The Long & Winding Road
Lauryn Bellafiore believes that everything happens for a reason. “It’s no coincidence I’m doing what I’m doing,” says the 26-year-old Ayurveda practitioner. And that includes her finding a home in the Hudson Valley.
Bellafiore grew up in Long Island but both her parents had an affinity for the Hudson Valley when they were younger. At 17 she was sent to boarding school in the area and began her journey through all that the area offers both physically and spiritually. While away at school she became interested in nutrition.
“The nutrient-depleted food being served sapped people’s vitality and wasn’t feeding or building on consciousness,” Bellafiore says. She started reading field guides, foraging and gaining support from the many herbalists and nutritionists in the area.
After a short stint in college, Lauryn headed to the Big Island of Hawaii under the auspices of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It was there she began learning about Ayurveda, which she explains is “a time-tested ancient holistic Indian framework of lifestyle and medicine.” Bellafiore found her calling. “I felt Western medicine failed number people and this practice was what I had been plugging away at with nutrition and herbalism.”
Bellafiore studied to become a practitioner in an “intense” six-month program in India and returned to High Falls “radiating to bring this information back to the Hudson Valley.” Lauryn says she’s found a welcoming spirit in the Hudson Valley and a unique opportunity to bring the Ayurveda concept to the region. “Many of the herbs used in Ayurveda are subtropical in nature, but I was able to break down my knowledge of the foods found in our backyards and translate that to my practice.”
Since she started her practice in 2014, Bellafiore has witnessed a number of changes in the region. “There’s been an influx of people moving here from New York City who are hungry to rest their wings, and the Hudson Valley allows them to do that.” Bellafiore, described on her website as the “Womyn Behind the Medicine,” is also spreading her wings. In December she introduced a line of products through her company, Surya Chandra Ayurveda, including an herbal nasal/pineal gland clearing oil and balancing formulas for detoxification and rejuvenation.
“The products are part of Ayurveda’s daily principles and open an invitation into the world of Ayurveda,” Bellafiore says.