Founder & Executive Director
Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher, Spiritual Life Coach,
Ayurvedic Counselor in Training & Plant-Based Chef
The idea of Villa Kali Ma came to me while I was in Bali Indonesia taking a 200-hour Yoga Teacher training in early 2012. Just prior to this I had attended a 30-day residential treatment center and spent 4 months in a women’s sober living facility. As a result, I had experienced a dramatic transformation and healing of my psyche, as well as an ‘awakening’ experience that was so profound that it radically changed the way I think and live my life. From these experiences, the idea for Villa Kali Ma manifested.
After my first teacher training in Bali, I continued to study and expand my knowledge and skills in yoga, spirituality and meditation. I began with taking a Spiritual Life Coach certification course and then I began training with every enlightened teacher I could find. I studied and took courses with over 15 internationally known Yoga and Meditation teachers from around the world. I completed a second 200-hour teacher certification course in Kundalini Yoga and completed the Inner Engineering Training Course with internationally known spiritual mystic Sadhguru. I am a certified Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher and I am also certified in Lifeforce Yoga for Depression.
Along with all of the yoga and meditation studies, I also attended approximately 15 continuing education conferences for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment over a period of 4 years, taking courses in Addictions, Eating Disorders, Trauma/PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Attachment Disorder, Co-Dependence, Love Addiction and other Mental Health Disorders. I am currently studying the ancient healing art of Ayurveda and will soon be a certified Ayurvedic Counselor.
I opened Villa Kali Ma in late 2012 as a Transitional Living Program for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery. I taught daily yoga, meditation and spirituality groups and ran the whole program on my own. I was the chef, driver, teacher, life coach, group leader and housekeeper. Four years later, after gaining enough experience and knowledge in the field, I obtained licensure as a Residential Treatment Center in late 2016. Besides fulfilling my role as Executive Director at Villa Kali Ma, I still work directly with the clients and lead a group called Mindfulness, Meditation & Movement 3 days each week. As the head Chef, I do the meal planning and prepare dinner for the clients 5 nights per week.
Villa Kali Ma is a such a gift from beyond. I could have never planned or imagined my life would lead me here, but I am beyond happy and extremely grateful that I believed in this idea and somehow was gifted the tireless drive and inexhaustible willpower that it took to bring it to fruition. Now many amazingly talented women who are passionate about holistic healing have joined with me and together we have made Villa Kali Ma one of the most unique and powerful places on Earth for women to come and transform their lives.
Dre Santana, BA
Transformational Self- Care & Expansion Coach
My purpose, my passion and why I am here is to help YOU see your magnificence and create a life you love via extreme self-care. As a Yoga, Movement/Dance, Myofascial Release, Sound Healing and Reiki Guide, I am honored to support Villa Kali Ma in their like-minded mission.
My career in HR, self-development coaching, professional dance and fitness/wellness have been the stepping stones that have led me to my goal of helping raise the awareness and consciousness of humanity, while promoting love and compassion for all.
My regeneration background and extensive training have been transformational in the areas of releasing old belief systems, trauma, forgiveness, love and remembering our true nature of allowing peace and BEing.
A born lightworker, I am a Certified Heal Your Life® Teacher/Leader, Landmark Education graduate, annual MindValley Presenter (representing Zumba Fitness), Spiritual Arts Institute Divine Light student and an Inner Engineering (Sadhguru) practitioner.
I am certified in various fitness formats through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and am a 200 RYT.
My calling to help uplift others encompasses Seva (volunteering) with organizations such as One Billion Rising, The Live Well Project, Hermanitas/Mana de North County San Diego, Challenged Athlete’s Foundation, Weight Watchers, Women In Sports and Events (WISE) and The Autism Tree; among others.
My travels, love of development, holistic living, fitness, dance, volunteering, reading, learning and meditation practice have aided and molded me into the dynamic and compassionate Guide that I am today. It is an honor to be of service and in partnership with Villa Kali Ma.
Wellness and Mindfulness Coach
Nadia’s passion for learning and spirituality began as a child and lead her to completing a BA in communication at SDSU, then pursuing certifications as a Reiki Master, meditation teacher, art therapy life coach and RYT200 yoga instructor. As an active volunteer with Integrative Therapies in Hospice, Nadia brings to the forefront of her teaching the healing qualities of gratitude in present moment awareness.
Each workshop offers a sensory meditation that focuses on self-care by cultivating compassion, setting intentions and learning breathing techniques for stress resiliency and daily application for vitality.
With the creation of Mandalas or Zen art, each session uses botanicals and natural earth elements to celebrate the philosophy of impermanence while experiencing a tangible and visual meditation.
Nadia’s home has been qualified as a Certified Wildlife Sanctuary, she shares her love of organic gardening with aromatherapy herbs and flowers all year long at each workshop. Creating beauty and sharing wellness practices from across her training and experiences is her passion and joy.
Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach and Chef
My name is Madeline and I’m a holistic nutritionist/health coach and plant based chef. My passion for health and cooking started when I was dealing with my own chronic illness diagnosis. I knew that I didn’t want to feel sick and was determined to learn every thing I could about natural healing.
I studied holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where in addition to learning the foundations of nutrition as it relates to the mind, body and spirit, I learned how to listen to people to address underlying causes of their health grievances.
I have since taken a keen interest in herbalism and medicinal mushrooms and love to spread my knowledge to others. My classes are focused on taking away the idea of perfectionism as it pertains to diet and to find joy and meaning in preparing and eating plant based food. I seek to educate others on how to live a natural, plant based lifestyle that is easy, accessible and sustainable in every day life.
Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner & Chef / Yoga Teacher
I was introduced to Ayurveda at a yoga teacher training 10 years ago and loved it so much that I enrolled in the San Diego College of Ayurveda. Upon completion of the program I began seeing patients and recommending Ayurvedic supplements, spices and cleanses to help my clients heal and optimize their health and wellbeing. Knowing how important the role of diet is in Ayurvedic healing, I decided to continue my education and became a Certified Ayurvedic Chef at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley. I then attended Culinary School in Cincinnati and upon completion I created my own company, Wild Vedic Living, where I teach Ayurvedic cooking classes and workshops.
I find great joy in helping people learn about their dosha (constitution) and how their body and mind are made up of the 5 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether) in different combinations in each individual. Finding out what your imbalances are and then bringing them into balance to create optimal health and wellbeing is one of the key lessons in Ayurveda. It is a blessing to help individuals learn how to heal and thrive through Ayurveda. It is my mission to share the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with as many people as possible, so they can feel lighter, brighter, and healthier than they ever have!
Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach / Certified RYT800 Yoga Teacher / Beyond Addiction: Kundalini Based Recovery Program Practitioner
As a former Social Worker in the Middle East, I have always been passionate about working with women to overcome trauma and addiction. Having battled with these myself from early childhood and experiencing many years of unsuccessful treatments, I took it upon myself to find a solution. I have studied everything from psychology to nutrition to Eastern Medicine and yoga, all of which helped me to understand the power of the mind/body connection and its innate healing wisdom.
Through mindfulness, movement, meditation, and mentorship, I created a way to help others stop fighting and start living. With compassionate guidance I challenge the women I work with to move beyond their perceived limitations to realize their full potential and ultimately reconnect with their true authentic selves. My aim is to empower you with the tools you need to find freedom from addiction and live a life of passion and purpose.
I studied Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Beijing, China in 2000 for 3 years and then transferred to SCUHS in Whittier, California to get my Masters in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, along with my Doctorate of Chiropractic. Having also received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from UCLA in 1998, I have a well-rounded knowledge of the human body. The body and mind are amazing in the way each organ works individually, as well as holistically.
I became particularly interested in Addiction as I worked with more and more patients in the field. I found that alcohol and drug use were symptoms of a much deeper infliction. Acupuncture helps with the depression, anger, anxiety that are at the root of addiction – and without side effects. It also helps with any physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced. When we treat the body as a whole with acupuncture, the nervous system and the brain begin to balance out into our natural state of equilibrium and we can then function the way we were born to.
Health is not just the absence of disease or infirmity but the expression of life itself- being that of optimal physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. My goal is to help the patient overcome obstacles within their body and life to regain or maintain confidence through healthy living.
Sustainable Living Program
My name is Erik Hjermstad, and I am a Gardener, Permaculture Designer, and lifelong resident of North County San Diego. A health crisis in my teens has encouraged a life path of deep exploration of what it means to be healthy, and how we may best achieve health in our lives. I have discovered that the connection with nature and the abundance of our garden are our true sources of health and happiness. I have now dedicated my life to designing and developing healthy garden ecosystems, from the backyard scale to farm scale and beyond. I am grateful to invest my time and energy into this ultimately important task, and grateful for the many community collaborations in support of this work.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Natural Foods Chef, Ho’oponopono Practitioner
Due to my own “dark night of the soul” experience, I awoke to something deeper, not based in the concepts of the mind. I experienced an emotional and psychological death so profound that for 2 weeks I felt as if I was not on earth. In the words of author Eckhart Tolle, this is the space in which “Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything… and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, for some reason collapses.”
I know the emotional, psychological and physical pain patterns that underlie addictive behaviors and the desire to escape reality. I know the roller coaster of hope and failure, the feeling of life being sucked right out of you, guilt, fear and meaninglessness. But most importantly, beyond these patterns, I know that “impossible” truly means, I’m possible.
And yes, I am in deep gratitude for this incredible journey, as it continues to unfold. I have dedicated my life to unconditional love, and to sharing powerful practical tools like Ho’oponopono, to awaken the true radiance that is the Essence of each Being. To compliment this soul journey, I became a certified holistic nutritionist, natural food chef, and detox expert. I guide clients to nourish them selves by creating an intuitive internal dialog with food. I joke that “Scales are for fish, not humans” and I don’t count calories or pounds, but I see real change happening, one conscious bite at a time.
“Your relationship with food is a metaphor for Life, how you nurture yourself is a window to your Soul.” ~ Elli
"I don't believe it to be an exaggeration to say that Villa Kali Ma saved my life. I couldn't have asked for a better environment to heal and redirect onto a path towards true living."Kristen B.
"This place completely changed my life. I needed a drastic change from the typical recovery environment in order to stay sober long term. Villa Kali Ma was more than able to provide a safe healing environment for me to cultivate a strong spiritual connection through yoga, meditation, and an organic lifestyle. I can honestly say that I love who I am today and I am forever grateful for Villa Kali Ma!"Cynthia B.
"I am so grateful I found Villa Kali Ma, it has truly changed my life. Kay is awesome and the entire team who works there is absolutely amazing. I was introduced to many different types of therapy, healing and recovery options. I was able to choose what works for me and continue them outside of treatment once I went home. VKM is truly a tranquil place to start healing. If you are looking for treatment I would highly recommend making this the start to your recovery."Suzie H.