Stressed? So are we. From a fraught presidency to crushing student debt, and the growing climate crisis, it’s no wonder that we’re the most stressed-out generation ever. This constant state of panic is giving us anxiety, causing our early demise, and wreaking havoc on our overall health. And while there isn’t much we can do that’ll immediately stop the rising sea levels — or our accrued interest — we can take small steps towards calming the noise in our heads. Specifically, we can meditate, or to be even more specific, we can take up mindful meditation.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that asks us to focus on being aware of what we’re thinking, and accepting it, versus just trying to clear our minds. After all, our minds are intended to think, project, and reflect. So if you’re hoping to lower your stress levels in 2020, mindful meditation could be exactly what you’re looking for and we’ve got an expert to help you achieve inner peace: Lauren Ash.
Ash, who founded Black Girl In Om, a holistic wellness platform for women in color, started her mindfulness journey as a rundown college student. She decided to sign up for a yoga class — which led her to begin incorporating mindfulness practices into her own life. After beginning yoga teacher training herself, Ash realized the need for a more diverse wellness community. “I was typically the only Black woman in any of the places where I practiced yoga,” she tells Refinery29. She therefore launched her first wellness series, “November Namaste,” in 2014, and now has a global audience of millions, through the Black Girl In Om digital platform, website, and social media. Along with cultivating holistic wellness for women of color, Black Girl In Om is dedicated to promoting inner beauty, self-love, self-empowerment, and self-care.
Ash believes that wellness is a personal journey — and that you can focus on your thoughts at anytime, even when you’re brushing your teeth. For her, meditation is vital for self-knowledge and growth. “Mindfulness allows you to exist above all your brain’s chatter, and see what is actually going on,” she says. And as we can see with Black Girl In Om’s reach, community is also an important part of her wellness philosophy. “None of us are intended to journey alone,” she says.
So we’ve teamed up with Ash to create a 30-day meditation challenge for our 2020 Clean Slate program that’ll launch right here on Jan. 1. You’ll learn how to create a meditation routine that works for you, and why journaling, vision boarding, and baths don't have to be chores.