Teen KWEEN

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Jaimie Baird

 
 
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Sophie Kos NEVER seizes to amaze us. When we were 18, we were conference-calling our friends, hangin' out and babysitting for some extra cash. What we were not doing was leading other teens through a kickass workout practice that provides a safe space to let out everything we are dealing with in our personal lives. We’ve claimed our love and obsession with The Class By Taryn Toomey, but now that Sophie is an official instructor, we are so excited to share her journey getting there...we interviewed Sophie back when she was teaching yoga as her full-time profession, so now that she is working her magic at The Class by  Taryn Toomey, we had to get the scoop. We are so inspired by Sophie and the choices she has made in her life. At 18 she could set an example for all women, way beyond her years as how to live our best lives and listen to our truths, wherever they guide us. Our interview with this teenage rockstar, below.

 
 
 

Can you describe your personal evolution from yoga to The Class by Taryn Toomey and was there a "trigger moment" where you knew you wanted to make the switch?

I have been practicing yoga for many years and continue to practice now. I have always loved and connected with the practice, but yoga started to feel a bit stagnant for me. I had a lot of fire and drive in me that I needed to let out in a bigger way.  I needed to find another practice where I could get that adrenaline rush and allow my body to move the way it wanted and needed to. The Class was and is the perfect fit for me.
 

 

For us too! For all the reasons you mention. Can you share what you learned about yourself through The Class by Taryn Toomey, and how it has benefitted some of your childhood learning struggles?

I have learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought. When I first began to take class, it was very difficult for me - not necessarily on a physical stamina level. The struggle I felt was more about moving my body in a bigger way energetically and staying steady within discomfort. I felt this in the past when I was struggling in school with learning and body challenges. Movement has really become my medicine. Reading and writing still do not come easily for me and movement is the only way I can express myself.
 

 
 
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What have you learned from Taryn and what are the ways she inspires you?

Taryn has taught me so much about teaching but I also learn and am inspired by her everytime I go to her class, which I try to do at least twice a week. I am inspired by the way she started this method on her own and has grown it into this amazing life changing experience. I am inspired by everything she says when she teaches and how she draws from a real, raw place and speaks to things that are going on in her life. Her ability to be so connected to the room. Also she is always so real, there is nothing phony about her and I really appreciate and admire that.

 
 

Yes. Absolutely and it totally comes through. As busy mamas, we love The Class, but can you explain why it's especially beneficial for teens?

Being a teen is not an easy thing. With hormones raging and stress with school, body image, peer pressure, anxiety, all of it! I know because I am going through it now and The Class is literally the thing I come to when any of the above things are being triggered. The Class is a safe space for anyone, of any age to come and get into their bodies and do anything they need. It is a completely judgement-free zone and I think that is such a special thing, especially for teenagers to have. We are told all day in school and in life what we should and shouldn’t do. To have the space to release in lass is such a special and important thing.

 
 

We LOVE THAT. How do you think, as a teenager, you can impart a unique perspective or tone in your specific classes?

Even though I am only 18, I have gone through a lot and I speak from those experiences, As a teen, I have a different, fresh perspective on life and my speak in classes comes from that raw, honest place.

 

How do you think you've benefited from joining this community at such a young age?

Being able to join The Class by Taryn Toomey community at my age has been so incredible. I am surrounded by strong, powerful, loving women and have learned so much from everyone already. It is truly a blessing.

 
 
 
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Rituals - Natalie Kuhn

 

Executive Director and Founding Teacher of
The Class By Taryn Toomey

 

 
 
 
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Photographed by Jaimie Baird

 
 
 

My first ritual of the morning is...

"I'm a tea freak - I mean fanatic. First I start with water + Dr. Ohhirra's Probiotic, then move to Steep Rise's Citrus Tea with lemon + Ginger People's Ginger Juice, and finally to PGTips with almond milk, one right after the other. I've started a new rule for myself, which is to keep my phone on airplane mode for the 30 minutes I take to get up from bed, prepare for the day, steep all the teas and sit down at my desk."

 
 

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Good Medicine

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Angela Baltra

 
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OK mamas, what exactly is Medicine Dance, you ask?

Luciana Naclerio, describes Medicine Dance as “the call to remember the sacredness of the body and the power of its expression.” Think of it as a fusion between dance and yoga, where the warm-up and the breath work stems from yoga teachings, while the dance comes from one’s own rhythm. The practice is then capped off by a healing session using reiki to balance and bless the spirit. 

