources are available to member agencies that might not have the budget to support their own toolshed, enabling them to undertake a wider range of projects that address crucial needs in the community while directing funds specifically for crucial components of their mission.

The Richmond ToolBank's objective is about inspiring others to take action and contribute to the betterment of the community. Since 2015, they have inspired more than 430 nonprofits and 110,000 volunteers to complete thousands of community-led initiatives in Richmond and beyond, such as equipping all 170 parks in Richmond City with public furniture.

ToolBank believes that removing barriers and offering a means for community members to come together and make a tangible difference can ignite a spirit of volunteerism and social responsibility, thus creating a ripple effect of change to inspire a community-wide movement where everyone realizes the potential they hold to bring about transformative social impact.

For more information, visit

Welcome to CreativeMornings RichmondCreativeMorn-

ings host Michelle Mercurio says, “We believe, ‘Everyone is creative, and everyone is welcome.’”

The fall lineup promises unique and impactful speakers from diverse backgrounds that bring unique and impactful perspectives for those seeking inspiration.

CreativeMornings in Richmond is a free monthly gathering, usually on the third Friday at different venues, of creatives in the city that crosses industry and social lines. She shares, “We exist to celebrate and encourage people in Richmond to live their lives fully, express their creativity and positively impact the community. Our chapter is more than seven years strong and connected globally to the CreativeMornings community organizations in 229 cities and 64 countries.”

For more information and to sign up to get invited to events and stay involved, visit

6 Greater Richmond Edition news briefs

Thermography Discounts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Debbie Troxell, RN, MSNH, a local thermographer and owner of Lifestyle Designs, LLC, is offering special pricing on all thermography services. One region of the body is $185 (save $20), half-body with abdomen is $385 (save $40), half-body without abdomen is $325 (save $40) and fullbody is $547 (save $50). Returning clients always receive the special pricing for follow-up studies on the same region. These services are often covered by FSAs and HSAs.

By detecting heat patterns and blood flow in body tissues, thermography’s preventative and diagnostic applications include breast health, cardiovascular health, musculoskeletal disorders, dental health, sinus and allergies, thyroid health and full-body health maintenance. Thermographic images are interpreted by Dr. Matthew Lee, M.D., RPh, MS, of eLEEte Physicians.

Location: 1404 Starling Dr., Henrico. For more information or to make an appointment, call 804-683-7774 or visit See ad, page 11.

A Time to Listen Since

2010, Secretly Y’all has organized and presented regular live storytelling events, providing a microphone and a safe space for those that have a true story that wants to be shared, as well as a welcoming space for those that come to listen. The next event’s theme is Nothing Compares, on October 16, at Brambly Park.

Each event partners with and promotes a local charity, raising both awareness and donations. It is not an open mic event, a stand-up show or just for people with storytelling or public speaking experience. The event provides a theme and invites folks to share stories inspired by that theme. There are only three rules: the story must be true and told without using notes or reading within a seven-minute time limit. It doesn’t have to be a funny story or have a moral.

A story is more than just the sum of its words, and there are stories that want or need to be told. We never know what might be sparked because of a willingness to simply sit in a room and listen.

For more information, email or visit

VegFest is Back at Byrd Park

The 19th annual Richmond

VegFest will be held from noon to 6 p.m.,  October 7 at the Carillon in Byrd Park. As always, there will be delicious vegetarian and vegan food, cooking demonstrations,  vendors, life-changing presentations and some of the most compassionate people in RVA. Onsite animal adoptions provide an opportunity to possibly discover your new BFF.  Grab a cool treat and head over to hear ultra-marathon runner extraordinaire, Anne the Vegan, share her tips about being a vegan athlete.

The main objective of this annual event is to educate the public about the many healthful and humane aspects of a vegan lifestyle. The VegFest is a combined effort of amazing local sponsors—Vegan Action, the Vegetarian Society of Richmond, My Vegan Sweet Tooth,  Soupergirl, and Natural Awakenings magazine—wonderful vendors and amazing volunteers.

Admission is free. Currently vaccinated, leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, visit Take the 22-day pledge to go vegan today at See ad, page 10.

7 September/October 2023

Sucralose May Damage DNA

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener 600 times sweeter than table sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its use in baked goods, beverages, chewing gum, gelatins and frozen dairy desserts. A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina found that ingesting sucralose may cause the formation of a genotoxic chemical called sucralose6-acetate. Genotoxicity refers to the breaking up of DNA, resulting in damage that could potentially contribute to health problems. Researchers also found trace amounts of this dangerous chemical in sucralose itself, even before it was consumed and metabolized.

The study included eight projects that exposed human blood cells to sucralose-6-acetate, which researchers found induces the expression of genes associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and cancer. Exposure to certain concentrations of sucralose-6-acetate and sucralose also appeared to impair the gut lining, and sucralose6-acetate inhibited certain enzymes, which could interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize medications.

Reducing Pain With Music Therapy

A new study in the journal PAIN Reports conducted by researchers at University Hospitals Connor Whole Health, in Cleveland, looked at patient outcomes in pain reduction after music therapy. The study examined music therapy interventions provided to 1,056 adults that reported moderate to severe pre-session pain, anxiety or stress. Interventions included listening to live, musicassisted relaxation and imagery, and active music making. After a single music therapy session, the patients reported clinically significant reductions in pain, anxiety and stress.

Additionally, patients receiving a music therapy session in which pain management was a goal were 4.32 times more likely to report pain reduction than those receiving the therapy without such a goal. While music therapy may be an effective, non-drug therapy for acute pain and distress management, additional research is needed to determine which characteristics of music therapy interventions influence pain improvements.

Diet May Impact Risk of Miscarriage

One in six pregnancies ends in miscarriage. While there are many known causes, including chromosomal problems and infections in the womb, nearly half of pregnancy losses remain unexplained.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham, in the UK, analyzed 20 studies that examined the eating habits of 63,838 healthy women of childbearing age in the months before and shortly after conception to see whether there was evidence of an association with a lower or higher chance of miscarriage. The review, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found that, compared to low consumption, high intake of fruit was associated with a 61 percent reduction in miscarriage risk, and high vegetable intake was associated with a 41 percent reduction.

Risk reduction was also linked to dairy products (37 percent), grains (33 percent), seafood (19 percent) and eggs (19 percent). The evidence was uncertain for red meat, white meat, fat and oil, and sugar substitutes. The researchers looked at whether specific types of diets (such as the Mediterranean Diet or Fertility Diet) were also linked to miscarriage risk, but they could not find evidence that following any of these diets lowered or raised risk.

8 Greater Richmond Edition health briefs
Angel Alexis LunaLarios/
Fuss Sergey/

Personal Service is Key to Life Decisions

PCM Insurance Agency, a family-owned and operated insurance business with more than 30 years in the insurance industry servicing clients in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South, and Georgia offering Individual and Family Health plans

Medicare Advantage, Prescription drug and Medicare supplement plans. Licensed in several states, including Virginia, owner and President Patricia C. Mayfield is AHIP and FFM certified. She is appointed with several insurance companies, including Anthem, Aetna, Clear Springs, Humana, United Healthcare, Molina, Optima Health, Virginia Premier and others.

The Medicare annual enrollment period is coming up October 15 through December 7, when beneficiaries have the opportunity to review their plans and discuss options for 2024. November 1 through December 31 is the time for individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace to review their individual and family plans and discuss options for the next year.

She explains, “I started out in the insurance business in Richmond in January 1993; however, I did not establish the PCM Insurance Agency until 2018. " After working as a career agent selling life insurance only, she went out on her own in 2003 as an independent agent selling life and health policies.

Two family members have joined the agency as agents and two others are presently studying for the insurance

exam. “It has always been a desire of mine to leave the agency as a legacy to the young people in my family coming up after me. I want to provide the opportunity for them to become a part of the agency if there is a desire to do so. "We are accessible and understand the needs of individuals concerned about being lost in the large pool of other clients,” shares Mayfield. “Every client is important to us and gets the attention necessary to fulfill whatever insurance need he or she has.”

PCM also offers dental, vision, hearing, life, and disability plans. “The majority of my clients are age 65 or older, advises Mayfield. “I understand how important it is for them to speak with someone knowlegeable about insurance, particularly Medicare and prescription drug plans.

One of our biggest challenges is that

because we are a small agency compared to others in this area, potential clients may not know that we are here. However, I am getting a lot more referrals and inquiries because people are looking for a local agency in the community that they can visit to discuss their healthcare insurance needs.”

The entrepreneur says, “People like to be able to sit down and talk with you in person. There has been a tremendous disconnect because of this fast-paced internet and texting age that we forget how important it is to connect on a personal level. In addition, I have been blessed with clients that refer me to friends and family on an ongoing basis. I have been in the business for 30 years, and people like the idea that I am knowlegeable in this field. Our clients can meet us at our office, at their homes, by phone or even if they prefer online too.

PCM Insurance Agency is located at 318 N. Arch Rd., Ste. 100B, N. Chesterfield. For more information, call 804-501-9056 or visit See ad, page 19.

