Diving deep into detox requires a holistic effort through the areas of detoxing the mind, body, soul and home to mitigate stress and increase our overall sense of wellbeing. Offering Mindfulness Meditation and Dharma Teachings in Los Angeles, Celeste strongly believes in the power of mindful awareness to heal and reconnect us to our inherent sense of ease and well-being. We had a chance to sit down with her to learn more about meditation and the crucial role it plays in our lives.

Name: Celeste Young

What’s Meditation?

There are many ways to answer this, depending on your form of meditation practice. One way to frame the practice I teach is that mindfulness or Insight meditation is a formal practice of developing the capacity to stay present for our moment to moment experience, with mindfulness, in the service of Insight and awakening.

How do you Detox (tips / rituals)?

I find that I can feel a difference when I let go of caffeine and sugar for awhile. My system and energy tends to stabilize. I also find that detox-ing from technology is important. I have a friend who gifted me with a yellow light bulb recently to down-regulate and counteract all of the blue light we take in each day from our devices. I can feel the impact of using that on my nervous system and circadian rhythms. The other way I detox is spending time in nature, and of course, spending time in silent retreat each year is a huge detox for me, when I practice letting go of unhelpful habits on many levels and surrender to the stillness. I’m also learning to incorporate some Ayurvedic self care rituals into my routine to detox. Julie Bernier and I are teaching a retreat together that I’m really excited about. It marries the practices of Ayurveda, and what I teach- Dharma and mindfulness, for others to learn to bring these tools together for a more balanced life.

What does your typical Beauty Routine look like?

The best beauty tool for me is really getting enough rest so I feel in a balanced state in my body, mind and heart. That’s when I feel most beautiful- when I’m connected to my essence and embodied. I would add also when my sense of humor is intact and I have the right balance between connection and solitude so I feel spacious and available to whatever life brings. That fluidity feels like a beautiful state and keeps us vibrant. Practically, I also love Epsom salt baths and use lip balm every day. I’ve been addicted to lip balm since I was 14 years old! Maybe baths too, actually…

What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading a number of books! But the most recent book I finished is Happiness by Matthieu Ricard. It’s a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

Perfect day…is?

I’ll defer to Ghandi- “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” A day where I’ve lived that way is a perfect day for me. It’s not so much about the conditions of my life that day, but how I’m meeting them.

When you need to destress what is your go to?

I have to say it’s definitely meditation. Also, many years ago I trained to be a yin yoga teacher, as this has been a part of my practice. I have recently been finding my way back to it. It’s a very simple, still, and slow practice.

What is your favorite room in your home?

I really like the living room space, when my front door is open and the light pours in in the afternoon, it’s very sweet.

Best advice anyone has given you is…?

You can do it. (Fill in the blank for whatever IT is). I’m grateful to all the people in my life who gave me permission at critical moments to do what I thought I couldn’t- whether that was because I thought it might be too much, I felt afraid, or I didn’t think I could ask for it- whatever it may be. Those moments have changed the course of my life.

First thing you do when you wake up, is?

Check in with my state of being- body, heart, and mind state, and set an intention.

Last thing you do before you go to sleep, is?

I like to write before bed, when I have the space for it. Sitting meditation before bed is also a great way to move consciously into the sleep state.

Any tips/advice for people looking to start their own daily meditation practice?

This topic of establishing a daily practice or sadhana is actually the theme for our Living Wisdom Retreat in Tulum next year, so I’m glad you asked! I talk about this a lot in my work, and so does Julie (Bernier), so we’re looking forward to offering this retreat to support people in establishing a daily practice. What I would say is make the commitment as a gift to yourself, and not as a burden. Give yourself the gift of your own full attention. Practically speaking, it also helps to choose the same time of day, and same place if you can, to begin to incorporate it into your routine as a habit. Find a practice you enjoy and trust that, and trust the ways you begin to benefit and allow that to deepen your commitment to your practice. Let go of self-judgment and open to whatever arises.

Website: Celesteyoung.com

IG account: @celestebyoung

A few Upcoming Retreats:

Living Wisdom Daylong Retreat: Refining the Gateways of Our Innermost Being with Celeste Young and Julie Bernier. September 29th, 2018. 10 – 4pm. This retreat brings together the two traditions of Insight meditation and Ayurveda practice.  

Julie and Celeste are also teaching a Living Wisdom Residential Retreat in Tulum Mexico March 14th – 18th, 2019 at Casa Violeta.

Wise Intention: Living Our Heart’s Aspiration Daylong Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center December 1st 10:00am – 4:30pm

Finding Balance: Insight Meditation Retreat in the Andalusian region of Spain July 22nd – 28th, 2019

 

Better decor, better life? We talk a lot about Detox and Balance and we know that everything is intertwined in our lives. Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior  to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. As humans, we spend a tremendous amount of time in our homes, so we turned to one of our favorite LA-based interior designers, Elizabeth Law, for her tips on how to achieve that balanced style and some of her detox tips.

How do you define you home/design style?