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Luciana was inspired to create Medicine Dance while studying under Deborah Hanekamp, aka Mama Medicine, an Initiated Amazonian Shaman, Reiki Master and Yogini who has facilitated her famous Medicine Readings and Medicine Reading ceremonies all over the world. These full-sensory experiences engages the faculties of scent, sound, and feeling that result in deep joy, physical radiance and the ability to be open to love.

 
 
 
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Well, we at A Wild Dove thought that Luciana and Medicine Dance would make for a perfect workshop for our wee ones, who need no reason to shake things up! Even more so, what child wouldn’t benefit from understanding that in Medicine Dance, the message is that we are our own healers? That we can  discover that all that we want in life is already inside of us!

 
 

So we gathered, some of our favorites from the under 12-set and gathered at Mama Medicine to get dancing, Medicine Dancing, that is. While the mamas watched enjoying snacks from Sakara and Kombucha’s from Health-Ade, Luciana led kids in the five stages of the practice -  beginning with dropping the body into the breath, shaking to release, dancing to celebrate, sitting in stillness to bless and finally using reiki to seal. “Kids are so responsive to Medicine Dance because there is less ego involved,” said Luciana. “They surrender to their bodies almost right away and let the music and movement carry them. Each group of kids is so wildly different. By now I know that while some structure is important, the purpose of this workshop is for the kids to let loose however they feel they need to that day.”

 
 
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Luciana taught the kids this very active form of meditation, the root of which she learned from Deborah, who serves as her personal mentor and inspiration. But what surprised her most was what she learned through them. “Children have always been my biggest teachers,” Luciana said. “When working with them, I find myself being the best version of myself. During this particular workshop I learned the importance of not forcing a structure upon the group and allowing the class to flow in a way the kids could comfortably express themselves.”

 
 
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Check out some pics from our Mama Medicine workshop below, and don’t forget to sign up below for our upcoming workshops, where we’re creating activities and adventures for our children to discover the spirit of mindfulness and wellness!

 
 
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We are committed to bringing one of a kind experiences to mamas and children. Learn more about our unique upcoming events.

 
 

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Mama Medicine

Rituals - Angela Shore

 

Creator and Founder of Jiva-Apoha

 
 
 
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My first ritual of the morning is...

"waking early and rising with immediate prayer and quiet time. I burn white sage, sweetgrass, palo santo and cedar - the combination for positive vibes and a whole lotta what "I’m grateful for." It allows me to plant myself and set good intentions for the day no matter where I am. It helps shift the flow of what’s needed in receiving and acknowledging the gifts."

 
 
 
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Jiva-Apoha

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

On Beauty

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mictchell

 
 
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After a 24 year career in fashion magazines, Larissa Thomson knew it was time for a change. She didn’t know what exactly, but while  shopping and researching natural beauty products online one night, it hit her. The idea, the space, the feeling, the aesthetic. And thus ONDA Beauty was born. Along with partner Sarah Bryden-Brown, the pair created an all natural beauty oasis in the middle of Tribeca, where chicsters, mothers and friends like Naomi Watts (who recently came on as a partner), could peruse their 83-product assortment of clean skincare brands like Joanna Vargas, Grown Alchemist, MD Solar Sciences and One Love Organics. More so, ONDA Beauty will offer treatments, facials (starting with Angela Caglia who will fly in from LA 4 days a month), Reiki healing sessions with Mark Connolly and positive vibe-inducing programming with the idea of all natural wellness in mind. Since we are all about self-care and making each aspect of our life healthier, more holistic and better, we had to sit down with Larissa to talk the shop, her inspiration and why her son is her number one supporter.

 
 
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1. So we are beyond obsessed with ONDA Beauty. It’s one of our favorite beauty go-tos and could spend all day there! Tell us, what is the philosophy behind it and what makes it unique in the beauty space?

Our philosophy is that you come on the journey I started three years ago by learning more about and then switching to clean beauty. The beauty industry is largely based on fear. Fear of growing older, fear of not looking your best, fear of what others think of you — it’s all driven by fear. Natural beauty to me is the opposite. It’s about the experience, the ritual of carving out time for yourself to nourish and feed your body with natural ingredients that will bring out the best version of you. The key word being you — not trying to be someone else. We want to help women find their best selves and educate them along the way.

