One of the greatest privileges of owning Monsoon Blooms is the incredibly passionate, like-minded people that it connects us with. One such person is Carina Jones, the founder of CiCis Ayurveda. I was initially drawn to her dramatic prints, which translate the ideologies of Ayurveda into artworks. Getting to know her a little better, I've discovered her artistic talents and passion for spreading the message of Ayurveda are just the tip of the dosha....
01 | PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND CICIS AYURVEDA?
My names is Carina, I live in London in the U.K, and am the founder of the wellness lifestyle brand CiCis Ayurveda, a digital platform focused on blending modern living with Ayurveda. Through this space I provide educational content, tools and services to guide the collective to take the power of their health and well-being back into their own hands, naturally with Ayurveda.
I first became devoted to the holistic health system after it’s simple but powerful logical and metaphysical tools helped me begin to heal many years of chronic mental and physical illness. After years of exhausting various avenues with no hope, Ayuveda was the light i had been searching for all along.
The results of my own health transformation were so inspiring and lead me to become certified in Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle, Life Coaching and Mindful Mental Health. Although my health journey tested tested me with many challenges, it lead me to my life passion and purpose, and there is no greater blessing than being able to give others the gift of health. Ayurveda is for everyone and knows no limits in the power it holds to help restore balance between the mind, body and spirit.
02 | HOW DID YOUR LOVE FOR AYURVEDA FIRST EVOLVE?
My love for Ayurveda evolved the first moment i began learning about it, sounds cliche but it really was love at first sight! I remember being so intrigued by the word when i first came across it, but instantly my spirit lit up and i had a deep sense of knowing that everything was about to change. I was in the depths of my health journey and exhaustingly navigating the overwhelming confusion of the health and wellness industry, back and forth between visits to Western medical experts, hospitals and waiting rooms. I was desperate for answers about my health, but no one had any.
I felt in the dark and lost until i discovered Ayurveda, for the first time ever it felt like someone came and switched the lights on. Every question i had- Ayurveda answered it. I became obsessed i think is the right word, very quickly. Every mental and physical imbalance i was dealing with for the first time made sense, and I finally had tried and tested knowledge on how to begin healing as a whole, not as a symptom. My love grew more every time i learned, practiced and reaped the healing from its wisdom.
I couldn’t believe something so simple could be so powerful. It is not the easy road and my healing path has taken me down many wild terrains, it takes time, patience and dedication to heal with the laws of nature. But to watch your Self unfold and transform in ways you never thought were possible is unbelievably empowering. Thanks to Ayurveda i see the world through new eyes and am able to help others restore true health, happiness and wellbeing, and for that my love will always continue to grow.
03 | WHAT PART OF YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY SHIFTED BY AN AYURVEDIC LIFESTYLE?
My mental health most definitely, it has taught me the tools to create space, calm and presence in my daily wellbeing through rituals, nutrition, nature and spiritual growth. But most importantly it taught me how to truly heal with love, compassion and gratitude, and how sacred our vessels are, that we must nurture them deeply so we can experience the gift of life.
I first began suffering with depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and panic disorder from the age of 12, with that brought many years of turbulence and confusion. It was when my mental health hit an ultimate rock bottom that my physical health did too, and following an Ayurvedic lifestyle and working with a Vaidya myself helped me to rebuild my health, immunity and vitality.
My body was desperately trying to send my signals for a long time coming, until enough was enough, and i spent months bed ridden with burnout, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, anemia, cystic acne, chronic digestive issues, a burnout digestion and food intolerance list to the point i was barely eating at all; all which i know now were manifestations of my mental health; it’s safe to say my mind and body were an extremely confusing place to be. It is following the Ayurvedic practices and way of life that saved me, and still keeps me balanced and nourished now, every single day.
As each day passes the healing reaps deeper and more profound, and in return you have the freedom of health to fulfil your Dharma or life’s purpose, everything that Ayurveda is about. It is a combined medical and spiritual science of prevention and realigning balance, not just with the goal to be healthy, but so you have the health to give back to those around you, to be of service to humanity, the earth and walk the path of life with joy, peace and happiness.
04 | WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO SOMEONE JUST BEGINNING THEIR AYURVEDIC JOURNEY?
My first piece of advice would be to go in with an open mind, heart and full faith in your body’s innate power and ability to heal. Secondly, to surrender everything you think you know about health and wellness. More than likely if you are beginning an Ayurvedic journey means you have tried many other paths which have not worked; this results in a mind overloaded with confusion, contradictions and skepticism if anything will ever work at all.
Give yourself the ease and permission to let that all go, and with humility start your journey on a new path that welcomes gentleness, simplicity and true nourishment, which is the opposite of what we have been conditioned to believe wellness is in the Western world. Be willing to try new concepts that your ego might initially question, to let go of attachment and embrace it all with open arms. The more willing you are, the more Ayurveda will gift you her healing.
Thirdly, start small and remember that patience, dedication and trust in yourself and the process will be your most powerful alies. Rebuilding your lifestyle or reversing imbalance does not happen over night, it truly takes all the above to blossom into a new way of being. This is not a fad, quick fix or trend, it is a road of empowerment to build a sustainable way of life to last an entire lifetime, that which takes time, but that is what the journey is about!
Exploration, discovery and growth. There is no one end goal destination, but an infinite path of learning, transforming and rising in subtle and great ways. Start by introducing one new practice a week, integrate it slowly and begin building the foundation of your lifestyle from there. Also doing it with a friend for support is a great way to keep you accountable, and to make the journey fun, joyful and liberating. Life is not meant to be so serious all the time!
