My newest conscious collaboration...

Being conscious is not just a practice in eating well, but living well as a whole -- how we interact with others, treat ourselves, and even down to the clothing and jewelry we wear. 

As healthy eating is a balance, it's also a balance to find brands that are as equally stylish as they are healthy to the environment and their workers.

Which is why when I was approached by Mala + Mantra to be their first Conscious Collaborator, I was ecstatic to partner up with a company that I knew understood the importance of both looking good and feeling good about what you're wearing.

Focusing on mala beads and bracelets, the company was "Designed with intention. Consciously created. Fair, sustainable fashion. To nurture the soul."

And even better, all of the M+M jewelry is crafted at a social enterprise in the Philippines that provides sustainable income, pays fair wages, and provides a safe work environment for a women’s cooperative in San Manuel, Pangasinan.

The materials like rosewood and coconut shell are sourced sustainably, AND M+M has a growing Women + Wellness Campaign that empowers female artisans around the globe. 

Could a fusion of fashion and mindfulness get more awesome?

I'd love for you to get to know M+M more, so check out this interview below (or on the M+M blog here) where I asked the company's founder, Judith Perez Compton, some fun questions!

Meredith Nordhem (MN): Why is it important to you to introduce M+M to the yoga community? How do you see meditation + yoga going hand in hand? 

Judith Perez Compton (JPC): When I first created Mala and Mantra, I wanted to cater to three core audiences: the yoga, wellness, and spa communities. I felt that these three communities would be most receptive to the larger message behind the M+M brand—that of mindfulness, self-enlightenment, wellness, and empowerment. 

I see meditation and yoga as an integrated practice, as it is for myself when I practice every morning. Meditation is how I center myself through my breathing to create self-awareness, and yoga is how I integrate my breathing and body together. When I combine the two, I achieve a mind-body-spirit connection, which is what I think many people are searching for in their everyday lives.

 MN:  What's one feeling you hope people experience when they wear their M+M malas + jewelry?

JPC: Mindfulness, which essentially is self-awareness in the present moment, without judgment.

MN: How can integrating malas and consciously created jewelry, like the kind M+M make, into one's yoga + meditation practice enhance their overall wellness experience?

JPC: Mala beads, in particular, are a traditional meditation tool used to help keep focus and count mantras while meditation, so I think their connection to meditation is very real and powerful. I use my beads every day to meditate and stay centered, and I carry them with and on me throughout the day to help embody the properties of the particular gemstone or wood malas I’m wearing.

I think mala beads and other conscious jewelry can be very useful when practicing yoga, too, because they keep you grounded. They keep you focused on the present moment, on everything going on in your body instead of outside of it, and I think that’s one of the wonderful things about yoga in general. 

MN: If M+M were a yoga pose, which pose would she be and why?

JPC: The Prayer Pose, because mala beads are used for meditation or prayer. They also symbolize the mantra Namaste, which translates to "The divine light in me honors the divine light in you." It’s one of my favorites.  

MN: What can us yoga lovers expect next from M+M?

JPC: Lots of new things are definitely coming your way in 2015!  New collections launching this Spring + Summer 2015 include our Lariats + Layers Collection, the “I Am Me” Collection, our Crafted For a Cause Collection, and our much-anticipated Yoga Mala Collection, along with exciting introductions to our vetted Conscious and Creative Collaborators (and so much more)!

Learn more about Mala+Mantra (and check out their current super fun and vibrant Moda Mala Collection) here.