She is passionate, innovative and internationally recognized on the power of integrative medicine, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices. Combining her education in Biomedical Engineering with her studies in yoga and integrative nutrition, Fern Olivia has created Thyroid Yoga®, a unique approach to supporting thyroid health that has changed the lives of thousands of women and men around the world.
LW: In your words, how are you serving the world and contributing your gifts?
FO: During my spiritual awakening, I realized my purpose is to help people embody their most vibrant, healthy, radiant selves so that they may serve the world with confidence! My own journey in healing from a Hashimoto’s hypothyroid condition has been my initiation into being inspired to serve others and contribute my own wisdom to elevate the collective.
I’m a big believer that what you hold back from life; life will hold back from you. So if you’re not speaking up, sharing your talents with the world, and honoring your truth… most likely your life will be a reflection of that. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll be kept small by certain situations, relationships and scenarios. Perhaps you’re being paralyzed by doubts and ‘what-if’ thoughts, or maybe your health isn’t good, and your body is rebelling, and you’re struggling to get through each day. It may feel that things are crashing down all around you… Don’t worry! Everything is fine. Remember that out of that crash, the phoenix rises up from the ashes.
Each of us has our own unique gifts to give to the world, and in turn, the world will reciprocate back and gift us with a life that loves us back. In terms of health; we’ll have a body that loves us back, and serves as a finely-tuned vehicle from which we can use as a resource to serve the world and others.
Through my Thyroid Yoga® programme - which has been birthed as a result of years of my own personal experiments, research and intimate journey - I have created a structure through which thousands of women and men have been able to tap into their own self-healing by adapting holistic rituals to support their vitality, and becoming their own intuitive healers.LW: What was the defining moment that led you to your vision with Ajai?
FO: When I started to become attuned to the incredible healing potential of nature's medicine cabinet, I became intrigued. I started experimenting with essential oils and was astounded by how effectively they brought me back into balance and cleared up the symptoms I had been struggling with for so long. Every morning, I began applying essential oils to my thyroid (base of neck) and adrenals (lower back) as well as the thyroid and adrenal reflexology points on my feet. In the evenings, I began applying the oils to the bottoms of my feet, massaging my feet with essential oils and coconut oil on the thyroid and parathyroid points. The changes in how I was feeling was colossal!
The simple self-care ritual of rolling a seductive fragrance on my throat and heart chakra every day while repeating affirmations has radically changed my life and I knew I had to share this with the world. Inspired by my own practice, I first created Grace Alchemy, a rose and patchouli blend that makes all men within a 10-foot radius swoon. It’s true, you have to try it!
LW: How would you describe Ajai in your own words?
FO: Ajai Alchemy is an all organic, therapeutic apothecary line based around the healing power of essential oils. Each product is alchemized with a specific intention behind them and created both from an intuitive, playful approach, whilst being determined by and cemented in the science and healing properties of each ingredient.
Essential oils are potent beings! They can be utilized to enhance each and every moment, and are a direct way to regulate our stress or calming responses. Within a minute our skin absorbs whatever we put on it directly into the bloodstream, and thus, all the healing wisdom of the plants and botanicals from which the essential oils are derived from, are acclimated by our bodies on all levels.
LW: What makes Ajai unique and standout in the beauty + wellness space?
FO: The intention. Ajai is about being our own alchemist… because we know exactly what we need.
I love to ‘play’ with essential oils; reaching out for whichever ones spark my interest in that particular moment - and this is what I want to encourage every Ajai customer to do - yet we live busy lives and so I have put together the most enticing and synergistic blends for easy on-the-go use.
Essential oils have powerful healing properties even via a quick sniff out of the bottle; their scent molecules travel up into the brain. I love picking and choosing whichever ones may call out to me. Our bodies are magnificent, intelligent beings and those essential oils you are reaching for, will have the perfect healing properties for your bodies needs.
Our bodies are not ignorant or deceitful. Nor are they devious and purposely trying to slow us down with their cries. All they need is a pause… and some love, and simply listening to its needs. Tuning in to that frequency is an incredible act of love. Ajai is built around ritual. I start every yoga practice by applying Grace Alchemy to my thyroid gland, tracing the infinity sign horizontally and massaging my lymph nodes - it serves as a luxurious reminder that treating ourselves with love is important.
LW: Where do you source your essential oils?
FO: I source my essential oils from a Certified Master Aromatherapist and Herbalist based in California. She embraces sustainable, organic farming practices that honor farms and their communities, sourcing from the finest oil distilleries and select farms from all over the world. I use all certified organic, sustainably harvested, therapeutic-grade essential oils - and it was important for me to source them from an ethical supplier. I wanted to know exactly what people would be putting on their bodies, and that it was harvested in a sustainable, eco-friendly way. Using sustainably sourced oils means using plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment to be mindful of our precious eco-system.
Essential oils are also 50 – 75% more powerful than the herb or plant itself, so a little goes a long way. However that also means that any nasties, (ie. pesticides and insecticides from non-organic sources) will also be rapidly absorbed into your body in concentrated amounts - so choosing organic and/or wild is essential.
LW: What has been the most challenging experience in your life that turned out to be the most meaningful opportunity to your life's path?
FO: That has to be getting sick for sure! For nearly a decade, I battled against my body and the horrible discomfort of chronic congestion, puffiness, brain fog, constipation, food allergies, and severe stomach irritability. After I graduated from college, I thought I was living the American Dream when I landed a swanky desk job at a prestigious investment bank in New York City. However, the 14-hour days felt like anything but that. I often experienced vertigo when staring at my computer and starting getting daily migraines that I took excedrin for regularly. I’d also pop a Zyrtec with my Synthroid before my cereal and soy milk each morning to clear my stuffy nose. I still felt awful. Little did I know at the time, I was doing it all wrong.
