Meet Mochani Devi, East Flora Wellness

Meet Mochani Devi, East Flora Wellness

Posted by Rachel Berenbaum on

 Get to know Mochani Devi, founder of East Flora Wellness - then join us at Phosphene on Saturday April 7 from 12-5PM for a pop up. In addition to offering hand blended natural wellness products, Mochani will be offering Reiki healing sessions and Serenity Hand Rejuvenation sessions in our Studio space, which can be booked in advance at this link.

What does this season of life look like for you?
A few years ago I moved to the back country of Nelson County, VA and adopted the words ‘simple, slow, and intentional’ as my personal affirmation which happens almost by force in the silence of the mountains. The internet is slow, the drive to the grocer is nearly an hour, and the farmer’s market is our socializing fix. All of which have taught lessons in patience, mindfulness, and contentment. The lifestyle connected to living in the mountains has brought on a need for being a little more self-sufficient. This includes baking from scratch, growing food, finding ways to entertain myself, and enjoying the beauty of nature. I value the quiet which has helped me to become more self aware and independent. My days either are spent tending the chickens, dogs and plants we raise and making 100% natural body care products, helping perform temple pujas (hindu prayer ceremonies) or traveling across central VA offering the art of Reiki healing and Yoga and Meditation.
Above: Photo of the sunrise on a drive through Mochani's neighborhood

Tell us a little about your creative process and background.

I have always felt some desire to be able to help people. When I graduated from college, I found myself working for social services on a childhood hunger program. It was fulfilling to be able to help get needed food to children, and the work helped me to become aware of the larger problem of how difficult it is for people to access fresh, healthy, nutrient-rich foods. This inspired me to begin volunteering at local farms and studying agriculture. My time with the plants radically changed the direction of my life. It was then that I was reintroduced to the power of Mother Earth and how we are deeply connected to Her. It was during this time I found a farm that was also a Hindu Temple and Vedic Teaching Center and to be honest have never left this sanctuary. 

Above: Photo of Mochani transplanting basil
Switching to a lifestyle connected to nature and focused on wellness inspired me to make my own products free from artificial chemicals found in mass-produced products and I began offering these well-being creations to local farmers and consistently sold out. 
When I make a product, I simply try to make something I would use. I value minimalistic and multipurpose products and as a healing arts practitioner I bring wellness techniques like aromatherapy or flower essence therapy into formulation.  Through the teachings of the Temple and Vedic Center I was also introduced to Ayurveda, the ancient healing system native to India. And I incorporate the principles of Ayurveda into my formulations as well. But overall inspiration mostly comes from seeking personal care products I want to incorporate into my wellness rituals because I figure other people are looking for this too. I have been disappointed with the lack of personal care products focused on holistic healing in stores and frustrated when I read the ingredients on packages. Unable to find high quality, natural, safe products that work, so I set out to make them for myself and others.I believe skin care is healthcare and incorporating wellness-focused products into one’s daily cleansing routines can radically change well-being for the better. 

Could you share with us any specific works of art, literature, music, etc that have been inspiring to you recently?
A consistent source of refuge has been Maharishi’s Gandharveda Veda music which are masterful ragas (melodies) composed and attuned to follow times of day and nature’s cycles in accordance with the wisdom of Ayurveda. It is said these ragas can help balance the mind and body by connecting with our inherent bio rhythms which I can personally attest to. So, these Gandharva Vedas are played at different times of the day according to their musical qualities and the sacred Ayurvedic principle of time. There are energizing morning ragas, relaxing evening ragas and ragas for different moods, seasons, aspirations, or Ayurvedic doshas. 
Listening to these ragas at the right time of day melt away any tension and take me to a profound inner space. I’ll often listen to Gandharvedas pieces while working or sometimes during healing sessions with clients. 

 Can you describe your workspace? How has your workspace evolved alongside your work? 
Above: Photo of a Treatment room at Oversoul Healing Center in Charlottesville, VA where Mochani offers Reiki Healing and Private Yoga on Mondays.
For manufacturing my line of body care products I work out of my making studio room in where I live. It is a small space with a stainless steel table with shelving storage and photos of my spiritual teachers and things that inspire me. When I work with clients I often travel across VA, bringing the healing arts I’ve been trained in with me. I love to travel and to meet new people but I have a dream that in the future I would open a tranquil storefront where people could come for treatments and shop the body care line.

Is there something you tend to collect?
Admittedly, my rock collection is getting a little excessive. Which is doubly embarrassing because it is a fairly new fascination. Well, actually, it might be more honest to say it is a new and an old fascination because as a child I also collected rocks as perhaps a lot of did in our timeline of child-like wonder and wisdom. But since starting my healing arts journey and finding Sanatana Dharma (also known as Hinduism), I became more in touch with Mother Earth and all of her splendor. The earthly gifts of life found in the natural world like stones, plants, or soil suddenly became as vivid and as alive as you and me. 
Stones are some of the oldest beings on Earth. A stone on the side of the road or along a river could be thousands of years old. I have come to the belief that these ancient beings carry wisdom and a stilling energy that when asked for can be used for healing. 
Sometimes when I have the heart to let go of some of the stones I’ve gathered from across this planet I’ll share them at markets and teach others how to connect with stones via meditation or simply through daily reverence. 

How would you choose to spend alone time if/when you get it?

A day in solitude would look very slow and quiet. Since I am often filled with concern for my clients, temple work, or farm animals and plants it is only when I am alone that I can really tune in and reflect. But to really get to that space of quiet reflection requires some rituals, at least for me. In the ancient healing system of Ayurveda there is a practice of Dinacharya sometimes called daily routine. That greatly sets the stage for beginning reflection and presence. My dinacharya includes a practice called Abhyanga or oiling the body prior to showering. (Which is also what I recommend on the packaging of our body oils). People not familiar with ayurveda often ask why oil the body before the shower? And the reasoning is that when we get in the bath or shower the steam from the warm water helps the oil to sink in deeply through the pores and nourish the body. While I’m in the shower I’ll often listen to healing frequencies and tranquil ragas. 
Above: photo of Mochani with a Big Left Magnolia Tree, one of her favorite trees
Another practice is yoga nidra. I consider myself to be a huge yoga nidra enthusiast. Yoga Nidra is a practice of deep relaxation and meditation developed by a great yogi named Swami Satyananda Saraswati. In the west, it is often called yogic sleep but you don’t actually sleep during it, it is a practice where you traverse the state of consciousness between wakefulness and dream which opens the subconscious mind and attachments can be released and sacred intention can be called in. There are many guided yoga nidra practices on the Insight Timer app that I have enjoyed and I incorporate Yoga Nidra sessions during my reiki healing sessions and hatha yoga classes.
Other rituals that bring back to a space of receptivity include gentle hikes through the forests, yoga asana, prayer, journaling, and long baths. 

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