9 September/October 2023 business spotlight
to Spotlight Your Business? Natural Awakenings empowers our readers with knowledge, resources and connections to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet. YOUR AD HERE. Be a resource for our health conscious readers seeking products and services like yours. 804-495-0325 GREATER RICHMOND EDITION
Patricia C. Mayfield

El Niño Is Here


Warming May Threaten Heart Health

As temperatures rise due to global warming, scientists are worried about how extreme heat may impact heart health. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology warns that air temperatures as low as 93° F may lead to a steady increase in heart rate under humid conditions. This increase, referred to as cardiovascular heart strain, can occur even before a person’s internal temperature starts to rise.

The study involved healthy participants engaging in light physical activity inside an environmental chamber. As the chamber got hotter, participants’ heart rates increased and then plateaued. However, when the chamber continued to heat up, heart rates began to rise again and continued to rise even after the experiment. This rapidly increased heart rate indicates cardiovascular strain.

A related study published in Physiological Reports reported that even at rest, heat can affect the heart. Researchers found that at 50 percent humidity, the heart rate of participants at rest was, on average, 64 percent higher at 122° F than at 82° F. These findings are concerning, as extreme heat events are becoming more common around the world and could be lethal for vulnerable and older populations.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases of a climate pattern across the tropical Pacific. The patterns shift back and forth every two to seven years and vary in strength, causing changes in ocean temperature that lead to droughts, floods and heat waves in different parts of the world.

El Niño has the strongest influence on U.S. winter weather, but in the summer, it reduces hurricane activity in the Caribbean and Atlantic. The pattern also makes it wetter across the southern third to half of the country, including California, while regions in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Ohio Valley are dry and warm. Outside the U.S., El Niño brings drier weather to Australia, Indonesia, India, and parts of southern Africa and northern South America, and wetter conditions in Southeast Argentina, parts of Chile and Northeast Africa.

This year’s El Niño formed earlier than usual, increasing the possibility of a strong effect on the weather, which when combined with human-caused warming, could result in record high global temperatures. Experts also say it is possible that record hot Atlantic Ocean water may counteract El Niño’s usual suppression of hurricanes this year.

10 Greater Richmond Edition
Dell_Technologies__community global briefs
photo courtesy of

Power Walking Innovation

Climate Victory Gardens

A basic law of physics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Kinetic energy pushes us forward each time we take a step. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American takes 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, with many aiming for 10,000 or more. That’s a great deal of energy that gets transferred to the ground unused.

As a design and technology student in London, Laurence Kemball-Cook devised a plan to collect the secondhand energy of footsteps and store it in a usable format. In 2009, a kinetic floor tile that could generate clean electricity was born. Today, Kemball-Cook is CEO of Pavegen, one of many companies looking for ways to advance sustainable energy. Pavegen has installed more than 200 projects in 37 countries.

Pavegen’s sidewalks are made of tile-like triangular platforms. When someone steps on a tile, a flywheel is activated to spin extremely fast, generating power that is sent to and stored in a battery. Although these smart sidewalks do not have the capacity to power entire cities, they can provide energy to office spaces, shopping malls, neighborhoods with streetlamps, sports games and music festivals. While the company works to lower costs and extend their application, Pavegen has been using its energy-producing sidewalks as an educational tool for sustainability awareness.

During World War II, an estimated 20 million Americans planted individual and community “victory gardens” to assist the war efforts by producing more than 40 percent of the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the country at the time. As the world faces a different kind of threat today, Green America is encouraging and training people to plant “climate victory gardens” to restore soil health and draw down carbon as a way to help solve the climate crisis.

The project invites people to log their garden on an online map (, showing the cumulative impact of their effort. More than 20,000 climate victory gardens have already been planted, collectively sequestering approximately 4,740 tons of carbon per year, which is equivalent to eliminating the emissions from driving more than 39 million miles.

The mission of Green America, a nonprofit, is to mobilize and empower consumers, investors, businesses and the marketplace to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Green America provides information on regenerative gardening in downto-earth terms for beginners and seasoned pros. They also provide resources on related topics, such as organic fertilizers and pesticides, raising chickens, growing food indoors, composting, supporting pollinators and building a rain barrel.

11 September/October 2023 Begin your journey now to a healthy body and tranquil mind. Classes are tailored to meet your needs. Yoga | Massage | Workshops | Teacher Training 804.741.5267 • 10442 Ridgefield Parkway, Richmond
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Throughout history, humans have embarked on pilgrimages in pursuit of wealth, good fortune, divine intervention, spiritual enlightenment and other blessings. These journeys could be considered the earliest manifestations of one type of adventure travel, while today some of these would be defined as spiritual tourism.

The notion of “spirit” refers to both our conscious and subconscious minds. A spiritual practice, then, is any activity that enables us to step away from the noisy parade of life and explore our emotions, where any concept of the human spirit resides. This spiritual self-care includes any ritual or practice that helps connect us with our most authentic higher self.

Travel can be an amazing way to explore metaphysical interests with new people, sites and scenes, in order to invigorate the senses, stimulate the imagination, refresh the mental framework and invite new ideas and personal insights. Some places qualify for spiritual travel by virtue of their natural beauty, or due to some historical, mythological or religious significance. For a trip that fosters mind-body-spirit self-care with a generous portion of adventure, check out these sacred sites.

This Northern California treasure is believed to be a powerful spiritual vortex that has long captured the imagination of spiritual seekers. By some accounts, Mount Shasta is reputed to be the Earth’s root chakra, in keeping with the belief that, like the human body, planet Earth possesses chakra energy centers.

This majestic mountain, which is associated with healing, transformation and spiritual awakening, is a stunning backdrop for the many spiritual retreats and workshops offered locally that include meditation, energy healing, yoga, sound therapy and other restorative modalities.

Spiritual guide Andrew Oser, who has led Mount Shasta retreats for decades, says, “I can help you allow Mount Shasta’s transforming energies into the core of your very being, and by utilizing my direction to harness the mountain’s heightened vibration, you will feel it almost magically dissolve all of your fears.”


Surrounded by red rock canyons, whimsical forests and waterfalls, Sedona’s natural beauty inspires spiritual reflection. It is

12 Greater Richmond Edition
MOUNT SHASTA Maddy M/ Edwin Verin/

EGYPT also part of one of the most powerful energy vortexes in the world and a New Age Mecca for those seeking transcendence through energy healing, yoga, sound baths and a host of other spiritual offerings.

From venturing to the bright turquoise waters at Havasu Falls nearby to visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross, there are many activities in Sedona for those wishing to connect more deeply to nature and themselves.


specialized workshops. Along with wellness spas offering rejuvenating treatments that harmonize the body, mind and spirit, Bali offers beautiful meditation areas for quiet contemplation.


Known as the “Island of the Gods”, Bali is a captivating destination with a serene, spiritual ambiance. Nestled amidst lush greenery and terraced rice fields, the town of Ubud, in the uplands of Bali, enjoys international recognition for its spiritual offerings and welcoming vibe for those seeking inner peace and self-discovery.

Holistic healing options in Bali include energy therapies, sound healing and traditional Balinese massage. Yoga enthusiasts will be delighted with the varied class options, immersive programs and

Spirituality runs deep in the Peruvian culture, from the ancient temples of the Incas to the living history of shamanism in the Amazon jungle. Machu Picchu has long been a revered site, and historically the place for worshipping the sun, the main Inca deity. Seekers can explore Machu Picchu on their own or participate in guided spiritual meditations—either way, it is a beautiful destination for a mind-bodyspirit getaway.

For those seeking a deep mystical experience, Peru Sacred Tours provides a safe haven for spiritual advancement with the individualized attention and guidance of indigenous practitioners, including the herbalist shamans of the rainforest, Q’ero Inca priests of Cuzco or Moche San Pedro shamans of Chiclayo.

Egypt is considered a land of majesty and mystery, attracting treasure hunters, history buffs and adventure seekers, as well as those searching for spiritual transformation. This world-renowned destination has a long history of spirituality, with a colorful tapestry of beliefs and practices. The ancient Egyptians were convinced of the existence of a spiritual plane, while also maintaining deep reverence for the natural world, and these concepts continue to inform contemporary Egyptian culture and spirituality.

In recent years, there has been a surge in demand for spiritual tours in Egypt, particularly for meditation workshops in iconic places like the Great Pyramid of Giza, Valley of the Kings, Mount Sinai and Nile River. One of the more well-known tour guides is Freddy Silva, a leading researcher of ancient civilizations, sacred sites and their interaction with consciousness, as well as the bestselling author of The Divine Blueprint.

Making the Most of a Spiritual Vacation

Phil Cousineau, author of The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred, specializes in creating meaningful travel experiences and leading tours to sacred sites. “All pilgrimages are a search for meaning and purpose, which is why I prepare groups on how to travel deliberately, ways to experience it and how to integrate the experiences into daily life so they are not forgotten,” he says.

