COVID, Science and Sleep

Ana Rakovac, a friend, colleague, and student of Alex is a medical doctor herself who worked in paramedics and emergency medicine, in ICU, and a lot of other different fields within. Her professional journey brought her to study, do research and specialize in internal medicine and endocrinology, and chemical pathology. A lot of the turns throughout her career were brought by circumstances but also by her understanding that diseases have to be approached holistically. To Ana, medicine is about the whole picture.

And this podcast is all about that.

Coming from a respectable and deep scientific background herself, Ana opens up with Alexandra an important conversation about complementing and supporting efforts of different sciences or frames in looking at our health. Especially in this era welcomed by a pandemic.

Here, Ana looks back at her first dive into Alexandra’s ‘world’ of yoga and Ayurveda. Again, it was circumstantial: struggling to keep an ‘eat less, move more’ lifestyle amid the lockdowns and limitations brought by Covid.

The pandemic has affected work completely, especially those like Ana. But to her, it was momentous as the medical community is witnessing something unique; something so huge unfolding for the first time. Scientifically, it was exciting but also very scary. Until she ended up contracting it and got an inner view.

And this moment made her realize and appreciate more the habits Ayurveda has brought in and how one science supports the others. What she learned in the language and lens of Ayurveda are very much the same in her practice, say in endocrinology, which is about balance and finding out which are inappropriately normal. Ana’s medicine and Ayurveda are not enemies.

She realized that what Alex and Ayurveda are teaching her are observational lifestyle interventions that were 5000 years old and are aligned with what she teaches to her patients in her diabetes clinic. It’s all about concepts. And the small things, like rest or sleep, that actually matter and completes the picture

To Ana, it’s high time we wake up to the necessity of observing and respecting the interplay between our own rhythms and the rhythms of the planet and keep being healthy for as long as we can. It’s been so much that we keep healthy in order to be pretty, to be productive, or achieve some other goal. But how about learning to keep healthy to be happy?

Links mention in the podcast

Reawaken your body

Podcast Highlights

  • The Ujjayi breathing exercise I learned from Alex was really instrumental at the peak of my disease. Yoga and anatomy taught us that most of the lung is towards our back. So when you’re on your belly, you use more of your lungs and in Ujjayi breathing, you learn to breathe with your diaphragm. – Ana Rakovac
  • Ayurveda is an observational medicine. Same as the medicine that I practice. It is how we interpret what is causing these observations that differs. – Ana Rakovac
  • What we do not get taught in med school is habit formation. There is this overemphasis on knowledge and not enough emphasis on how to bring the knowledge into practice. – Ana Rakovac
  • This whole one-track thinking of productivity and efficiency being above everything disregards the cyclical way that humans are. We need rest. We need to sleep.  – Ana Rakovac
  • We have to stop fighting each other or pointing fingers, but join hands to teach people how to be healthy. – Alexandra Kreis

Ana RakovacGuest Bio

Ana Rakovac is a medical doctor who worked in paramedics and emergency medicine in the field during the Serbia and Croatia conflict, worked in ICU, and a lot of other different fields in medicine. Her professional journey brought her to study, do research and specialize in internal medicine and endocrinology, and chemical pathology. She runs a laboratory for diagnosis and research and a diabetes clinic.


Ayurvedic Cleanse: Shifts your mind and body into ease

Ayurvedic cleanse is the balancing of the digestive system by eating a so-called mono-diet that helps to flush out toxins on all levels. When done at the right time it goes quite fast as the outer nature (shift in weather) is helping shift your body

It’s getting cold again. And 2020 is about to approach its last quarter just like that! Time really flies! Even if a lot of us might have actually spent the past months just watching the days, weeks and months go by.

But hey, that’s fine. I remember one of my conversations with my husband; we talked about the invaluable lessons this overwhelming series of uncertainty (at least in recent decades) has taught us. Indeed, it provided a breathing space for our dear ecosystem and for every single life form in it, including us human beings. For sure, everyone has a story to share of inner journeying during this time of limited outer travel (literally!).

But there’s absolutely one thing that you can’t just watch pass by even if things are at a slow down: YOUR HEALTH.

We might all be unassumingly watching the days but we gotta be ready for the approaching cold and change of weather. And one superbly easy and effective way to ready up your body (and mind, too) is to do an Ayurvedic cleanse.

But first things first: … is not fast.

Surprised? You heard that right! Not at all and maybe not necessarily.

