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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Letter from Publisher : Repeat After Me: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

 by Paul Chen

In March I wrote that we were expanding our coverage of natural health and healing. And we started in that issue with managing editor Diane Eaton’s Be Healthy & Stay Healthy: Our Experts’ Top 10 Keys to Wellness.

And in every issue since, our local editorial team has pushed out natural health and healing content, including a 12-page special section on Energy Healing in April.

This month we kick off a three-part series on Ayurveda.

Why Ayurveda?

Because, as I suggested back then, most of us probably have health issues, but just don’t know about them. “The fact that one is asymptomatic is not a sign of health. Disease does not develop overnight; it builds until the last straw breaks the proverbial camel’s back.” 

And Ayurveda, with thousands of years of history, is one of humanity’s oldest, most complete systems of natural health enhancement and maintenance; each one of us could benefit from Ayurveda.

Now here’s the disappointing thing I discovered: there’s not that much going on in Atlanta around Ayurveda. As a magazine, we are interested in selling advertising, and found out that there are simply not that many Ayurveda-related businesses to approach.

This was somewhat surprising given the popularity of yoga in Atlanta and the fact that Ayurveda is often referred to as yoga’s sister science. Also, given what I perceive as a large Indian population in the metro area, I expected more Ayurveda practitioners and businesses.

Alas, the Indian population falls short of 80,000, and Atlanta yogis aren’t very aware or knowledgeable about Ayurveda.

Indeed, during the photo shoot for this month’s cover, I spoke with our yoga luminaries. Only one of them rated their own knowledge about Ayurveda above average among yoga teachers they know. I also asked them to estimate what percentage of Atlanta yoga students were “minimally knowledgeable” about Ayurveda. Their guesses: 10%, 10%, 15% and 20%. The good news: Three of our yoga luminaries felt that yoga students with at least minimal knowledge would have above average interest in learning more about Ayurveda.

So, allow me to proselytize for just a moment. Chances are, there’s something not quite right about your health, even if you’re not symptomatic. Regardless, see a health care practitioner versed in enhancing health, trained to spot developing issues before they become full-blown crises. Chances are,x such practitioners are not traditional allopathic doctors, but chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, homeopaths, and yes, Ayurvedic practitioners.

On a personal note, I recently started seeing an integrative medicine practitioner, and yes, several things were brought to my attention that I had no or low awareness of.


Our esteemed editor Graham Fowler and I agree that the mission of the yoga section is to help practitioners go deeper in their practice and realize even more benefits than they’re experiencing now. Which is why one is far more likely to find our yoga content shining a light on the seven limbs of yoga beyond asanas.

It also explains why one is not likely to read about local yoga personalities. But with this month’s special yoga section, we’re thrilled to write about the Atlanta luminaries who appear on our cover!

And what a great group they are. Octavia Raheem was cited by a number of her peers as outstanding in many ways: a great teacher, an expert on Yin and restorative, a crusader for diversity and inclusion, and a wise and thoughtful commentator—more than one person referred to her writing as authentic and inspiring.

Both Gina Minyard and William Hufschmidt were called “a teacher’s teacher” by their peers, a reference to the fact that their depth of knowledge is so great that just about any yoga teacher can learn from them. “They walk their talk” is another way in which their peers spoke highly of them.

Since “building community” was one criterium for selection, Jessica Murphy, founder of Dirty South Yoga Fest, was a slam dunk. There are no umbrella yoga organizations in Atlanta, and since the demise of the Southeast Yoga Conference, Dirty South stands as Atlanta’s only current homegrown festival. And Murphy says that her motivations behind the festival were to build community and to give yogis the opportunity to sample Atlanta’s many superb teachers.

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