(Courtesy Millana Snow)
(Courtesy Millana Snow)

Millana Snow’s New Well-Being Plan

The L.A.-based healer, teacher, and entrepreneur delves deep into her personal definition of healing.
By Spencer Bailey
June 27, 2023
12 minute read

The Los Angeles–based energy healer, teacher, wellness entrepreneur, and self-described “multidimensional multi-hyphenate” Millana Snow defines the word “healing” in a broad, borderless way. For her, healing is “about the degree to which you can live without boundaries, without burdens,” she says. “It is the degree to which you allow yourself to be free—completely free.” While this may sound abstract, it’s an approach that has helped Snow become one of the wellness world’s most highly sought-after voices and facilitators, working with top institutions and brands (Columbia University, Instagram, Logitech) and making various high-profile appearances (the Mind Body Spirit Festival in London, PopSugar Playground in New York). Through her own platform, she offers an “Inner Child” healing workshop and a seven-day breathwork mini course, and also publishes a Friday email newsletter called 11:11.

Here, Snow speaks about the true meaning of healing, the problems with commodifying wellness, and what “the ultimate luxury” is to her.

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Your grandmother introduced you to the world of meditation at age 4. Let’s start there.

I had a very nontraditional childhood. My grandmother was definitely a hippie. She was the kind of person that you would see in the seventies, all peace, love, and happiness. So it was proper that she would be the one to teach me to meditate. The way she did it was really interesting: I remember it was naptime, and she had me come lie next to her. She said, “Okay, so you’re going to lie next to me, you’re going to close your eyes, and you’re going to walk out of your body.” I was like, “Cool!

That was my introduction: all of these fun, spiritual practices that, as a 4-year-old, I had no idea were not normal.

Were some of these practices breathing exercises?

She would have me chant, and then she would have me imagine white light coming down and clearing my energy. Honestly, as a kid, I didn’t really care what that was or what I was doing. It was just fun and relaxing and comforting. That ended up being the spark that got me interested in exploring religion, spirituality, and all the big life questions at a very young age.

Did you always know you were going to build a career around health and well-being?

No way. I always tell people I had no idea this was even a job and that you could be a healer and teacher without being poor and begging for coins in front of a temple. I thought that was the only way that worked. Thankfully, things have changed, so that’s not the only way.

I lived in New York for almost ten years, and at the time when I started my first company and my first exploration of the wellness industry, it wasn’t even called the “wellness industry.” At the time, I was modeling and working at Vibe magazine. I just had so much love for yoga, and for my spiritual path, which was evolving even back then. I realized then that there were no mainstream healing communities other than what was considered the fringe. This was back in 2012.

So I started my first company: rooftop yoga at the James Hotel [in New York], which is now called ModernHaus [SoHo]. That slowly became rooftop meditation and breathwork, doing things for New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week and working with different brands. Then, over time, that became what we now know as the wellness industry. It just so happens that I was in the middle of it. That’s where I started to really explore my own path as a teacher.

How do you describe what you do?

Gosh, well, I recently changed my title, which I feel like so many people can relate to. I don’t know … a multidimensional entrepreneur? I don’t even know how to explain it anymore because healing is central in my life. I’ve studied spirituality, healing, religion, and psychology for three decades now.

I think we can find healing in so many different forms: art, music, food, relationships, travel…. While I teach breathwork and love connecting people to healers and healing experiences, I’m finding there are other ways to translate healing. It’s really about intentional living. It’s about intentional connection. Everything that I’m doing right now is around that. I’m writing a book. I’m working on some bigger projects in the multimedia space. To me, it’s about how we can bring healing into our everyday lives in a way that’s universal but also personal.

I like how broadly you’re defining it. What exactly does your work as an energy healer entail? Could you describe your approach?

I appreciate that. My fiancé is an electronic music artist and an NFT artist, and I’m like, “You’re a healer, even if you don’t put your hands on people, and they have spontaneous healing,” which sometimes happens in my work. When people listen to his music, they come into a more transcendent state and see their lives differently. That is healing.

I’m trying to help people see themselves as healers and understand that each of us has our own individual expression that we’re here to live. You might call that your purpose, your meaning of life. And the degree to which you allow yourself to embody that, live that, and express that is the degree to which you will be healed and heal others. The word “healing,” to me, is really about the degree to which you can live without boundaries, without burdens. It is the degree to which you allow yourself to be free—completely free.

