Category Archives: FIT + WELL

Sound Alchemy With La Mer at La Maida Institute

June 21, 2018

LOVE LA MER 

I fell in love with La Mer during an internet stalk on sound healers in LA. I had to meet her ASAP and did so at the La Maida Institute where she is the Sound & Song Healing Advisor. La Mer took me into a deep, hypnotic trance state, deep theta – with her instrumental alchemy and soothing angelic voice. My one on one session was nothing short of breath-taking. I am for sure going to have her work her magic on a small private group. Here is more about Meredith. I urge you to check out one of her offerings at the stunning La Maida or to book her privately.

Here’s a little interview to learn more about her!

GLA: Do you remember first connecting to sound alchemy and what did you do once you realized it was a portal to healing?

Like most music lovers who grew up singing and playing, I have always felt tapped into music’s capacity to connect, heal and transform.  I became more keenly aware of this while studying Ewe drum and dance in Ghana during my second year of college.  Working directly with a community whose connection to the pulse of life is literally woven into everyone’s daily rhythm was life altering.  Music has always been the foundation of their lives… babies come out of the womb knowing how to play rhythms of their tribes, it’s in their DNA!  This experience helped me realize how much has been lost in our mind centered culture and inspired me to reclaim rhythm within my own ancestral lineage.   It also helped me acknowledge how integral rhythm and resonance is and always has been to the health and well being of ourselves, communities, and the world.   Furthermore, my studies in the yoga arts and Ayurveda (the science of life) brought depth to my understanding of how to attune with nature’s rhythm in all kinds of ways.  All this and more has directed of my path as music maker, performer and healing artist.  It is also the seed inspiration of my current approach to sound alchemy which bridges ancestral wisdom with the evolving science of sound.

GLA: Do you have any mentors or teachers who ushered you to the work and nurtured your growth as a sound alchemist?

SO many!  Jennifer Goodrich, Jim Gilchrist, Bill Headberg, Shiva Rea, Maria Guerre, Silvia Nakkach, Sally Kempton, Susan Maine, Matica Filous, Guro Jess, Guro El, all my ancestors alive in body and spirit..

GLA: This is such esoteric (yet vitally important work!) Did you ever doubt that you could make a living like this? Did you question it as a profession or simply trusted it?

Trusting the path of integration is my practice.  I have never once had a regular ‘job’, I have just always tried my best follow my gut and heart and it has lead me to this work.   It’s a challenge to create your own lane in the highway, but many succeed at it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Simply trusting it is over simplifying though… I have moments of doubt and confusion…who willing to dive deeply into the human experience doesn’t?  But no doubt strong enough to veer me off the path of integration I am committed to.

GLA: What was the most challenging experience using this modality?

Transporting/loading/unloading/loading instruments/gear:)

GLA: Do you ever find yourself getting stuck or lost or scared that your channel might be blocked?

If I am lost or stuck or scared it’s because I haven’t taken the space or time to connect to the Source of Love that is ALL WAYS there when we take the time to nurture it.  I believe the channel is there for anyone who is willing to consciously, reverently lovingly relate with it.


La Maida Institute

GLA: Do you receive healings when you are in session and service for someone else? I imagine so!

Yes!  Not in the same way as those who I am holding space for, yet I most definitely receive healing.

GLA: Was there ever a moment in a session where you felt something divine happening but thought ‘oh I need to stop this!’ – because it was too intense?

My essence thrives on intensity so I have always been able to work with and through strong sensations, however holding safe space for others is integral to the process of wholesome attunement.  Checking in with participants and creating space for clear communication around the experience is often necessary.  That being said, sometimes the work requires intensity and discomfort.  Most people who find me have a willingness to dive into the  experience, come what may.   Together we cultivate deep sensitivity and respect for the process of organic unfolding through rhythm and resonance.

GLA: Where do you see yourself in a few years with this work? Can you imagine opening sound alchemy centers? Bringing it to school children?

