Category Archives: WELLNESS

Sound Bath And Alchemy With La Mer at The Maida Institute

June 21, 2018

LOVE LA MER 

I fell in love with Meredith 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. 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:)

I think those are good! Ok and for ME, can you please share with me some of those amazing instruments so I can find the Amazon versions for my budding home sound center. We are obsessed over here.

Here are some options of how we can move forward with the work.  Let me know what would work best for you?

Meredith offers…

 
Partner / small group sound ceremony:
Base rate is $350 for 2-4 participants. If you wanted to bring additional participants over 4, it would be an additional $30 for each participant up to 10 participants.
(Over 10 people would be a different offering with a different exchange)
Working one on one:  
In general first session is a 2 hour session with pulse reading and intake for $220 exchange.
After that I offer follow up 90 minute sessions for $185 per session.
After the initial session I also offer
*package of 5 sessions for $750 $150 per session  ($35 discount per session)
I also offer a  ‘Reiki, Rhythm & Resonance’ 8 month series which is more like a course with healing work included that focuses on chakra alignment through sound and concludes with Reiki level I attunement.  If interested in this let me know and I can share more details about the approach/format/exchange.
   
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.

Crystal 101 Class @Varley Pop-UP: Manifest your goals and intentions by combining the power of healing stones with sacred geometry

May 22, 2018

Manifest your goals and intentions by combining the power

of healing stones with sacred geometry.

7pm Wednesday May 30th

Varley x Platform LA

8850 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD CULVER CITY,

The Crystal Manifest x Varley crystal grid
 

t h e  r e l a x e r

//the restorative manifest//
this grid attunes to the vibration of peace and tranquility. it assists one with finding relaxation, clarity of mind and focused awareness.
tcm stones// howlite + clear quartz

https://www.thecrystalmanifest.com/

Each crystal + crystal set offered is hand-picked and hand-crafted for its potency, high quality, and specific healing abilities.
All of the crystals are cleansed and supercharged by a Full Moon before finding themselves in your care.
TCM is intention setting and crystal activation taken to a new level. To strengthen and awaken our relationship with our own manifestation magic within, we work with crystals and sacred geometry to create grids that support and activate your desires and intentions. Each crystal is hand-picked for it’s special potency, high quality and specific healing abilities.
 

t h e  r e l a x e r

//the restorative manifest//
this grid attunes to the vibration of peace and tranquility. it assists one with finding relaxation, clarity of mind and focused awareness.
tcm stones// howlite + clear quartz

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!

WANDERLUST: The World’s Only “Mindful Triathlon” Returns to Los Angeles

April 11, 2018

 On Your Mat, Get Set, Flow!
April 28 and April 29, 2018

 

Wanderlust, producer of the largest yoga lifestyle events in the world, in partnership with adidas, brings Wanderlust 108, the world’s only mindful triathlon, back to Los Angeles on both Saturday April 28, and Sunday, April 29, 2018.

Coming to the iconic Santa Monica Pier, Wanderlust’s unique triathlon consists of a five-kilometer run (or walk), a music-fueled, outdoor yoga class and a guided meditation. Mindful triathletes can also browse the marketplace of local craft and food vendors, and experience bonus fitness classes throughout the day.

Saturday’s lineup includes yoga from Chelsey Korus, meditation from Noah Levine, with tunes spun by DJ Drez.

Sunday’s lineup includes yoga from Mary Beth LaRue, meditation from Light Watkins with sweet beats provided by Jesse Blake.

For the complete lineup and ticketing information, please visit:

For the SATURDAY Wanderlust 108: http://www.wanderlust.com/los-angeles-saturday

For the SUNDAY Wanderlust 108: http://www.wanderlust.com/los-angeles-sunday

New for 2018, participants in North America will be able to choose from an array of premium ticket options to create their perfect Wanderlust 108 adventure. Ticket prices starting at $30 with premium packages from $99. Attendees can customize their experience via the tiers below:

WAN(DER)LUST Package: $150

Wanderlust has joined (RED) in the fight to end AIDS.

