I am so excited to share with you this interview of Olivia Panella! Olivia is a holistic therapist, a trained reiki master and she has created her own practice incorporating various types of holistic healing methods.
Over a hot cup of Magic Chaga Latte, we talked about the intention behind her work, what drew her to reïki, her rituals, the lessons life has taught her so far and her transition from busy New York life to calm south of France.
You have created Uma Gaïa, which is a mix of reïki, sound therapy, crystals and traditional energy work. Can you tell us a bit about your practice and the intention behind?
The intention behind UMA GAIA was to create an inner and outer alignment haven for anyone and everyone. As we all deserve to feel love, happiness, peace and all the glorious aspects of life. We grow and learn in shadow, but we transcend and reap the rewards in the light and joy of life. UMA GAIA is a curation of many ancient healing modalities such as Reiki, Quartz sound therapy, traditional energy work and high-grade crystal therapy. The philosophy of UMA GAIA is to focus on the mind, body, and spirit so that we nurture and align all aspects of ourselves at the same time. Teaching and educating are top priority. Why? Because I want everyone to know that everything is already inside of us and we are our own divine healers, we just need guidance at times tapping into this and uncovering it within ourselves. At the foundation of UMA GAIA the four pillars are unconditional love, compassion, gratitude and humility and these intentions are infused into everything I do and offer in my daily life and in my practice. I like to call UMA GAIA ‘my garden’ and in this garden there are several different stems; one-on-one sessions, workshops, international retreats, corporate wellness/specialty projects, and trainings/certifications.
What drew you to reiki and sound healing in the first place?
I was first drawn to Reiki as a tool to strengthen and nurture my natural abilities as an innate energy worker. In addition, I was naturally drawn to Reiki since it teaches people that they have the power to heal themselves and shows them how to connect deeper with their mind, body, and spirit. Quartz sound healing has also always spoke to me and my heart for many reasons but the first two are one that sound cannot be denied and it permeates on all levels and is a soft door opener to aligning with yourself and the second reason is Quartz crystal and I have a long-standing infinity for one another. For me, the work I do is not just spiritual or conscious work but rather scientific and factual and this is the stuff that really gets me excited. Which is why educating is such a pivotal part of my offering and my personal journey. You never stop learning, growing, and expanding. When one aspect comes to completion another is waiting for you and this is life existence itself!
Your work is intertwined with your personal journey and growth. What are your thoughts on this balance between personal and your business’ growth
Absolutely, I was my first student. I have also taken many risks in my life that have offered an abundance of lessons and growth. Personal growth and business growth are intertwined but I have always believed in a simple saying: “Whatever is given to you at any moment in time is exactly what you can handle and are supposed to receive.” For example, for me if I have one student or thirty students in a workshop it is the same for me, as whoever is there is supposed to be there.
Change of scenery
You grew up in New York and stayed for 13 years; what did the city teach you that you have kept with you?
NYC taught me so so so many things that I have carried in my pocket along this life voyage. But one thing that I will share is that it has taught me to prepared for anything and everything at any moment and how to navigate it with as much fluidity as possible.
Today, you live between Paris and the South of France. Can you take us through the impact of how you find your balance between the two?
Some would say I am an extremist; as in I either prefer pure nature no person in sight or a big city like Paris, NYC or London. Both the divine aspect of nature nourishes me and charges me up and the same for the big city it nourishes me and charges me up. Both environments are essential for my balance and harmony. Both provide me with certain non-tangible things that I adore and cherish. To give you an example and a little insight: in nature I love the different colors, flowers, animals, and sense of aliveness all around, and in Paris, I love the different colors, monuments, people and sense of aliveness. You can see how the different flowers and animals in nature are represented as the different people in Paris…
What is the biggest lesson that life has taught you?
I have had quite a few big lessons so far in my life, but the one that touches the sky and the earth’s core is that physical life is precious and can be taken away at any second and that it is essential to understand the non-physical life that exists all around us and connects to the past, present and future.
Adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms & food
What adaptogens or mushrooms do you take and in what form?
Maïtake, Shiitake, Lion's mane, Matcha, and Chaga and I prefer powder form for all.
How did you discover them?
I first discovered them in NYC back in 2015 via Anima Mundi and then I re-discovered them in France via Maison Loüno and Eva the French Coconut.
3 restaurants you like in Paris?
Early June – the most delicious organic creations that are always changing depending on the season, and what guest chef is visiting.
Kiyoaji – tastebuds go soaring at this sublime traditional Japanese spot. Everything makes your entire body activate with delight.
Yorgaki – my go-to everyday lunch spot, Greek food for me needs to be true Greek and kind of transport you to Athens or an island and this little gem does that every time.
What is your favorite Maison Loüno ritual?
My most beloved ritual is the morning Magic Chaga Latte. The morning is my preferred time of day and the Maison Loüno morning ritual offerings are without question my go-to. I love the feeling of preparing my beloved cup, taking my golden Maison Loüno spoon, and chosen adaptogen of the day and whisk and voila a little precious potion of power is created.
What are the morning and/or evening rituals that keep you grounded day after day? Have they changed over time?
For me there is nothing like watching the sunrise and feeling the first rays of light shining. I have many different aspects to my morning rituals but I will focus on just one. Some of the main ingredients are cup of something worm, a lot of gratitude, my journal to write, something inspiring to read, and a chosen crystal to sit by my side. Right now, the something worm is my Maison Loüno Morning Chaga Latte, my gratitude starts from within, my journal is for writing poetry, the something inspiring to read is anything Yves Klein and the chosen crystal changes depending on day and what my intuition and heart says.
A few books that have greatly inspired your journey?
- A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman and Living a Course in Miracles by Jon Mundy
- Freedom from the Unknown by Jiddu Krishnamurti
- The Prophet by Kahil Gibran