I knew the corporate banking world wasn’t my path, but I didn’t know that there was any alternative. I was making money but spending it all on my health because I was so sick. I felt miserable in my body, but worst than that; powerless, because I didn’t know how to heal.
I spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars traveling from doctor to doctor. I felt like a lost patient, completely disconnected from my body and wanting so badly a magical solution to it all. I was told I had hypothyroidism, and that’s why I was having all the uncomfortable feelings in my body, and then given every type of thyroid medication in the book to mask the symptoms I was experiencing – rather than getting down and dirty with why I was feeling so awfully rotten in the first place. At one point I was on 125 mcg of synthroid and 5 mcg of cytomel and still felt like a zombie. The worst part - I was told that I would always have these symptoms and would just have to “deal with them.” Finally, at the age of 22, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. By that time, however, I had enough. I thought to myself; “I studied biomechanics and neuroscience, with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Why can’t I figure this out?” Turns out, I could… but in an unexpected place.
All of this led to radical changes in my life - and it first started with finding yoga.
Yoga found me on a lunch break in between stressful meetings and staring at databases in Excel. I began noticing the correlations of how I ate and treated myself, how I was spending my day, and how this related to how I felt on my yoga mat. It fascinated me - and got me really excited about what this all meant. I realized that yoga allowed me to connect with myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to elsewhere. Through this newfound connection to my body, for the first time in my life I was able to really start tuning into what served me, and quite simply, what didn’t - and what an utterly life-changing experience that was! This led to a complete over haul of my life - from my diet, to my thoughts, my career, to my relationship, and shortly thereafter - relocating to the other side of the country, in Los Angeles. Through my own journey, however, I found immense strength and resolved to empower women and men to live their most vibrant, healthy, fulfilled lives, too.LW: What are 3 things that keep you inspired and living a healthy, fulfilling life?
FO: When I feel connected, that is when I feel most inspired, and my life is healthy and fulfilling. The three things that help me feel truly connected are self-care, friends/community, and nature.
Self-care helps me to connect with my body, and I really think that self-care is exponential - a gift that keeps on giving. The more you take the time to show yourself and your body some love, the more your body will show you love back. A thank you. Connecting back into my body through rituals is what helps me tap into my body’s intuition, so I can listen to the whispers, before they turn into yelps.
Spending time with friends is never something to be overlooked! Nothing can beat a good giggle with a friend, or a real heart-felt, truth-tellling, laying it all out session with a soul sibling.
And then nature! I feel so blessed to live so close to some of the most beautiful hikes and scenery in the world. LA may be a busy hub of a cosmopolitan city - but it is also on the doorstep of striking views, rolling hills, deserts, magical forests and hot springs - we really are blessed with the plethora of nature in California - and nothing helps me gain perspective more than spending time in nature, taking in some deep breaths, feeling the earth and absorbing the vitamin N (Nature.)
LW: What teachers have you worked with and/or currently work with to elevate your consciousness?
FO: Elena Brower - Elena an amazing yoga teacher, mamma, healer and dear friend. She does it all, and she’s so classy, calm and poised. She manages so much and stays true to herself and her students. She’s a blessing in my life, and I am very grateful to have studied with her extensively in New York.
Taryn Toomey - Taryn is the badass of the fitness world. She’s created something called The Class, which is a spiritual somatic experience. There’s nothing like it - you’ve got to try it. I love that she is just fearlessly herself and has dedicated her life to empowering women to fearlessly be themselves, too.
Harmanjot Kaur - Harmanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher maestro and I love taking her classes at RA MA Institute in Venice, California. Her classes are fresh, sink deep and they pull from her personal relationship with the teachings. You can tell she puts everything into them and for that, she’s an inspiration to me. It’s clear how the teachings have changed and touched her life, which inspires me to keep going with my practices - and to not only keep going, but to go deep with them.
Normandie Keith - Normandie is a beautiful Kundalini yoga teacher and fellow lover of all things radiant beauty. Her classes at Golden Bridge have ignited a strong community of women and she is passionate for helping women to radiate their inner light and divine grace. I love being in her presence and she now is a mentor and dear friend. She no longer leaves home without Ajai - especially Radiance!
LW: What are you reading right now?
FO: At the moment I'm reading Invincible Living by Guru Jagat. Guru Jagat is another one of my inspirational ‘movers and shakers’. She’s the founder of RA MA Institute, a Kundalini yoga studio in Venice - which has now become an epic global community via the outlet of RA MA TV - and she’s uncensored. I love that about her; she really wants her students and the world to be aware and awakened to what’s really going on.
She’s been a catalyst for me to step into my power here in LA, and I admire everything she’s creating with RA MA around the world.
LW: What is your favorite quote?
FO: “Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.” - HafizLW: What does living wholly mean to you?
FO: To me, Living Wholly means living a life which embodies our most truest, authentic self. Although often those are terms which are thrown around, and what does that really break down to? I believe it means living a life which feels nourishing to yourself, and you feel fulfilled by it. And by that fulfillment, you literally perspire radiance, you become a magnet for beauty and opportunity by the fragrance of your being. Your life becomes a mirror of everything you nourish yourself with. Your work, your relationships, and your own personal rituals become a holistic retreat that you crave to come home to, again and again.
LW: How can we connect with you?FO: I’m on instagram @fernolivia and Facebook, and I love making new connections and sharing stories. Ajai is curated in Living Wholly's e-commerce collection. Peruse our line of alchemy and experience the beauty of essential oils. You can learn more about me at www.fernolivia.com and see me at the gorgeous WMN Space for personal yoga, meditation and reiki sessions.
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