Ayurvedic Cleanse


This is exactly the reason why we do it at the junctures of the year when the weather turns cooler or cold and warm or hot. It gives our bodies a chance to release whatever’s stored up throughout the summer or the winter.

By eating simplified food all the time throughout the cleanse, it becomes a time to remove yourself from the outer environment. It becomes a time to recharge, digest, and process whatever’s coming up for you.

I found a good analogy to explain this further:

Have you ever observed a fireplace? What happens if you put old oils with residues of pollution into the fire? The flames go high, burn quickly, and leave a stink.

This is the same for your body. Fire is associated with digestion (transforming and burning foods). If your inner fire rises with the outer heat (like increases like) you are likely to burn through old foods and residues of undigested things from winter.

However, if you lighten the load, by decreasing your (food) input, you will assist your body in doing what it wants to do anyways – clean up the house.

Our bodies in their natural state have the most amazing depth of wisdom in healing. And that wisdom gets more enhanced when we give it the right space to mend itself. That’s what cleansers do.

Once our bodies AND minds (don’t forget it’s a combo!) are aligned with its natural inner rhythm and workings, we get the best fighting chance against naturally-occurring health troubles. That means we don’t actually have to go through the hassle of getting caught up with the seasonal flu and colds, allergies, upsets, among many others. An Ayurvedic cleanse makes sure you don’t wait-and-see how your body’s gonna put up with the season’s challenges.

So, are your systems and channels ready? Connect on Free Healthy Habit Session with me if you need and want help!

Adair Finucane – Breaking Free from Trauma

This week’s podcast brings us another enlightening conversation about trauma and healing. Thanks to our guest, Adair Finucane, who allowed us to hear her most vulnerable and most decisive.

Diagnosed with Celiac disease at three years old, Adair’s journey was about discovering her trauma through her trauma research and nontraditional social work. She started with her theory that the immunological celiac condition she had has something to do with her emotional balance. She could not eat a lot of food; her siblings and other kids could otherwise do. Growing up with supportive parents and the environment indeed helped her, but her parents didn’t know what to do; they didn’t have the right tools to heal her fully.

She was rageful at 6. And that rage turned into anxiety and depression over time. She had this tumultuous inner world with a lot of pain behind her seemingly ordinary social world. She was capable of joy; she was socially and academically on-point, but she was so sensitive to pain.

Adair became a trauma expert when she was on a journey of calibrate her emotions and life. She was 22 years old when she met a psychotherapist with expertise in dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness practice who gave her the crowbar to smash all the boxes that enclosed her. From there, she fell in love with social work and providing service.

But her continuing search for healing brought Adair to different spaces. She studied with amazing mentors and discovered Kundalini yoga. She got trained on eye movement desensitization retraining (EMDR) and other trauma healing techniques. That’s when she realized she was not intended to go on a traditional social work path. Adair decided and since then has been helping healers to be able to continue helping others. Taking care of the self is part of the dharma, and Adair is sharing this now with her yoga health coaching.

Alex gracefully draws out from Adair’s own experience that at the root of all classical traditions of awakening or trying to reconnect with yourself, the journey to being awakened is never a straight path. It takes a lot of tools and not just one process.

So from these two wonderful ladies, this podcast profoundly reminds us that we have to go too far and too disciplined and undisciplined. Somewhere in between, they assure, we get to be alive and hopefully happy. Embrace and love life.

Links mention in the podcast

Road to self Care

Podcast Highlights

  • It was really grounding to be in a space where what I’m dealing with was not unusual. Dialectical behavioral therapy had me learn coping skills which let me track my progress. The shift was extreme. It got me more into my yoga and meditation. It also led me to love social work and the activism world. – Adair Finucane
  • I started learning coping skills and I realized nobody ever taught me how to breathe. It’s very simple stuff. Western culture is very sick for not having it a part of how children are raised.  – Adair Finucane
  • It’s funny that some of the most uncomfortable experiences in our lives can bring such huge joy and clarity. One of these brought me to Kundalini yoga practice, like my second crowbar, which helped my energy explode. It made me realize that I could control my energy, turn it to joy and power.  – Adair Finucane
  • We often see experts with an annotation to their name. But I think experts are also those who really lived life and who walk the talk. – Alexandra Kreis
  • I wouldn’t be drawn to the teachers I’ve trusted and been with if I didn’t know my heart, soul, and gut that I’m supposed to be with them. But they’re not gonna be there forever. I have to be my own teacher. Stick with your gut. Stay close to your friends who know you. Always be willing to stop a practice; never think you have to do a practice in order to be on the path. Because it will just be attachment and it will confuse you. – Adair Finucane


