Our Story

 

At Zaya, we are on a mission to help others awaken to deep transformation and healing using the power of mindfulness, psychology, art, science and technology.

By working in collaboration with leading health experts and research partners, we are creating digital immersive healing experiences for individuals globally using science-backed tools and resources. We are on a mission to make mind-body care accessible and affordable for communities globally.

 

When mindfulness is used as the catalyst to transformation, we learn to no longer be the victim of our experiences, but rather the observer of our experiences. We develop a profound understanding of the mind-body connection and recognize that the two cannot be seperated.

It's time we move away from outdated models of disease-focused care to one that addresses our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing

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Nadeya is the Founder and CEO of Zaya. Starting her career in corporate finance, Nadeya grew passionate about the mind-body connection and mindfulness after her father was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. After feeling overwhelming amounts of stress from managing multi-million dollar businesses, advising for small businesses & NGOs and supporting her father's illness, Nadeya began to explore Eastern philosophy and mind-body practices. Eventually leaving her corporate career and pursuing her passions, Nadeya began studying yoga and Ayurveda in India and Nepal in 2017 and eventually received her 200HR yoga certification in Dharamshala, India in Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Restorative and eventually receiving training in Yoga Nidra alongside training in Ayurvedic Medicine with Dr. Arun Sharma. Nadeya also received her Master Usui reiki certification in 2018 and opened up her own wellness practice in Chicago, IL. 

 

As her father's mental and physical health rapidly declined, she recognized that the current healthcare system was not efficiently set up to support people seeking affordable healthcare options for their mental and physical wellbeing. After her father passed away in 2017 and eventually experiencing her own chronic illness in 2019, Nadeya began to build Zaya, a platform that empowers, educates, and supports individuals seeking support for their mental and physical wellbeing.

 

Nadeya has a deep interest in the integration of Eastern and Western medicine and has dedicated her life to understanding disease, the evolution of the self and reaching higher states of consciousness through mindfulness, movement and art. Outside of Zaya, her research includes Eastern and Western philosophy, mind-body medicine, and the effects of plant medicine on mental health.

The Meaning of Zaya

"A portmanteau word is a word that results from blending two or more words, or parts of words together. In remembrance of my father, Zaheer, I wanted to create a name that carried the vibration of the love I shared with my father along with the strength and perseverance he displayed while battling cancer. I decided to take the first two letters of his name ("Za") and the last two letters of my name "ya" to create Zaya." - Nadeya CEO & Founder of Zaya

The History of Mind-Body Medicine

Aligning our physical, mental and emotional realities has been the foundation of healing psychological and physiological illnesses for thousands of years. From Ayurveda to Traditional Chinese Medicine, holistic and mind-body systems of practice have had a widespread methodological and philosophical influence on our approach to medicine all the way up to today.

But in the 1600’s, philosopher René Descartes, popularized the concept of mind-body dualism - saying that the mind and body are separate entities. In other words, Descartes proposed "what's happening in the mind has no affect on the body". This concept influenced religious beliefs, but most importantly the practice of Western medicine and pharmacology, ultimately placing the mind-body approach to healing an individual in the shadows for years.

 

Yet, the influence of "holistic" medicines had such a great influence in pharmacology that many pharmacists started to create new methodologies incorporating plants into its practice. In the early 1800's we saw the first pharmacologically-active compound, morphine, being isolated by the German pharmacist, Friedrich Sertürner, from the opium plant. Later, we saw other countless active compounds being separated from plants, such as aspirin which comes from the willow bark tree and penicillin from mold. Later, the development of synthetic techniques led to a significant reduction in the importance of plant medicines.

But as we moved into the twentieth century, holistic "unorthodox" systems were slowly introduced into the field of medicine as we started to see with the practice of naturopathy and chiropractic. As our ancestors before us, we were once again connected to the integration of holistic medicine once again.

It's important to understand how the concept of the mind and body being separate entities affected the world of medicine and our natural ability to understand why we may be ill. By disconnecting our body from our mind, we inherently disconnected ourselves from understanding that our emotions affect our bodies and vice versa.

 

Integrative and mind-body approaches can help us to gain this awareness of these connections between the mind, body, brain, and spirit and can also offer us the opportunity to understand ourselves better.