Angela Shore on creating Jiva-Apoha Essential Oils and Healing The Soul
If we've ever met a woman who's skin glows, scent comforts, eyes shine, and words uplift, then that woman is Angela Shore - the mystically modern healer behind the Sakara Clean Boutique favorite: Jiva-Apoha body oils. And she wants you to know that balance is as much a part of life as fiery passion, and that passion is just the sound of your soul asking for what it needs. This woman is tried + true to her core, where art looks like freedom hawks flying alongside manifestations of ancient methods in self-soul-healing. Her dedication to preserving the land - and the people of it - are what make her oils (and not to mention her spirit) that much more extraordinary. Angela's grand intentions are poured into each and every bottle (seriously, every single one) alongside some of the most potent, organic essential oils on earth. Brb - going to oil our bodies now.
"I create each bottle with gratitude."
POST 9/11 HEALING
Jiva-Apoha means ‘Soul Healing’ in Sanskrit. I chose this name because the path to the oil brand has been an organic journey for me. One thing led to the next - as most paths do - and Soul Healing was just revealed to me. It's as if the brand created itself.
The 9/11 attacks were a big turning point in my life. After witnessing such heartbreak, I was getting pretty sick, and need a lot of healing. I yearned to embrace my roots, in mind body and spirit. My heart in helping others and interest in Alternative Healing has really been with me since the 80’s. Though after 9/11, I met a kindred spirit, a very powerful medicine women, who today is my peer, friend, and someone I consider family. Her name is Terra Tirapelli. I started working with her aggressively on a weekly basis for acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Shamanic energy clearings. I had a cyst on my right ovary that was the size of a peach. My doctor wanted to operate, but I said no and leaned toward Eastern Philosophy, which in turn brought me closer to myself, the Great Spirit, and the way I respect life in general. Through all that, it took a solid year for the cyst to completely go away. The power of self-healing is very real.
I also went through alopecia, depression, and was dealing with post-traumatic stress. It was a very confusing time for me, and all of these things were just manifesting from witnessing the 9/11 attacks. This was the pivot point of my lifestyle change. At the time, my profession was in Hospitality and I was in the middle of forming business partnerships, while putting my own restaurant project plan together and consulting for other restaurateurs. Needless to say, the industry in new restaurant ventures went flat for months afterwards, and I lost my investors, and personally hit rock bottom.
I decided it was time to reinvent myself, and to become a stronger person. Suddenly, certain things that use to matter to me no longer did.
"Healing should be fun. Not everything has to be so serious."
It’s all about breaking patterns, and once you start doing that, these new habits - the healthy ones - become the best decisions that you just automatically go to.
I started doing a lot of different workshops in the Healing Arts such as energy, body work, aromatherapy, herbs, Ayurveda, Ayurvedic cooking & Indigenous Studies.
After 9/11, I had some personal visions where I saw myself not really on the right track, and potentially becoming a very sick person, and that wouldn’t have been good. So I really went inside myself - I prayed very, very hard about what I was suppose to be doing because everything that I always did for work never felt quite right.
Above all, I felt very connected to The Wisdom of Life - aka Ayurveda - India was my place where it all came together on a creative level, and where Jiva-Apoha was conceived. I chose to infuse and combine my passions for the people of the land. To learn, to know more, and to help others, meshing all these foundations and philosophies into one. Ayurveda is an endless path to new self-discovery.
I began to learn from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy in New York, during a time when the city was still on the list to receive a license to even teach Ayurveda within a proper schooling system. These Indian doctors and teachers would fly into NYC from California every month to teach and test us. Those weekends were intense with many hours and exams. I eventually went to India to study it more.
India was an amazing experience that, simply put, changed my life. I went to school in Kannur and lived in a beach village along the Malabar Coast. I’d wake up with the sunrise, go to bed at sundown while studying. I got to experience all regions from spice fields, to temples, to religious festivals. But it took me about a year to coordinate that trip with my job at the time, and jokingly, my boss thought I was absolutely crazy. His comments were like, ‘What are you, crazy? People love to go to Bali or Hawaii. Why would you want to go live in an Indian village right now?'
I was representing photographers at the time, and was basically hanging on since the industry had changed to digital. I studied and worked nights and weekends with developing my healing session work. I started working with friends, models, agents, people in need from the younger generation, to working with all ages.
I really like what's happening today too, because I'm meeting such a younger generation, where they feel like it’s so cool to get in touch with yourself and to learn more about spirituality. They can be spiritual, but still Rock n Roll. That's a big part of the brand that I like to play into: bringing in a lot of good music, a yogi-rock type of attitude. Healing should be fun. Not everything has to be so serious! You’ve got to let it go.
THE BIRTH OF JIVA APOHA
Jiva is something that’s been in me for years and years, but I was always too afraid to go there. I was afraid of what my friends would say - if I would still be a cool chick to hang out with or not. I was afraid of going too New-Agey on them.
I began reading into beauty and personal care labels - carefully looking for words such as chemical-free, paraben-free and non-GMO. I was teaching myself about organic, all-natural products and what that really meant. I was weeding out the entire bathroom / medicine cabinet, and decided to start from scratch. Perfumes, soaps, lotions… You name it, I got rid of it. So I went back to using organic based oils to moisturize my entire body. I taught myself with learning how to dilute top therapeutic grade essential oils safely into carrier oils.