I am currently developing a course and training that will be offered at La Maida Institute, where I am Sound & Song Healing Advisor.  That is the next phase of this work.  I am also working on more recording projects and soundscapes.  I actually work with pre-teens and teenagers now and really enjoy it.  Yes, I would love to integrate the work into schools.

GLA: How do you practice self care and nurture YOURSELF after a session?

I have some simple rituals for clearing after a session.  I take time for silence and prayer.  I often work with tarot and Goddess decks.   I walk my dog if I do a home session.  I have learned to not over book myself; this is necessary for self care.

GLA: Who are some of your favorite people in LA for healings, classes, workouts, etc…What are your little secret spots that bring you joy. A favorite walk, stretch of beach, taco or hole in the wall book store. Your LA comfort zones.

La Maida Institute, where I offer monthly new moon sound ceremonies,  weekly nada yoga classes (yoga of sound) and one on one sound alchemy sessions is my favorite place in LA… truly!  It is an AMAZING community center with so much to offer.  I feel privileged to be part of the evolution taking place there.   My favorite indie yoga studio/class/teacher is Light on Lotus~  Sunday morning Love Saves the Day class with Kate Cariarti… amazing dynamic, playful flow.  The proceeds go to a different charity each month…and you get to step out of class into the Mar Vista Farmers Market…best way to spend a Sunday!  Favorite beach is by Heathercliff by Malibu, favorite little valley spot is Follow Your Heart on Sherman Way.  I also train MMA (mixed martial arts) at Magda Institute in the valley.  This has been a game changer in so many ways, but that’s a whole other conversation for another interview! I highly recommend it for anyone who is burnt out on the health and wellness ‘scene’ and interested in some hard core bad ass training in the lineage of Bruce Lee:)

La Mer offers : One on one sessions, couple and small group ceremonies, corporate wellness sound alchemy sessions, , monthly new moon sound ceremonies, training programs and more. 
Her next new moon sound ceremony at La Maida Institute is July 12
   
Heavenly sounds and instruments…
The aftermath…
Total bliss…

Address11159 La Maida St, Los Angeles, CA 91601

Phone(818) 505-3552

RYT 500  +  REIKI MASTER TEACHER  +  SOUND ALCHEMY  +  AYURVEDIC LIFESTYLE +  RITUAL GUIDE

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I am a healer, songstress, and wildwoman storyteller from Los Angeles Earth. My contribution centers around powerful rituals of union with soulful nature. Through workshops, sound bath, healing circle, artistic happenings and individual sessions, I empower people to navigate their lives with graceful integrity, holding sacred space for transformation at the heart of every offering. 

Drawing from 11 years of experience in the healing arts, I honor the philosophies of our wise traditions while utilizing these very teachings to sensitively and playfully engage in a genuine call and response with my surroundings.

I spent the first part of my career as a touring and performance artist.  This taught me the way of communicating with others through artistic expression.  I further developed my style as an inspirational speaker teaching yoga and meditation in studios, public schools, and wellness centers in NYC and Los Angeles.  I now explore the bridge between ritual and performance art,  guiding group experiences that strengthen collective intuition and embody conscious community. Aside from the healing arts, I support ocean conservation with beach clean ups, marine conservation watches, and generate awareness as advocate for Mission Blue and public speaker for Heal The Bay. My deepest desire is to be in a practice of continual growth, cherish nature’s movements as proof of magic, and to share the love with all my relations. xo

Upcoming public gatherings are always listed on this events page.
For monthly love letters with invitations and musings, you can subscribe here

MISS GRASS. WEED CHIC. NOT YOUR MOM’S AND CANNABIS

June 3, 2018

Our friends from Miss Grass share some incredible facts about moms and cannabis. A cool infographic (so good!) and article to clue you in to how cannabis has become a leading healing medicinal for mamas.

Written By Anna Duckworth. Anna is Miss Grass’ editor-in-chief.

