All about the founder and the brand’s latest kids meditation cushion line.

With back to school season right around the corner, HOLR is sitting down to chat with the founder of Mala Collective, Ashley Wray, to discuss the brand’s recently launched kids meditation cushion line called, Little Buddhi. A first of its kind to the market, this line will help kids reduce anxiety, regulate their emotions (which means fewer temper tantrums), and connect to their breath through mindfulness practice.

This is perfect for easing back-to-school anxiety for kids (and parents) this fall and features a selection of cushions, blankets, and guided meditations to help kids focus, ground, and connect to their emotions. Check out our interview with Ashley below to discover the brand’s newest collection and to learn all about the founder herself. 

Tell us about yourself and your journey that led you to create Mala Collective.

Mala Collective started 10 years ago through a chance meeting on a plane! I used to be a journalist covering murder trials and ended up leaving journalism after winning a national award. I went on a trip with my partner at the time, and we ended up in Bali. We fell in love with the Mala beads there and ended up meeting the woman who made them on our plane ride between Bali and Thailand. The serendipity really inspired us and Mala Collective was born! Since then we’ve been creating and designing pieces that we hope inspire people to embrace mindfulness and meditation.

Talk to us about the brand. What can we expect when visiting the site and what are some of Mala Collective’s star products?

All of our pieces are meant to inspire a mindfulness practice. But you also don’t need anything we make to meditate! The Mala beads are traditional tools for a meditation practice, helping you to count your breaths while in meditation. The meditation cushions are created to help support you as you sit and connect with your breath. While the crystals inspire a physical reminder of your intention. All of our pieces are made with love using only natural materials from Mother Earth.

With back to school season around the corner, can you explain the importance of your latest kid’s line, Little Buddhi, which is also a first of its kind to market?

During COVID we saw so many parents sharing space with their kids while working from home. And we noticed many of the parents sharing their practice with their kids. We had been thinking about this line for a long time and we knew it was time. Now with back to school, it’s incredibly important to lean into a mindfulness practice. For kids, meditation helps them to slow down and learn to focus on one thing at a time. It helps to also reduce anxiety and stress, and regulate their emotions, which means fewer meltdowns. As we head into the school year, unsure of what fall will bring, these are all very powerful tools to help kids succeed.

Why is meditation such an important practice to uphold?

In my experience, meditation allows us to come back to ourselves. It allows us to create space to witness our thoughts, emotions, and feelings. It’s a time for us to get to know who we truly are – which oftentimes we don’t make time for. Creating space to connect to ourselves allows us to better connect to others. And of course the benefits above, like reduced anxiety and stress are beneficial. I think when we are in such uncertain times it allows us to re-centre and find an inner calm, which is always important, but now more than ever.

How do you motivate others to step into their potential and live an inspired and aligned life? 

Well, I think people who are searching for this self-connection find me. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. I believe we truly all have a potential within us that we feel we haven’t yet fulfilled. And that we all have a higher calling or purpose. It’s hard to explain with words – there’s a feeling that we are meant for something more, or that something is missing. I’m so grateful I get to help guide people on that journey through 1:1 coaching. With each person it’s different, but in the end, we are all simply seeking self-connection.

What’s next for Mala Collective as a brand?

This fall we will be continuing to explore how to best support people in their practice – from kids going back to school, to a meditation challenge in October for adults. We’re always looking at ways to support you in your practice, and will be launching some new pieces in the fall to support you at home.

Be sure to check out the brand’s Little Buddhi collection here to shop the product line just in time for back-to-school season.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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