I’ve been my own tester for years, along with my close friends and family. My one on one sessions began, then people started making requests for personalized blends. At the time, this was very much like, 'Let me run down to Rickie’s and find a plastic container.' I basically became an oil tailor.
I started making some pretty personal blends, tailored for whatever was going on with someone. I was also getting requests, like, ‘Are you going to be making blends that we can just buy? Can we buy small bottles for travel?’ And that’s how it all started. Next thing I knew, Jiva-Apoha was born in Brooklyn.
GRATITUDE FOR EACH BOTTLE
There’s a lot that goes into the bottle itself. I’m very particular about the bottle cleansing and polishing. The making of them is a ritual and ceremonial phase. It’s a calculated, scientific oil zone. Each bottle, as of right now, is hand-blended and hand-crafted. So there’s a lot of concentration that goes into each one. We do a little smudge, a little prayer, and off they go.
The making of each batch can be different - on a mission level - but what I really think about, especially if it’s going to a retail partner, a direct client, or whether its a chosen + personalized blend is, 'What is the intention for this bottle from the start?'
Our online sales is big, and on a separate level I work with many who battle challenges; be it physical, mental or spiritual, it just depends on who that person is. I sometimes make the creation of a bottle into more of a consultation, making each sale unique. I create each bottle with gratitude.
Imagine what you’re putting on your body: whats going into your skin pores, whats running through your nervous system. The act of putting things on your body is an appreciation for nature and about being thankful for the birds, the bees, our honey, the flowers and the trees, the air that we breathe. All together. We’re all related. It’s very important to bring gratitude in as a daily ritual.
"Beauty is beauty. As long as you're being good to yourself, I think the natural aging process is the most beautiful thing."
Similar to balancing food, each oil blend is balancing - some are more warming, and some are more cooling - but if you know your body constitution, then that’s your guide, and will take you to what you’re attracted to. Right now, we have eleven blends on the market. For instance, the 1967 blend is warming with cinnamon bark and ginger. It’s amazing for date night, and for Fall through Winter. Year round for some.
Our oils are organic, working with the best Ayurvedic base oils loaded with antioxidants, rich in healthy fatty acids and vitamins. I always ask people, 'What are you moisturizing your skin with?' And a lot of them tell me that they still don't think about it, or they don't necessarily want to moisturize.
In India 'oiling' is a form of cleansing / nourishing the skin for twenty to thirty minutes before rinsing with water. Here in the West, I like to influence people to 'oil' after they shower or bathe. It's a re-programing of the brain to moisturize immediately, once the pores are wide open. That way, the oils go into your nervous system, feed the cells, tissues, organs, and it opens up all the channels in the best way.
ON CITRUS + SPICE
I’ve always been a big foodie, since I used to be in the hospitality industry. Back then, it was nothing for me to taste alligator to turtle soup - all kinds of delicacies. Though, I’ve always been about 95% vegetarian. I’m all for the most delicious grass-fed burger and a good sipping of tequila. It's all about balance, and in return, I try to show this to others because I know that it works.
Above all, I live within a spice route. I enhance living and cooking all the same. The beauty of the oils that I work with is that they're game-changer fuel for my body. Ayurveda has taught me how to create balance, and how to make healthier decisions + choices, which is what balance is all about.
Ayurveda really got me off of ice water too. It’s about warm lemon water, especially first thing when you wake up. I'll never forget, one of the first things that they taught me was, if you take a bowl of ice water and put your hand in it, how does it make you feel? You quiver up... which is exactly what’s happening inside to your tissues and your organs. Not a good thing.
"My dream is where bare feet + shooting stars meet."
Most of us can love ourselves, but can still be so hard on ourselves. For me, I'm aging. I'm a 1967 baby so I start to see the differences. With that, it's really about becoming so comfortable with the process of aging, like getting over seeing a wrinkle, or maybe certain part of the body is not as firm as it used to be. Keeping up with daily exercising is important. For me, it's yoga, and it's really about staying on that by being consistent and content.
Beauty is beauty. As long as you are being good to yourself and you're bringing in all the good wellness, then I think the natural aging process is the most beautiful thing.
You know, if you’re ever given a mantra, it should personal. Just like a medicine pouch, whatever goes in there or what you choose to put in it - stone, sage, whatever it may be - you're never supposed to show that to anyone. It's like your walking alter.
As my grandmother used to tell me, release the old and accept the new. I think this is simply very wise and is something that I think of every day. We always have to release an old way of thinking, an old way of doing things, in order to do something good and positive. I'm not knocking mantras at all, trust me. I just think it's an interesting concept, because when you're sharing ceremonial work, most of it is very sacred when you get to that place.
I strive to feel light by the end of the day, and I wake up happy. This is really hard for a lot of people still. Our days can be long, especially living in New York and doing the hustle. It’s a huge accomplishment to wake up happy, and especially if you can share that with a loved one.
Talking about a legacy is big, only because I have many ideas and much work to still do. Our working plateau is to be with spas, services, and hotels.
My goal + dream is to create a Healing Retreat where bare feet and shooting stars meet. I've already sketched out ideas of what I would do. It's everything that revolves around Self Love - a magical place for all.
I want people to say, ‘Hey that chick taught me so much about oiling + soothing the soul, and she still knows how to Rock 'n Roll….'
* If you have yet to get your hands on an authentic Jiva Apoha oil, then you're in for a treat nothing short of healing - energetically, physically, psychologically, spiritually, sexually. Find Angela on Instagram @JivaApoha *