Cousineau recommends getting off the bus, putting away the video recorder and simply walking into the landscape. “Remind yourself why you traveled to there,” he says. “Take the deepest, most probing question in your life with you. Chronicle your answer for two to five minutes daily. At the site, look for one detail that represents your entire visit that day and take a photo. Use active imagination to open your heart, rather than waiting for something to happen. Don’t compare your travels. When you are comparing where you are with where you’ve been, there’s no meaning—it becomes just one more purposeless tour.”

To share the experience with traveling companions, Cousineau says, “I begin mornings over breakfast with a long conversation that includes any stories about where we’re visiting. We’re reminding ourselves that we’re forming a small community by traveling together and studying the same stories so that we can continue our long conversation over dinner. This is where the meaning starts to form and deepen.”

13 September/October 2023

Varanasi may be the world’s oldest city, settled more than 4,000 years ago. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it is regarded as the spiritual heart of India, with a tradition of Hindu mythology, as well as

Buddhism. Religious, humanist and secular visitors frequent the evening aarti ceremony, when sadhus [sages] show their devotion by raising flaming lamps amid the aroma of incense.

If this strikes a chord, renowned author and spiritual teacher Andrew Harvey is offering a 14-day pilgrimage to the artistic, historical and spiritual soul of North India in November. He is the founder and director of the Institute for Sacred Activism, an international organization that inspires people to take up the challenge of our

contemporary global crises by becoming effective, practical agents of institutional and systemic change.


Imbued with the rich heritage and history of Zen Buddhism, this enchanting city is an ideal destination for seekers to explore close to 2,000 Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, as well as the iconic Golden Pavilion, where centuries of devotion and wisdom have been housed. Many of these sites also provide inspiring settings for quiet contemplation, meditation and discussions of The Buddha’s teachings.

The traditional tea ceremony offered at numerous venues around the city is a refreshing, meditative practice that cultivates a sense of tranquility and connection to the present moment. Kyoto is also home to exquisite Japanese gardens that illustrate the profound relationship between nature and spirituality in this gentle culture.


As there are many sacred sites in Italy, a guided experience or well-planned itinerary may help facilitate an immersive spiritual journey. This is a labor of love for Phil Cousineau, author of more than 40 books, teacher, editor, independent scholar, documentary filmmaker, travel leader and storyteller. His lifelong fascination with art, literature and history of culture has taken him on journeys around the world.

Author of The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred, Cousineau has stated, “To shine the light

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of your own natural curiosity into the world of another traveler can reveal wonders—to remember the mysteries you forgot at home. What matters most on your journey is how deeply you see, how attentively you hear, how richly the encounters are felt in your heart and soul.”

In partnership with Sacred Earth Journeys, Cousineau has prepared a guided tour in November entitled The Sweet Life of Mythic Italy, which will explore sacred locations in Rome, Perugia, Assisi, Montepulciano, Florence, Verona and Venice. To learn more, visit


Every year, more than a million people make the spiritual voyage to Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England. Archaeologists are still seeking a plausible explanation as to how the stones weighing multiple tons were transported to the site. This ancient masterpiece of prehistoric engineering remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

There is further spiritual charm in myths around the purpose of Stonehenge. People ask, “Was it intended as a funeral monument,

an astronomical observatory, a tool to predict the seasons or a sanctuary where the sun was worshipped?” Stonehenge is believed to be an epicenter of Earth energy with as many as 14 ley lines converging on the site—powerful channels of energy associated with places of ancient and primordial significance.

It is plain to see that when we are ready to invest in our spiritual well-being in a fun, mind-expanding way, many mind-body-spirit travel options abound.

Kiki Powers is a health writer, blogger and national speaker specializing in plant-based nutrition and healthy green living. Learn more at

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Filip Fuxa/
Ron Torrance, DO
James Leiber, DO Ignatios Papas, DOLisa Valastro, DO Duron Lee, DO


and to ask for help, the less power fear and anxiety will have over their brains.”

According to Dr. Carol Penn, author of Meditation in a Time of Madness: A Guidebook for Talented Tweens, Teens, Their Parents & Guardians Who Need to Thrive, “Fear is a natural phenomenon. It’s how we’re hardwired to survive as a species. However, when fear turns into anxiety and the body enters a chronic state of hyperarousal with raised cortisol levels, it can be debilitating. This shortens attention spans and disrupts the hypothalamic loop, which deals with creating short-term memory, causing kids to lose the ability to engrain long-term learning.”

Children today are facing ever-increasing amounts of stress and anxiety. In addition to academic pressure, bullying and family dynamics, kids are worried about navigating social media, climate change and school shootings. While a certain amount of stress is normal and healthy, too much can cause debilitating physical, emotional and cognitive effects.

A 2010 study published by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, at Harvard University, reports that persistent fear and chronic anxiety can have lifelong consequences by disrupting the developing architecture of the brain. Parents can help anxious kids by modeling stress-management and problem-solving techniques, and inviting their children to talk about their feelings.


While each child’s anxiety is unique, the themes are often universal. “Children fear not being liked, being made fun of, failing when they try new things, getting hurt, losing a loved one, being left out and not fitting in. If this list seems familiar, it’s because they are all the same fears adults have too,” says Michelle Nelson-Schmidt, an author and illustrator of 32 children’s books, including What If I Know My Feelings? and The Whatif Monster series “It is debilitating when we don’t talk about our fears and anxieties. Children often don’t have the vocabulary to verbalize their fears, so they bottle it up, letting fears get bigger and scarier. The earlier they learn that it’s okay to be scared, to talk about their fears

Penn notes that kids can pick up on their parents’ anxiety, so it is imperative to model self-care and create a soothing home environment. “Children are unsettled when their parents are unsettled. By observing body language and energy, kids can intuitively gauge when something is wrong, and they often make up stories about why,” she explains. “Teaching kids to take regular breaks throughout the day for relaxed awareness encourages them to notice a mind-body connection. Take two minutes before getting out of the car or starting a new activity to pay attention to your breath and observe and label pain or tension in the body. If you are hunching your shoulders or clenching your jaw, make mindful adjustments to reset and settle the body and nervous system.”


Last year, Highland Park, Illinois, experienced the improbable yet possible event

16 Greater Richmond Edition healthy kids

of a mass shooting during their Fourth of July parade. “While the community worked to rediscover a sense of safety, our school focused on the necessary structures and initiatives to help students heal and rebuild,” says Holly Fleischer, the assistant principal of diversity, equity and inclusion at Highland Park High School. “As we started the school year, we recommitted to a focus on social-emotional learning by teaching strategies to manage emotions, sustain healthy relationships, develop an awareness of self and make healthy decisions. By practicing coping skills with everyday stressors, our students are learning to develop feelings of control, safety and resiliency as they navigate a traumatic experience or event.”

According to Fleischer, “While there is little control of one’s outside world and circumstances, kids can find calm in a storm through strategies like deep breathing, recognizing your five senses, listening to music, reaching out to loved ones, using ice packs for sensory intervention and giving oneself a strong bear hug. Students will get to know which ones work for them. It is also essential to disrupt maladaptive coping mechanisms like avoidance, which do not allow for the practice of these healthier ways of self-management.”


“Thoughts are the language of the mind, and feelings are the language of the body,” Penn counsels. “When stress develops, have kids draw three pictures identifying what it looks like for them. The first is a picture of themselves right now; the second is the challenge they’re facing; and the third is how they will feel when the challenge is resolved. This gives children control over their feelings, allowing them to self-soothe and creatively work through challenging situations. When children learn to be adaptable, flexible and imaginative critical thinkers, they can respond to even the darkest days and move forward with grace and hope.”

Carrie Jackson is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Connect at

Eco Travel 101

While checking places off the travel bucket list, keep in mind these traveling tips for leaving small footprints across the Earth. no paper needed. The same is true for maps, brochures and guidebooks.


Burning up jet fuel to fly to places represents a large affront to the environment. Staycations are the most eco-friendly. The shorter the distance we travel from home, the lower our carbon footprint. Because takeoffs and landings use the most fuel, fly direct whenever possible.


Some sites are so popular that they are prone to being overrun and abused. To avoid becoming part of the trampling herd and minimize tourist impact, visit the most popular tourist destinations during off-peak months or avoid them altogether. A green travel agent can help find less-trafficked destinations, book hotels with green certifications and secure eco-friendly tours and adventures.


Put together a travel kit that doesn’t include throwaway plastics. Pack soap, shampoo and conditioner bars, as well as soap sheets that fit in a wallet, lather up with water and disintegrate. Invest in a reusable travel bottle—collapsible types use less space— along with a filter or purifier, in case of non-potable water. Pack a few lightweight cloth bags for souvenir shopping.


Most transportation tickets can be purchased online and stored on a phone, with


Help the local economy by using less of the area’s resources. Turn off the lights and air conditioning when not in the hotel room. Take short showers. Don’t get the bed remade with fresh sheets every day, and reuse towels as much as possible.


To support community talent, purchase from local artisans for unique gifts. While a chain restaurant might seem fun, a local restaurant is more likely to serve authentic dishes. Ask residents where they would go, or hire a guide that lives in the area.


