Karla Dascal has created a safe space—for you, for her city and for herself.
The Miami-native and onetime event planner ascended to the top of her stressful field, only to find herself in full burnout. She was sick, overweight and mentally taxed.
Faced with her unhealthy and untenable reality, she decided to travel abroad, exploring all manner of healing. She met with everyone from energy healers to yogis and, ultimately, not only saved her own life, but also realized her path.
Ultimately, she brought her wellness lessons home and founded The Sacred Space Miami, the city’s first dedicated wellness campus with eclectic, experiential programming, a partnership with the Osher Foundation and the University of Miami and an award-winning vibrant organic living restaurant, Plant Miami. Since opening in 2016, the destination has drawn experts from Taryn Toomey to Amanda Chantal Bacon and has hosted festivals including the World Happiness Summit and the Mindfulness Festival.
Here, Dascal talks about why connecting our physical and emotional worlds is the key to finding balance:
Live The Process: To what do you attribute your tenacity and openness to new perspectives?
Karla Dascal: My father was a visionary and an entrepreneur, and he shared and applied those values to everything he did. As a child, I was immensely influenced by his determination, which led me to approach my career in the same way.
LTP: What woke you up to wellness?
KD: For years, I suffered from obesity, depression, anxiety and many other symptoms that forced me to find a better lifestyle for myself. As a way to do so, I decided to travel abroad and discover the best in alternative healing practices, rituals and the connection of the body and mind. I reached out to several healers, shamans, integrative doctors and coaches, who guided me through the internal healing process and helped me connect with myself in ways I never had before.
This process opened a portal through which I could really understand the intrinsic connection between our physical and emotional selves and how, through lifestyle, we can change our health and, ultimately, our lives.
LTP: How did you come to launch The Sacred Space Miami?
KD: Through my personal journey and quest for healing, I envisioned The Sacred Space, as an one-stop destination for wellness. We host daily wellness workshops focused on topics ranging from integrative and functional medicine to shamanic healing. We also hold clearing ceremonies, where individuals can be part of a likeminded community and learn about the ancient tools and practices meant to help us find meaning and purpose in life. Overall, I set out to create a destination where those in need could heal themselves and learn to live richer, more complete lives.
The campus is continuously growing and evolving, and we recently opened Flow, our curated wellness shop. We have several other projects under development including The Container, a studio on our property for daily classes and trainings; and Paradise Farms, a non-urban retreat center and biodynamic farm in Homestead, serving the best restaurants in town.
LTP: What wellness practices, rituals and tools keep you feeling balanced?
KD: I’ve pretty much tried it all! I rely on essential oils for daily and specific needs and also practice meditation, movement, nourishment and continued education. All of those are part of the pillars of The Sacred Space, and I practice them according to the needs I may have.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
KD: Peace of mind, tranquility and just being present in the moment.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
KD: It means to find balance in what’s really important. To take care of one’s self, eating for nourishment, sharing time and experiences with loved ones, traveling, exploring, moving and getting inspired by everyday gifts. It means to live my ultimate purpose and offer The Sacred Space Miami as a safe place for the community to come and truly experience themselves.