You’ve probably heard or seen the magic that is Anima Mundi. They are committed to bringing ancient medicines to the modern world and in our humble opinion — they have definitely delivered! We sat down with the lady behind the curtain, founder Adriana Ayales. Born and raised in Costa Rica, Adriana has extensively studied several healing traditions, alongside master herbalists and shamans for over 13 years. So, in this month’s Routines and Rituals, it’s not surprising that the healing power of herbal teas, fruit as beauty care, and gardening as therapy feature high on Adriana’s list. Check it out below!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself & your company!
A: From a young age, I’ve been deeply attuned to the realms of spirits, healing, and medicine, and have always had powerful visions, dreams, encounters with spirits, and great empathy. Although it sounds lovely at times, it was very hard for me to cope with so much seeing and feeling as a young little lady. For example, I’d see energy and colors around people, and get intuitive feelings about their life, potential dis-ease, and just important information about their healing journey. At the time, being such a little babe, I didn’t understand it all. Thankfully, I got initiated quite young by working with several healers, which allowed me to find the language of all that I was going through. At one point, I remember vividly having a powerful encounter with one of my ancestors that appeared to me as a voice coming from nature. It told me that my work was to be with herbs. Even though at the moment it wasn’t what I would have technically chosen, it was given to me as a command, to reactivate and remember.
I founded Anima Mundi when I was working as an herbalist in NYC. I was originally born and raised in Costa Rica, and would have never thought I’d end up in NYC. I had several jobs in restaurants and different places and offered private sessions to clients seeking herbal treatments from my Brooklyn apartment after hours. Oftentimes I would work deep into the night, then come home and pack orders for online customers, or wake up really early to fulfill them. I was (and am!) deeply passionate about helping herbalism be part of people’s daily healthcare and this was fueled by an energy beyond myself. It still amazes me the way the team grew and grew, as we devoted ourselves deeply to the work. To this day, I still cannot say it enough — this would have never happened if it wasn’t for the awesome team (family) we’ve grown to be over the years.
Q: Do you have a consistent daily AM and/or PM routine? Or do you mix it up?
A: Yes and no. I go in phases. Sometimes I’m very disciplined and aligned to a particular flow. And sometimes, I just go with the flow of what’s needed. I really try to be flexible and say yes to spontaneous events, or happenings. This really helps me to unwind and destress from overly busy times and counteracts the rigidity that often comes with my busy workload.
Overall, there are a few routines that have stuck regardless of the cycles. One is my morning meditation, followed by a healing cup of my favorite herbs (like a fresh mineralizing tea of nettle, lemon balm, tulsi, and gynostemma) or a fresh roasted coffee with Mucuna and medicinal mushrooms. I also love doing hikes to get my sweat on, and like to listen to walking meditations, or powerful podcasts. It all feels very healing and reflective. At night, especially after long days, I often take a bath with medicinal herbs and oils, or massage my limbs with crystal tools to activate circulation and lymphatic health. This practice really soothes my soul and triggers lovely dreaming.
Q: How does the natural world support your modern life?
A: Ah, in so many beautiful ways. Gardening is a big one. Gardening is the greatest therapy there is to unwind the monkey mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and more than that, it provides you with the greatest healing foods and herbs possible. There is no other practice that propels me to be in such a flow state.
The natural world supports us with vitality, regenerative power, sovereignty, mind-body healing, shelter, magic, and so much more. Even if we’re caught in the programming of busy-ness and modern life logistics, it’s important to remember without the fundamental assistance of the natural world, we wouldn’t be here. It is the cradle for us to rise, evolve, and keep growing.
Q: Do you have any rituals that you practice daily, weekly, or monthly?
A: I practice many rituals regularly. I do several kinds of cleansing rituals depending on the phase of the moon, and the things I’m looking to heal, let go, or regenerate. I love making flower essences that greatly support our mental and emotional evolution. For the different cleansing rituals, I make ‘wands’ with specific herbs that align to the intention. Then I use them for smoke cleansing the home, the body, or for others that might need support in cleansing, grounding, and more. I love the ritual of following biodynamic calendars, and growing food at peak times that align with specific lunar or astrological transits.
Q: Are there any particular foods or botanicals that align with your beauty routine or self-care practice?
A: Oh yes, absolutely! Right now there is a lot of mangosteen in season. I love extracting the peel (known as one of the highest vitamin C sources in the natural world), and making homemade cosmetics like under eye creams, salves, or lotions. It’s one of my absolute favorite seasonal fruits. I also love to combine it with hibiscus flower, which is equally great for beauty care as it’s astringent and helps tighten the skin, bring about circulation, purifies the blood and more.
Q: How does THE FULLEST align with you and fit into your life?
A: I love how THE FULLEST is a well rounded wellness platform that integrates vital health hacks along with key spiritual advice. I admire brands that care to educate, collaborate, and bring vital health rituals to the forefront in modern-day wellness practices.
Adriana Ayales is a rainforest herbalist, medicine maker, educator, and founder of Anima Mundi — a farm to pharmacy apothecary committed to bringing ancient remedies to the modern world. Adriana believes that by preserving ancient forms of indigenous botany, we keep alive a very sacred aspect to our source and are committed to sourcing ingredients that are from honest farmers, wildcrafters, and indigenous peoples whenever possible.