Meet the Woman Behind our Malas : Amanda Serene Dozal

While perusing the PAAVANI Ayurveda website, you may have noticed our collection of sacred malas & manis. These high-quality, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces offer plant-dyed fibers, sacred symbols and healing gemstones to adorn your body or utilize in your meditation practice. Each piece in the collection is made with a specific loving intention for its possessor to obtain through its essence and energy.

Handcrafted in our local Sierra Nevada Foothills, we would like to introduce you to the woman behind the malas- Amanda Serene Dozal. Amanda is a dear friend and an important part of our community. She is the space holder of Wild Mountain Yoga Center , founder of The Heart of Hatha training programs and immersions and has been creating exquisite malas for 20+ years as a form of devotion, intention and prayer. PAAVANI Ayurveda co-founders Leah and Trudy met Amanda in 2012 while immersed in their Ayurvedic studies at the California College of Ayurveda (CCA). Serendipitously enough, Wild Mountain Yoga Center was located just around the corner from the CCA, making it easily accessible for Leah and Trudy to attend and become acquainted with Amanda and her style of Hatha Yoga. To this day, Leah regularly attends Wild Mountain Yoga Center and considers Amanda’s teachings integral to her yogic practice. As a company, PAAVANI Ayurveda will always be grateful to Amanda for believing in their Ayurvedic herbal offerings and allowing the retail shelves of Wild Mountain to be one of the first to stock PAAVANI Ayurveda. Needless to say, both Leah and Trudy bow in gratitude to Amanda for her unwavering support and the devoted gifts that she shares. We hope you enjoy learning more about Amanda and her work in this special interview. 

Meet Amanda Serene Dozal

PAAVANI: Hi, Amanda! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. We are excited to introduce the maker behind our site's beautifully handcrafted malas. Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you began crafting sacred malas?

Amanda: Hey ladies. Thanks so much for having me being a part of PAAVANI. I adore the both of you and the work you do immensely.❤️ What a sweet offering to be interviewed.

Hummm. A little of my background. I'll try to keep it concentrated ;)

Since I can remember, I've been fascinated with spirituality and occult practices. Having an atheist mother and a Roman Catholic stepfather can be quite confusing. I grew up with rosaries as a sacred item upon the beads you count and chant. For those who don't know, a rosary is like a Catholic Mala. ;)

My father’s house led me to my first deck of tarot at 5 years old (I have that deck to this day), books like Jonathan Livingston’s Seagull and Carlos Castenada by 10 years old, and of course, my first headstand chair. Let's fast forward.

I received my first mala at 21 years old from my spiritual teacher and have worn one on the same wrist since. A sacred adornment infused with devotion, intention and prayer.

I started making malas in my early 20s as gifts.

PAAVANI: Could you tell us what a mala is and why they have 108 beads?

Amanda: A mala literally translates into a garland. Flesh that out a little. When would someone adorn you with a garland, and what would that mean? A welcoming, a homecoming, a ceremony, a marriage, a celebration? And and on and on. I love thinking of it that way.

The number 108. So much significance…

My first introduction was more astrological. My spiritual teachers were astrologers, so the number 108 was always connected to constellations, houses and planets. That gets trippy! It's a sacred number- 1=solar/masculine, O=lunar/feminine and 8=infinite/nature. There's a connection to the chakras, the Vedas and more. My favorite is that there are 108 energy lines that lead to the heart and there are 54 masculine forms and 54 feminine forms in the Sanskrit alphabet. This, of course, is just my small small stick on it ;)

Handmade Mani

PAAVANI: What is japa meditation and why are mala beads helpful for this form of meditation?

Amanda:Japa is a practice of using mala beads to chant a prayer or mantra aloud. This can be with a quiet voice or inside of the head. There is definitely a more structured, disciplined way for an old school practice of touching the forehead with guru bead and tassel, but really the malas are another simple yet significant tool to help focus and direct the mind back to a concentrated state. Just think of what gets infused into this sacred adornment? The meanings are vast.

PAAVANI: What are some of your favorite materials to craft your malas from and why?

Amanda: There are so many gorgeous special gems out there, but I think I'm pretty tried and true to pure sandalwood. I'm a classic old-school gal, and there's something that brings me home when I smell them. I've been lucky enough to have a friend who travels back and forth from India and gets me incredible sandalwood. There is something so special about it, and the smell is surreal.

PAAVANI: Where do you source your materials from?

Amanda: All my materials are sourced through community. Many of my peeps travel and go to gem shows, own gem shops and are jewelers. We also have a very sweet local bead store that gets in really nice AAA rounds. I support them as much as I can. The tassels I create are all hand-dyed and are some of the most beautiful pearl cottons and silks from Romania. Also, I'm a sucker for items to be passed down for generations, so I create with quality.

PAAVANI: We love the variety of malas that you offer, from the size, the beads, to the inspiring names like The Spirit Mala , The Intuition Mala and The Mama Pacha Mala . Could you share your creative process with us? For example, where do you draw your ideas from? Do the energetics of the beads you have on hand inspire the process or does a specific feeling or intention lead you to acquire the specific beads?

Amanda: The creative process, I try not to overthink. I mainly bead on full or new moons. Then a mantra will come to mind that matches the stone. From there a name. The person who wears it ultimately makes it their own with their own powers and karma. So let's say you love the stones, but you don't resonate with what I personally call it. That doesn't matter. Let it resonate something different for you.

Handmade mala

PAAVANI: Is there a specific mantra or ritual you follow when creating your handmade malas?

Amanda: I chant. But the Chanting is always different. If I know who I’m creating it for, I meditate upon them.

PAAVANI: Does your yoga practice inspire your malas?

Amanda: I’m sure it does, but I’ve never thought of it that way.

PAAVANI: Since Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga, do you offer any Ayurvedic offerings or teachings at your yoga studio?

Amanda: We used to offer more when we were running full force in the past but now have quieted down.

We have carried PAAVANI products since its birth and still do. I honestly think we may have been one of the first places to ever carry the PAAVANI line! That’s really special.

PAAVANI: What are some of your favorite Ayurvedic rituals you can’t live without?

Amanda: I definitely cannot live without drinking water when I wake! Also, oil pulling and tongue scraping daily are a must! In the winter, I typically get my abhyanga in just a few times per week since the bathhouse is outside and it can be frigid where we live!

PAAVANI: What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

Amanda: I’m looking forward to building our house, but more than anything I wish for

Peace, peace, peace. ☮️🩷☮️

Keep practicing

Keep praying.

Prem and peace

PAAVANI: Amanda, thank you for sharing about yourself with us today. You are truly inspiring to us.

Get social with Amanda Dozal & Wild Mountain Yoga Center:

Instagram: Wild Mountain Yoga

Facebook: Wild Mountain Yoga

You can find Amanda’s malas in our Adornment  or Meditation Collections located in our Lifestyle Shop. Amanda also takes requests for custom designs to fulfill your specific healing and aesthetic needs. 

Amanda Serene Dozal

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