My design style changes somewhat with every place because each house or location tells its own story. I tend to mix elements as much as I can. I find it important to have a space that has wood + glass + stone + iron + fabric. That to me feels well rounded and grounded. I like to mix old and new, rough and smooth, worn and polished all together to create a lived-in, curated but comfortable space. When it’s mine I keep it neutral, when it’s for a client I like for it to reflect them as much as possible.

How do you Detox (tips / rituals)?

I detox with Daily Harvest smoothies, hikes and acupuncture, writing and baths. I’m definitely a bath brat! I think mental detox is as important if not more than physical detox.

What does your typical Beauty Routine look like?

My beauty routine is ever changing, but I really enjoy face masks, face oils and scrubs. Goldfaden MD Doctors Scrub is my favorite exfoliant and I love Luzern Hydra-Enzyme Masque Nuit. As for make up, I only use Suntegrity (a natural moisturizing sunscreen), a little highlighter and curl my eye lashes! I like to keep it simple and natural. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll pop on a light lip color.

What was the last book you read?

I’ve been on a book binge lately, so there are many. The one I last finished was Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe Has Your Back. It was happiness in a hardcover.

Perfect day…is?

I feel like a broken record because I’ve been saying it so much lately, probably because I am just excited by witnessing how much of a difference it has made in my life! My perfect day is a good balance of work and self-care. I wake up and go for a hike in Franklin Canyon, its the best way to start my day in the nature that LA has to offer, while listening to a podcast or two. I spend a few hours at my desk, a few hours in my car running around from job site to shops, and sprinkle in what I can through the day to keep me grounded… Acupuncture, catch up with a friend, etc.

When you need to destress what is your go to?

Hike, bath, book, pilates… or something that can give me a good laugh.

What is your favorite room in your home?

My living room. Its comfortable and also beautiful with tons of natural light. I’m happy every time I step into it.

Best advice anyone has given you is…?

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

First thing you do when you wake up, is?

I check my email to make sure everything is as it should be, or close… and I go straight for a hike.

Last thing you do before you go to sleep, is?

I meditate for at least 10 minutes and I journal. This has been a newish thing in the past six months, but its been transforming, so I think I’ll keep it.

Any/Tips on detoxing your home / office / personal space?

I like to keep palo santo or sage around. I always have so many candles it looks like I’m constantly on the verge of hosting a seance. I love to keep the windows and doors open and have plants and fresh flowers on as many surfaces as possible. This creates such a nice clean space both energetically and visually.

Elizabeth Law is an interior designer who specializes in spaces where her clients entertain. Her designs incorporate a warm and natural aesthetic with texture, colors and sophistication.

At Goldfaden MD, we’re all about safe and natural facial treatments. But here’s the thing—if we’re going to fit any new products or techniques into our beauty routines, they have to actually work. If it’s not efficacious, we’re just not interested.

We created our Needleless Line Smoothing Concentrate for exactly that reason—we wanted to see fine lines and wrinkles diminish by the time we woke up in the morning. Yes, our obsession with the Needleless Line Smoothing Concentrate is real, and we’ve been actively searching for a non-invasive treatment that works as well as our formula and is also safe for skin.

And then we stumbled across gua sha facial massage, and our complexions were changed (and lifted. And toned.) forever.

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha (pronounce gwah-shah) is a popular therapeutic technique used in Eastern Asia to encourage blood flow and healthy chi energy, decrease muscle pain and inflammation, and treat tension in the body. Traditional gua sha is performed all over the body, much like a massage.  In Eastern Medicine therapies, it’s believed that stagnant chi (or energy) is usually the root cause of chronic illness or disease.

Gua sha naturally encourages healthy blood flow to the body—which is why it’s so helpful for treating inflammation—and moves the chi throughout the meridians. Meridians are the energetic life force paths all over the body that act as a mainstay of Traditional Chinese medicine and are used as a guide for everything from acupuncture to acupressure to gua sha.

If you do a quick Google image search, you’ll be confronted with images of bright red backs, ripe with bruising and striations. Don’t be scared! It looks intense—borderline masochistic, perhaps?—but gua sha is actually wonderful for skin, muscles, and fascia. Enough pressure is applied during a full-body session to result in light bruising, which is part of the reason gua sha is so healing for soft tissues.

Much like getting a deep tissue massage, gua sha encourages movement in the lymph system to encourage detoxification and improve blood flow to muscles and tendons. As soon as the lymph fluid is stimulated through massage, the body can begin to detoxify itself. If you’re the one receiving a treatment, you’ll notice that any water retention or bloat totally vanishes after a treatment. When the lymph begins to move, it carries with it lingering toxins and extra water that’s holding on for dear life in your body.  Gua sha also can help to break down scar tissue and stagnant connective tissue to improve mobility and flexibility in joints.

In recent years, facial gua sha has become incredibly popular as a beauty treatment. Anecdotally, it’s been said to improve nearly every skin condition—from hormonal acne to sagging jowls. Facial gua sha is significantly lighter in pressure than a full-body treatment, so don’t expect to see bruising or even light marks on your skin. However, you’ll likely experience instant lifting, toning, and brightening after getting a gua sha facial or trying the technique out on yourself (yep, you can totally do this one at home!).

