Let’s just say Miami’s not known for its culture of zen. During the day you can party anywhere from Nikki Beach day club, to the SLS pool, to Wynwood. At night, you can eat at the finest restaurants and rage 24/7 to world-famous DJs at the world’s best nightclubs. In Miami, there’s almost never a reason to slow down and explore your inner world. Yet with excess comes a desire for balance, and even Miamians need to reset.
While Miami’s holistic scene is slightly less advertised than its entertainment lineup, there’s a growing culture of hidden gems explore. Holistic entrepreneurs from all over Dade-County are launching businesses to promote natural wellness, healing and yes—alternative swag. And every September for the last 4 years, many of them convene at Cauley Square’s Bodhi and Mind Festival.
Here we review Bodhi and Mind’s standout gems that you absolutely must explore in honor of Mental Health Day on the 10th.
Located in Cutler Bay, Mystic Joint serves plant infused mocktails inspired by centuries of Pacific Island medicinal and ceremonial use. While these plants are non-intoxicating, they can alter your mood, bodily sensations, and cognition. Kava is a mild sedative plant, which calms the nervous system and relieves anxiety, producing a temporary mouth-numbing effect. Kratom, Mystic Joint’s most popular plant, acts on the brain’s opioid receptors to create a euphoric experience. The lesser-known Damiana and Blue Lotus plants are available for those seeking an aphrodisiac. Mystic Joint owner and botanist, Mike Jones hand crafted every recipe to include earthy extracts along with fruits like pineapples, mango, strawberries and lime. Mystic Joint’s menu also includes invigorating coffee blends. In short, there’s a plant on the menu for every balanced state you desire. Visit Mystic Joint for a healing mocktail and stay a while for a game of pool and sober comraderie.
Therapia by Aroma
When a beauty store owner walks you into her manufacturing lab to show off ingredients that make up her formulas—you can trust they’re 100% natural. Irene, co-owner of Therapia by Aroma, started working in natural aromatherapy 19 years ago in France. 5 years ago, Irene retired and moved to Homestead with her husband, but relaxation was short lived. Miami’s energy and lush botanical atmosphere quickly inspired the couple to launch Therapia by Aroma. Irene creates nearly every fragrance you see on shelves and she does it with passion. Her most recent inspiration is energy healing, which led to the recent line based on the 7 chakras. In addition to fragrances, they also formulate 100% natural anti-aging creams and serums. Their latest concoction is the top selling Cannabis Sativa Serum, infused with hemp seed butter, hemp seed oil, and a blend of citrus, floral, and woodsy essential oils. Visit the Therapia by Aroma stores in Homestead and Coconut Grove, or shop their natural beauty products online.
Photo by Elena Schmidt
Hidden inside Cauley Square’s Bridge Garden, a group of spiritual seekers, including myself, took a seat on the grass waiting to hear the Spiritual Divorce seminar. We listened as Joyce Haddad, a Spiritual Therapist from Heart Holistic Center guided us to energetically disentangle from unhealthy people, places, and substances in our live. In this interactive session, Joyce asked us to pick a partner, hold our partner’s hand, and stare through each other’s eyes and into each other’s souls. Think that sounds a little too woo-woo? I did too, but it turns out eye gazing is a tool that helps infants develop healthy connections and helps adults overcome attachment issues. Joyce proceeded to guide us through breathing practices and concluded the session by singing as she saged the toxic energy from each and every participant. Am I cleansed of all negative attachments? Definitely not, but in that moment, I felt a release of tension and throughout the day I felt noticeably lighter. Joyce regularly hosts healing workshops and also meets with clients one-on-one to perform energetic healing ceremonies. Contact Heart Holistic Center to schedule time to relax, release and reset.
Located in quaint cottages just steps away from Cauley Square’s main entrance lies an inconspicuous Himalayan salt lounge. Esmeralda’s Salty Air Retreat pumps healing salts into the air, providing all the health benefits of a day at the beach, without the heat, bugs or sun burn. Esmeralda’s chilly Himalayan Cave is adorned with lights wrapped around dimly lit lamps, emitting salts into the air through a device known as a Halogenerator. Guests are invited to enter the cave for a minimum of 30 minutes and can sit or lie silently in meditation, journal in reflection or move quietly through yoga poses. $15 minutes allows guests to disconnect in a spa-like atmosphere as they clear the airways, ease allergy and asthma symptoms, deeply relax, and boost their mood and concentration. After 30 minutes in the cave, guests can walk next door to Esmerelda’s Earth, Wind & Fire Boutique and snag some holistic swag to match their shiny new aura. Options range from every crystal you never knew existed, to books, candles, incense, jewelry and figurines.
Cover photo by Hilda Varela.
Elena Schmidt is a creative writer, yoga teacher, and adventure seeker. She seeks equal parts fun and discipline in life and LOVES finding new ideas and places to explore. Check out her portfolio at www.elenaschmidt.com.