Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga is a boutique wellness center on the Northside of Chicago. We offer virtual programs available from anywhere in the world and private retreats for individuals in Chicago.
My interest in spirituality started when I was a child. By high school, I was meditating and studying Buddhism and psychology in my free time. I struggled in school. I tended to daydream, and it was difficult for me to concentrate. It was the 90's, and I was one of the early A.D.D. kids. I was prescribed Ritalin, but it didn't do very much to improve my grades. I found myself preoccupied with questions about our existence, and like many teenagers, felt suspicious of authority. By the time I was in my 20's, I was diagnosed with 'depression.' Looking back, I know I wasn't depressed at all. I was disconnected from a sense of purpose and needed to explore the philosophical nature of life that our mainstream education didn't encourage. After leaving a psychiatrist's office with 4-different prescription medications, I asserted that there must be a different way for me. At 22, I started my journey into Ayurveda, yoga, herbology, meditation, and cleansing methods, and I never looked back.
My studies at the Maharishi University of Management, starting in 2002, provided me with the foundation of daily practices that reconnect us to what we have lost, our intimate relationship with the earth’s cycles and cues. But it wasn't until I was further in my ayurvedic emergence that I truly understood that diet, herbs and cleansing are powerful healing methods that can drive complicated diseases into remission, and liberate the mind from chronic distress.
I’ve completed programs in Ayurvedic theory, detoxification strategies, diet, and herbal applications and was individually selected by Dr. Light Miller, one of our greatest advocates and teachers of Ayurveda, as a Panchakarma apprentice at her clinic in Sarasota, Fl.
Other studies have included:
California College of Ayurveda with Dr. Mark Helpurn
Maharishi University with Dr. John Hagelin
Prana Ayurveda with Vaidya Mishra
Nosara Yoga Institute with Dr. Don and Amba Stapleton
And one of the foremost Western Scholars of Buddhism, Lama Surya Das.
I am a graduate of Dhanvantari Ayurveda from the Florida Vedic College, and am a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga instructor, and Panchakarma technician.
I opened Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga in 2013.
Apprentice & Administration
Cassie is an a valuable part of our team. As an apprentice under Monica, she is responsible for customizing herbal formulas. She also acts as a point of contact for our clients and students assuring proper flow, communication and coordination.
Anna Rose Ii-Epstein
Apprentice, Massage Therapist
Anna has been an apprentice under Monica learning the ayurvedic treatments since 2018. She is a licensed massage therapist, reiki practitioner, and cranial sacral therapist – Anna is a master level therapist who is known for her empathetic sensitivity and intuition. She helps our clients release blockages in the energetic body and aids them toward a continued state of inner peace and tranquility.
In addition Anna is a producer, actor, and activist completing her first documentary, True Social Equity in Cannabis Doc.
Monica Casanova, Apprentice
Apprentice, Massage Therapist
Mónica Casanova aims to support the individual’s process in remembering their true nature as S P I R I T through the sciences of Ayurveda & Yoga. She is Owner and Founder of Coco Shakti Ayurveda and is a 200hr ERYT Hatha and 85hr Pre-Natal Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic Health Practitioner & Educator, Postpartum AyurDoula and Panchakarma Therapist. She currently practices Ayurvedic Medicine at Hamsa Ayurveda & Yoga, Chicago’s Premier Panchakarma Center, is a Panchakarma Technician at the California College of Ayurveda and runs a private practice, Coco Shakti Ayurveda + Yoga. Along with teaching weekly classes at various yoga studios in the Chicagoland area, she oversees Ayurvedic education in Cedar Rapids Iowa , Heat Yoga Studio and Yoga Loft Chicago Studio’s , Yoga Teacher Training Programs.