interview feature: kari jansen / poppy & someday

MEET KARI….

An Ayurvedic Practitioner and Western Herbalist who specializes in Traditional Ayurvedic and lymphatic massage treatments. She also handcrafts an impressive assortment of small-batch apothecary, skincare and beauty items for her brand Poppy & Someday.

Kari holds a B.S. in Health & Nutrition and is also a graduate of: The The California School of Herbal Studies; The dhyana Center; The Ayurvedic Institute of America, and The Aveda Institute for Massage Therapy.

All of her products are made with love and care. Kari is so meticulous about the quality of each and every item that she tests new recipes on herself for over a year before making it available for purchase. Even down to the vessels that hold these nourishing and restorative potions — Kari uses a very special kind of glass that ensures every single item stays fresh, potent and pure.

If you're not familiar with Ayurveda, here’s brief overview:

  • Ayurveda was founded more than 5,000 years ago by Sages in the Indus Valley region of India

  • It is an intricate system for restoring and maintaining total mind-body health and wellness

  • In Sanskrit ayur translates to life, while veda translates to knowledge or science and is often referred to as “the mother of all healing”

  • The very first Ayurvedic medical school was founded by Punarvasu Atrya around 800 B.C.E

  • Oil pulling, dry brushing, Abhyanga (self-oil massage), tounge scraping, panchakarma, yoga, meditation, memorizing chants (sutras) and Vedic astrology (Jyotisha) are just a few of the integral components

  • Yoga is the sister-science to Ayurveda and was never intended to be a form of physical exercise - rather a sacred, meditative practice to connect the mind and body

  • The 3 Doshas; The 5 Elements; their Properties….

    1. VATA — Air + Ether (Space)

      • Vata is dry, light, rough, cold, mobile

    2. PITTA — Fire + Water

      • Pitta is hot, fiery, oily, sharp, liquid

    3. KAPHA — Earth + Water

      • Kapha is heavy, cold, slow moving, soft, liquid, dense

  • These 3 Doshas and 5 Elements are within each of us and everyone has a unique combination that is specific to their makeup

  • By listening to and really feeling into our bodies, we are able to pacify any imbalances or aggravations through an informed and mindfully customized approach towards diet, routines and daily self care practices

  • The 6 tastes identified in Ayurveda are:

    Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent and Astringent

Ayurveda has been an immensely healing resource for me over the last 8 months and I love learning / talking about it. I’ve been a bit hesitant to publish a full article about it since I haven’t taken any formal classes yet and still have so much to learn… but if you guys want to learn more and aren’t sure where to start, I’ll include some of my favorite books, websites and other links on my RESOURCES page!

What inspired me most to do an interview feature about Kari was her calm, centered and grounded energy and her undeniable passion for learning, teaching and healing. She has this beautifully serene and kind light around her that reaches anyone in her presence. She is truly an Alchemist of Touch.

Now that you know a little more about Ayurveda and Poppy & Someday, let’s get into the interview on Kari and her journey into becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Western Herbalst.. .

I sat down with Kari in her magical outdoor space on a Sunday morning to interview and photograph her. I had previously attended one of the Poppy & Someday ‘Seasonal Wellness Retreats’ back in April and fell in love with this magical spa area…. enveloped in lush greenly, tall trees and peaceful sounds of nature, it feels so “far away” and private yet open and freeing at the same time. I especially enjoyed relaxing in the sage-infused steam room and outdoor clawfoot tub. If you have never bathed fully nude in nature, it is absolutely divine and I highly recommend trying it — although you can absolutely wear a bathing suit if you prefer! Bathing in itself is a sacred and meditative practice, then combined with the California sun shimmering through the trees, dancing upon your skin and birds peacefully chirping, it is cathartic.