Rental cars and taxis use more resources and may not give the best travel experience. Taking a local bus or train across town helps the environment and provides a great way to experience the culture. Biking and walking are even more environmentally friendly and allow for some of the best meandering and sightseeing.


Leave nothing behind. Place trash in receptacles, or, better yet, carry a bag and pick up trash to beautify the landscape.

17 September/October 2023
den-belitsky/ eco tip

Savor the Present Moment



The Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute, in Aguada, Puerto Rico, offers a mindful eating class that invites diners to practice with a bowl of Ann Wigmore’s Energy Soup—a recipe by the institute’s founder containing an array of vegetables, legumes and grains. “It’s fulfilling, nutritious and cleansing, all in one,” says Executive Director Carolyn Marin. “Key in what makes this a mindful eating meal is that while it is pulsed in a blender, it is not a liquid, and it requires chewing. Also, it is served at room temperature, which helps with mindful eating and proper digestion.”

There is a sharp difference between grabbing a fast-food burger at the drive-through and paying full attention to a home-prepared meal. For many of us, busy schedules and harried lifestyles get in the way of a more introspective dining experience. Mindful eating—the practice of slowing down, appreciating the present moment and becoming consciously aware of the ingredients, flavors, aromas and textures that we consume—can be a worthwhile meditative endeavor.

“If we’re mindful of what we eat, when we eat and how we eat, we are supporting the vibrancy of what our bodies are so capable of,” says Dr. Carrie Demers, medical director at the Himalayan Institute, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. “Studies show that when people stop to sit down and chew their food carefully, they not only eat

less, but they actually get more enjoyment out of their meal. Food tastes better when we are actually present with it.”

“When we slow down, we become more aware,” says Shawngela Pierce of Seek Within You, who leads spiritual retreats in Sedona, Arizona. “Sometimes people eat out of habit, but when we become more mindful, we start to notice patterns that, once understood, can help us harness a whole new way of eating and living.”

Mindfulness can begin before we even sit at the dining room table, “when we aren’t distracted by watching television or something else, and we take the time to think deeply about what we are preparing,” Pierce says, adding that calm focus can even help us when shopping for ingredients at the farmers market or grocery store.

While soft music plays in the background, students of the mindful eating class are instructed to slowly pick up their spoons, place a serving of soup in their mouths, set their spoons down and unhurriedly chew 30 times. “They look out at the ocean, breathing carefully, eating consciously and slowly, taking their time and getting their body out of fightor-flight mode and into healing mode. It can be very emotional,” Marin explains. “Mindful eating also aids in digestion because the person is chewing the food fully and allowing it to spend more time in the mouth, where digestion begins. Many of our guests have experienced noticeable improvement with acid reflux, stomach aches and nausea.”


Marc Demers, head chef at The Himalayan Institute, says there are four aspects of

18 Greater Richmond Edition conscious eating

mindful eating—right food, right time, right quantity and right attitude or environment— each of which can be individualized and honed to deepen awareness and improve health. Here are his recommendations.

RIGHT FOOD: Eat fresh, whole foods that are easy to digest and give energy. We need mindfulness to notice which foods support us and which cause indigestion, mucus or fatigue.

RIGHT TIME: Our bodies naturally digest better in the daytime and when we feel hunger. Stop eating at least three hours prior to bedtime. We need mindfulness to notice the difference in digestion between eating ice cream at 3 p.m. and at 11 p.m.

RIGHT QUANTITY: Eat just the right amount of food—enough to feel satisfied and fuel the day’s activities, but not so much that we feel lethargic or sleepy. Mindfulness helps us notice our hunger and fullness, as well as how we feel after we eat.

RIGHT ATTITUDE OR ENVIRONMENT: Sit down in a peaceful place, ideally with people we like, rather than eating while driving, working or walking. Don’t eat when stressed or angry. If we are upset, it is better to take a moment to mindfully breathe and calm the nervous system before eating. The goal is to welcome the food with gratitude and openness.


For those struggling to commit to mindful eating, Pierce says, “Start practicing mindful eating with the food that you enjoy the most. Don’t try to do it all at once. Just try one meal each week as a start. Make it a priority. Set a reminder if it helps. Have fun with it. Make it a playful practice. Say, ‘Today is going to be my mindful eating day.’ That opens the gateway to something that will become an integral part of your spiritual life.”

Veronica Hinke is a food historian and author of The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining and Style and Titanic: The Official Cookbook. Learn more at



⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

7 Tbsp scallions, sliced thin

1 cup quinoa

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1¾ cups kale, stems removed, finely chopped

1¾ cups cheese of choice, crumbled or diced small (use tofu or tempeh for vegan option)

⅓ cup pesto (dairy or vegan)

⅓ cup sunflower seeds

⅓ cup dried tomatoes, chopped

Wash and drain the quinoa three times. Cook according to package instructions.

Let cool. If using frozen corn, cook in water for 3 minutes.

Blanch the kale (spinach or other leafy greens work also). Press out extra water.

Sauté the scallions for 2 to 3 minutes. If using tofu or tempeh, lightly brown it in the skillet.

Combine all of the ingredients, and mix well. Use within 3 days.

19 September/October 2023
Photo courtesy of The Himalayan Institute; recipe by Head Chef Marc Demers.
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Photo by Himalayan Institute


This recipe by Vincci Tsui, a dietician and intuitive eating counselor in Calgary, Canada, can inspire mindfulness because it requires chopping, dicing and cubing ingredients, which can be methodical and meditative activities. In terms of eating the salad, the numerous flavors and textures provide ample opportunity to engage the senses and be present with the food.


8 oz orzo

1 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups cooked)

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 large English cucumber, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 cup chopped basil

7 oz feta, cut into ½-inch cubes


¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey

1 tsp dried oregano

½ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey and oregano until honey is dissolved. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together cooked orzo and remaining salad ingredients. Add in dressing and toss to coat.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Dietician and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Vincci Tsui.


This soup has several properties that facilitate mindful eating. It is served at room temperature, loaded with diverse ingredients and pulsed, rather than liquified, allowing for purposeful chewing, attentive tasting and proper digestion. The liquid base includes cabbage rejuvelac, a fermented, bubbly probiotic resembling unsalted sauerkraut juice that restores electrolytes, B vitamins and gut balance.


½ cup cabbage rejuvelac (recipe below)

1 cup non-starchy vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, radishes, beets, carrots, celery or cucumbers, chopped

1 cup non-bitter, leafy greens or herbs, chopped

1 Tbsp seaweed

1 Tbsp lentil or pea sprouts

6 cups sunflower microgreens

2 cups buckwheat microgreens

1 Tbsp grated ginger

1 cup papaya, chopped

1 fresh lime, cut into wedges


6 cups red or green cabbage, chopped

3½ cups filtered or spring water

To make the rejuvelac, use a blender to purée the water and cabbage. Pour the mixture into a glass jar, cover and store in a room that is 74° F or warmer for 3 days. Open and close the lid of the jar once each day to release air.

To make the soup, use a blender to combine the rejuvelac, vegetables, seaweed and sprouts, pulsing so as to not over-blend, and slowly add the micro greens. Pour into bowls and add ginger, papaya and lime juice. Serve at room temperature.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute.

20 Greater Richmond Edition
Photo by Vincci Tsui Photo by Carolyn Marin

Travel can broaden our perspective of the world and take us on breathtaking adventures. These new experiences, however, often come with unexpected mental and physical challenges, stresses and anxieties. By incorporating yoga into the itinerary, we can cultivate a sense of peace, allowing us to show up as our best selves. From asanas after long hours of sitting to breathing exercises while waiting for a flight, yogic techniques can open the body and mind, letting us enjoy both the journey and destination.

According to Jenny Kaufman, a Chicagobased yoga professional who leads international retreats and manages yogaview, in Wilmette, Illinois, a mindful yoga practice is different from stretching and is available for anyone, regardless of physical flexibility. “Yoga encompasses well-being, mindfulness, breathing and spiritual awareness. It leads you to pull inward, notice what and where you feel a sensation, and mindfully progress to another asana, or pose. Increased flexibility might be the byproduct of the practice, but that is not the point,” she explains.

“Long layovers, changing time zones and different foods can confuse our internal clocks and wreak havoc on sleep and digestion,” Kaufman says. She recommends some poses to mitigate disruption and bring renewed vigor to body and mind: “To wind down before bed, incorporate cooling postures, such as Seated Forward Bend and Child’s Pose, that encourage the body to fold in and rest. For a burst of energy, try warm-

Yoga on Vacation


ing poses and heart openers, such as Cobra, Sphinx and Backbends. If space is limited, stand with fingers interlaced behind the back and gently press the pelvis forward. If digestion is slowed, simple twists and Wind-Relieving Pose can help move things along.”

Kim Larkin, a New Jersey-based certified yoga teacher, leads international retreats as a way to share heart-opening cultural adventures with other curious beings. “My main practice when travel stress is creeping in is to drop my attention into my breath,” she says. “Just focusing on one breath cycle at a time will help to settle my attention into my body, begin to quiet my nervous system and bring me to a more grounded place. It can also be helpful to count the breath, as in Sama Vritti Pranayama or “box breathing”. Like a square, box breathing has four evenlength parts to it. Inhale to a count of four or five; hold the inhale for the same count; exhale to four or five; and hold at the bottom of the exhale. Repeating this as needed helps to calm both the mind and body.”