I’m a Mom and I Use Cannabis

Moms have been using cannabis for millennia. But for a whole slew of reasons, there’s a lot of shame around that right now. We surveyed over 200 moms to understand what it means to choose the plant.

This topic of mothers who use cannabis is a contentious one.

It’s particularly timely because women, many of whom are moms, are the fastest growing cannabis consumer demographic.

And while health officials maintain that pregnant women should not consume, the stigma surrounding that recommendation seems to follow women well into postpartum.

Even after giving birth and the breastfeeding is all over, the shame around cannabis and motherhood runs deep.

Like many recommendations from health officials, these ones aren’t coming from a substantial body of research on the subject. Instead, they come from the absence of research. And that makes some sense. Exercising caution is always the safe bet. But it’s worth noting that the absence of data here is really a matter of funding, which for cannabis research, is especially difficult to come by unless your hypothesis sets out to prove the negative effects of the plant. (Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about this issue a lot in his CNN documentary series “Weed”, which everybody should watch.)
That being said, women and mothers have been using cannabis to different effects, in different ways, at different times in their lives for thousands of years. As legislation evolves quickly right now, a moment of reckoning has come to pass. People are beginning to have access to the plant for the first time in nearly a hundred years, it’s working its way up the ladder of social acceptability, and at the same time, nobody wants to be liable for the health and wellness of society. So for now, all we have is a tiny pool of research and anecdotal evidence.A recent study conducted by the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine and Colorado Health found that “70% of randomly selected Colorado marijuana dispensaries recommended cannabis products to treat nausea in the first trimester.” The study was conducted with secret shoppers. Of the 400 dispensaries visited, 277 budtenders recommended cannabis as a treatment for these pregnant women.It’s not easy to sift through the litany of inconsistent messaging out there. And while Miss Grass is not here to give medical advice, we are here shine a light on these conversations. This topic is one of many that highlight the complexity of this plant and all that it represents. To talk about cannabis is to also talk about agency, politics, race, and class.

As part of this exploration, we surveyed over 200 moms and spoke face-to-face with others to better understand that experience, the stigma, and what it means to choose the plant. Here is some of what we learned:

  • 55% of mothers hide their cannabis use from someone in their lives
  • 62% of mothers have experienced discrimination for their cannabis use
  • 82% of mothers use cannabis as an alternative to alcohol, at least some of the time
  • 100% of mothers see the plant as a way to tap into their maternal instinct, to be more present with their children

Kanya Iwana — Photographer, Los Angeles

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Motherhood is just one of my full-time jobs. I also work as a photographer full-time too. A lot of physical labor goes into both of these—from picking up my toddler to rigging my equipments. Topicals help my muscles relax after long and physically demanding days.”

Sarah — Lawyer, Brooklyn

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Discovering CBD was definitely revolutionary to my sleep during early motherhood. I was having a lot of anxiety going to bed at night knowing that I would have to be up in a few hours (and a few hours after that) for feedings. I was really hesitant to use the sleep aids I had relied on in the past—ZZZquil, Benadryl, etc.—because I didn’t want to be too groggy or not hear my baby when she cried. A CBD vape was the perfect solution. I would take a few puffs before getting into bed at night and it helped me relax just enough drift off to sleep but still wake up alert enough to take care of the nighttime feedings.”

Natasha Amrita Singh — Henna Artist, Seattle

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It’s the only thing that has worked for my PTSD and anxiety, while simultaneously allowing me to feel like myself. It has given me the opportunity to remain a present mother and entrepreneur, but has also stimulated me as an artist, and given me the ability to think quickly and creatively. Cannabis has done nothing but enhance my life. I’m a mom, and I use cannabis.”

Paiton Hagans — Restaurant Manager, Richmond, Texas

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It’s not just a plant, it is my everyday medicine and allows to me to be the best mother I know how to be. It heals my chronic pain, eases my anxiety and depression, helps my migraines and opens my third eye to the truth of the world.”