After finishing massage school in the mid 90s, Kari began to grow her knowledge and use of essential oils and plant medicine by incorporating it into her therapeutic massage practices. Shortly after, she began learning Reiki and Energetics and eventually infused that into her body work after living in Sedona, AZ. From there, Kari moved to Tahoe, where she continued to practice her knowledge and expertise in massage therapy. She also worked at a local Health Food store while living in Tahoe… “this is when I really began learning about supplementation and herbals in all the different forms…” Kari’s fascination and interest in Traditional Ayurveda was set in motion and she continued on her path by next becoming a certified Yoga Instructor… Once that gateway was opened, she moved to Northern California to study very Traditional Ayurveda where she was surrounded by women who were all fluent in Sanskrit and had grown up with the influences of Eastern Medicine Practices. “I remember trying to keep up with their Sanskrit and Hindu; they already knew everything so I was the outsider trying to keep up and getting really frustrated - I kept hitting mental blocks where I felt like WHAT am I doing?? Yet at the same time, I felt so drawn to it and it all made so much sense… I began memorizing Sanskrit and diving more into Ayurvedic texts and the school I attended would bring in teachers from all over so it was really nice to hear their aspects on things.”

Kari then traveled to India with one of her teachers where she spent over a month learning about Panchakarma and all the different techniques and treatments…. One of the most moving things she witnessed while in India, was seeing patients with paralyzation regain movement after receiving a treatment that involves a slow soft drip of warmed oil: “There was this beautiful table that would be slightly angled with all these little notches in it and the oil would drip down… the oil is warmed and then re-dripped on someone to calm the nervous system - it was actually bringing movement back to patients with Bell’s Palsy and other forms of paralyzation, all from the warm oil and soft drip.”

Then one day while assisting one of her teachers capsule and bottle dried herbal supplements, she realized how little vitality the dried bulk herbs and spices had… “every herb that grows around us, is to heal us…” Kari took the principles of Ayurveda with her when she embarked upon her next educational journey to study Western Herbalism. Combined, this knowledge allowed her to better understand how to use the plants and herbs that naturally grew around her in California, and ultimately harmonize her Eastern teachings with a Westernized lifestyle. After years of study, Kari decided to take some downtime to have a baby, knit, and just enjoy the present…. It wasn’t long though before she was ready to pick her studies back up. She went back to Northern California to study with a woman named DeAnna Batdorff at The dhyana Center“She followed a similar path that I did and studied with a lot of teacher I knew. I had been feeling like I was at a standstill in my practice and how best to incorporate these Traditional Ayurvedic practices to the Western world because we’re so different so I wanted to bridge that. Nobody is going to put a leach on them, that’s illegal here — people are having trouble doing things like enemas…. so through things like Pulse Analysis DeAnna helped me attain that bridge which allowed me to incorporate and put everything together… I did that slowly and now I’m here.”

One of my favorite topics Kari and I discussed during the interview, is her integration of Vibrational Sound Healing Therapy. Kari works with “monochord” meaning all of her instruments are tuned in “A” which is excellent for emotional release and healing. She incorporates alchemy bowls, a crystal pyramid, tuning forks, and Tibetan singing bowls in many of her treatments and traditional practices. Every little tiny detail in Kari’s space is intentional, purposeful and unique…. even down to the clay used to build the walls in the treatment room — which is a super soft white clay from New Mexico that absorbs sound and vibration really well, making the space feel calm, safe, protected and serene.

“Before someone comes in for a treatment I heat the room up because it has to be super warm… in Ayurvedic body work, it’s all about steam, oil, steam, oil… the steam drives it more in, while the oil releases… so as the steam unlocks toxins and impurities, the oil suctions them out. I use a lot of hot rocks and hot towels and something called a Bolsas, which is a cloth packed tightly with rice and herbs, then heated, and used to pound in the body - it’s great for those with a lot of nervousness and tension.”

