Befriend your body. Rewrite the story of your life.

About Me –

I’m Sonja.

 
I am a skeptical intuitive, a practical healer, a mama who plays in the world of the erotic.

Contradictions like these are the easiest ways to define me, because, like you, I am unfathomable when I’m at my best.

Let me tell you how I got to be so comfortable being all over the place. 

My Calling

I was called to be a writer and a healer not because I thought I might like it, but because my path has demanded that I draw on both to make sense of all that’s happened to me.

I’ve been a writer since I could hold a pen, but I learned to use it as a tool for healing after I was diagnosed with scoliosis in a routine check-up at age 10. I was sent to a specialist who drew lines on the x-ray image of my spine and never made eye contact with me. For years, he tracked my vitals, but never once asked me about my fears, dreams, passions, and emotional experience of having my insides photographed by a stranger twice a year.

His silence – and my parents’ – led me to my journal. Here I tracked my anger, my wish to be “normal.” Here I felt all the feelings no one in my life believed I should. I wrote stories and bad poems. I wrote fantasy scenes where I had a perfect body. I wrote love letters to my crushes that I never sent. What I couldn’t tell anyone else, I told those pages.

Hold Me, Closer

The year I started my period, my doctor gave me a back brace. It was more than a back brace – he wrapped me in a 1-inch thick corset made of plastic, aluminum, and velcro. I was expected to wear it dutifully beneath my clothing at an age when we feel the worst about our bodies.

I told only my close friends. I learned to avoid hugs and physical touch with anyone but them. I kept a steady pen on paper, hiding my journals in the places I hid my back brace when I realized I had the choice to take it off.

I’m Aware

Spending my teenage years scribbling away in little notebooks gave me something few other adolescents had – self-awareness. Journaling is a map to oneself, and I used it to find the gold of my deep sensitivity (another word for intuition) and my passions.

This self-awareness didn’t prevent bad things from happening – in fact, my teenage years were marked by repeated sexual trauma – but it did allow me to recognize that I deserved to dream of something different. And it gave me the courage to act upon my desires.

One of these desires was to go to New York City and become a writer. My ship was heading that direction, but after a storm hit it, I found myself at age 22 marooned in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado.

Marooned

The cheeriness of Boulder depressed me. I was a city person in a hippie town. An intellectual wearing black in a land full of “Life is Good” t-shirts. I lived in total resistance to the unshaven legs, the dirty feet, the white guilt. Until Tamara Wells, my first spiritual teacher, taught me how to find flow in the conflict.

Tamara was an intuitive healer and a witch. She was a little crazy, but that was part of her appeal. She taught me a few tools and sat me in front of countless strangers, telling them I was an intuitive healer. When these strangers began to tell me I had acknowledged parts of their nature they had never told anyone, I began to believe it myself.

I studied intuitive healing for three years, both with Tamara and in a more formal program. It was my first spiritual awakening, one that blew apart my life and inspired me to listen to the wisdom within me above anyone else.

Rewrite

I began to write constantly. It gave me inspiration and motivation. Yet it wasn’t enough to make sense of all the senselessness around me.

I was living in the most stressful place in North America, grinding away at an intangible job, and trying to love a partner who was suffocating me. My back – that old twisted spine – began to scream with pain, and I struggled to take a deep breath. In a Brooklyn yoga studio, I found spaciousness. I found a connection to my body. I found my strength, in all meanings of that word.

My Savior

Yoga saved me then. It saved me again when my mother got cancer, and a year later when she died. It saved me again when I received an infertility diagnosis. And it saved me again when I left my ex-wife and all our friends because I realized I had forgotten who I was.

And when I had finished blowing my old life to pieces, yoga put me back together. It led me to a new partner (hi, Robin), my spiritual teacher (hi, Santi), a baby (hi, Leonie), and a new job ghostwriting for a well-known teacher of Ayurveda and yoga.

New York Dreams

So what does a newly awakened person do? If you’re full of contradictions like me, you move to New York City, the least spiritual place in the world.

My healing work wasn’t enough to pay the rent, so I took a job at the city’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis hotlines. Counseling hundreds of people a day through crisis and the effects of lifelong and generational trauma was hopeless and inspiring. There I learned that the truest form of healing that I can offer is to compassionately witness another’s pain and my inability to change it.

I soon burned out and built a career in nonprofit communications. Ghostwriting for those in charge of God’s work was safe work, but boring. In a search for meaning, I began taking creative writing classes at Columbia University and invited that little Sonja who loved to write to join me as an adult.

A New Life

I moved to Kaua’i to learn from her and work for this teacher. She gave me a rooted foundation in yoga and taught me life-changing practices and anatomical awareness. She taught me the fundamentals of Ayurveda and how to cook well and live simply.

But her most important lesson? By verbally abusing and gaslighting her students, she taught me about the kind of teacher I didn’t want to be.

I spent four years turning her iron words into melted jaggery. I gave her a warm and welcoming public image that attracted scores of young, thin, perfectionist white women into her lair. Yet I battled with the reality that the more time her students spent with her, the worse they felt about themselves.

I left the island for Mexico, nursing my two-year-old daughter and my wounds.