Guest BIO:

Adair Finucane - Breaking Free from TraumaAdair is from Rochester, New York, living with her big love James. She started out as a social worker who’s now in the Ayurveda health and wellness practice to help people heal and turn life into a passionate and fulfilled one. She grew up with the Celiac disease and finding full healing on her own. She was a social worker, worked around labor, environmental justice, among many others. She’s now helping healers, coaches, teachers to take care of their own trauma and self with her own yoga health coaching With Adair.


Aisha Harley: Coming Home To Yourself After Severe Trauma

Welcome to Outer Travel, Inner Journey Podcast. In this episode, we speak with former photographer and doTERRA essential oils presidential diamond leader Aisha Harley–who shares her inspiring healing journey from Lyme disease.

Aisha, currently living happily with her husband Larry and her band of parrots, chickens, ducklings, and dogs in Portland, Oregon, shares here the darkest roads she had traveled and how facing her own anxieties got her to the bright happy place she is in right now. Struggling from Lyme disease, which she didn’t know she had at once, and the massive drop she felt in her body with the onslaught of stress, and pain from toxic relationships brought her to realize that healing has to start with yourself. And that we are all capable of it.

In her healing quest, she found love and the wonders of therapeutic essential oils which led her back to reconnecting to nature and to herself. As magical as this sounds, to her, that moment was like a seed she planted from which everything started to flourish.

Before the magic unraveled there were moments of scariness that dealing with a serious disease can uproot. But her story of collaboration with her physician and actually taking ownership of her healing is truly inspirational.  Ayurveda has been teaching us, listening to a deeper level with what the body is telling us is a crucial aspect of healing on all levels. Only when we combine all parts of us, we will be able to come home and heal. We have to be ready to process on so many levels and be our own advocates.

Her message for the listeners is simple: We can keep living and behaving in the same way as before we fell apart or we can choose to start taking baby steps and do things differently. There are endless possibilities that can actually be done to recreate ourselves when we’re in that moment of surrender. It will be uncomfortable, yes, but it’s worth it.

I’m so excited to share this with you!


Links mention in the podcast

Free Meditation Challenge

Podcast Highlights

  • The two biggest blessings in my life that helped me in my awakening process are: (1) my husband Larry and (2) essential oils. Larry was an amazing reminder to me that I needed to take my power back. He held a safe, loving space for me to be healed– something I have never really experienced. –Aisha Harley
  • The essentials oils to me represented a reconnection to nature which essentially opened up a reconnection to myself. When essential oils started working in my body and healing me, there was a gentle reminder and a nudge of returning to who I really am, to my essence, and to awakening into truth. –Aisha Harley
  • There are different ways for different people to discover how to let go and keep falling back into the backseats of nature and finally letting go of the concepts. When we start trusting the universal peace or love, start surrendering, we find the right way and the moment to come along. –Alexandra Kreis
  • I thought my peace existed outside myself, in some other person or relationship to distract myself. As much as I resisted it, everything got stripped away and there I was standing alone, with nobody but by myself. But in that process, I realized that the anxiety wasn’t driven by anybody else and it wasn’t gonna be taken away by anybody else but it was me finding that happiness, peace, and contentment within myself. My happiness needs to be with and without and that I need to stop thinking. –Aisha Harley
  • Ironically, we’re born into love yet we develop masks and shields until we feel like we’re flawed and we don’t have compassion for ourselves. But as human beings, we just want to be heard, seen, cared for, and loved. –Aisha Harley
  • Take ownership without being demeaned within systems because you know best. –Alexandra Kreis
  • We are capable of healing in mind, body, and spirit– the whole being. But change comes in time. Be patient with and love yourself. –Aisha Harley


Guest Bio

Aisha HarleyAisha Harley is a former photographer, now Presidential Diamond Leader at doTERRA Essential Oils. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Larry, two parrots, 6 hens who just hatched 7 chicks, and two dogs. She lived for almost 20 years with an undiagnosed disease, which caused her to question her mental health and capability to show up in the world. She’s the founder of The Essential Wellness Community– a vibrant and flourishing global community of oil users and educators. She writes and gives advice to anyone struggling with health challenges or are interested in starting an essential oil business through her blog.