Colonics, crystal alchemy, breath circles—if it’s on an alternative healing menu in Los Angeles, chances are Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari have tried it.
And since there’s nothing more fun than hashing out the intimate details of an esoteric escapade with friends (“Wait—the psychic said you were murdered in your past life?!”), the longtime BFFs recently created ‘That’s So Retrograde’: a weekly, hour-long podcast that dives deep into their latest adventures in wellness—with equal parts wide-eyed inquisitiveness, healthy skepticism, and mildly raunchy humor.
“We’re doing this because we’re curious, but we’re also doing it because we want to help people,” says Simbari, a comedian who first fell down the rabbit hole of yoga and nutrition after being diagnosed with a chronic vitamin deficiency in college.
Kott, who works in fashion, adds, “Our friends are doing really inspiring things in wellness, and we wanted to start a conversation about [holistic healing] in a way that it isn’t really being talked about—we want to make it more digestible.”
So far, episodes have discussed the ins and outs of everything from tarot reading and spirit channeling to juice cleansing and acupuncture, with some bonus visits from Kott and Simbari’s high-vibe celebrity friends (Ashley Tisdale, Olivia Thirlby). I joined the duo for matcha lattes—natch—to chat about the rise of mysticism in pop culture, their favorite LA wellness destinations, and which new-age trends they don’t buy into. —Erin Magner
Why do you think there’s such a massive interest in all things metaphysical right now?
Stephanie Simbari: Out of necessity.
Elizabeth Kott: We’re connected to the internet 24/7 and it’s pulling us away from being connected to ourselves.
SS: People are sad, people are stressed, and people are unhealthy. We’ve been living in a dark age of understanding what’s really good for us for so long, and humanity is evolving out of what hasn’t worked.
That’s heavy stuff… how do you translate that world view into the tone of the podcast?
SS: The tone is really earnest… that’s something I thought about a lot. [As a comedian], I never want to make a mockery out of something I actually have a lot of reverence for. I’m not afraid of not being funny in the interest of serving the topic at hand.
The show is funny and really enlightening. How do you choose your guests?
SS: We’ve been really [selective] with our guests. I mean, there are so many people, especially in LA, that are selling wellness… it’s dicey. So to find people that are really walking the walk and have a unique perspective is an interesting challenge.
EK: I always think of my dad, who is such a skeptic. I like going through the filter of his thoughts; how would I explain something to him? How would I get him to perk up a little?
Any wellness trends that you just can’t get into?
EK: The Sakara founders were on and we were asking about their morning rituals, [but] they’re not married to any routine. I thought that was the perfect way of embodying where we’re at.
SS: The act of trying to do the ritual can make you crazy.
EK: It can become self-sabotaging; it’s so easy to get mad at yourself for not doing the thing you know will help you have a better day.
Where are some of your favorite healthy spots in LA?
SS: I love Sweat Theory in Hollywood—it used to be called Cedar House. They have infrared saunas and vitamin IV drips.
EK: I’m so into the infrared sweat as well. Shape House is great. Wi Spa is a Korean spa we love to go to. On Tuesdays, it’s $15 to get in. But Groov3 is my favorite thing—I’ve been doing it twice a week for a year-and-a-half and it’s totally changed my life. I’m just such a dance freak… there’s something about doing the things you did as a kid and tapping into that same joyful place.
SS: I SoulCycle… and I’m going broke doing it.
You don’t need to see a psychic to know that reading our LA city guide (with our fave places) is in your future.
For more information, visit thatssoretrograde.com
(Photos: That’s So Retrograde)
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