Keep scrolling for the low down on how gua sha works, who uses it now, and exactly how to perform gua sha on yourself.

How does gua sha work?

Gua Sha Massage

The biggest difference between a massage and a gua sha treatment is the gua sha tool. Typically made of jade or rose quartz, a gua sha tool is about the size of a credit card and can be held in one hand. The tool itself has smooth edges on all sides and is about a quarter of an inch thick.

To use it, your practitioner will hold the tool at a 15-degree angle to your skin with one edge gently resting on the area to be worked on. Using long, fluid strokes, the practitioner applies pressure and drags the gua sha tool along the appropriate meridians (or muscle knots) to stimulate the chi and break up muscle tension and adhesions.

Usually, a practitioner will go over the same area a few times. You’ll notice as they begin to work through the fascia, the area around the muscle immediately begins to release and relax. It’s really important that your practitioner moves the lymph all the way through your body to the end of the meridians—you don’t want to get that nastiness stuck anywhere! And if you’re the one enjoying the treatment, remember to drink tons of water the day after your appointment—you’re going to need it.

Gua Sha Facials

Gua sha facials aren’t all that different from the massage treatment—both use the same tool and technique. But, facials require a much lighter touch because pressing too hard can damage skin. Plus, our facial muscles don’t usually have the same scar tissue or adhesions as say, your quad or calf muscles, which go through a lot more wear and tear. With the face,  we’re more concerned with moving and draining the lymph fluid; stagnant lymph causes puffiness, bloating, dark circles, sallow skin, wrinkles, and pimples. And because it’s a very light massage, you might even notice that gua sha eases any tension that you might be holding in your forehead, jaw, and eyebrows. Just remember that it’s not necessary to apply heavy pressure, and in fact, if you’re pressing too hard you won’t be targeting the lymphatic material.

Lymph lives just below the skin, and is so sensitive that it won’t respond to roughness! When it moves through the body in a healthy way, our puffiness diminishes. We get our natural, youthful glow back because our bodies are naturally detoxifying themselves. And the improved circulation helps flush toxins and revitalizes the look of skin.

What to Expect After a Gua Sha Facial

After a gua sha facial, you’ll likely see instant results. Your brows and cheeks will look more lifted, and cheekbones will be more defined as excessive lymphatic fluid drains from the face. Skin will look brighter because of increased blood flow. And because you need to use a facial oil or emollient lotion whenever you gua sha, your complexion will be hydrated, too!

Where to Get a Gua Sha Facial

Gua sha treatments are typically performed by trained professionals. When it comes to full-body massage, practitioners are usually certified in the technique and also have their massage license. Estheticians and facialists also must go through a training to learn how to properly use the gua sha tool on the sensitive facial skin.

It’s safe to try giving yourself a gua sha facial treatment at home, as long as you’re not pressing too hard. If you see redness on your face, you’ve gone too far! A little goes a long way with this stuff. And trust, you don’t want bruise lines on your face—it’s not a good look.

How to Do Gua Sha at home

Gua Sha Facial Tools

To give yourself a gua sha facial you’ll need a gua sha tool, facial oil, and about five minutes of free time. We also recommend grabbing a towel, just in case! When purchasing a gua sha tool, make sure you get one that’s made of real stone like jade, rose quartz, or brian stone. Beware of super-cheap versions on Amazon—they might be made with dyed acrylic, which is bad for the planet and bad for your skin health! Also, the real things look very cute on Instagram. Really important to up your self-care ‘gram game.

Directions

  1. Before you get started, wash your face thoroughly. No make-up, no nothing. You want to be barefaced, babe! We recommend double-cleansing with the Pure Start Gentle Detoxing Facial cleanser to remove any dirt or grunginess from the day, and then following up with the Detox Clarifying Wash to give pores the clean sweep.
  2. Apply a few drops of Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil to the skin. This golden elixir contains Kalahari oil, Mongongo oil, Rosehip seed oil and Baobab oil to boost skin’s natural radiance, improve tone, and fade scars. You want the gua sha tool to gently glide against the skin, so don’t be shy about using a little more oil than usual.
  3. Hold the gua sha tool at a 15-degree angle against skin; it should almost be flush against the face. In one fluid motion, sweep the tool from its initial starting point all the way down the next to the collarbone. Follow these pathways three to five times each:

– From the middle of the under the chin to the earlobe. Repeat on both sides.

– From the middle of the ridge of the chin (follow your jawline) to the earlobe. Repeat on both sides.

– From the lower edge of the nostril up to the middle of the ear. Repeat on both sides.

– From the inside of the eye, lightly draw the gua sha tool to the temple. Repeat on both sides.

– From the inside of the eyebrow, follow the brow bone to the temple. Repeat on both sides.

– From the middle of the forehead to the hairline. Repeat on both sides.

– From the hairline, sweep all the way down, around the back of the ears, down the sides of the neck to the collarbones. Repeat on both sides.

When you’re done, you should notice an instantaneous difference in your skin! Gua sha massage acts like a natural mini facelift—and it feels really amazing.