JY: Can you tell us a bit about your meditation journey?
I have dabbled in meditation for a few years, starting in the early 2010s. At the time I was dealing with anxiety and depression and it was a way to manage what I was going through.
Then in 2019 my grandma passed away. I was very close with her; she raised me and in her later years I was able to take care of her. When she passed I fell flat into grief. The experience brought me to meditation in a more wholesome way.
I explore a lot about grief in my meditation, not necessarily just around losing people, but grief as an experience that we all share. We often grieve things we don’t even realize, whether those are changes like moving from one place to another, or relationships. I want to normalize conversations about grief and bring them into the meditation practice.
Linking up with the Nalaverse as a meditation guide happened in 2020 when lockdowns had just started. I actually lost my grandfather, my grandmother’s husband, to COVID-19. I had just moved to New Jersey and I worked with my partner on a meditation album to help people manage the anxiety and grief that was rising at that time. We made the meditation album #SaturdayNightChakra, in which I feature on two tracks of affirmations.
Theresa from the Nalaverse heard the album and loved it. She invited us for an interview and to chat about the process of making the album. During that session she asked me to guide a meditation, which at that point I had never done before! I kept thinking “This is not me! I’m usually on the other side, participating and not guiding a practice.” But it was a beautiful moment and everybody in the room was touched by how it went. You could feel the energy, feel the spirit moving in the space.
Based on that Theresa asked me to join the team and I became one of the Nalaverse’s first meditation guides.
JY: Can you tell us more about the album, #SaturdayNightChakra?
Of course! It’s really good if you’re studying or if you have trouble sleeping. As it’s very mellow, it’s great to drift off to. And because of the heavy bass, listening to it can be very grounding. There are also lots of affirmations to take in.
JY: What meditations do you offer on Maloka, and what impact do you hope they will have?
There are two standalone meditations that users can take. One is a meditation on power and peace and the other covers affirmations and breath work for abundance.
My meditations include a lot of affirmations. But before the affirmations there’s usually a process. This might be a shorter meditation that you follow, but I like to start by acknowledging where I am in the moment. There can be fake positivity that seeps into meditation and I like to remember that when you meditate, sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. It’s important to sit with and process what we feel.
So I begin by acknowledging whatever feelings I’m having—whether positive or negative—because I really believe that you can’t move through or process anything that you haven’t recognized. I then move into affirmations to help me process those emotions, accept them and feel confident that I am able to overcome them.
Affirmations can also help ground us as we move through meditation. We can use them to connect with our bodies and the ways our emotions show up. For example, negative emotion can manifest through tight muscles and with the right breathing practice we can start to release that tension.
My two standalone meditations are available on Maloka now. We’re also planning to record a meditation program, so watch this space!