Margi Young, an Oakland, Californiabased yoga instructor and retreat leader, says, “When traveling, it’s natural to want to jump into a busy schedule of exploring new destinations, but starting the day with a few conscious breaths and Sun Salutations can set the foundation for a more grounded experience. This allows you to be your best self and move through your journeys with less anxiety and fresh eyes. Or, get off the traditional yoga script and take a few minutes to put on your favorite tunes and dance to get into your body.”

Young also recommends incorporating yoga throughout the day while traveling to reset from any physical and mental stress. “In an airport, find a secluded place you feel comfortable doing a Downward Dog. Instead of putting your hands on the

ground, you could put them on the seat of a chair. This grounding pose lengthens the spine, opens the shoulders and draws your attention inward,” she explains. “On a plane or bus, reaching your arms overhead gives space to condensed organs; ankle circles help increase circulation; and seated Figure Four opens up tight hips,” she advises.

If time allows, Young also suggests finding a yoga studio and popping in for a class. “Taking a yoga class in a new country or city can provide an immediate sense of community and is often a uniting gateway to other connections when navigating new and different surroundings,” she asserts.

Yoga helps to develop patience, an aptitude that Kaufman says can serve us throughout our travels. “Mindfully moving through a practice encourages us to listen and be patient with our bodies, and it provides valuable feedback on where we are and what we need. Instead of jumping into a deep stretch, purposefully encourage the hamstring to open up and notice how that feels. Cultivating that patience for ourselves changes the chemistry in your brain and becomes a microcosm for how you put yourself into the world. You’re able to be more patient with flight attendants, travel partners and everyone else you may encounter,” she shares.

For Larkin, practicing yoga while traveling cultivates inner peace. “The stress of travel can bring out the worst in us, but we can do our best to stay kind and considerate by keeping in mind the yoga teaching of Ahimsa: non-harming,” she says. “Most things work out, even if you lose your luggage or miss your flight. And most people are good, wanting to help you find your luggage or rebook your flight or commiserate when your vacation didn’t go quite to plan.”

21 September/October 2023
fit body Sun Salutations_Art Alex/
Carrie Jackson is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Connect at


parking and storage, or giving each room its own recycling receptacle and providing education and training to make sustainability behaviors the cultural norm.”

Sophomore Anna Ries-Roncalli, an environmental science major at Loyola University, in Chicago, says, “College is often the first time you’re learning how to be an adult and interacting with the world, and it’s important to make sure that your role is sustainable. Colleges have an inherent, built-in sense of community, and prioritizing sustainability comes more naturally when you see that it’s a collective responsibility that impacts others.”

The halls of higher education are adopting more sustainable practices as students and university stakeholders increasingly understand that their lifestyle choices and daily operations impact the planet. Motivated by the climate crisis and global-warming-related disasters, many students are looking for ways to lower their individual carbon footprint. Schools, too, are implementing Earth-friendly initiatives throughout their campuses while also prioritizing climate-conscious subjects in their curriculums.

According to Julian Dautremont, director of programs at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), “Sustainability education helps attract, retain and motivate top students and prepares them for responsible citizenship. It catalyzes increased

giving and new funding sources, strengthens community relations and facilitates new partnerships. Moreover, sustainability research and education demonstrate relevance in addressing grand challenges and help unify the campus around a shared sense of purpose.”

AASHE advocates comprehensive modifications that make going green easy and second nature. “We recommend that institutions create systems in which sustainability is the default. Long-term measures such as installing low-flow fixtures in bathrooms, using induction stovetops in dorms and having light sensors that turn off automatically in offices make saving energy automatic,” Dautremont explains. “Where individual behavior is a factor, make the more sustainable choices convenient by, for example, providing water bottle filling stations on every floor, installing covered bike

Ries-Roncalli is aware of the impact her food choices have on the environment. “In our country, where we can buy anything we want from the grocery store, we are so disconnected from the food system. Most people don’t see a carton of eggs and think about every step that it took to get it on the shelves or where the farm it came from is located,” she says. To do her part, she brings reusable plates and utensils to the dining hall, takes leftovers home in a multi-use canister and shops locally or at farmers markets whenever possible. While Loyola composts most food waste in the dining halls, Ries-Roncalli volunteers with Food Recovery Network, a student organization that collects and distributes leftovers to local shelters and food pantries.

Michael Hughey, a senior in the environmental studies program at Loyola, takes full advantage of a partnership between the Chicago Transit Authority and Loyola that grants eligible students unlimited use of public trains and buses.

22 Greater Richmond Edition green living

“Students can also walk, take their own bike or use a bike share to get around. Not only are they cutting back on their carbon footprint, they’re engaging more with the city on a ground level,” Hughey explains. “We’ve seen the effects of climate change disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. I personally want to mitigate those effects as much as possible and be kind to the planet and my neighbors.”

Cria Kay, program administrator at Northwestern University’s sustainNU, says, “I recommend finding something that brings you joy, identifying what changes you want to see in your life or community, then developing an action you can take that applies your passion to the environmental issue you identified. Even something as simple as taking a walk to pause and notice the wildlife, water, air and soil around you can be helpful for well-being and getting inspired to take on more sustainable behaviors.”

Amy Spark, the sustainability coordinator at Bow Valley College, in Calgary, Canada, believes that sustainability literacy eventually will be required across all disciplines. “Students in every sector are going to be impacted by climate change. Nurses in our LPN [licensed practical nursing] program are seeing a spike in hospital visits with health issues from increasingly poor air quality. It is important to train future graduates to recognize and deal with the impacts of climate change in their disciplines,” she explains.

Spark encourages students to use their voices. “Human stories move decision-

makers, and schools are invested in their students’ overall experience. You don’t need to be an expert, but speak from your experience,” she suggests. “Tell your administrators and policymakers how air quality affects you, or let them know how having more bike lanes would help. If you see something, say something. Report leaky faucets, lights that won’t turn off and other inefficiencies to the maintenance department so proper repairs can be made.”

“Individual behavior change is important, but the single most powerful thing students can do is to advocate for broader change,” says Dautremont. “Students can be enormously influential in campus decision-making, and the impact of such changes generally is going to far outweigh the impact of individual behavior changes.”

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Carrie Jackson is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Connect at

Stephen Cope ON

Specializing in the relationship between Eastern contemplative traditions and Western psychology, Stephen Cope has been a scholar-inresidence for more than three decades at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest residential yoga center in North America. He also founded the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, a global network of scientists that researches the effects and mechanisms of yoga-based practices. Cope is a classically trained pianist, dancer and psychotherapist, as well as the bestselling author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, The Wisdom of Yoga and The Great Work of Your Life. His latest book is The Dharma in Difficult Times: Finding Your Calling in Times of Loss, Change, Struggle and Doubt.


In classical yoga, there’s a view that everybody has a vocation. The earliest myth that supports this dates back several thousand years to the Vedic tradition in India and involves the god Indra, who is said to have cast a vast net over the entire universe. At each vertex of this net there’s a gem, and that gem is an individual soul whose job is to hold together the net at that point. This introduces the view that each of us has a responsibility to contribute our gifts in such a way that we hold together our little piece of the net. If we don’t, the net starts to unravel. Dharma is Sanskrit for sacred vocation or sacred duty, which


comes from the root dhri, “to hold together”. It’s this fascinating notion that we have a responsibility to our own idiosyncratic genius, which sustains not only us by providing a fulfilling life, but also the whole world by taking care of our corner of the world.


The practice of yoga and meditation is about increasing our connection with the subtle, internal world. Thoreau called it the distant drummer. While our culture constantly draws us out and distracts us, Eastern contemplative traditions invite us to quiet our monkey mind and listen inside to that still, small voice that is attuned to our deepest needs and to the way the world works. It’s that awake, or enlightened, part of the mind that can connect you to your true calling.

There are three questions that people can ask themselves.

First: What lights you up? This is an energetic experience in our bodies when we

come close to the occupation or endeavors that are important to our soul. Get familiar on a day-to-day basis with what lights you up, then slowly move toward those things and integrate them into your life.

Second: What duties do you feel called to? I don’t mean those onerous things that are imposed on us by our culture. I mean a duty that if you don’t do it in this lifetime, you’ll feel a profound sense of regret and self-betrayal.

Third: What problems or difficulties are you facing in your life right now? Difficulties can point you to something that might be your dharma. Marion Woodman, a good friend and feminist who was diagnosed with bone cancer in her mid-60s, decided to close her psychoanalytic practice and devote the rest of her life to being in relationship with the cancer, investigating it as her calling. Very often, somebody’s calling is something really difficult they’re experiencing, like an unhappy marriage or dissatisfaction in career, and their dharma is to investigate what this means for their life.


