You and Your Mala: Mia Scelsi
How did you choose your mala? Were you drawn to a particular gemstone or was there a certain intention you were looking to bring into your life?
I was drawn the I Am Patient Mala for two reasons: the Howlite stones and the auspicious price tag of $108!
While patience is something that I do feel as though I already possess, the Howlite stone has additional healing properties that I feel are necessary in my life right now. As a sufferer of insomnia (especially in the fall and winter) Howlite has a calming energy that relieves anxieties and quiets the overactive mind. In addition to a bedtime ritual of lavender essential oil and Valerian tea, putting some Howlite under your pillow can help lull you to a peaceful sleep.
Howlite is also said to help one realize goals and ambitions and can help move you towards achieving them, which is extremely beneficial to me as I prepare for the launch of my nail polish line, Raga Varnish.
How is the price tag of $108 significant to me? The number 108 has been long regarded as a sacred number in yoga and Hinduism. For instance, how many beads are on a traditional mala? 108. We do 108 sun salutations to commemorate the change of season, Vedic mathematicians considered 108 to be a number of the wholeness of existence, and there are supposedly 108 sacred sites scattered throughout India. While these are just a few of the reasons that the number 108 is significant, seeing that number next to the I Am Patient Mala just gave me that extra bit of confidence that this was the right mala for me.
When did you start your yoga/meditation practice? What are some of the benefits you have received from your practice?
I started my yoga practice in 2006 as a way to work out without going to a gym. What I thought was going to be an easy way to get my exercise in, ended up being so much more challenging than expected. Sure, the physical poses were sometimes difficult, but while it is easy to work out mindlessly at the gym, Yoga requires you to be present and practice mindfulness.
"Yoga has allowed both my body and mind to become flexible."
Yoga has allowed both my body and mind to become flexible, but the benefits have been so much greater than just that. When I read The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and learned that that yoga is not only what happens on the mat, but off as well — it has made me want to be a better person for myself, and for the world around me.
What is your favourite way to take a moment for yourself each day?
In yoga teacher training I was introduced to the practice of Sadhana. Sadhana is a personal discipline or practice that we commit to in order for us to grow spiritually. During training it was required of us to practice our Sadhana daily — whether it was a few sun salutations, pranayama, quiet meditation, or even just lighting a candle. I have a room dedicated in my home to my practice and I make a commitment to spending time in that room each day.
It doesn't mean that I will have a robust 60-minute yoga practice every day. It can mean just reading a chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, setting myself up in a juicy restorative pose, or even just taking a few deep breaths. I know that it is easy for us to get so caught up in our hectic lives that we forget to take a moment for ourselves each day, but even committing to just 5 minutes a day can help bring that extra little bit of peace that we so desperately need.
What is your current favourite yoga pose - why?
My favorite yoga pose changes based on what is going on in my body and mind at any particular time. I have been recovering from a foot injury these past couple of months so standing poses have not been my favorite and I have been depending more on poses that alleviate some of the pressure from my feet.
Shoulder stand is currently one of my favorite poses to practice since it has so many benefits such as increased blood flow to the heart and brain, it soothes the nervous system, increases immunity, helps to relieve insomnia, and most of all, it gets me off my feet for a few minutes a day.
Mia Scelsi found yoga in 2006 and has not left her mat since. Mia’s daily practice helps her find peace in her hectic hometown of NYC. She currently calls Laughing Lotus Yoga Center her OMbase and completed her 200 hour YTT certification there in 2014.
In addition to teaching yoga and preparing for the 2015 launch of her spiritually stimulating nail polish line, Raga Varnish, Mia works full time as the Director of Operations, Talent, and Culture at a boutique Market Research and Strategy firm in TriBeCa.