Shiva Rose on How to Reboot Your Wellness Routine

Whole Beauty_Cover - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Artisan Books

"As creative people, we are losing moments of getting creative insight. Technology is the new GMO, for sure," says Rose, whose new book 'Whole Beauty' is full of daily rituals and natural recipes for wellness.

If Memorial Day barbecues and bottomless glasses of rosé left you in need of a reboot, Shiva Rose has got you covered. The actress turned natural beauty guru has a new book out, Whole Beauty (Artisan, $29.95), based on her popular lifestyle blog the Local Rose. In it, she teaches readers how to create their own home beauty practice, from making your own organic products and sacred spaces to incorporating elements of Kundalini and Ayerveda to how to use crystals, yoni eggs and essential oils.

Rose spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her own aha moment with natural health, easy first steps to make you feel better and the next big frontier in the wellness space (hint: It has to do with what you’re probably reading this on now).

THR: You write that your journey to natural health really started with hitting rock bottom, right?

Rose: When I was 26, after the birth of my daughter, Coco, I just couldn’t recover. I was always health-minded, but my diet was not that great and it was contributing to inflammation. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and rheumatoid arthritis. That got me to this path — not right away, but I tried regular Western remedies and realized holistic, natural ones just worked better for my body.

If you could recommend one or two things to kick start a better approach to wellness, what would they be?

I think water is something we don’t talk about enough. We are mostly made of water, that is really crucial; and bottled water isn’t always the best because it can contain BPAs (Bisphenol A). I use a water system with reverse osmosis filtration that puts minerals back into water. A lot of us are lacking minerals, which can affect your nervous system, skin and hair. Getting a great filtration system and adding minerals to your water would be a great way to start. Then there’s what you eat, the products you use on your body, things you use in your home and then connecting to nature and having a spiritual practice. These are the basic pillars.

You write about the necessity of having rituals in your life. For the total beginner, what’s a good one to start with?

First thing in the morning, sit on the ground cross-legged and close your eyes and try to connect yourself to this electrical force you can feel, this thing that some call "spirit," some call "source," some call "energy," "God," "soul" — whatever that is, try to connect to that. Sometimes you can find that in nature, but even if you just sit quietly and listen to your breath, you connect to your higher self or intuition. It’s like a muscle; the more you do it, the stronger it gets.

You practice rituals even when you travel?

Yeah, even on planes, actually. I don’t get on the Wi-Fi, I just put my headphones on and listen to mantras. Mantras are a great way to slow down because they work on sound and activate your brain and heart and spirit through soundwaves. I listen for a couple hours during the flight, then some ideas come to me, images come to me, manifestations come to me — it creates a meditative space. I like Kundalini-based mantras. There’s a site called Spirit Voyage, and they have lot of fun ones on there.

When you started your blog almost a decade ago, it was before wellness had become fashionable. You mention in your book how it was talked about in health food stores, but not in every single magazine. How have you seen that change, and do you think it’s a good thing?

Yes, I’m so excited. I remember going to New York before, pitching ideas, and they’d say it’s "too granola." It’s so great to see the world opening up. Like anything, when something becomes popular, you have the other side of spectrum. People in wellness can become overly obsessed with organic food, for example, and they start stressing about it and the thing they are trying to get away from they start creating in their lives. You have to be wary of that, too; make sure you’re enjoying life, not having anxiety about it.

Not punishing yourself if you have a meal that’s not organic?

It’s good for us to do that once in a while and reboot everything anyway.

In Los Angeles, what are your daily rituals?

I live in the Palisades, so I’m blessed I have the canyons. I try to take a walk with my dog, and I don’t take my phone. My mom says, "But there are mountain lions!" But for me, the phone is a bigger threat. I go on walks, connect to the canyons around me. That’s something you can do and it doesn’t cost anything. If I have time, I go to Kundalini yoga class at RA MA in Venice. If I have a whole weekend, I will drive to Ojai for the day.

You mentioned the phone a few times — is that the next thing we need to tackle as a wellness issue?

Definitely — there haven’t been 30-year studies on the effects of phones on our minds. Teenagers today are not drinking, smoking, rebelling, they don’t even want their driver’s licenses, they are just sitting in a dark room with screens. I recently read an article about Miranda July, where she talks about having this app called Freedom that tracks how much you are on social media and can even block sites. As creative people, we are losing moments of getting creative insight. Technology is the new GMO, for sure.

What’s next for you?

My new Celestial body butter just launched. I would love to see my brand out there more. When it comes to the blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I should keep doing it. Now there is Goop and The Chalkboard and so many other sites doing what I've been doing, and doing it so well. But I think I will continue and maybe rebrand. I enjoy writing and creating product; it’s another form of storytelling.

Anything that didn’t make it into the book?

More recipes! My new obsession is Middle Eastern recipes with a healthy twist. I would love to create more of a cookbook next time. I’m also interested in biohacking, like what green drinks you can make to clean your electromagnetic field. I would love to go deeper in that world, too.

What are your favorite spots in L.A. for wellness?

The Local Rose, my site, has a lot of resources and there are some in my book. I like Erewhon Natural Foods and the Cookbook market in Highland Park. I also like Sun Potion’s adaptogens.

Your product line Shiva Rose Beauty includes a balm, a butter and an oil containing roses. Do you feel a connection to roses?

Yes! It’s the highest vibrational flower, queen of all flowers, and the way into the heart. I take rose essence, I drink rose water and use rose essential oils. I recently had a rose strawberry lassi from Cookbook that was amazing.