Posted by Lauren Ash
Zakkiyyah and I were so blessed to be able to share time and space with Mama Glow Founder, best-selling author, and celebrity wellness and lifestyle maven Latham Thomas this past August. As went for a sunny walk along The High Line, we ate popsicles, talked about the divine feminine and holistic wellness as women of color, and it truly felt like we were walking with a sister. Later, she assured us that is what we are to each other. I have learned so much from Latham already and am overwhelmed with gratitude from what she has shared with us. (I need to plan my first ritualista retreat, pronto! Read all about that below.) Be inspired further—follow Latham on Twitter @GlowMaven and Instagram @GlowMaven.
What does Black Girl In Om mean to you?
In elementary school science class I remember learning that *black is the absence of light*. It is a reference to the visible spectrum, white reflects light and is a presence of all colors, but black absorbs light and is an absence of color. That struck with me because science negates what my soul knows—that blackness is the light of the world. It’s a basic human need to be seen, heard, witnessed. We live in a time where we are not seen, heard or witnessed and celebrated in our glory as a people. We need to remember that blackness gives birth to all things manifest. It’s in the darkness that we find immense power and grace. The dark dank soil that gives rise to plant life, in the darkness of the womb that new life is spun into being, the dark night sky that allows us to dream at night. It is a whole and necessary part of the cosmic order—darkness is divine. We must collectively plant seeds of confidence and conviction and weed the messages that undermine our power, beauty, radiance, and resilience.
Black Girl In Om for me is about celebrating the darkness. Reclaiming every aspect of ourselves in spirit and in flesh and owning our glow power both on and off the mat. It’s about trailblazing in our darkness to ignite the light around us.
How do you identify with Black Girl In Om's mission?
My mission is to support those expanding into their power—in most cases in motherhood. I am here to help women embrace optimal wellness as a pathway to empowerment. I am here to amplify beauty and celebrate ritual. I believe that BGIO is about uplifting women as they expand in their power. BGIO is about honoring sisterhood and saluting each other in our strengths and holding each other in our vulnerabilities. BGIO is about embracing ancient practices through Yoga and mindfulness embedded with rituals that help us, black girls attune to wellbeing...with a side of soul. BGIO is soul food…and I’m down with that.
What are your self-care and self-love practices?
I have so many practices that punctuate my day and allow me to reflect, recharge, and reconnect. When I rise up I pray, I sit in meditation, I listen to the whispers. I soak so I can serve—baths are one of my favorite ways to relax, I use Pursoma Mineral soaks and flower essences and just unwind. Lathering my body in oils and creams is a ritual that I learned watching my mother and grandmother in their beauty routines. I use coconut oil, shea butter and spend time caressing my skin—honoring my body. Yoga for me is beyond the mat, it’s a part of who I am. My practice rarely happens on the mat, it happens mostly in my meditation corner or on the roof outside, I don’t like anything between my hands and feet and the earth, so I practice without a mat (which was awesome when I was in India earlier this year). Part of my self care practice is pleasure—enjoying and savoring my experiences alone. I find that my glow time is where I get my most valuable nuggets of inspiration—when I have downtime for pleasure and respite. And eating well, I prepare most of my meals and love to cook and entertain, that brings me joy and allows me to spend time with girlfriends, too.
What's one ritual you recommend more women of color adopt to cultivate inner beauty and wellness?
I love this question. My new website explores the magic of everyday rituals and we call the person who embodies this lifestyle a Ritualista. As someone who revels in discovery and is deeply inspired by the temporal and spiritual, I am guided by inspiration and celebrate moments of magic wherever I go. I would recommend taking a ritualista retreat—spending time in the outdoors, in the ambient landscape. Get away and travel. It doesn’t need to be far, but take yourself outside of your normal setting, even if it’s an hour away—take a retreat. Put your bare feet in the soil, the sand, the mountains, the water—just tap into source energy. How awakened are you to the dancing universe…and your own internal dance? The goddess within each of us wants to commune with cosmos and be at ease. I believe we cultivate beauty by surrounding ourselves with beauty everywhere. A Ritualista retreat is about mindful travel, as well as the travel that happens within. Sometimes it takes a getaway to get us away from the everyday experiences and the mind set that dulls and dims our lives, to learn to appreciate and celebrate these moments of grace.
Every aspect of life is punctuated with ritual. This outlook allows one to amplify the sanctity of rituals through the vessel of health and wellbeing—to indulge in self care, connect with the ambient landscape, surround oneself with beauty, experiment with new healthy lifestyle practices that would enhance the quality of our lives if continued at home. When we attune ourselves to what I call, the magic of the mundane, wherever we might be, gratitude allows us to honor each moment as sacred and show up with grace.
What's one wellness product you can't live without?
Ah, one thing only…I’m a rebel, so I am going to answer in categories...
In the kitchen—cardamom pods, and black truffle oil…these ingredients bring me joy!
On the Mat—For my mindfulness practice, Infinite love Anointing Oil by Lotus Wei.
In my Life—For my skin - Mun No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum.
Latham Thomas is a celebrity wellness/lifestyle maven and birth doula—transforming not only how women give birth to their babies, but how they give rise to the best version of themselves. She is the founder of Mama Glow (MamaGlow.com) a lifestyle brand and highly regarded website offering inspiration, education, and holistic services for expectant and new mamas. A graduate of Columbia University and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham serves on the advisory board of Yahoo! Health and is best-selling author of “Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy,” a go-to wellness guide for expecting mothers endorsed by Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr Mark Hyman, Christy Turlington Burns & more.
Having cultivated her wellness practice over nearly a decade she has served as a doula and lifestyle guru for celebrity clients including: Alicia Keys, Rebecca Minkoff, Tamera Mowry, Venus and Serena Williams and more. A self proclaimed ritualista, Latham believes in turning the the ordinary routines of every day life into something sacred. Whether travel, dining, self care, style, mindfulness or wellbeing, Latham is guided by inspiration and celebrates moments of magic in the mundane. This lust for life is focal point of her newest lifestyle venture, Ritualista at LathamThomas.com.
Latham's leading revolution in radical self-care and spiritual growth, helping women embrace optimal wellness as a pathway to empowerment. She was named one of the “Top 100 Women To Watch In Wellness” by Mind Body Green. A single mom residing in NYC, she is the proud mother of 12 year old DJ prodigy and entrepreneur, DJ Fulano. Latham has been featured in a variety of media outlets including, Vogue, SELF, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal Magazine, Essence, Fit Pregnancy, Dr. Oz, Good Day NY, Inside Edition, to name a few.