The Spice Mistress
When you first come to experience the divine fragrances of The Mystic Masala, you may find yourself transported to the Malabar Spice Coast, or perhaps to a sangoma’s apothecary in the Southern reaches of Africa; you may even imagine yourself on a vibrant stroll through a bustling New York City marketplace. None of these sensations would be too strange as Glynnis Osher has drawn from all of these.
Glynnis was born and raised in South Africa, immigrated to New York in her 20’s and has traveled through India and to both US coasts, gathering knowledge of Ayurvedic practices.
In April of 1997, Glynnis was drawn to The Wise Earth School of Ayurveda in North Carolina and embraced the teachings of the School Director and Vedic monk, Maya Tiwari (Sri Swamini Mayatitananda), graduating in the ‘Food Sadhana’ program, later returning to the school to assist in two Food Sadhana programs and integrating this work into her personal life.
The Pacific Northwest provided Glynnis with other avenues to broaden her knowledge. In Seattle, she taught Ayurvedic spice workshops and cooking classes, including a 3 month credit class to nutrition students at Bastyr University. In 2002, Glynnis graduated as an Ayurvedic practitioner from the AYU Academy at Bastyr. From there, she developed further hands-on workshops to create one’s own pharmacopoeia of home cosmetics using essential spice and herbal oils, ground grains, beans, seeds, nuts and spices. Glynnis’ interactive workshops of toasting, grinding, chanting, and melding continue to be strongly influenced by her diverse studies and the colors, rituals and practices of both India and her native South Africa.
These seeds of experience, exploration and a passionate love of Ayurveda, gracefully blossomed in mid-2003 when she launched The Mystic Masala. All this plus a background as an art director, designer and illustrator makes Glynnis a lively masala indeed! As one can readily see in the crafting of her product line, Glynnis’ love of aesthetics is strongly evident — as is her strong belief in social responsibility. And this is only the beginning. Now based in Vancouver, Canada, Glynnis and The Mystic Masala plan to continue introducing people to the beauty and wisdom of Ayurveda through their exquisite aromatherapy products.
As a little girl growing up in South Africa, I was blessed to have a nanny. Ellen was much more than a nanny to me, although she has passed on, her feisty and loving spirit will always be with and inspire me. Ellen used to carry me on her back in a blanket like a papoose, as was the tradition of Zulu women carrying their own babies. Ellen was a Zulu witchdoctor or sangoma, a healer in her tribe. She would receive visits from those seeking her guidance, and her muti (medicine).
The scent of Frankincense and other mystifying fragrances would spiral from her room and intrigue my senses. At night the sound of her chanting and singing in her native tongue drifted into my bedroom and filled my consciousness with the comfort of things both strange and familiar. I never had any formal teachings or conversations from Ellen in the area of mysticism, oracles and remedies. My inspiration comes from her spiritual magic and a very deep relationship that influenced my formative years and will always be a part of my life.
We met on a train in India, in the colorful state of Rajasthan and I knew from the very first moment, that I had found my life partner. We were married almost four years later in New York City with a mango lassi toast under a shower of fragrant rose petals. Dave has been there, inspiring me in every way. His amazing creativity and support have been the foundation of The Mystic Masala.
I consider myself so lucky to have met Dave in the land of the Rishis, he is the very essence of Kapha, nurturing, grounded, consistent, showing me every single day what it means to love and be loved unconditionally.
A healthy body, a healthy spirit and a healthy planet.