Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Nature takes precedence at Poppy and Someday, an Ayurveda-inspired sanctuary with a bohemian vibe tucked away in Los Angeles’s Laurel Canyon neighborhood. Whitewashed wooden walls present a calming backdrop. Glass jars of varied tonics, tinctures, and other botanical infusions line the shelves. Dried herbs perfume the air. Open sliding barn doors lend the space ample light—as well as a view of the courtyard garden and its clawfoot tub.
“I wanted to create a grounding place,” explains Kari Jansen, owner and operator of the restorative space. “And I wanted it to be a spa-like environment where I could bring together everything I’ve learned.”
An herbalist and Ayurvedic practitioner since 2006, Jansen is a strong advocate for achieving balance through nature. An interest in yoga prompted her to study Ayurveda and eventually travel to India, where she learned traditional approaches to healing. She then incorporated those teachings, along with her lifelong interest in the medicinal properties of plants and the vitality of botanicals, into both her bodywork practice and her handcrafted herbal body-care products.
She typically customizes treatments and products for clients based on their unique blends of constitution and lifestyle, although Jansen has noticed a common theme in recent months. “Lately people are coming in for grounding, rooting, and stability,” she explains. “We’re so fear-based these days, and that’s affecting different systems in the body. If the root chakra (muladhara) isn’t balanced, there’s this base of fear of the unknown when no one knows what’s happening.”
Jansen is convinced that when we take care of our bodies and find balance through self-nurturing, we open ourselves to greater care of our minds and spirits, which in turn affects how we show up to any situation. It’s a conscious decision that needs to be made in some way on a regular basis so that we can keep that feeling of balance and calm long after a spa session.
“I love watching people when they arrive and then when they leave,” Jansen says. “It’s such a dramatic change. We need to be taking care of ourselves each day.”
Natural remedies for creating balance
Try these everyday ways to find balance and grounding from Kari Jansen of Poppy and Someday.
Nurture with nature
Take note of the oils and botanical ingredients in skincare products and choose accordingly. Lavender is calming and relaxing. Frankincense is cleansing and grounding. Rose is nourishing and opens your heart. Peppermint is rejuvenating and cooling. Mugwort and sage are both cleansing and warming. Lemon balm is antiviral and enhances immunity. Ylang ylang is balancing and sweet. Calendula can help in wound repair.
Walk, hike, or sit in nature whenever you can. Tend a garden. Be in light-filled spaces. Bring the outside indoors, whether through flowers or herb sprigs on your table or rose petals and herbs in your bath water.
Shop at local farmers’ markets to ensure what you eat reflects the season. Rely on fresh ingredients and benefit from their vitality. Feeling unbalanced? Increase your intake of root vegetables, which have a grounding effect.
Exercise your body on a regular basis, including your yoga practice, to help move excess lymph fluid. A vigorous salt scrub infused with botanicals also moves lymph fluid and releases stagnation before it can settle deeper in the body.
There is something undeniably calming—and, science has shown, profoundly healing—about gentle touch. Try massaging a botanical oil on your face and body after bathing or showering.
Let yourself linger in quiet seated and reclined stretches without distractions. Jansen suggests the practice of Yin Yoga to release tension and tightness. Forward bends, in particular, can help bring and maintain calm.
Connect with your circadian rhythm and allow your body sufficient—even ample—time to rest and restore. Your needs will change with the seasons and what you are experiencing in life.
Rosemary Herbal Steam at Home
Herbal steams have been relied on for centuries to enhance respiratory function. Rosemary, in particular, is known for its ability to help clear respiratory stagnation, promote circulation, and enhance mental clarity, thereby contributing to balance in one’s mind as well as body. You will need:
2 quarts (8 cups) water
2 handfuls roughly chopped fresh rosemary
- Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to low and wait until the water is just steaming.
- Toss in the rosemary, give it a stir, and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the stove and slowly breathe in the steam from the pot for up to a minute. Step back and take a rest. If desired, repeat breathing in the herbal steam in 1-minute increments up to 3 times.
From Spring 2022