The benefits of meditation aren’t a secret. Daily practice can reduce stress, calm anxiety, release chronic pain, and lower blood pressure. But if you haven’t quite found your meditation mojo—sitting still is hard—consider trying it with soothing sounds as your backdrop. Dallas Yoga Center hosts an array of classes that combine the art of sound meditation with other relaxing methods such as yoga nidra, also known as “yogic sleep.” We recently tried a 90-minute workshop that featured nidra instructor Lauren Margolies leading a meditation while musician and healer Kenny Kolter played gongs, drums, rattles, chimes, and Tibetan singing bowls. Students were told to get as comfortable as possible on a yoga mat while Margolies passed out bolsters, blankets, and eye pillows. Then she started her guided meditation with an intention before taking the class through a relaxing body scan as Kolter played his blend of instruments. Somewhere between imagining a yellow light in our heart space and Kolter banging a gong, our mind went blank and our body twitched, not quite asleep. After the session, we felt like we’d taken a power nap without the sleep hangover. Dallas Yoga Center, 4525 Lemmon Ave., Ste. 305. 214-443-9642.
The work of Michelle Bardwell, a registered aromatherapist, more closely resembles that of a botanist than a fragrance specialist. During her 90-minute treatments, Bardwell evaluates her client’s diet, exercise regimen, body shape, and medical history to assess which of the four Hippocratic temperaments should guide their lifestyle. (If requested, she will also consult with the client’s physician to provide comprehensive recommendations that bridge alternative health and Western medicine.) The Hippocratic philosophy that steers her practice postulates that sickness results from living outside of one’s temperament. To help people heal, Bardwell massages a selection of her signature botanical oils, which combine different essential oils, into the client’s skin, allowing the chemical structures of the plants to enter their system and better align them with their temperament. The oils’ scent is merely a byproduct of the curative process. “They do smell lovely, but I don’t work by how it smells,” she says. “I work by what these chemical families do inside the body.” Flower Road Natural Therapies Hippocratic Aromatherapy Treatment, $175. flowerroad.net.
In order to achieve mindfulness, where better to look than the part of the world where the practices of meditation and yoga originated? The Crow Museum of Asian Art, located in downtown Dallas, offers a variety of lectures and classes that explore how different Asian cultures practice mindfulness and wellness. The museum also recently launched the Center for Contemplative Leadership at the Trammell Crow Center, expanding its wellness programs. Some of these classes include Qigong (pronounced chee-gung), a 4,500-year-old traditional Chinese movement and meditation practice often called “the soul of tai chi,” and Breathe: Art and Wellness Workshop, which combines Qigong with art-making. Additional offerings include Slow Flow Vinyasa Yoga; a monthly lecture series by Sapna Punjabi-Gupta called The Ayurvedic Way, on one of the world’s oldest holistic medical systems; and walking meditations around Klyde Warren Park. On January 19 and 20, the Crow Museum will be hosting a weekendlong immersive mindfulness training seminar with the meditation studio Mastermind called Unlock Your Potential: Mindfulness for Brain Health. For $249, you’ll get eight hours of mindfulness training plus a membership to the Crow Museum, so you can keep those good vibes going all year long. Crow Museum of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St. 214-979-6430.
Melissa Marks was a burned-out real estate agent in New York by the age of 24. The perfectionist found herself on a hamster wheel, going nowhere, anxiety ridden and unable to celebrate her wins. She knew she needed to make a change, so, at a friend’s suggestion, she tried meditation. That was more than two decades ago. She has since moved to Dallas and become a licensed professional counselor. Marks reshaped her life, she says, by reorganizing her brain. “There’s extensive research on neuroplasticity, showing that you can change the actual matter of your brain by changing the way you think,” she says. Through her mindfulness practice, Your Mindful Edge, she now works with high-performing individuals—lawyers, doctors, accountants, business professionals, athletes—to help them quiet their internal chatterbox so that they can harness their skills and perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. She works with clients one-on-one at their workplace, at her office, and through phone and video sessions. “Mindfulness is about self-awareness about what is happening inside you and around you, so that you are not constantly in reaction mode and can make better decisions,” Marks says. “People want to live happy, healthy, and fulfilled lives. Mindfulness is the process to help them do that.” Your Mindful Edge, Dallas Healing House, 3720 Rawlins St., Ste. 1. 214-986-5101.
Hallie Lamont is a former contract lawyer, a current Greenway Parks mom, and a co-owner of The Greenway Shop,
a natural beauty boutique. And she is really into wellness. Like, really. We asked her to tell us about some of the people she and her family have seen to stay (alternatively) healthy.
“Brenda Osborn at Texas Functional Wellness puts a lot of thought into treating a symptom with supplements—finding out what else is going on with your whole body, at home, emotionally, what you are eating, what stress you are under.” texasfunctionalwellness.com
“It’s pretty well-known in the wellness community the dangers of mercury in your body, specifically fillings. And fluoride is a huge concern for me. That was one of the things that drew me to Smile Ranch Family Dentistry. Everything is nontoxic.” smileranchdentistry.com
“Wendi Hardage of Misaotra Beauty Sanctuary uses all organic skin care lines. She has an amazing contour facial called the Illume in which she uses gua sha tools, like little jade cutouts, to sculpt the face.” misaotrabeauty.guru
“Dr. Randy Naidoo at Shine Pediatrics is our pediatrician. I trust him completely. He’s an M.D. but uses more of a holistic method.” shinepediatrics.com
“My favorite chiropractor is Dr. Matt Chalmers at Chalmers Wellness. He’s an excellent resource for all wellness issues.” chalmerswellness.com
“Britten LaRue of Working With Your Wheel is a Hockaday alum and works to integrate astrology and spiritual healing.” workingwithyourwheel.com
“We had a pop-up with Cleerlife; they are two women who have an essential oil shop in the pool house at one of their homes in Preston Hollow.” cleerlife.com