 
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2. How do you select the labels or products for the shop? Is it all science-based? Branding? Emotion?

It's a little bit of all of that. A brand has to resonate with us on multiple levels and a portion of it is intuitive. Generally I find that most founders have a unique and fascinating story and that is usually the thing that gets us first. Why are they doing what they're doing and how are they doing it. After that, does it do what it claims to do? Is the scent appealing? The texture? And lastly we do take the package design into account. The design of a product has the power to attract someone and most people want to visually enjoy whats sitting on their bathroom shelf.

 
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3. That is totally true. We are suckers for great packaging in addition to fantastic ingredients and results. So why do you think more and more women are playing in the organic, all natural space than perhaps five years ago?

I think it’s a natural evolution that was bound to happen. First came eating healthy, organic and local, then using green cleaning products in the home. Now people are starting to become aware of what they are putting on their bodies and how important that is. There is a strong link to certain chemicals in personal care product and many diseases. But the word is spreading fast that your skin is your largest organ and absorbs up to 65% of what you put on it in 23 seconds. If you're feeding the inside of your body in a healthy manner to get the best results why wouldn’t you want to do the same on the outside of your body?

 
 
 
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4. You are also a mother, how do you "balance" the shop with parenting? 

It's not easy but my son is almost 12 and has been one of my biggest supporters. Because he is at an age where he understands what I am trying to do, we can easily talk about it. Because of ONDA Beauty, he is creating healthy habits at home and is already using some of our brands. When I come home late or have to work weekends he just says, 'It’s OK, you’re starting you're own business! You've got this!’ Then we make a plan to do something fun when I have free time. It makes the time we have together that much more connected and special. My hope is that by modeling for him what it takes to start a business, which both my husband and I have done, he will see that anything is possible if you have the passion and motivation to take a chance and go for it.

 

5. Love that!!! How does your love for the ‘all natural’ impact your parenting style or the decisions you make at home?

My son is creating healthy personal care habits already so my hope is that it becomes a lifelong habit for him. We have always tried to keep a close connection to nature in general, whether that means having him help upstate with our garden, eating fresh, local and organic as much as possible and just generally enjoying the outdoors no matter where we are and really observing what’s happening in those moments around us. Not to mention he's already pretty savvy at reading ingredient labels at the market!
 

 
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6. What is your therapy?

Self care - in whatever form that takes in the moment. Whether it’s meditation, spending time with family, listening to music I love or getting a massage (one of my favorites). I'm also a fan of self work and the awareness it takes to always be learning and growing. Even when it’s five steps forward three steps back. Which it is often but I love the process and I love turning around and saying wow!! I would have done that so much differently three years ago! I am actually getting somewhere!
 

 
 
 
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7. What makes you fly?

Recognizing that there are infinite possibilities in life and that everyone is capable of manifesting their dreams. It's beautiful.

 
 
 
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ONDA Beauty

Rituals - Jimena Garcia

 

Celebrity Eyebrow Artist

 

 
 
 
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My favorite morning ritual is...

"I live very close to the beach. So as soon as I get up, I want to breathe some fresh air and go for a walk. I ask Robert, my fiancé, if he wants to join me. Sometimes he doesn’t, but then it’s nice to go alone as well. I put any of one my Janessa Leone hats and swing by either Supbera Food & Bread for or Deus Ex Machina to get my beloved morning Matcha Latte with Almond milk."

 
 

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Jimena Garcia

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

Freaky-n Delicious

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Vicky Nikolaeva

 
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As Halloween approaches, we mamas are constantly stuck in the conundrum of how to satisfy our children’s sweet tooth while promoting mindful eating, wellness and health. The constant sugar highs and lows around this holiday is simply too much to bare for their bodies, their minds and frankly, our sanity! Thankfully, Karolina Palmer, founder of Freaky Health Chocolate set out to create just that, a line of health-driven chocolate bars that we and our little ones are obsessed with. In each delicious bar, you’ll find adaptogenic herbs used to modulate our body’s hormonal response to stress, plants that can strengthen our nervous systems and a wild variety of cacao to add a dose of sweetness. So a few Saturdays ago, we asked Karolina to lead some mini’s in a Freaky Health Chocolate workshop to teach them how to make delicious energy balls packed with nutrients and a variety of antioxidants. In her own words, Kristina take us through the beauty in the mess of creating that perfect Halloween lunchbox treat that is sweet, protein-packed, and school safe.

