How a meditation teacher and CEO shops Ikea with wellness in mind


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Photo: Stocksy/Lauren Edmonds

For design-minded people, I imagine that walking into Ikea is akin to stumbling upon Wonderland. But for many of us (me, I’m talking about me), the home-topia makes me feel like Alice right after the descent down the rabbit hole. I’m lost, disoriented, and looking for a guiding light to show me how to shop the store like a total pro. That’s why I asked Ellie Burrows Gluck, cofounder and CEO of New York City’s MNDFL (whose good taste is more than evident the moment you walk into one of her meditation studios in NYC) for some much-needed advice when it comes to navigating Ikea’s website.

The resulting shopping list is what could only be described as wellness-chic. “About 80 percent of doctor’s visits in America are caused by stress,” says Gluck. “Creating a relaxing environment at home—an environment that we have a reasonable amount of control over—is important.” Equally important, she adds, is furnishing your living space with Mama Earth in mind. “Just like stress can be put upon us, we can also put stress on our planet, so I try to bring things into the home that not on help me relax, but also give our planet a break too,” she says.

Below, Gluck shares Ikea design picks for a home that’s as good for you as it is for the planet.

All Images: Ikea

Carafe with stopper, $5

“Keeping a sustainable water container by your bed can be a helpful reminder to hydrate. There’s been days where I’ve been so focused on my work or in and out of meetings that I need to remind myself to drink water—and I’ve noticed that I’m more attentive to hydration in my home, where I’m more relaxed.”

LED string light with 24 lights (solar-powered), $18

“I was the 13-year-old girl that took a good chunk of my Bat Mitzvah money and spent it on glow in the dark stars to turn my room into a galaxy. My inner child is very into these solar powered light strings. Hang these by your window and allow them to charge during the day and then light up your house at night.”

Aroim Palm potted plant, $10

“These are incredible indoor plants, as they don’t require a ton of light. Also, if you’ve ever been to MNDFL, you know our studio is filled with these.”

Lunch Box, $6

“I’m lucky enough to live in New York City, where it’s easy to order or pick up a healthy lunch. But when we make our own food in advance and bring it to work, we avoid racing around trying to pick up food and then shoving our faces at our desks before we have to get on the the next call or attend the next meeting. The more time we have to eat, the more relaxed we are, the more efficiently and easily our body is able to digest our food.”

Candle dish, $18

“Fire has been used since time immemorial to designate sacred space for ritualistic purposes. Growing up in a Jewish family, we lit the candles on Friday nights to denote Shabbat. As a Vedic meditation teacher, I also use fire as part of a short ceremony of gratitude I perform when I give a mantra to a new student. When the natural element of fire is present in my home, it always makes the space feel more sacred so I generally always light candles when I’m home for an extended period of time.”

Grey and white throw, $45

“Okay, so Ikea isn’t selling weighted blankets yet, which are kind of wonderful, but this is the next best thing. I generally fall asleep faster if there is some extra weight on my body. Try it out, you might just be so literally into it, you won’t want to get out from under it.”

Light grey room darkening curtains, $35

“New York never turns out its lights so sometimes our homes have to do the heavy lifting of blocking out the bright lights of the big city. Our quality of sleep really informs our waking state and the equation is simple: the better your quality of sleep, the more energy you will have the following day. These curtains help keep the lights out, so you can have sleep that’s lights out. Goodnight.”

Drying rack, $25

“I try to avoid dryer use whenever I can, because it’s not the best for the environment. It’s one of the home appliances that uses the most energy. Try a cold wash and then hanging things to dry.”

Rattan arm chair, $130

“There’s nothing that can designate a home meditation zone more effectively than a meditation cushion or a special chair. If we make a special space for our practice, we’re more likely to make space in the day to practice.”

Linen duvet cover and pillowcases, $90

“Linen is a wonderful sheet material, particularly in the warmer months as it breathes and absorbs moisture so it’s great for temperature control during sleep. I just love this Shibori pattern, too. Blue is an incredibly calming color.”

Mesh bags, $6

“I love these all-purpose bags. From grocery runs to beach walks, this reusable bag is the best because I can actually see my wallet, keys, phone so I know where everything is. Also, fresh produce—which is rich in nutrients—can just hang out in them, like a hammock but for your fruit.”

Keep on spiffing your space with these bathroom organization tips, and this hack for making your flowers stay fresher, longer

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