Jaya Cruz is a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Jaya was initially trained in advertising, cultural production, and professional dancing. Later she was trained in holistic integrative therapies at and as an educator in live food at Terrapia / Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FioCruz).
As a dancer, she has specialized in Araabic and Brazilian dances. She has also dedicated herself to Afro Dance, Flamenco, Odissi Indian dance, fusions, and FCBD (r) Style. She has taught Belly Dance and participated in dance festivals in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Argentina. For two years she studied the Laban system and its Study of Movement, in Rio de Janeiro.
Since then, she has developed research studies on movement with a focus on somatic, body awareness, and movement therapies, which include: eutonia, Klauss Vianna technique, Ivaldo Bertazzo method, Pina Bausch, circular dances, sacred dances, African women dances, and SomaSource by Melissa Michaels. Jaya has developed a work called Harmonic Movement in which she brings together body awareness and movement therapy as part of a process of self-knowledge and liberation, recognition, and reframing of life experiences for a more integrated life.
As an integrative holistic therapist, she has also studied as a Bach Flowers practitioner, master Reiki Usui, and Karuna Ki, psychoaromatherapy, herbal medicine, and natural gynecology. Jaya regularly supports gatherings with women, elders, and the indigenous communities she is connected to.
Jaya’s work is focused on the feminine and offers healing journeys, self-knowledge, feminine cycles, and ancestral processes. She currently runs a small business called Casa Jaya Udja for holistic integrative therapies, natural food, art, and self-care products.
“I was a girl who dreamed of being a choreographer to teach other girls to dance and go on stage. I always dreamed of sharing something with women. My life experience was not easy and I spent my life searching for meaning for my existence and ways to cure my pain. Looking back, I realize that everything I did I looked towards the sacred and healing, a path of liberation for our bodies where fertility, cycles, movement, the pulsating life in us were made sacred again.
My goal is to unify my work in a holistic way. I have been researching and applying the knowledge acquired to unify everything under a system that creates connection and strengthens our power centers, food, fertility cycles, ancestral memories, self-care, spirituality. I believe in movement as a path of healing and self-knowledge. I am very interested in developing a social business and supporting the creation of collaborative economics for a more just society. The study of Rites of Passage and SomaSource has deeply informed my work. I believe that the sacred feminine considers the womb to be a place of power. From the power of our wombs, we can change our lives and affect other women. This is my place and that is why I like to work with women.
We can change our way of living by reframing memories we carry in our wombs, and showing the path I have built and inviting other women to walk it with me is the most exciting thing I have ever experienced.”