 
 
“I love gently encouraging kids to get messy with food,” says Palmer. “Often the message is “Don’t play with your food!” and so it’s fun to then say, “Go ahead! Touch, squish, smear, feel! It often takes a bit of time to feel comfortable but once they do, they are so into it.”
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As the children squished their way around a table at Freshmade NYC, mamas sipped on juices by Juice Press while Karolina explained what exactly was going into the energy balls and how each ingredient worked off the next one. “These kids loved talking about the different textures of the ingredients,” she said. “The sun butter was sticky but once we added the other ingredients it got easier to work with. They were so excited to see the alchemy of putting together ingredients. The fun was seeing them taste the finished product and say, ‘I love the chocolate chunks!’ It gave them an idea of how the final product can be somewhat different when all the raw ingredients are combined.”

 
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Check out the recipe for Karolina’s Freaky Health Chocolate Healthy Energy Balls, featuring sun butter (you can substitute any nut butter) as well as pumpkin seeds for zinc and immunity. Additionally, the Freaky Health Chocolate bars included are free of processed sugar and sweetened with mulberries, which is loaded with antioxidants. If you or your little needs a dose of sweetness, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey:

 
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Freaky Health Chocolate Healthy Energy Balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sun butter
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Freaky Health Chocolate bar, broken up

DIRECTIONS

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.

  3. Store, refrigerated, for two weeks.

 
 
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We are committed to bringing one of a kind experiences to mamas and children. Learn more about our unique upcoming events.

 
 

Rituals - Joanna Vargas

 

Founder of Joanna Vargas Salon & Skincare Collection

 
 
 
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My favorite ritual with my kids is...

"drawing and painting with them. We love to sit around together and create art. I'm usually playing music in the background to introduce my son to new genres or sounds since he plays drums and is into music as much as I am. We also love playing in our backyard together and just chilling. My children and I really like quiet time, just the three of us. We of course love to party too, but it's those quiet moments I most cherish."

 
 

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Joanna Vargas

 
 

Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

 

A Journey in the Self with Melissa Wood

Written by A Wild Dove | Photographed by Caitlin Mitchell

 
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We all know what it feels like to be unhappy, to not be living our best lives. Melissa Wood was familiar with that feeling 24/7. She struggled with anxiety, an eating disorder and cycstic acne and felt like she wasn’t living her truth. But unlike so many who go through life that way, Melissa found the strength to do something about it. She got real with herself and realized that she ultimately wanted to help others as she grew too. The result? Melissa Wood Health, a holistic wellness coaching program she created to bestow to the world the knowledge that helped her heal. “I just wanted to share my journey in hopes to help people dealing with the same struggles,” Melissa said. And we are so thankful she did. Here, we chat with this rockstar mama and wellness coach on her journey, life lessons and what brings her joy.

 
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1. We are such a fan of everything you are doing in the health and wellness space. Was there one specific trigger moment you can recall in realizing your path?

I was on this beautiful trip and I felt empty. I wasn’t happy and it hit me that I wasn’t doing things in my life that fulfilled me. I spent the next weekend completely turned off: from my social life, phone calls and technology. I tuned in to myself. I made a list of everything that made me feel alive. At the end of the weekend, I read the list and saw things like, “Going rollerblading, going to yoga, eating a salad, drinking a green juice.” The next morning I enrolled at The Institute for Integrated Nutrition course to become a health coach. 

 
 
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2. Amazing. Love that. How has becoming a mama impacted your views on health, fitness and food?

Becoming a mom has helped me let go of trying to control everything. It’s allowed me to realize this flow in my life that I didn’t have before. I’m more easy going now. If Benjamin wants a bite of his dads eggs, he can have a bite of his dad’s eggs. Clearly, I’m very aware of everything I put in my body, but if Benjamin wants a cupcake at a party he can have it. I want him to have childhood experiences. I will always give him a good foundation, but I want him to experience things and not feel the need to binge the second he gets to his friends house when he's older.

 

3. How do you extend your philosophies on self care to your family and son? How does it translate?

I live and breathe them. I truly try to lead by example and I go out of my way to make sure that if I’m doing something like making a green juice, there is enough for everyone. Then I force my husband to drink it. Just kidding... kind of.

 
 
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4. Ha. Totally. So what would be your advice to mamas or women struggling to find their path towards becoming the best versions of themselves?