Robert Frost stepped off a series of smaller curbs that added up to a cliff. He was concerned, as we all are, about security, making money and keeping his family safe, so he became a teacher. But there was a point at which he had to give up teaching and follow this deep voice that said, “Poetry is your

24 Greater Richmond Edition wise words
photo courtesy of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

calling.” He was 38 when he made the final decision to let go of other sources of income, and when he did that, his poetry came alive.


In the Bhagavad Gita [Hindu scripture], there are four pillars of dharma. The first is discernment—finding your calling in this lifetime. The second—the doctrine of unified action—is to bring everything you’ve got to whatever you decide is your calling. Third is to let go of the outcome, also known as relinquishing the fruit. The ancient yogis discovered that if you’re grasping for a particular outcome, it takes you out of the moment and into some future fantasized moment. By letting go, you empower yourself to be more present to the possibilities of the moment. The fourth pillar is to turn the whole process over to God or to something bigger than just yourself. My friends who don’t believe in a higher power or god understand that concept of dedication to the planet, to humanity or to all beings.


Very hopeful. The contemplative traditions discovered that human beings who were jivanmukta, or soul-awake, were special versions of human beings in that they had capacities of compassion, lovingkindness, joy, generosity and selflessness. Those qualities, which are developed in the practice of yoga and meditation, add to the common good. I’m hopeful that as we become everything we can be, we will have the capacity to solve some of the huge problems that we have. As reckless as we are these days with our world, human beings have very often risen to the challenge of complex dilemmas and resolved them. As we come together, we start manifesting unified action. The power of human beings working together for the common good is almost limitless.

Sandra Yeyati is the national editor of Natural Awakenings.

Unveil Inner Radiance with Divine Feminine Energy Healing Services

The Goddess Hub was designed by Lady Victoria and her daughter, Shani Williams, who says, “We are dedicated to bringing light and love to the entire planet through the diving feminine energy, goddess energy. We need the divine feminine energy to help heal mankind and our dear planet Earth. Our seasoned practitioners are your compass on this sacred voyage. They will gently lead you to the wellspring of healing power that resides within, helping you unleash your true essence and reconnect with your inner goddess.”

Harmonious equilibrium: In a world yearning for balance, Divine Feminine Energy sessions hold the key. Let go of stress and embrace tranquility and realign with the natural rhythms of life.

Holistic nurturing: The mind, body and spirit deserve the tender care that a holistic approach offers. Through the art of meditation, energy work and sacred rituals, unlock the doors to self-love and acceptance.

Empowerment and transformation: Rekindle the flame of strength, reclaiming our voice and embody our authenticity. With these empowering sessions, seamlessly embrace change, nurture resilience and shape dreams into reality.

Elevate inner harmony: The echoes of the healing sessions reverberate beyond the present moment. Experience enduring well-being and newfound vitality, infusing life with positivity, compassion and an intuitive connection.

Unlock the tapestry of healing: Immerse in the sanctuary of Divine Feminine Healing Services, a fusion of ancient traditions and contemporary mastery.

Ignite the healing journey: With every session, step closer to an authentic self, a life of harmony and the radiant glow of the goddess within. Embark on this transformative voyage and witness the blossoming of true essence.

Location: The Goddess Hub, 510 W. Broad St., Ste. F, Waynesboro. For more information, visit

25 September/October 2023
Lady Victoria

Medical Tourism


Many Americans have experienced sticker shock upon receiving a medical or dental bill, whether or not they have health insurance. As healthcare costs continue to rise in the United States, patients are grabbing their passports and turning to medical tourism—the act of crossing borders to obtain quality medical care at a lower cost.

“We have a great healthcare system in the United States, but it is priced out of the market for millions of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid,” says Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, a medical tourism resource. He estimates that to date, 2.1 to 2.4 million Americans have intentionally crossed borders specifically for medical care. Approximately 65 percent of those people sought complex dental treatments.

The town of Los Algodones, Mexico, located just over the U.S.Mexico border near Baja California, has approximately 300 dental clinics. Known as “Molar City”, the town is a mecca for people looking for more affordable dentistry. U.S. travelers also head to Costa Rica, Turkey and Thailand for elective cosmetic surgery, bariatrics, infertility treatments, orthopedic medicine, cardiology

and cancer care, or to obtain low-cost pharmaceuticals.

Add holistic treatments to the list, says David G. Vequist IV, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Center for Medical Tourism Research at the University of the Incarnate Word, in San Antonio. “People are very interested in how Asian countries naturally combine both alternative and traditional medicine. Philosophies like ‘food as medicine’ are commonly used in treatments there,” says the 15-year scholar of medical tourism trends.


According to Vequist, “The best Mexican hospitals are using the same standards that we have in the U.S.” In 2009, for example, when Mexico’s General Health Council set out to create national hospital certification standards in their country, officials followed protocols established by Joint Commission International, an influential U.S.-based nonprofit that has served as a global driver of health care quality improvement and patient safety for the past 20 years.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that complications may arise during a healthcare procedure regardless of where it is performed. Vequist cautions that the farther a patient travels from home, the more likely they will be exposed to bacteria that is unfamiliar to their body. Also, traveling in a pressurized airplane after complex surgical procedures should be avoided, and seeking medical care outside of a patient’s regular care network may break the continuum of care, leading to miscommunication and errors in the transfer of medical records.

“Although global health care isn’t for everyone, those who try it will find the quality is the same or better than at home, with modern facilities at a fraction of the cost,” says Paul McTaggart, founder of two specialized travel agencies—Medical Departures and Dental Departures—that help patients become informed about the best and most appropriate clinics and doctors around the world for their medical needs. They also book appointments, forward medical records and make travel arrangements.

McTaggart vets medical providers outside of the U.S. by verifying doctor credentials with local regulatory authorities; measuring web reputations; conducting onsite inspections when possible; posting authentic, patient-verified reviews; removing partners that consistently receive poor reviews; and checking the web for legal and other claims against hospitals or clinics.

Woodman advises that extensive research of foreign hospitals, clinics and providers is crucial for a positive medical-tourism out-

26 Greater Richmond Edition healing ways
Sergey Nivens/

come and cautions against making a decision based solely on cost. “There are some bad actors out there that advertise mostly on price to attract U.S. patients. If a clinic advertises that you’ll save 80 or 90 percent off U.S. healthcare prices, be wary—that’s way too high of a discount.”

Other red flags include clinics that are located in strip malls or a lack of verifiable credentials for a provider. “A medical tourist needs to be a little more adaptable and critical of their surroundings,” Woodman says, adding that even if they’ve made the trip, when the circumstances seem off, a patient should never feel pressured to go through with the treatment or procedure.

Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association, recommends using healthcare providers that are certified or accredited by international organizations like Global Healthcare Accreditation. “Be careful of trusting any website,” he warns. “Some medical tourism facilitators are middlemen or agencies that receive a commission. Some will refer you to the best provider, but some will refer you to a provider that provides the largest commission, but who isn’t the best.”

Edelheit believes that with proper research and planning, cost-effective, quality health care is possible. He reminds travelers to avoid countries where the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory, and he recommends speaking with several patients that have gone through the same procedure to get a firsthand review and manage expectations. He asserts, “The value you receive and being able to immerse yourself in another culture and integrate a vacation is something that most medical tourists treasure and cherish.”

27 September/October 2023
Andrew Angelov/ Dibustoc/ If a metal does this to your skin... Imagine what it will do implanted inside of your body? GROW YOUR BUSINESS Natural Awakenings empowers our readers with knowledge, resources and connections to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet. YOUR AD HERE Be a resource for our health conscious readers seeking products and services like yours. 804-495-0325 GREATER RICHMOND EDITION
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings.

calendar of events

NOTE: All calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Email for guidelines and to submit entries. No phone calls or faxes, please. Or visit to submit online.


Birthday Bash and Community Day – 5-7pm. Free. We are celebrating 15 years serving the RVA Community. Meet with a therapist who will be available to discuss how massage can benefit you. Refreshments will be provided by 7 Muffins A Day, a dedicated gluten-free and dairy-free bakery, and Twisted Carrot Farm and Market. Body Dry Brush for lymphatic stimulation. Nimbus Massage, 1719 W Main St. 804-714-7932.


Summer Yoga & Sound Healing Retreat – 4pm. 3-day yoga, meditation & sound healing camping retreat on a private property. Enjoy vegetarian meals, pool & pond access, yoga, meditation, sound baths & private reiki sessions. (Private House) 3272 Cookes Mill Rd, Chesapeake, VA. 804-324-0476. $350/person.


Deepening Sound Bath – 7-8:45pm. This sound bath meditation will maintain a most sacred and silent opportunity for attendees to go deeper into the frequencies offered. The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath Rd.


James River Week at Maymont – Programs for all age groups that highlight the beauty, wildlife and conservation of the James River Watershed. Most programs are $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 2 to 12, and free for Maymont members. Advance registration for programs is advised.1500 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA.


Yoga, Reiki & Sound – 10:30am-12pm. Experience the sounds of crystal bowls, balance your energy through reiki while practicing restorative yoga poses. $20. Coconut Elephant Yoga. 535 Southlake Blvd.