Joanne — Natural Beauty Entrepreneur, Puerto Rico

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. It represents hope for me. It make me feels better. I use it to relax and reconnect with my inner self, to be conscious of what I need, and to let go of the things I don’t. It helps me connect more easily with my daughter and to enjoy playing with her.”

Keira Fae Sumimoto — Blogger + Advocate, Irvine, California

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. I consumed cannabis before having a baby, halting my consumption while pregnant and continued after giving birth. Cannabis gives me perspective, a sense of calm, and relief. Cannabis helps me be a better person and I will be sure to share with my daughter the wondrous properties of the cannabis plant. The future starts with our children and the stigma will end with us.”

Chris Lopez — Breastfeeding Apparel Maker, Los Angeles

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. Three months after I had my baby, depression set in and it affected everything. I’d tried antidepressants in the past and knew they were not for me. I wasn’t sleeping. I isolated myself from everyone and everything. I was having trouble nursing. Now I have a one year old daughter who still nurses and I medicate daily. I’m no longer ashamed or fearful to say that because I know what kind of a mom I am. As a mom of two, I realize how vital is it to stay present, patient and calm for your tribe and thanks to cannabis, I have help finding my center when things get crazy. I don’t always need it to be present and positive but most days it makes a major positive shift in my overall perspective and vibe.”

Anne-Marie Cloutier — Artist + Hairstylist, Toronto

moms and cannabis

“I’m a mom and I use cannabis. The last few years have been filled with wonderful changes that have brought be to redefine my life and my relationship with my child. Cannabis has allowed my innate desires to come through. I can be at peace with who I really want to be and be able to relate and connect with my children. As a self-employed hairstylist, my children are part of every single aspect of my life, and I want to show them the best version of the world I live in. I have a soft spot for micro-dosing THC oil. It makes everything softer and much more vivid.”

This article does not serve as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always speak to a healthcare professional about what’s best for you.

Grab Your Tribe and Head to Wanderlust Hollywood For Lori Harder!

May 4, 2018

 

Have you met Lori Harder? Well if you haven’t, you must! This woman speaks my language!!! She’s a leading expert in the field of fitness, transformational work, mindfulness, and self-love and has grown multiple multi-million dollar businesses as a lifestyle entrepreneur, founding The Bliss Project, a women’s empowerment retreat, the Bliss Habit online course for mental transformation, and the Body and Soul Program, which includes E-courses, meal-guides, and a large online workout membership community. Lori is also a transformational speaker, fitness cover model, three-time fitness world champion, podcast host, and author of the soon to launch book, “A Tribe Called Bliss.” Lori’s intention for writing this book is to help women everywhere build a meaningful “tribe” or support system to get them through life’s tough moments and be unapologetic about the pursuit of their bliss.

The book comes out Tuesday, May 8th and lovely Angelenos, you can experience Lori up close and personally at her book launch event: signing and reading at Wanderlust Hollywood. The event is Tuesday, May 15th from 7-9pm; $59/ticket (gets you two books). Can’t think of a more perfect gift to give your favorite ladies in your life!

 

You can find more details about the event here:

https://www.loriharder.com/la/

 

 

 

The Only Gift I Recommend For Mother’s Day – Unlimited Singing Bowls

April 26, 2018

A gift of gratitude for the present of
your mother’s presence. 

