Meditation For The Modern Mind
Read Time: 2-3 Minutes
In our continued efforts to promote a 360 degree approach to skin care, we’ll be shedding some light on health and wellness habits that make you glow from the inside. Meditation is undeniably one such practice. While some consider its recently booming popularity in the West a trend or fad, its health benefits are backed by scientific proof, and it’s no coincidence that it has been relied on by various cultures across the globe for millennia.
Admittedly, meditation can be quite intimidating for beginners, but luckily there are apps and group classes to help demystify and modernize this ancient ritual. To learn more, I recently chatted with Dina Kaplan of The Path, an organization that teaches meditation for the modern mind by hosting weekly sits, courses, workshops, retreats, social events and a certificate teacher training program.
Kat: You’re almost living a second life...what was the inspiration behind The Path and how did your previous career and personal experiences lead you here?
Dina: Ha yes that is so true! I was such a stressed-out founder at my first company. I was not mindful, full of insecurity and didn't know how to 'hold my center' or be myself as a woman founder of a fast scaling tech company. I was so afraid I didn't deserve to be where I was that I sabotaged myself, taking on too much work and not asking for help or giving myself the freedom to have a personal life.
Once I found meditation I gained the confidence to be myself. To speak up for myself. And to ask for help. I'm a much better leader now, and I think I'm trying to save my old self!
K: It’s wonderful to see mindfulness becoming so popular in the Western world, why do you think this is?
D: I agree, and I think it's a few things, but possibly the prevalence of cell phones and nonstop digital data streaming into our minds. We weren't built for this, and it's causing so much stress. I think people are seeing that they can literally be more effective as leaders and people if they pause. Meditate. Go within. And then go about their day. It makes you more effective, more strategic and honestly at least twice as productive!
K: What makes The Path in particular resonate with people so much and how is your approach different from other group meditation classes and trips?
D: I love that our approach is modern and accessible. I noticed that the world "light" is in enlightenment, so why can't meditations be in beautiful places and full of light? Also we attract a lot of do-ers and change-makers, people launching companies or building start-ups or in publishing or creative fields, and it's nice for these folks to be around other do-ers. But mostly I think we're popular because we're not didactic about our teaching. We say there are four big categories of meditation, and each is valid: mindfulness, mantra, energizing and meditation to help you accomplish a goal, like compassion. Then we teach all four and tell people to practice whatever type of meditation resonates with them!
K: Besides meditation, how else do you practice self care and why do you think it’s so important?
D: Great question! I sleep a lot and don't set an alarm. I TRY to turn off my phone at 10pm each evening. And I generally don't eat sugar, gluten, soy, corn or dairy in the U.S. It's not the right diet for everyone, but it's right for me, and I think of it as meditation for the body. There's a huge mind/body connection, and I work so much on my mind it wouldn't make sense not to pair that care with my body. Also it makes me feel great, and that makes it worthwhile. I also run and do a bit of yoga each morning, just on my own, before sitting for meditation.
K: Meditation really helps us achieve our inner glow, but let’s discuss getting your outer glow. What does your skin care routine involve? When do you feel most beautiful/comfortable in your own skin?
D: Meditation actually makes your skin glow. My skin has changed dramatically since I started meditating - it's almost wild! Not eating sugar is also huge, and I don't drink alcohol or eat much gluten, and I think all of that reduces inflammation a lot. And I use all natural products — a rose oil for moisturizer, a charcoal wash for my face, etc. And I feel best after a silent retreat. My skin starts glowing about 24 hours into a retreat, and then it keeps getting better. I should have a gauge on my face to alert me when it's time to get back to a retreat!
K: Do you have any tips or advice for newbies who are perhaps intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea of meditation or don’t think it’s “for” them?
D: YES, just start. Try one or two minutes a day. Head to the bathroom if you're a parent and that's the only way you can find quiet. You'll start seeing an improvement in your day with just one or two minutes, I promise!
Ready for a self-care ritual of your own? Our Ayour Body Toning Serum boasts calming aromatherapeutic benefits thanks to Lavender, Neroli and Frankincense. Reach for this luxurious oil to smooth your skin when you’re getting ready to meditate or simply want to take a quiet moment for yourself.