Maymont Bier Garden – 6-10pm. Friday and 11am-10pm. Saturday. Adults $10, Children $5. Toast the fall with friends and family at Bier Garden on the Carriage House Lawn at Maymont. This two-night German-style festival is the perfect way

ongoing events


to celebrate the change of seasons in a beautiful outdoor setting. Lederhosen and dirndls encouraged! Bring the kids on Saturday, when they will find crafts, games and their favorite entertainers in the Kinderzone.


Sound Healing @ Spring Run Vineyard – 6-8pm. $40. Julian Desta uses singing bowls and other instruments to lead your body and mind into deep relaxation. An ancient tradition, Sound Healing is used to relieve anxiety, stress and trauma. Each ticket includes a glass of wine. Dress comfortably and bring your mat, pillows and blankets. 10700 Spring Run Rd, Chesterfield, VA. 804-305-2297.


Forest Bathing – 9am-12pm. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature through the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, also known as Forest Bathing. This program offers a rejuvenating experience that combines mindfulness, sensory awareness and gentle movement amidst the setting of nature. Pump House Park, 1708 Pump House Drive, Richmond, VA.

save the date


2023 Reincarnation Symposium: Expanding Consciousness – 10am-6pm. $120 (early bird $60). Online and in-person in San Jose, CA. The theme for the 2023 Reincarnation Symposium is Expanding Consciousness. Hosted by the Urban Sanctuary. Visit to learn more.


Healing Circles Exhibit – Daily, 9am. Included with admission. On display in the Kelly Education Center Community Art Gallery thru October 30. A series of six MANDALAS that represent alternative healing practices. Through large format and beautiful patterns, the artist shares these practices to allow the spectator to reflect on a variety of introspective, and empathetic approaches to one’s healing journey—creating a connection from within and with others. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue.

Aloha Flow Yoga – 9-10am. Join us on the patio overlooking the James River for a 60-minute beginnerfriendly flow followed by complimentary coffee. $10. Island Shrimp Co at Rocketts Landing,11 Orleans St. Registration is encouraged. 5Rhythms Movement Meditation – 11am12:30pm. Journey of movement practice, music and community. $20. TurnRVA. 3105 W Moore St.

Sound Meditation – 6:30pm. Center your mind and ease your spirit. This is a space to listen, to meditate, to rest, to travel with your thoughts. $5-$15. Living Water Community Center, 1000 Westover Hills Blvd.


Create a Wellness Home – 7:30-8pm. Fun 20-min demonstration of energy technologies that create a wellness environment for you & your family. Followed by Q&A; sharing of the benefits. Free. Zoom: Tinyurl. com/CreateWellnessHome. Meeting ID: 787 5872 3980. Password: nikken.

Prenatal Yoga – 7-8:15pm. Help to prepare your mind and body for the journey of birth, find comfort through pregnancy and build a community of other pregnant people with prenatal yoga. All levels are welcome. $18/class MyBirth Community Studio, 1726 Altamont Ave, Ste. 4. Level 2 Flow Yoga – 9-10:15am. Start your week right with a yoga class that is beyond a beginner’s level. Participants will incorporate new poses and increasingly challenging options. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in.Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy, 804-741-5267.

Online Book Study and Meditation Series – 121pm. Join Randi Weiss, ERYT-500 and Meditation Teacher for a Fall 12-week Book Study and Meditation series online via Zoom (no class on Oct. 9). This offering is open to all students, no prior meditation experience is necessary. $156. Register in advance to get the Zoom link. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Beginner Qigong with Jonah Marsh – 5:30-6:45pm. Every Monday from 5:30-6:45pm. Class is open to anyone wishing to develop a qigong practice. We’ll explore this wonderful aspect of Chinese medicine as a path to increased vitality, health and longevity. $5-$20 sliding scale. 1000 Westover Hills Blvd Richmond, VA.


Beginner-Level Yoga – 9-10:15am. Balanced practice that incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness & relaxation. Postures modified to meet individual needs. Online & in-person. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Intro to Mindfulness – 6:30-7pm. Monthly on the third Tuesday. Join us for an overview of mindfulness - what it is, what it is not, and how to start in-

28 Greater Richmond Edition
Tell them you saw it in Natural Awakenings in print and online at:

creasing your mindful awareness in your day-to-day life. There is no fee for this program but you must register to receive the Zoom link. The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath Rd.

Flow Pilates Mat Class – 10:45am-12:30pm. This in-studio Pilates mat class will focus on beginning and the introduction of intermediate mat exercises. The work will enhance one's technique, efficiency, speed and strength. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in.

Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Yoga for Bone Health – 10-11:15am. Increase bone & muscle thru the use of yoga with a combination of dynamic & static yoga poses. Chris Riely. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. Registration required: 804-741-5267 or

Slow and Gentle Yoga – 11:30am-12:45pm. An in-studio or online class with a yoga therapist. $70 for 4 classes in a month; $20 drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Mental Wellness Toolbox Series – 2-3:00pm. A 4-week series held online via Zoom. Expand awareness with Pranayama and Meditation practices to calm, energize and heal. Sessions will conclude with "Bringing Your Stories to Light." $70 for adults. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center.

Mixed Level 1 & 2 Yoga – 5-6:15pm. This Mixed Level 1 & 2 yoga class is both in-studio and online. End your work day with this yoga class that will move through all the muscles and joints, transitioning from beginner yoga poses into more challenging poses. If joining online, please register in advance to get the Zoom link. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Community Yoga – 6-7pm. Join One Drop Yoga at the Children’s Farm entrance, weather permitting. Family friendly. Bring your own mat. Everyone is welcome to join. Maymont Park, 1800 Hampton St.

Coming Home: Begin Within – 6:30-7:30pm. Focus on remembering who we are as beautiful Black and Brown people. Virtual on Zoom and in-person at The Innerwork Center. Together we will engage in self-care tools, returning to our breath and sharing in the foundations of our culture. No fee but you must register to receive the Zoom link. The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath St.

Queer Richmond Sangha – 7-8:30pm. Explore spiritual growth through a felt sense of belonging. The Queer Richmond Sangha (QRS) welcomes and serves people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, or otherwise gender or sexuality non-conforming. QRS offers a community for exploring topics of dharma and meditation from and for the LGBTQIA perspective. Virtual on Zoom and in-person at The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath Street.


Kundalini Yoga + Meditation – 9:15-10:15am. A fast & effective way to clear the mind, energize the body & uplift the spirit. Dynamic blend of postures, breathwork & sound vibration. All levels. Holly Henty. $10 to $20 (suggested $15). The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath Rd. 804-3590384.

Intermediate Flow Pilates Mat Class – 9:1510:30am. A Pilates mat class with a focus on intermediate mat exercises. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Mindfulness and Meditation Mornings – 9:1510am. Explore a variety of mindfulness topics such as acceptance, equanimity, waking up, vulnerability and the four qualities of the heart. Included are brief talks on a specific topic, a guided meditation, a reflection question, and time to interact with other participants. There is no fee for this program, but you must register to receive the Zoom link.

Gentle Yoga – 11:00am-12:15pm. This class features gentle yoga stretches, postures, breath awareness and relaxation to improve flexibility, strength, range of motion, balance and energy. Designed for those recovering from injuries, illness, inactivity or other health considerations. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-7415267.

Mindful Self-Compassion – 12-2pm. Virtual. Gain powerful tools for healing and building inner strength, as well as increasing confidence and selfrespect. You will learn to motivate yourself with encouragement instead of criticism, better cope with emotional challenges, cultivate more compassionate self-talk, and consciously savor the good moments in your life.


Theraflow Yoga – 8:30-9:30am. In this hour you are invited to make your yoga practice as therapeutic as possible, whatever that means for you. We will use props, asanas, pranayama, and acupressure points to help relieve stored tension in the body. Like all Living Water classes, this one is a sliding scale. We suggest $5-$20 as you are able. Always by donation. All are welcome. Living Water Community Center. 1000 Westover Hills Blvd.

Vinyasa Flow – 9-10:15am. Incorporates all aspects of a traditional hatha yoga class: postures, breath & meditation, while challenging the coordination through flow. In-person & online. $70/4 classes/ mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Postnatal Yoga – 10-11:00am. $16.00; multi-class discount packages available. Gently reconnect with your breath, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles. We recommend that you begin this practice after your care provider has cleared resumption of physical activity. While this class is not made to directly incorporate infants they are welcome to attend with you until they start to crawl. MyBirth, 1726 Altamont Ave, Suite 4.

Chair Yoga – 10:30-11:45am. This online Chair Yoga class via Zoom for older adults offers a balanced yoga practice which incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness and relaxation. Students continue to develop body awareness to keep the joints safe, increase range of motion and improve balance. Please register in advance to get the Zoom link.

Break & Breathe – 12-12:45pm. A guided meditation and an opportunity for group sharing. The themes will vary each week with a surprise facilitator from the IWC each session! Beginner to

experienced practitioners are welcome. There is no fee for this program but you must register to receive the Zoom link.

