Deacon Oakley-Carpenter, a Santa Rosa-based Ayurvedic medicine specialist, believes yoga and integrative medicine must evolve to meet the needs of modern life. “Yoga is 5,000 years old. We don’t move, we don’t sit, we don’t communicate, we don’t consume things the same way now as we did then.”
Oakley-Carpenter, a former New York advertising executive, is well-situated to lead this transition, having discovered Ayurvedic medicine in his teens. He moved to Healdsburg in 2010, leaving behind a career in advertising and marketing, and seeking a community with heart and a deep connection to the outdoors. “In New York, you chase life, but in Sonoma you really live life,” he explains.
This spring, Oakley-Carpenter’s airy downtown Santa Rosa yoga studio branched out and became WellSonoma at YogaONE, where in addition to yoga classes and Oakley-Carpenter’s Ayurvedic practice, clients can consult with other on-site integrative health professionals, including a Chinese medical doctor and acupuncturist, a massage therapist, a Reiki specialist, a nutritionist, a hypnotherapist, even a specialist in nonviolent communication.
A traditional MD is also on staff, and patients benefit from the atmosphere of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. A client with chronic back pain, for example, can combine yoga classes with cranial-sacral therapy and acupuncture. The clinic also offers a cancer wellness program — on a pay-what-you-can basis — that supports patients undergoing treatment elsewhere with gentle yoga movement and breath training.
Oakley-Carpenter feels WellSonoma’s approach aligns with the overall direction medicine is taking. “What’s not happening in Western medicine are the diet and lifestyle edits that can greatly reduce the use of pharmaceutical drugs,” he says. His Ayurvedic consultations help patients achieve balance and make more thoughtful choices about what they put into their bodies. Sonoma’s robust food culture certainly helps — because if you’re eating seasonally, he explains, you’re eating healthfully.
“There’s no magic bullet,” says Oakley-Carpenter. “The intention is always to bring people to a better place.”
416 B St., Santa Rosa, 707-542-9644, loveyogaone.com