All About

Our Karma is Our Dharma

Simple Strategies To Reduce Stress + Find Peace

In a Truly Accessible Way

GRETCHEN LAKSHMI

E-RYT, RPYT, TCTSY, MBSR
Hi, I’m Gretchen and I have an overwhelming desire to share the life-changing practices of yoga + meditation with the women who need them the most.
I equip ladies who feel maxed out at work, home, and in their relationships with tools to immediately calm their frazzled nerves + find peace in stressful moments.
I’m here to assist in healing.
My work goes beyond the everyday stresses + digs deep down into the psyche to uncover old wounds that haven’t properly healed which are the REAL reasons why we feel triggered in our lives.
I’ve studied yoga psychologyyoga for emotional trauma, and mindfulness-based stress reduction to help my clients unlock their spiritual potential +  move through the pains of their past by nurturing their health + happiness in the present.
My most influential teachers during the 20+ years that I have practiced yoga + meditation have been Elena Brower, Maya Fiennes, Deepak Chopra, Ashley Turner, and most recently, Fern Olivia.

truly believe that we all have the power to heal ourselves hidden within us.

Sometimes we just need someone to show us the way or to keep us on track with this important work – and Understanding + Healing the Self is the most important work that we will ever do.

We’ve all been hurt. Awareness of Suffering is the First Step in Healing.

I’m right there with you.
GoldBeginQuotes
Compassion cannot arise unless there is awareness of the suffering.

Mary + Rick NurrieStearns, Yoga for Emotional Trauma

GoldEndQuotes
I can remember waking up on a Sunday morning to the sounds of screaming, as dishes crashed against the walls of the kitchen. Hours later, we sat in a church pew acting as if nothing had happened.

I’ve spent a large part of my life surrounded by trauma.

I was conceived out of wedlock when my mother was seventeen with the pastor’s son at her church – I was labeled as an ‘abomination’ + my parents were subjected to excessive shaming by the church + their families.
When I was five, after questions regarding sexual abuse of me + my younger sister arose, my father + his extended family disappeared from my life entirely.
Two years later, my mother remarried + I was overjoyed at the thought of having a father in my life. Within two more years, they had two daughters; my half-sisters whom I love dearly.
As a child, I witnessed my step-father beating my mother. Repeatedly. I grew up in a home disturbed by anger + emotional instability.
Both of my parents worked while I grew up. They did all the right things in terms of providing for our needs + offering us love. We lived in a nice house, got new clothes every school year, and laughed a lot. My sister’s + I were never physically hurt.
To the outside world, we looked normal. But on the inside, we were broken + forbidden to discuss our secrets with anyone.
As adults, all three of my sisters + I have each tolerated abusive long-term relationships in our lives. Some of my own personal abuse stories have been chronicled in the journal.
At multiple points during my abusive relationship, I thought my ex was going to take my life. Once, he held me down + smothered me with a pillow while I was eight months pregnant + holding my one-year-old son. Later that same night, he threatened to kill us + himself.
Shortly after leaving him, my dear friend + owner of the yoga studio where I worked invited me to move in with her. Months later, she took her own life. I was devastated by her death + it was ultimately the reason that I ended up leaving the yoga studio she had built in my honor.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Our stories aren’t just for us.

It’s About Truly Connecting

I relate the story of my painful past to offer an opportunity for compassion + vulnerability to have their much-needed space.
I no longer feel ashamed of what has happened to me. I embrace who I am fully + accept that I am still worthy – that I have value. This is true Self-love.

Sharing who we are + what we’ve experienced in our lives allows us to open up to deeper connections.

Our Karma is Our Dharma

It took me a while, but I finally realized that the events of my life were a necessary part of opening my eyes to a side of life that I may have otherwise never known or seen. Why is that important?

Because I have lived through pain + suffering, I can relate to others who have also suffered.

A concept described as the Wounded Healer revolves around the idea that, by working through personal pain, we are able to identify + help others work through theirs. And that is why I am here.

Pain + Trauma from Our Past Affects Us In Our Present.

Even if we don’t realize it.

hen we hear the word “trauma,” we often think of really intense or dark / wounded places.

The definition of trauma, though, is any experience that our nervous system can not handle. This could be anything from an actual physical injury to emotional pain + suffering, or even anxiety felt from our daily activities.

We have all experienced trauma to some degree + we will continue to experience it throughout our lives.

Ashley Turner, Yoga Psychology
Psychoneuroimmunology (psycho-neuro-immun-ology) research – without getting too technical or scientific – points to a circuit that links the immune system + the brain that stress taps into and alters both the brain + the immune system in connection with mood + thoughts.

Science actually tells us, in a real, true sense, that STRESS MAKES US PHYSICALLY SICK.

Source

The stressful effects of trauma can manifest in the mind + body as:
  • Anxiety + Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Ulcers
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Stress Overload Syndrome
  • Colitis + Crohn’s Disease

Then, for most of us, the symptoms of these diseases increases our stress responses + creates a feedback loop. The additional stress causes us to develop other diseases. These are called “cluster diseases” + often onset one another.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – an autoimmune disease where my immune system attacks my healthy thyroid tissue causing it to lose function – a form of hypothyroidism.

I suffered from extreme fatigue, problems with digestion, mood swings, and gained about 20 pounds.
I spoke to many doctors + none of them could tell me WHY I was suffering from this disease or how I could treat it other than to “take my pill” – a synthetic thyroid hormone called Synthroid.
Even with my medication, I still felt all the symptoms of my disease, regularly. Desperate to understand what was happening to me + why, I dug into research + utilized as many resources as I could tap into to figure it out.
Eventually I gained enough insight + understanding to make the necessary changes to my life to gain control of my body again.
It took some dedication, but through my personal yoga + meditation practices in conjunction with alterations to my lifestyle, I’ve managed to minimize my symptoms + to get back to my regular weight.
I’m still dialing into which practices makes me feel like I’m at my best + during times of stress my symptoms return, but I feel light-years ahead of where I was before.

Find peace + healing through a highly accessible practice.

Your time is NOW.

y slowing down, looking inward, and gently unfolding the layers surrounding our core wounds, we can begin to heal our past pains in the present moment.

We do this through the practices of yoga + meditation in conjunction with mindful introspection + awareness of how our behaviors in the present are affected by our past hurts.

Now, all of this brings me to you… beautiful being.

We’ve all suffered from some variation of stress + trauma. Their effects might even be disturbing you personally in some way right now.
✓  Maybe you’ve been trying to continue with your life as usual, pretending that you’re NOT affected.
✓  Or maybe, you’ve been looking for answers, but still haven’t found what you’re looking for.
✓  Maybe you KNOW that something needs to change, but you don’t know where to begin or you don’t have the tools to get you there.

I want you to know that I am here for you.

I am here to serve.

I’m on this same journey right now, too.
I may make mistakes, have shitastic days, and get tangled up in fear + self-doubt, just like the rest of humanity.
But my commitment is to bring you the very best of what I’m living + learning while keeping it real + honest as I go.
I’m not perfect – in fact, I’m far from it – so please don’t expect perfection from me. But, what you can expect from me are thought-provoking concepts, timeless wisdom, a healthy dose of silliness, and my total love + devotion towards understanding you + helping you find peace.

I’d love to work with you either through yoga classes or private sessions (which will be available soon).
You can also find me on social media.

I can’t wait to connect!