Dream Incubator – 6:30-7:30pm. Monthly on the 3rd Thursday. $5-$10. A compassionate space to center, nurture your heart space, and incubate your dreams of a better world. Guided meditation, journaling and sharing. Living Water Community Center. 1000 Westover Hills Blvd. Livingwaterrva. com/events.

Online Beginner Yoga – 6-7:15pm. A balanced practice that incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness and relaxation. Postures are modified to meet individual needs. Please register in advance to get the Zoom link for this online class. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – 6-8:15pm. An eight-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training. The focus is to support people with stress management, anxiety, depression and even physical pain. The Innerwork Center, 213 Roseneath Rd.

Concerned About The Water You Drink? –7:30pm. Virtual. An informative demonstration of our water products, with time for Q&A. Afterwards enjoy filtered, alkaline, structured, mineralized water. Free. Zoom # 787 5872 3980, password: nikken.


Vinyasa Flow Level 3 Yoga – 9-10:15am. Challenging class focused on more advanced postures w/emphasis on alignment & form. Randi Weiss. In-person & online. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Intermediate Vinyasa Yoga – 9-10:15am. This is a challenging class that moves into more advanced postures with emphasis on alignment and form. Integrates breath and movement, increases core strength and cultivates a deepening internal awareness. The vinyasa series may comprise up to 50 minutes of class time and concludes with a relaxation. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

Beginner Level Yoga – 10:30-11:45am. Balanced practice that incorporates basic yoga postures, breath awareness & relaxation. Postures modified to meet individual needs. Registration is required for this in-studio class. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center, 10442 Ridgefield Pkwy. 804-741-5267.

for more health and global briefs

29 September/October 2023

First Friday Art Walk at Gallery5 – 5-10pm. Free admission on 1st Fridays. Art, performers, live music, food, vendors, and more! Gallery5 continues to be a catalyst for new creative initiatives & serves as a launching pad for emerging artists & area nonprofits. Gallery5, 200 W Marshall St. 757-773-7618.

Candlelit Yin (Women's Circle) – 6:30-7:45pm. 2nd and 4th Fridays. $25. Step into a peaceful sanctuary with Candlelit Yin Women's Circle. A gathering designed to nurture and celebrate the feminine spirit. Living Water Community Center. 1000 Westover Hills Blvd.

Aromatherapy Yoga – 6-7:15pm. This yoga class is a combination of yoga poses, gentle touch and essential oils. $15. Coconut Elephant Yoga, 535 Southlake Blvd.


Aromatherapy Yoga – 10:30am-12:30pm. $35. Learn how essential oils can enhance your yoga practice. Join Carolyn Hazel, ERYT 500 and certified Aromatherapist for a class that will incorporate essential oils to enhance the practice physically and mentally as well as energetically. All levels are welcome. CEU credit available for Yoga Instructors. Glenmore Yoga, 804-741-5267 or

Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Baby Classes – 6pm. One-hour classes held virtually online throughout the month with AID instructors. $35. AID utilizes state of the art 3D visual aids and activities to keep it fun and engaging while presenting the latest evidenced based material on each topic. You can take one or two classes at a time throughout your pregnancy! Classes offered: Pregnancy 101; Labor and Childbirth; Childbirth Relaxation and Comfort Techniques; C-Sections, Epidurals, Procedures; Newborn and Infant Child Safety; Breastfeeding Basics; Fatherhood; and Grandparent.

Mixed-Level Yoga – 9-10:15am. Start the weekend off right w/a yoga class appropriate for all levels. Guidance given throughout practice, offering individual students a number of appropriate options. In-person & online. $70/4 classes/mo, $20/drop-in. Zoom. Register, Glenmore Yoga, 804-741-5267 or

Prenatal Yoga – 9-10:15am (every 3rd Saturday) Help to prepare your mind and body for the journey of birth, find comfort through pregnancy and build a community of other pregnant people with prenatal yoga. All levels are welcome. yoga $18/class MyBirth Community Studio 1726 Altamont Ave Ste 4.

Postnatal Yoga – 10:30-11:30am (every 3rd Saturday). Gently reconnect with your breath, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles. We recommend that you begin this practice after your care provider has cleared resumption of physical activity. All levels are welcome. $16/ class MyBirth Community Studio 1726 Altamont Ave Ste 4.

Sound Bath at the Innerwork Center – 7-8:15pm, Monthly on the fourth Saturday. Surrender to the stillness and allow sound to heal your body and mind. 804-359-0384 Register at 213 Roseneath Rd. Richmond, VA $22.

community resource guide

Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email to request our media kit.



Dr. Brian Herod

1009 Crowder Dr. Midlothian, VA 23113 804-794-8745 •

Dr. Brian Herod centers his holistic dentistry practice on the connection between oral and systemic hea lth. He is a member of the IAOMT, providing an integrative approach to dental care. Safe amalgam removal, metal and BPA-free fillings, ceramic implants, biocompatibility testing, fluoride-free, 3-D cone beam.



Rev. Emily Pels, BFA, CHTP, RScP/Minister, RoHun Doctor 804-740-0509, West End Richmond

Working together to help you to remember what an awesome gift you are to the world. Experience a powerful healing restoring Joy, Balance, Harmony, Pain Release. Offering Healing Touch, Intuitive Energy Medicine, RoHun, Crystal Healing, Past Life Regression, Mandala Art and Soul Portrait therapies.



Patricia Mayfield


PCM Insurance is your premier destination for Medicare enrollment services. With decades of experience in the industry, our dedicated team of experts is committed to helping individuals navigate the complexities of Medicare with ease. See ad, page 19.



9210 Forest Hill Ave, B-3, Richmond 804-377-2222

Laser therapy can reduce the pain and swelling of strained muscles and tendonitis, irritated discs and inflamed nerves, and can stimulate tissue repair and regeneration from old and new injuries. See our website for more information about laser therapy. See ad, page 19.



Elvetta Wilkins Vasquez, LMT, CNA 2505 Pocoshock Pl, Ste 203 804-518-8450

You deserve to take time out for yourself. You deserve to be happy and healthy as well as pain- and stress-free. Attevlé Massage invites you to schedule your therapeutic massage where the focus is always on you! Online scheduling available.


Far West End Location

10442 Ridgefield Pkwy, Henrico 804-741-5267

Providing Therapeutic Massage for 30+ years. Sessions are tailored to your needs and can include Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Reflexology, Prenatal/Post-Partum, Therapeutic, Hot Stone, Thai, Swedish, Sports, Chair, Couples and Infant Massage. We also offer Aromatherapy. Gift certificates available. See ad, page 11.

30 Greater Richmond Edition

find out how to be included IN THIS SECTION

Call 804-495-0325



Regina Rudolph


Promoting self-care and disease prevention through the use of our crafted collection of premium wellness teas designed to reduce stress and anxiety, strengthen the immune system, promote weight loss and release harmful toxins.

Magnolia Wellness also assists people on their journey to better health and wellness through classes and private sessions. See ads, pages 7 and 8.



12230 Ironbridge Rd, Ste C, Chester 11934 W Broad St, Henrico Ph: 804-717-5000, Fax: 804-717-8300

RX3, Virginia’s First Nationally Accredited Compounding Pharmacy, has been an industry leader for 23+ years. Spe cialists in customized compounding, bio-identical hormones, veterinary/equine compounding, traditional pharmacy, palliative care, professional quality supplements, CBD experts, Food Inflammation Testing, and more. See ad, page 23.



Family Practice and Integrative

Holistic Medicine


5310 Twin Hickory Rd, Glen Allen 804-273-0010

Trained and certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Specialties: Primary care and chronic disease management by integrative holistic approach. Weight loss and medical nutrition counseling, skin care, IV nutrition, Ayurveda, Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). See ad, back cover.


5700 Old Richmond Ave, Ste A-5

(Off Libbie, near St. Mary’s) 804-358-1492

Integrative approach to medicine, optimizing a realistic plan for your health/disease management. As a pharmacist, I review your medications to determine which ones are needed. Implement alternative therapies. Web visits available for established patients. See ad, page 31.


River’s Way Healthcare of Virginia

5500 Monument Ave, Ste T 804-379-4560

Offering expanded healing services. Providing traditional primary care and alternative approaches to support the body’s ability to heal itself. Extensive study in the mindbody connection to achieve optimal health. Certified by the Board of Family Medicine and by the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition.



The Wellness Village

1404 Starling Dr, Richmond 804-683-7774

Safe, non-invasive, radiation-free imaging. Preserve your breasts, heart health and much more. Live happier and healthier longer! Interpreted by Matthew Lee, MD, RPh. See ad, page 11.



Far West End Location

10442 Ridgefield Pkwy, Henrico 804-741-5267

Incorporate yoga into your life at Glenmore with in-person and online student-focused, multi-level classes from Ageless Gentle, Beginner and Yin to Vinyasa Flow, Restorative and Meditation. 200- and 300-Hour Teacher Training. Voted best Richmond Yoga Center. See ad, page 11.

31 September/October 2023
coming next issue learn about marketing opportunities at: 804-495-0325 Be a part of our upcoming HOLIDAY GIFT & EVENT GUIDE that will appear in our November/December issue.
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