  • 50 tickets will be available
  • Attendees will receive a Manduka WAN(DER)LUST mat, Wanderlust 108 tote, WAN(DER)LUST water bottle, and Wanderlust fandana.
  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Premium mat placement for the yoga and mediation portions of the event.
  • A scheduled bonus activity: Attendees can choose from a variety of experiences: aerial yoga, AcroYoga, hooping—and new this year—Flying Therapeutics, which is a combination of AcroYoga and Thai Massage, or Body Work, which is deep-tissue, self-massage techniques which can assist in releasing pain, opening locked muscles and facilitating proper posture. Participants will be able to add this to their day’s agenda pre-event.
  • A Wanderbowl will be included as well—a hearty, Mexican inspired vegetarian (or vegan) meal of rice, beans, cheese, avocado and mango-lime-cilantro salsa, plus snacks and a beverage. (Wanderbowls are also available for purchase at any ticket tier.)
  • A Free Wanderlust TV class ( https://tv.wanderlust.com/ ) to continue the Wanderlust experience online at home.

108 Package: $99

  • 200 tickets will be available
  • Wanderlust 108 yoga mat, 108 tote, Wanderlust water bottle and Wanderlust fandana
  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Reserved mat placement
  • Free Wanderlust TV class ( https://tv.wanderlust.com/ ) to continue the Wanderlust experience at home, online.
  • A scheduled bonus activity: Attendees can choose from a variety of experiences: aerial yoga, AcroYoga, hooping—and new this year—Flying Therapeutics, which is a combination of AcroYoga and Thai Massage, or Body Work, which is deep-tissue, self-massage techniques which can assist in releasing pain, opening locked muscles and facilitating proper posture. Attendees will be able to add this to their day’s agenda pre-event.

108 Ticket: $40-$60

  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Prices will rise as the event date approaches.
  • Wanderlust fandana
  • Access to bonus activities on a drop-in basis, space available.

Practice Ticket: $30-$45

  • Entry to the yoga + meditation portions of the event only
  • Prices will rise as the event date approaches.

At all Wanderlust 108 events, the Kula Marketplace will showcase local craft vendors, including clothing, jewelry, and handcrafted items. Local and organic food vendors will be on site, as well as a retail store experience created by adidas and Wanderlust housed in a 60’ geodesic dome. Items from the adidas x Wanderlust co-branded collection will be sold on site at each event.

At each Wanderlust 108 event in North America, attendees will be nourished by a number of Wanderlust partners, including:

  • adidas will be introducing new experiences to the 5K run and offering additional fitness activities to help attendees embed more sport into their day.
  • Flow is pleased to bring their high-quality, naturally alkaline spring water to the Mindful Triathlon to hydrate participants throughout the day. These events will also be a chance for Wanderlust attendees to taste Flow’s brand new organic flavored water: Cucumber + Mint and Lemon + Ginger in a refreshing environment.
  • Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress. Ford is proud to be the Official Vehicle of Wanderlust and to support healthy initiatives inside, and outside, the company. Event attendees can stop by the Ford Zen Den to learn more about the sustainable practices and wellness programs at Ford, and of course, take home some incredible giveaways.
  • Rainier Fruit is a leading grower of both conventional and organic apples, pears and cherries. As a fourth generation family farm we are committed to the mission of living Wholesome to the Core. A partnership with Wanderlust allows us to share our delicious fruits with like-minded consumers who are choosing to fuel their active lifestyles with high quality food like our organic apples. We are excited to meet yoga enthusiasts from around the country and help them get to know Rainier Fruit through our on-site sampling and our sponsorship of the Wanderlust Walking Lunch.

In 2018, Wanderlust will donate $1.08 from every ticket sold to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS with (RED), which could provide over 3 days of life-saving HIV medication. To date, (RED) has generated more than $500 million for the AIDS fight, supporting HIV/AIDS programs and services in eight countries in Africa. 100% of money raised goes to work on the ground—no overhead is taken. For more information, visit red.org

Become a fan of Wanderlust at
Facebook www.facebook.com/wanderlust
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All Photos by Melissa Gayle for Wanderlust Festival