Nagnata founder and Creative Director Laura May spoke to Eugenie Kelly for the November issue of Australia's Harper's BAZAAR and discussed all things mind, body and spirit.
Photographed by Hannah Gibbs
I wouldn't say I had a spiritual or religious upbrining, but my grandmother was psychic, read tarot for all the grandchilden, stored crystals around the house and plied me with books on things like chakras. She and I were very connected.
I grew up in Kenthurst, Sydney, and had an idyllic childhood that was connected to nature. That's where my passion for environmentalism and sustainability comes from: wanting to take care of Mother Earth.
Yoga has been my strongest practice and led me to meditation. I grew up doing ballet and contemporary dance but at 17, I tried my first yoga class. I've experienced many styles - hatha, kundalini, vinyasa - but overall, yoga has taught me discipline and that has helped me as a designer. You can have all the creativity in the world, but design requires discipline.
At 22, I tried meditation at a two-week silent vipassana retreat. It was challenging, but I realised how unsettled and noisy my mind was. I've always been a deep feeler and thinker. I struggled with my mental health as a teenager, often acting out and driving my parents crazy. Yogic teachings and meditation have helped me heal.
Spirituality is about connecting to a greater source than the material world. I take the same approach in business. I host Mindful Conversations on Instagram as I'm always thinking about how we can serve our audience, rather than simply be a fashion business. Gary Gorrow from Soma Byron Bay was a guest recently, and he is teaching me transcendental meditation. I have several daily acts of self-care that I do to get me out of my mind and back into my body. I love bathing in magnesium salts and oils, and recently renovated my home to have two stone baths: one indoor, one outdoor.
I also practise a number of Ayurvedic rituals such as abhyanga massage using a black sesame oil to draw out toxins.
The book, Kali Rising: the Foudnational Principles of Tantra for a Transforming Planet, by Rudolf Ballentine changed my life. Kali is a Hindu tantric goddess - the most powerful form of Shakti primordial cosmic energy that is creative, life-sustaining and destructive. I read it on a retreat in Mexico before founding Nagnata.
I try to live with an embodied sense of spirituality and a tantric approach; embracing all of life's experiences by weaving together the physical and spiritual.