I think that there are many ways to get to that state, and breathwork is one of them. What I’ve found over the years is that it actually takes an altered state of consciousness to have those transformational ideas and experiences that change your personality and change what your family taught you was right or wrong. That part is something that I’m really focusing on: How can I support people having altered states of consciousness so that they can see themselves in the world differently and have what I consider a higher state of consciousness?

Could you share some of your daily practices, routines, and rituals—the things you might recommend to others or that you practice?

Having worked with thousands of people all over the world, I’ve learned that so many people have been through such painful experiences and have no tools to overcome them. In fact, we just think it’s normal that if someone died when you were young—if your father, or a parent, died when you were a kid—that it’s just the breaks, and that it will always be a burden for you, always be a heartbreak. That doesn’t have to be true. For me, these altered states of consciousness help us to take these really traumatic events that happen in our human experience and see them through a different context and lens to make them for our use, for our life’s benefit.

One of the ways that I do that on a daily basis is stream-of-consciousness journaling, which I think is one of the most entry-level ways into an altered state of consciousness besides breathwork. You tend to need somebody to help you with your first few breathwork sessions because it can get really psychedelic really fast. With stream-of-consciousness journaling, you can get past your daily patterns of thoughts, obsessions, and to-do lists and get into that stream of consciousness that we call a flow state. That’s how we start to have what I’m calling an altered state of consciousness, which is not your everyday, “Okay, I’ve got to go do this. I’ve got to go pick up my kid. I’ve got to.…” Once we start getting out of those patterns, just like when we get out of our pattern of breath, we start to change the patterns of our lives.

Let’s get into how you think about wellness and well-being. How do you define these terms?

I think wellness is such a funny term. [Laughs] I mean, it’s everywhere. I [recently] went to a gym in Stockholm [that was marketed as] “wellness gym.” I’m like, “Why? Why is this a ‘wellness gym’ and not just a gym?” I appreciate that all of this is mainstream. I appreciate that all these practices that are ancient and new—cutting-edge and science-backed, as well—are coming into the zeitgeist. 

Where I think “wellness,” that term, can get sticky is that often it’s watered-down, capitalistic productization of something that’s very spiritual and has no monetary value. I really encourage people to look beyond what is considered the industry, which is about capitalism, and go deeper into the roots of what is actually wanted in our culture: to have real structural and individual change in the way that we go about living our lives and creating our culture and society. I think wellness, on the surface, is not going to help us do that because it’s, like, buying [skin-care] face masks and expensive juices. But if you go deeper than that and get to what I’m considering healing as an overarching category, then we’re talking about how we are individually responsible for the change that we want to see in our lives, and, through that, how we can impact the world.

What is luxury to you? How do you think about luxury within the well-being space?

This is a question that my fiancé and I [asked ourselves] while we were traveling through Europe recently. Having space to do nothing, to read, to rest, to relax, and to hear the birds chirp feels like the ultimate luxury. To breathe air that’s clean is the ultimate luxury. The irony of that, of course, is that this is the natural state we have now devolved away from because we were seeking greater “luxury.”

We were traveling all over Europe and got sick and tired—all the things that traveling can do to you that aren’t so sexy and that you don’t share on Instagram. Then, finally, we got to the pine forests of Comporta, Portugal, and were like, “Oh, my God. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of nothing but the wind blowing through the trees.” That was the ultimate luxury. I think that’s where we’re at today.

The same is true for what we’re calling wellness, spirituality, and healing. It’s like, what do we need to do to just come back to ourselves, come back to the world, and experience timelessness and aliveness? People are paying very good money for that, and the irony is that it’s always free. It just takes a lot to find it these days.

To finish, what to you, Millana, is the good life?

Getting to make my own schedule has been really interesting. I’ve noticed recently that I started creating a schedule for myself as though I work for someone else. I know there are so many entrepreneurs and artists who are like, “What the hell?” Like, “I’m not living the artist or entrepreneur life.” There’s this really interesting thing that happens in our culture where we have created structures that we don’t actually need and aren’t making us happier or more fulfilled. That’s all in my head and in my programs of what I think I’m supposed to do. To me, a good life is being free of all those responsibilities and creating my art, my expression—as a healer, a creative, and an entrepreneur. Having the space to do that, being unhindered by fear or worry about what that will look like to the outside world, and being with the experience of that on a daily basis seems like the ultimate luxury to me.

This interview was recorded on September 7, 2022. The transcript has been slightly condensed and edited for clarity.