the dhyana center

In the heart of downtown Sebastopol, CA, lies “The dhyana Center,” a beautiful community space for Ayurveda and self-care. Offering education programs in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, as well as daily classes for yoga, movement and meditation, The dhyana Center also recently opened an attractive self-care studio: a place to relax, rejuvenate, soak and steam in the saunas and tubs. In addition to the daily offerings, there is also an apothecary bar: a lounge for non-alcoholic herbal drinks, a favorite during sacred music gatherings and events.

Founder DeAnna Batdorff’s vision was brought to life with co-founder Scott Jenkins’ art, carpentry and design. Warm crimson walls, dark wood and velvet curtains line the yoga studio while vintage tiles, copper and wood adorn the studio devoted to self-care. Everything is made from recycled materials and crafted by hand. 

Ayurveda, a system of medicine from India, provides a foundational ethic for the whole center. Skilled practitioners offer clinics and individualized treatment plans to optimize balance and health.  Founder DeAnna strives for her Ayurveda students and patients to be inspired to take care of themselves. Leading her students through elemental theory, she notes, “Cold, dry, wet, hot. Everything can break down into these simple elements.” Through use of air, earth, water, and fire, practitioners advise patients on diet, essential oils, and herbs.  Donation-based clinics are even available every Wednesday from 4 – 7 pm (an appointment is required in advance). 

When asked how the name “The dhyana Center” came to be, DeAnna describes, “I was living in India at the Bihar School of Yoga when my teacher told me, ‘Your business will be named dhyana.’” The name represents one of Patanjali’s eight-limbs of yoga, specifically the path to enlightenment through meditation or single-pointed focus.  DeAnna replied to her teacher, “But that’s too similar to my name!”  He responded, “It will be spelt with a lowercase “d.” This will always keep the ego of the business in check.” 

Holding true to her single-pointed focus, DeAnna has watched the center grow with patience over eighteen years. DeAnna comments, “People often have fear that doing just one particular thing won’t pan out. But really, it just takes time, hard work and trust.” 

When I asked DeAnna if she had any words of wisdom for those on a path of raising consciousness in their own communities, she replied with words from one of her first spiritual teachers in the Tibetan Buddhist lineage. “When you speak from your head and your heart equally, you master the grace of communication. Through this balance your truth will be heard.” 

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