05 | IS IT TRUE YOU WILL SOON BE VISITING KERALA?!
I am, yes it is my first trip and I am unbelievably excited! I completed my Ayurvedic Diet & Lifestyle studies here in London, however i will be embarking on a 700hr extended Ayurvedic Practioner training in the heart of Kerala, where i will be diving even deeper into the science, diseases and the range of therapies it offers for healing ailments in the mind and body. To me knowledge and wisdom makes my spirit feel alive, the more I dedicate myself to my practice the more I have to give to those who are in need of guidance for their healing.
My soul has been calling me to Kerala for a while now, and i am truly yearning to immerse myself into Ayurveda’s most authentic teachings and way of life in the bliss of nature. Although it’s my first time in India in this lifetime, in my past lives I have been there many times before! It is magical following the path of your truth and heart, it leads you down beautiful roads, all you have to do is listen.
06 | HOW DO YOU THINK AYURVEDA WILL EVOLVE FROM HERE?
Yoga evolved just as Ayurveda is slowly beginning to now. As human beings we are unsure of foreign concepts because it is the unknown, naturally fear doesn’t want us to try anything outside of what we know. Especially in the West many are skeptical of anything that uses the words mind or spirit, as a society we have been deeply conditioned with the ‘if you can’t see it it doesn’t exists’ mentality, but it is this damaging way of thinking that has seen a global health epidemic in mental and physical dis-ease like never before. There are an extreme number of adults, teenagers, children and elderly across the global suffering with chronic illnesses and mental health issues, being told that they must spend the rest of their lives dependent on pharmaceuticals with no other way out, when the answers truly lie within your diet, lifestyle, human connection and nature.
Everything the body needs to heal is already provided for us. It is this global health crisis that is influencing the rise of people seeking out natural health alternatives to healing, no one wants to be told this is it for your life when you don’t even feel like your living, they want hope, happiness and health. I truly believe for Ayurveda to evolve it has to adapt to modern living, be relatable for all cultures, backgrounds and demographics, and evolve with the current times we live in. Just like Yoga, the common misconception was you have to be a ‘hippy’, spiritual, adopt a certain identity and remove yourself from modern society which is simply just not true. It is a science for all of humanity, and as long as your a human you can integrate it into your daily life!
Through CiCis Ayurveda one of my aims was to take those misconceptions away, that it can be modernised, innovative, you can be a millennial living in a city and live a modern Ayurvedic lifestyle. Ayurveda has to modernise because what we perceive as stress, and the pressure of our modern and digitalised lifestyles are completely different to Ancient India over 5,000 years ago. The world and technological time we live in is evolving faster than we can keep up with, but the one constant that will never change is that our bodies our natural and cyclical beings that are aligned with the rhythm of nature, no matter how many gadgets we invent, nothing will ever change our biological nature. Ayurveda can teach us how to thrive in optimal health and be in control of our own wellbeing, so we can enjoy a balanced way of life and the benefits of the modern world we have created, instead of letting it control us and wreak havoc on our health.
A truly powerful step for Ayurveda would to be recognised as a formal medical system in the West, and co-work with GPS and hospitals to stop patients ending up in there in the first place. People don’t know what they don’t get taught, and this is why education, collaboration and sharing the message is vital. Although it is only just making it’s renaissance, just like its sister science Yoga, Ayurveda will come to the forefront when people are ready to receive it. Everything happens at the right divine timing, the universe has her plan for Ayurveda in this new paradigm and i trust her plans for it.
07 | HOW CONNECTED ARE YOU TO THE ETHICAL AND SLOW FASHION MOVEMENT?
I am very connected to these practices and movements, because with the world we live in it is more critical than ever that sustainable consumerism is an integrated part of conscious living. Before my health issues essentially lead me to change my life path, i trained in fashion for 5 years and at the London College of Fashion in design, pattern cutting, product development and garment construction. I was taught by leading experts in the industry about sustainable fashion, ethical practice within each stage of the supply chain, how as a designer to use the innovation of organic fibers, textiles and techniques to create product with longevity and valuable life cycles, and the responsibility a designer has to influence consumers habits for perceived needs over emotional desires. However, we were also revealed the truth of how damaging the industry is with waste, pollution, toxic chemicals, synthetic dies, unpaid labour and unethical human right practices.
Behind the scenes of what appears a glamourised industry for capitalism, and the illusion of fast fashion brands promoting green washing, is catastrophic damage and harm
being done to our planet and all living beings on it. In Ayurveda we say “As is the microcosm so is the macrocosm, as is within so is without”, this meaning the harm we are causing our planet and each other is a mirror reflection of the harm we are causing to our own selves. The global warming crisis is a reflection of the global health crisis, everything is interconnected. It couldn’t be clearer that humans are completely disconnected from themselves, nature and to each other, because to harm another is to only keep harming yourself.
The global imbalance is crying for help, but if we want to heal the world it starts with healing ourselves, and i really believe conscious consumerism starts with the conscious connection to Self. Because then you will realise that you are nature, nothing is separate and everything you have in your life, including the clothes on your back, in some form comes from Mother Natures labor. I believe sustainable fashion is about using what you have, creating value for your items, mending whats broken, creating your own authentic style and not buying into trends, doing clothes swaps or purchasing second hand, and supporting authentic sustainable brands that are transparent with all areas of the production line and hold pure intentions behind their purpose. We need more authentic innovators in the industry like Monsoon Blooms to lead the way for sustainable fashion. I think your concept is simply transformational and i can not wait to watch the brand evolve and continue to merge Ayurveda with fashion.