I have been going into a deep sound healing phase, y’all. It all started with my first soundbath a few years ago with Jamie. I’ve pretty much been an addict ever since. I just bought my first crystal bowl and when I saw this gorgeous site, Unlimited Singing Bowls – I fell in love with this idea for Mother’s Day gifts this year. A curated box of specialness (perfectly priced too, $119, way less than a fancy dinner).
These thoughtfully curated boxes of healing goodies, culminating in a glorious Tibetan healing bowl say I FREAKING LOVE WORSHIP AND ADORE YOU!!!!
You can also curate your own, but these are so artfully put together, all you have to do is press ADD TO CART, if you ask me.
Oh, and don’t let it only be about Mother’s Day. These are literally the perfect gift for ANY prezzie. And dad’s too of course.
A sample box contains goodies like this:
The Awareness Singing Bowl Set features the 5.5″ Moksha Singing Bowl, a mallet, Amethyst Crystal, Fill Your Cup Self-Nurture Tincture from Arise Botanicals, Japanese Cypress Incense, Lavender Soap from Feya, and instructions for the enjoyment of all these treats of the senses.

The Moksha Singing Bowl contains the image of a seated Buddha surrounded by the Om mantra. Moksha is the end of the death and rebirth cycle and the transcendence of struggle. The bowl rings a clear tone with high and low registers.

Amethyst: A stone of purifying clarity, prosperity and protection. Amethyst clears the way for wisdom to come through for protection and connection to the divine.

Arise Botanicals Fill Your Cup Self-Nurture Tincture: Taste the sweet plant medicine on your tongue. Let it move through your body and notice the Divine Feminine surrounding you.

Japanese Cypress Incense: Watch the smoke rise and drift. Be present in the scent of the cypress.

Feya Lavender Soap: Feel the water on your skin, smell soothing lavender scent, slide your hands over the bar and watch the bubbles rise and clean.

Learn more about the creation of these boxes of sound and delight in our Mother’s Day Curated Gift Boxes Blog.

~Unlimited Awareness~ Sound & Clarity Gift Box+
~Unlimited Awareness~ Sound & Clarity Gift BoxUnlimited™$ 119.00
~Unlimited Nourishment~ Sound & Comfort Gift Box
~Unlimited Nourishment~ Sound & Comfort Gift BoxUnlimited™$ 119.00
~Unlimited Release~ Sound & Relaxation Gift Box
~Unlimited Release~ Sound & Relaxation Gift BoxUnlimited™$ 119.00
~Unlimited Uplifting~ Sound & Joy Gift Box
~Unlimited Uplifting~ Sound & Joy Gift BoxUnlimited™$ 119.00
By all means, please poke around this amazing site. They have so many incredible sound healing bowls and goodies. I implore you to treat yourself to some sound self care. It has been life changing for me. I’m saving up for my next crystal bowl and some bells and this company is so kind and caring. They will take you through any shopping questions you may have.
In bowls we trust!

BedJet – The Quiet, Cool Secret To A Perfect Night’s Sleep

April 24, 2018

Thank you BEDJET, for giving me life.

I have been a night-sweater for years. As in SWEATS as in I sweat a ton when I sleep and not as in wearing sweaters or sweats at night. Though I do love a cozy pair of sweats to sleep in. Ok, now that we have that clarified…Let me explain the sweats. I am talking drenching sheets and this has nothing to do with being old AF. It started in my 20s. I have hypothyroid and no idea how these night sweats connect to it, but it’s been so bad that I have had to get up and change several times a night. Let’s call it a NIGHTMARE. I have drenched mattress through sheets and towels and even those wetness protector thingies for babies who wet their beds…I have that too. I know this makes me sound incredibly sexy, but what the heck, come at me.

Alas, enter BedJet.

When I first heard about this portable system that cools (or warms!) you by sending a quiet stream of air into your bed while you sleep, I was beyond intrigued. I was obsessed and set upon a mission to see if BedJet could help with my nights of fire (since it seemed no doctor could make sense of them).

It seemed simple enough. A small machine to go under the bed, a pump, a special sheet and yes, a phone app or the handy remote control. I was sold, before even buying one.

 

When my BedJet arrived I was a little intimidated because I figured something this cool had to be totally complicated to get going. I left it in the box, just assuming I would be overwhelmed by technology. After a week, I braved myself, opened the box, took it out, and spent all of two minutes setting it up. It really was easier than doing laundry.

