As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle, seeking to reconcile the paradox of how to make our way upon earth while striving for something more permanent and more profound.

B.K.S. Iyengar

Leah Kaplan

Founder

Leah’s Ayurvedic journey began in 2009, as a patient, when she sought out Ayurveda for long-standing digestive and reproductive issues. After trying everything from Western gastroenterology to acupuncture to psychiatry with no results, Leah finally turned to this ancient healing science for help. Within one month, her symptoms were resolved and she has been happier and healthier ever since. She had to know, why did this work when nothing else would? This question led her to over 2,000 hours of study at the California College of Ayurveda where she graduated as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and went on to work for the college, supervising interns as they started their own professional practices. Having experienced first-hand the journey from patient to practitioner, Leah is deeply humbled and honored to be able to give to others what was given so generously to her: patient, compassionate, personalized guidance; heartfelt ancient wisdom; and the very best of modern science.

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Education & Experience 

California College of Ayurveda - Nevada City, CA

Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, 2014

Teachers: Dr. Marc Halpern, Mary Thompson, Sandhiya Ramaswamy, Laksma Das, Mary Alice Quinn

 

YogaWorks - Santa Monica, CA & New York City

500 Hour Teacher Training, 2010 & 2012

Teachers: Jenny Aurthur, Carrie Owerko, Jillian Pransky 

 

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

B.S, summa cum laude, 2005

Mary Thompson Ayurveda - advanced mentorship and additional post-graduate training in clinical approaches to Menopause, Anxiety and Depression, Insomnia, and Menstrual Cycle.

Post-Certification Yoga Training - Carrie Owerko, Matt Phippen, Tony Briggs

National Ayurvedic Medical Association - Professional Member since 2015

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Our Team

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Mike Mishkin (he/him)

Head of Recipe Development & IT

Mike was formerly a software engineer for several years and has more recently begun a second path as a chef. Working with Leah is a perfect environment to utilize both his older and newer skill sets, and he loves the opportunity to keep all those different muscles fresh! In tech, Mike worked his way up, from healthcare to finance, from large corporations to freelancing for startups. While his passion for technology never diminished, he wanted to feel like he was contributing more directly to the wellbeing of others, and so dropped everything to pursue a new career in the culinary world. Having obtained his associates degree in culinary arts from Kendall College in Chicago, Mike is currently absorbing all he can about food, working in restaurants and for caterers and even cooking private events from time to time. He may have initially joined up with Leah to help with all things IT, but Mike is thrilled to bring his love of food to Thunderbolt Ayurveda as well!

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Lina Jurkunas (she/her)

Instructional Designer

Lina Jurkunas is an educator, instructional designer, and all-around academic enthusiast who has been working with learners from around the globe since 2013. She is currently the Academic Director of the Intercultural Institute of California, a non-profit English language school based in San Francisco. Prior to her current leadership role, she completed two U.S. Department of State Fellowships in Turkey. She earned her M.A. in English with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from San Francisco State University and her B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her greatest professional joy is sharing her love of education by building creative and engaging learning solutions with her collaborators.

Ayurveda & Cultural Appropriation

 

Leah is humbled and honored to be practicing a system of healing deeply rooted in Indian culture and philosphy. She is continually educating herself to be appreciative, not appropriative, through studying the original, ancient Ayurvedic texts and learning from modern teachers speaking to this moment. While she is far from an expert in this arena, here are some resources she turns to, which perhaps might help you too! With many thanks to Sanghya Ayurveda and Keshari Das for her generous teachings and perspective. And with the deepest respect for the practitioners, teachers, and originators who came before and on whose shoulders modern Ayurveda now stands. 

Susanna Barataki

Cultural Appropriation in Ayurveda

The Connective Agreements

Dismantling Racism and White Supremacy Culture

The Ancient Ayurvedic Writings

Thunderbolt Ayurveda

 

Thunderbolt Ayurveda is on a mission to make sure every person gains access to their birthright: physical, mental and emotional harmony, a sense of deep belonging, and access to the awe and wonder of our daily lives. We are dedicated to these principles ~ uniting the etheric with the material, like the sky with the earth, to bring ultimate balance to each individual, and thus, the collective. Thunderbolt Ayurveda holds a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQ community, all races, all religions, all gender identifications, all body shapes, sizes and abilities, and all backgrounds.