El Poder (Power)

My new home was a small pueblo outside of Mexico City where no gringos dared visit. In the quiet of the mountains, my body fell apart. I’d held it together through death, divorce, cross-continental moves, a difficult childbirth, an abusive teacher, and strains on all my relationships, but it said “no more.”

My body was racked with joint pain, back pain, and digestive distress, yet through the pain I found intuitive guidance unlike any I’d experienced before. I suddenly knew what herbs to take, which asanas to do, when to rest and when to wake early, and who to ask for help. I saw that Ayurveda was not asking me to import dhal from China and live like an Indian, but to connect to the local food and rhythms and live like me.

It was a new level of awakening, marked by inner peace in the face of external struggle. Truth and lies became clear. My passion for life and my desire for depth merged. I was without conflict, even in the face of the greatest physical turmoil I’d known.

I became a goddess. My new teacher, Mama Gena, showed me how. She was loud, wild, and sexually energized. Pussy was her word for intuition, and I reconnected with my powers through full embodiment. In her hot pink classrooms, I found pleasure in the pain I’d experienced. I realized that a spiritual life didn’t require constantly jumping into the fire, but could include dancing around it, naked and unashamed.

I remembered my wildness. My sexual passions. My desire for a big life. I befriended my body, using it as a guide for what made me feel most alive.

And as I followed this juicy path, the physical pain that had become a near constant reality for me slowly faded.

To Be Continued

After a COVID-inspired move led my family to Vancouver Island, Canada, I found the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education. Here I’m studying how to more deeply engage with the pleasure available in the human body and use the power of the erotic to overcome trauma, cope with physical pain, and experience the bliss that makes it possible to deal with all the rest.

My story continues. But I pause here before you, an expert and a student. An experienced woman and a virgin. A person who knows the value of short web copy, yet is offering you a 1500-word autobiography. And you thought you’d find a list of my certifications on this page (those are below, btw).

It’s typical as we’re walking the path to forget that we’re writing a legend. With the help of many friends, partners, and teachers, I’ve learned that mine is a story of glory, and that I am the heroine and the main character.

My Teachers

I don’t believe that we are our certifications. I don’t believe we need certifications to be able to become healers. But I do believe that my teachers deserve some love because they are the reason I’m here right now. I’ve done many, many trainings, but here are just a few of the most significant individuals under whom I’ve studied:

 

  • Tamara Wells (private apprenticeship, 2002-2005)
  • Vessa Rhinehart, Bob Whilhite, Lee Gilbert (intuitive development training, 2002-2005, advanced level in 2012)
  • Santi Devi (private, ongoing mentorship since 2014)
  • Shelley Torgove (750-hour certification in herbal medicine and traditional healing, specialty in women’s health, 2014-2016)
  • Myra Lewin (200-hour yoga teacher certification and 600-hour Ayurvedic counselor certification, earned alongside a four-year apprenticeship, 2013-2018)
  • Robert Svoboda (various trainings on yoga and Ayurveda, ongoing since 2015)
  • Kaya Midlin (yoga nidra, feminine divine, and Bhagavad Gita, ongoing since 2018)
  • Maya Tiwari (womb medicine, 2018)
  • Regena Thomashauer, aka Mama Gena (Mastery and Creation 2019, ongoing)
  • Kasia Urbaniak (various trainings on power and authority, ongoing since 2020)
  • Doctors at the Vaidyagrama Healing Village (various courses on Ayurveda since 2020)
  • Robert Moses (Hatha Yoga Pradipika, pranayama, and kundalini, ongoing since 2020)
  • The incredible faculty of the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education (study in progress since 2021)
  • Mehdi Darvish Yahya (somatic sex education to heal trauma, 2022)
  • Every single client I’ve ever interacted with – they teach me far more than any course I’ve taken
  • My daughter, Leonie, and my partner, Robin, both of whom teach me patience and the joy of being seen for who I really am

I have been blessed to live and work on many different lands amongst many different people. I acknowledge the gifts my ancestors have unwittingly given me that allow me a life of choice and geographic mobility (and also their teachings about staying still, which I’m still learning). Currently I call home the unceded land of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island. I humbly acknowledge the history and the present truth that rests here and everywhere I’ve lived. I am eternally grateful for everyone who has held the wisdom of the land intact despite centuries of efforts to separate us from its teachings.

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I am a wisdom guide,
combining intuitive healing, Ayurveda, and the deeper teachings of yoga.

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The Journal

September Awake: How to Freak Out

September Awake: How to Freak Out

This month in Awake we are freaking out. Not just any old kind of freak out, a wise freak out. One that starts with an inventory of how you freak out and ends with a manifesto of the best ways you can lead your body through a process of necessary emotional digestion....

In Your Words

“BodyStory was a truly transformative experience. Sonja beautifully weaves Ayurvedic wisdom with her own intuition in a way that creates profound connection to the ancient teachings.”

Angela

“Taking part in Sonja’s BodyStory class and sharing with her and others allowed my body and heart to have a more clear voice about its wants, needs and desires. Sonja created a sacred safe container for us to share openly and spontaneously.”

Nafisseh

“I have participated in several SevaMama online courses and each has enriched my life in a different way. With each course, I gain new insights and build my Ayurvedic toolbox.”

Debbie

“On this path effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure.”

The Bhagavad Gita 2:40