I use the configuration on the above LEFT, where it slides under my bed. I hide the tube part because it looks better hidden on the side away from my front door, somewhat out of site. Now that it’s set up and running, let’s just say it’s the biggest hit of the night. My kids are not only obsessed with my BedJet, they fight over it. They each want to sleep in my bed and be the one on the side of where it does its magic. For now, that is cooling and relishing in a night of zero sweats. I have not had a drip of sweat since using it, but not only that, it simply makes the bed the perfect sleeping temperature for everyone (and yes, that means my kids who crawl in my bed are loving the cool jets of air too).

Here are some basic facts about the BedJet.

BEDJET CONFIGURATIONS

• With a single BedJet V2 and a Dual Zone AirComforter configuration, you can cool or warm one side of the bed without disturbing the sleep temperature of the other side. The Dual Zone AirComforter creates two independent zones within the sheet, without putting a barrier between the sleeping partners.

For now, it’s all about cool flow…but I cannot wait for the winter to get all toasty.

• With a full BedJet V2 Dual Zone Climate Comfort System (consists of two BedJets and a Dual Zone sheet) you can cool or heat both sides of the bed simultaneously. This one is the mack daddy and great for two people. Boyfriend goals.

• With a single BedJet and a Single Zone AirComforter (the one I have ), you can make the entire bed one uniform temperatures.

BEDJET COOLING

• BedJet uses the convective and evaporative method for keeping you cool in bed. The BedJet is NOT a portable AC unit. Even though it feels very cool in the sheets, so to speak.

• The BedJet pulls from the coolest air in the room – the room from the floor – and circulates it through your bedding to cool you off. This is incredibly effective for bedroom temperatures under 79 degrees, and works best in bedrooms that are 78-79 degrees F and cooler.

BEDJET SOUND

BedJet has special acoustic damping technology built into the case and air delivery system. This makes it one of the quietest sources of air from any small consumer appliance.

The noise totally soothing background white noise and similar to your household HVAC register and truth be told, part of my favorite PART of the whole thing. Since I’m a crappy sleeper, I often wake up, only to be quickly lulled back to sleep by the soothing sound of my Bed Jet.

BedJet’s highest fan speed and Turbo bed warming settings are extremely powerful and do generate more noticeable noise than this, but Turbo-heat mode is limited to running for maximum of 10 minutes. Turbo-heat is just too powerful for all night sleeping but it feels great when you get in – no other product can warm the bed by 30 degrees in five minutes like the BedJet! Typical all night sleep settings are with the fan speed set at around 50%, which is incredibly quiet. I seriously cannot wait until winter already, so I can snuggle in a warm cocoon.

Ok here are some cool numbers to nerd out over, for the Nasa tech bio hack freaks in the hizzy:

For equivalent CFM’ air flow, BedJet quieter than a $400 Dyson fan!

When installed in its natural home under the bed, the following are dB sound measurements take from the pillow:

• Measured Ambient Room Noise (BedJet off): 37dB

• BedJet Cool, 50% (most typical highest setting for all night cooling): 38dB

• BedJet Cool, 100% (unlikely to be used other than short bursts): 42dB

• BedJet Heat, 50%: (most typical highest setting for all night heating): 39dB

• BedJet Heat, 100%: (unlikely to be used other than short bursts): 43dB

• BedJet Burst Heat 100% (can only be used for 10 minutes before auto-shuttoff): 47dB

• The medium settings are quieter than any bedroom window fan or air conditioner.

BEDJET CORD

The BedJet cord length is limited in length for Underwriters Laboratories compliance. Its current length works for most installations. For situations where the cord does not reach the outlet, air hose extensions are available for purchase, giving you up to 8 feet total air hose length so you can put the BedJet anywhere you want close to an outlet. So far, I had no prob with this. It nicely extended to my outlet near the head of my bed.

I cannot wait to hear about your BedJet experience! And of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions. I’ve had mine for a good month now!