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. It’s challenging to just suddenly become the best version of yourself. It takes a lot of mindfulness, patience and commitment. Find your own way. My way may seem really rigid and too far left for some people. You have to see what works for you. Really show up for yourself every day. Even doing one thing that makes you happy that can keep you moving in a positive mindset throughout the day. 

 
 

5. Yes! So you must be busy helping others attain balance and mindfulness. How do you define balance and how do you maintain it? 

Balance to me is prioritizing what you really want in your life and how you want to feel. I prioritize things because I know how it feels to really feel shitty and upset with yourself. I maintain my lifestyle because I really feel my best now and it has become effortless.

 
 
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6. What's your therapy?

Meditation.

 
 

7. And what are the tools you use to help you live your best life?

The three pillars that my entire business is based off - meditation, mindful eating and movement. I create the space to apply these things to my life daily. That's why I started sharing my workouts on my Fitner app channel.

“Even 10 minutes of movement can shift your entire mindset for the day.”
 
 
 
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8.  What's the one thing you can't live without?

Love. Being loved and giving love.

 
 

9. Lastly, what makes you fly?

My daily practice. The ability to show up for myself every day. 

 
 
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Rituals - Kristen Shaw

 

Fashion & Celebrity Hairstylist

 
 
 
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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals, that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most precious acts of the day that help them feel their best.

Here, Kristen Shaw, fashion and celebrity hairstylist, owner of the super cool hair salon Cabin and Brand Ambassador to our fave hair line, Playa shares some of her favorite moments.

 

My first ritual of the morning is...

"going into the ocean. Living by the beach, I wake up and go down to the water, stretch, and jump in no matter the season on whatever day I can. Cold water therapy has become addictive (and amazing for skin + circulation) and I love it as a means for waking up."

 

My last ritual of the evening is...

 

"lighting some kind of incense (my favorite is Incienso de Sante Fe "Pinon") or candle (Maison Louis Marie, #4) - I find that the nostalgia of scent puts me into a really good sleep."

 

My favorite ritual alone is...

"drawing.  It makes sense of all the things going on in and around my life and mind."

 

My favorite ritual to de stress is...

"a salt bath with lavender and Eucalyptus oil!"

 
 
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Cabin

Dove Loves The Beauty Chef

Written by Lynn Levoy  | Photographed by Jennifer Young

 
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Welcome back to Dove Loves, our definitive guide to the products and pieces we're loving - our favorites du jour, the holy grail of what we're coveting, researching, talking about, and obsessing over.

 
 

Glow from the inside out - that’s the philosophy of the entire Beauty Chef line founded by Carla Oates. The BODY protein powder is a game changer. It’s a mix of alkalizing greens, probiotics, plant protein, fruits and vegetables that provide you with 100% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and K, as well as Vitamins B2, B3 and B6. It also has Matcha added in, so it gives me an extra boost energy for my workout. I’ll add one scoop of the Vanilla protein in my morning smoothie, blended in with my Sun Potion and Moon Juice Dusts. If The Beauty Chef is all about achieving inner and outer beauty with a dose of wellness, then you could say I’m cooking...

 
 
 
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Beauty Chef

Rituals - Dara Kennedy

 

Founder of Ayla Beauty

 
 
 
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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals that we’ve asked some of our favorite mamas to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

Up next is Ayla Beauty founder Dara Kennedy, on her favorite solo ritual.

 

My first ritual alone is...

"traveling. I really don’t like being away from my family, but I’ve always thought that traveling alone is a good way to remember who you are — and even more so when you have children. It doesn’t have to be a long trip, and you don’t have to do it often, but being by yourself in a different environment from time to time allows you to see and feel things more fully and deeply. One of my favorite Proust quotes is this: “The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.” But a solo journey to a different place can help you see through those fresh eyes very effectively."

 
 

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Ayla Beauty

Dove Loves Playa

Written by Lynn Levoy  | Photographed by Jennifer Young

 
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Welcome back to Dove Loves, our definitive guide to the products and pieces we're loving - our favorites du jour, the holy grail of what we're coveting, researching, talking about, and obsessing over.

 
 

Playa is all about effortless cool. The newest, chicest haircare label was founded by former fashion stylist-turned-beauty aficionado Shelby Wild, who is as “LA surfer girl” as it gets. She developed this five piece, non-toxic, botanical based line that is is all you need to achieve that perfect beachy, Cali wave. Ideal for us on the go, busy mamas. I love everything about Playa - the name, the packaging, and of course the products. My faves are the Endless Summer Spray (aka Sea Salt Spray) and Ritual Oil.