Kari performs all of her Ayurvedic treatments and lymphatic massages at her beautiful space in Laurel Canyon. Some services such as the Abhyanga & Swedana Massages are performed in the same space by another practitioner, Jamie Brown. Keep reading to learn more about the different treatments and services Kari specializes in…

Shirodhara

Shirodhara is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment known for its euphoric affects on the mind and entire nervous system. After preparing the head with massage, a stream of warm sage infused oil is poured continuously over the forehead. ”Shiro” means head and “dhara” means flow, the result is a peaceful, relaxed and present mind.  This treatment is paired with Cranial Sacral Therapy. Cranial sacral therapy is a gentle, noninvasive form of bodywork that addresses the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain.  It is also combined with sound therapies such as crystal and metal singing bowls, tuning forks, monocord, hapi drum, and koshi chimes.  These beautiful and luminescent instruments emit an expansive sound that is healing for the body’s deeper tissues. Evocative of ancient temples, these instruments exude a healing matrix wherever they’re sounded. They provide grounding and help promote a stable, peaceful energy. Benefits include relief of headaches, tension, worry, and fear. Can regulate mood and alleviate depression. After the treatment, rinse in the garden tub and continue relaxing in the steam room and infrared sauna.”Kari Jansen


Ayurvedic Lymphatic Massges….

“This lymphatic-based massage technique is designed to drain excess heat, cold or toxins from the body, strengthen immunity and support everyone’s journey towards balance. Through the use of hot rocks, steam, herbal-infused oils (cannabis infusion), Cranial Sacral therapy, cupping, tuning forks, crystal bowls, gua sha and aromatherapy, each treatment is customized to a client’s individual needs. Navar Kizzi.  A bolus of Ayurvedic dried herbs and a special medicinal rice is used
 to massage the body.  The warm bolus and massage with the bolus
 carry the herbs and properties of the rice deep into the body, allowing deep seated toxins to be dislodged from muscle, bone and nervous system at the same time nourishing these tissues. After this two hour treatment you can relax and soak in the garden tub filled with cleansing salts and flowers.  And then continue your detox in the outside infrared sauna or relax in the hammock.  Each client is gifted Poppy and Someday product and gua sha so they can continue their own self care at home.  Come enjoy this deeply healing and relaxing experience. ” Kari Jansen


Herbal Steam and Gua Sha Facials...

“Combining Gua Sha, Herbal poultice, Pearl powder, steam, mask and oil massage to give your face, body and mind a deep relaxation and renewal.  Restore with this amazing facial massage that reduces puffiness, combats fine lines, dark circles, and age spots. Providing immediate results for overall facial and brow lift.  An organic blend of warm herbs will nourish and soothe your eyes and face while aiding in detox and sinus relief. Lymph drainage techniques help in the removal of toxins and increase blood flow.  Gua Sha is an ancient healing modality and involves stokes of crystal gem stones to clear stagnation, accumulation, and promote lymphatic drainage.  Gua sha promotes cell renewal, renew facial contour, firms and lifts sagging skin, reduces inflammation, puffiness, diminishes blemishes, relieves tension, feeds the skin and increases the flow of prana.  Herbal Poultice is dried organic herbs wrapped in muslin, steamed and applied directly to your face and neck.  This increases circulation, blood flow, oxygenates tissues, hydrates, lifts and contour brows and cheeks, reduces fine lines, reduces puffiness and dark circles, smooths complexion, eases TMJ, and increase lymphatic flow.  This facial treatment combines cleansing and pearl powder, herbal poultice massage, gua sha techniques, Rose Quartz face mask, scalp and cranial sacral massage.  Your welcome to relax in the outside garden spa afterwards.  Which includes tub, steam room and infrared sauna.  Restore, renew and nourish.”Kari Jansen 

For the full list of services, click here! You can even book “Add-On Ayurvedic Services” for $75 each — or if you and your girlfriends would like to experience this magical place together, book a “Ladies of the Canyon Spa Day” to get some serious R&R.

Be sure to check out Poppy & Someday on Instagram, and also try some of the amazing skincare and apothecary products! Some of my favorites are the Rose Quartz Face Mask, Breast Oil, Gypsy Rose Toner, Coriander Herbal Lip Tint, Magical Face Cream (ABSOLUTE FAVORITE)…. these are just a few! Every single thing I’ve tried I’ve loved… so much so that once my web shop is open, I’ll be offering select Poppy & Someday products in my “build your own” ritual and ceremony kits!

I hope you guys enjoyed learning about Kari as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my newsletter to be notified of more interview features like this! My next feature (goes live in September) will be on Dr. Deepika Chopra

Love, Light & Abundance,

The Tiny Alchemist