 
 
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The sea salt spray gives hair that instant lift and doesn’t weigh it down. I love the texture it creates, on both wet and dry hair (perfect when I’m in need of a blowdry) and it’s even great for Callum’s hair too...we never have a product that works on both of our hair, which is so different, so that truly says ALOT. I always adore his curls after a day at the beach so I’ve been mixing in the spray with Callum’s other products and it’s pure magic. And the smell, well I can’t say enough, it’s so good. We are both obsessed.

And if you need more frizz maintenance (I mean, who doesn’t) Ritual Oil is perfect for restoring, moisturizing and managing flyaways. It features a blend of apricot, kukui, coconut and sunflower oil and somehow manages to be weightless and light yet super diligent in its control. My hair gets weighed down super easily and I never have an issue with this oil.

 
 
 
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Bob Roth Talks Transcendental Meditation and its Impact on Children and Families

Written by A Wild Dove

 
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Imagine if you dedicated just 10 to 12 minutes a day to accessing your deepest, most peaceful state - a feeling of transcendence that even 12 hours of sleep couldn’t reach. Now, imagine if your kids could travel there, too. How much better off would we all be? That’s what Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, set out to do with Transcendental Meditation over 40 years ago. 
 
As one of the most sought-after meditation teachers in the US, Bob discovered TM as a way to work through the tumult of the Vietnam War in 1960’s San Francisco. He found himself so stressed that he couldn’t sleep or remember things. When a friend suggested he learn TM, he was finally able to settle down his mind. Bob came to realize that he could use this tool for social transformation, particularly for  children in vulnerable communities. Together with award-winning director David Lynch, the pair created the David Lynch Foundation as a way to offer TM to children in at-risk areas as a tool to work through the stress of everyday life. The results? A dramatic improvement health, cognitive capabilities and educational performance. We sat down with Bob to chat TM and its effect on modern family life.

 
 
 

Bob, thank you so much for chatting with us. Let’s start with the obvious. What is Transcendental Meditation and how does it differ from other types of meditation?

Whenever I talk about meditation, I use an analogy of the ocean. You’re stuck on a boat in the Atlantic and you have these 30 to 40 foot waves, and you look up and think the ocean is in upheaval, but that’s just one section of the ocean where you have these waves. The ocean is over a mile deep, so the surface is turbulent and the depth is always calm. 
 
The word “Meditation” means thinking. According to science, there are three basic types - 

  • Focused Attention - Is concentration in the form of meditation. You clear the mind of thoughts. You focus on one thought, every time. That type of meditation in this analogy attempts to stop the waves on the surface of the ocean to create calm motion.
  • Mindfulness Approach also called Open Monitoring - You are observing the waves rise and fall. Open Monitoring teaches us presence and to be in the moment.
  • Transcendental Meditation - Is self-transcending. In that approach, we don’t mind the waves on the surface of the ocean. We don’t mind any thoughts we have. We have a naturally active mind but we see the mind as a vertical dimension. There’s depth to the mind and at its deepest level, the mind is naturally and completely calm yet wide awake - that is what Transcendental Meditation seeks.
 
 

You mention that you are a “teacher” of meditation. These days, it seems like anyone with a smartphone can meditate. But how did your learning TM one-on-one affect your experience? Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to learn?

Somethings can be learned in a group or online. But for over 5,000 years, learning how to transcend is natural but it’s so subtle and tender. So forever it’s always been taught by a teacher who gives you a mantra. A mantra is a word or sound with no meaning. You learn over four days by practicing for an hour a day, not to concentrate or force anything. We push in life, we focus, which is fine for some things, but to access deepest, quietest purist level of heart, it’s a gentle effortless process. That’s why you need a teacher. Once you have completed your TM course in four days,  you practice for 20 min, 2 times a day (morning and evening) to realize the full benefits.

 

Can you define "transcending?"

To transcend, if you look it up is to go beyond human limitations, to break boundaries. We love transcendent moments. A new mother holding her child and time disappears, or some level of deep communication with a partner, or some moment and you slip into this universal moment of connectedness. Transcendent moments and those experiences happen rarely. The purpose, throughout time, is to go beyond the noisy, choppy, wavy mind and settle down with those quiet expanded levels. In TM you use a mantra and the teacher teaches you to use it. Kids with ADD even learn it and they sit peacefully.

 
 
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We definitely want to talk more about kids. First, can you explain the scientific benefits behind TM? 

There’s a connection between the mind and body, when you’re anxious in the mind, your body is tense. The mind system can be heated up, while cooler minds prevail and create ease in the body. The mind can be heated or cool. In TM the “thinking mind” are the waves at the surface of the ocean. Are we thinking about hotter levels, or are the same thoughts in a calmer, cooler level of the mind? In TM we don’t push out thoughts. They are just there. They are not an obstacle. The whole thing is about settling down. When that happens the body gains a state of rest that’s deeper than the deepest sleep, measured by oxygen consumption and breath. If you get a good night sleep, cortisol levels drop 10 percent. 20 minutes of TM leads to cortisol dropping 30-40 percent every time. We are hard-wired to take profound rest at will.

 

Can you tell us how you started working in TM with kids? Can you describe how it affects families?

My interest in kids goes back to the idea of social injustice, why we are born into a community or family and don’t have equal protection under the law. It was unacceptable and when I became a TM teacher in 1972, I went back to San Francisco and taught at inner city schools and at San Quentin prison. The program was called Freedom Behind Bars, but my desire was always with kids. They are the next generation, how are they going to change the world? So it’s not just giving kids an equal opportunity to study calculus or memorize state capitals. It’s not just about education like that, but education that wakes up the brain. Social emotional learning that prepares a child to become an adult and to handle that tumult. So 12 years ago, I started talking with my friend David Lynch. Kids were coming to school, going through metal detectors, bringing in guns. It was a hotbed. So we started a foundation to bring TM to inner city kids for free. So we started the foundation 12 years ago. So we were teaching TM for free to a half million kids throughout Africa, the Middle East, South America, all over the world.

 
 

How Does TM help families?

Parents are only as happy as their least happy child. Each family has a collective conscience, where they may not say a word but you can walk in and think,  someone is not happy. 

“But when each person in a family can sit with their eyes closed and go deep within themselves when they open their eyes, it’s a transformation. That’s where the connection and the unity is.”
 
 
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What is some advice to someone thinking of starting TM but feels overwhelmed at the thought or intimidated?

One thing you can do is find out more at DavidLynchFoundation.org. Watch a 20 minute video and learn about it. You can google TM.org and find out about TM centers in the area and non-profit educational organizations. The people who teach are wonderful, kind, generous people. It’s nothing to fear, just learning a technique that takes an hour a day over four days. And you can wake up and do it again in the beginning and end of the day and you enjoy your evening with family and friends and sleep better at night.

 

That sounds incredible. So what do you love most about TM ?

The technique. In the midst of a crazy busy day, where I’m running a 35 country foundation, at 5pm I can close the door in my office, or go meditate in a church or the backseat of a car or on an airplane. I can access a deep state of rest, deeper than sleep. I can do it for 20 minutes and come out of it refreshed and rejuvenated. I love that I don’t have to buy into anything. It’s good for anyone. I love the brain science.

 

What makes you fly?

Getting to have a wonderful conversation like this. I love to walk in New York City. Every block is like another country. I love the humanity. I love the people. I also love having a conversation about deep things. I love deep. I love honest. I love being authentic in relationships, in food, in culture. That’s what really makes me fly. Not just skimming the surface, but going deep with someone.
 

 
 

To Find Out About Our Upcoming Workshop With Bob Roth, Please Sign Up Below

 
 

Rituals - Medea Juhasz

 

Founder of Catalyst Gold

 
 
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Whether a morning meditation or afternoon cup of tea, the rituals we practice serve us more than we realize. They are our life’s bookends, moments we rely on and enjoy. For mamas especially, these small ceremonies are what gets us through the day. At A Wild Dove, we are so inspired by rituals that we’ve asked some of our favorite women to share their smallest, most celebrated acts that help them feel their best.

Medea Juhasz, founder of all natural wellness supplement, Catalyst Gold shares the ritual she saveurs when she’s alone.
 

 

My first ritual alone is...

"creating a gratitude list. I try to make sure I go over my gratitude list every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It is my favorite ritual that can be practiced waiting in line at the post office or riding the subway. Keeping my gratitude list in check transfers an activity of the mind to an actual act of the heart. It is a fantastic tool to have to lift my spirits or a great way to start my day off on the right foot."

 
 

Learn More

Catalyst Gold