a wellness guide that won’t make you feel bad about yourself
Meet five wellness-focused creatives that want to change your perception of modern wellness.
Photography by Shannon May Powell
While the wellness industry has a wholesome reputation, the advice it gives can leave you feeling overwhelmed and sometimes even a little bad about yourself. Often the advice is focused on what you aren't doing right, or what's missing from your life or highlighting niche ideas that are beyond the reach of the average person. With that in mind we spoke to a new generation of creative talents that are bridging the gaps between health, creativity and fun. Here we speak to a sex and pleasure educator, a meditation teacher, a nutritionist, a dancer and a designer to talk about their daily rituals and obtainable ways to find balance.
Bannie Williams, nutritionist, author and co-owner of Fort Green Café and Yoga studio
What do you do to feel good? Surround myself with beautiful people, practice yoga and nourish my mind and body with healthy and delicious food. What are your daily wellness rituals? A brisk walk with my dog in the morning, followed by Yoga in our studio and a green smoothie. What is the best way to create a healthy relationship with food? Relationships with food is a strong emotional battle many of us struggle with. Restriction plays a big part of this and I was incredibly rigid with my own food intake for a number of years. However, I grew tired of the inner mental torment I faced when I “ate something bad” and simply had to let go of that mentality. I made the decision to ditch diets and embrace the concept of listening to what my body really wanted. Creating a healthy relationship with food comes down to balance. What's a tip for staying healthy and happy? Yoga, greens and as much sleep as I can! Balanced with cosy nights on the couch and a glass of red. How do you re-centre and unwind? Spending time with my family, friends and switching off from the business.
Aisha Kuryana, dancer, choreographer and dance teacher at GROOV3
What do you do to feel good? I dance. I learn, teach and perform dance any time, any place I can. What are some of your daily wellness rituals? My body is a very special tool. I start my day with deep stretches at home focusing on my breath and injury prevention. What kind of positive affect do you think dance has in people’s lives? Every week I teach a dance class called GROOV3, I can see the positive change in the well-being of my students immediately after class. It’s so infectious. Dance inspires us to connect in ways we can’t with words, its healing and releases stress from our bodies. What's a tip for staying healthy and happy? A lot of baths or steam sessions. Palo Santo and practicing gratitude. Lemon and ginger tea. And plenty of sleep! How do you re-centre and unwind? At the moment, I’m trying to put some rules in place, like no scrolling after 7pm. My phone is usually the first place I look in the morning and the last thing I stare at before bed so it’s definitely a work in progress.
Manoj Dias, meditation teacher and co-founder of A-SPACE
What do you do to feel good? I begin my day by getting really present through my meditation practice, then I take a few minutes while I’m drinking coffee or tea to reflect on what matters most to me. It took me a long time to get into this habit but it’s helped me avoid so much stress and worry. For me feeling good is transient, it’s never permanent. I have days like most people where I’m up then down. What are your daily wellness rituals? I meditate twice a day for 20-30minutes. I drink lots of water and go to yoga or the gym most days. I also try to make wise food decisions. I steer clear of anything too stimulating, except donuts. What's a tip for staying healthy and happy? Get a Netflix subscription, get really good at making soups and have a few mates that are down for being as boring (enlightened) as you. Do you spend time alone or with others to recharge? It’s a balance of both. I spend the vast majority of my day teaching or lecturing on really beautiful and deep topics. So, it can feel great when I see my friends and I get to talk shit with them over a wine. However, I tend to prioritise enough alone time as well.
Euphemia Russell, sex and pleasure educator and director of I Wish You Knew
What do you do to feel good? Anything body or nature focused. I’ve been practicing what I call “micro-adjustments” in my body or movements, little things that allow me to feel even more comfort or give me more pleasure. What are some of your daily pleasure rituals? I have a list on my phone of daily pleasures that I get out to remind me of the pleasurable things I can do alone, weave into the day, and don’t need money or other people to do. Everything from smelling the roses and not looking at my phone while I walk down the street, to masturbating. What's a tip for staying healthy and happy? Weekly visits to the bathhouse or float tank, porridge or miso first thing in the morning, decadent dinner parties and misty bushwalks. Do you spend time alone or with others to recharge? Definitely alone, or with dear ones in nature. How do you re-centre and unwind? Trees, hot water, and my body, and I also use my senses to regulate my nervous system, and remind myself: “you live in a body, in the world. Not your head.”
Christine Lafian, designer of SUKU
What do you do to feel good? A lot of things but my favourite is driving out to the countryside. Just being away from city life and city pressure. What are some of your daily wellness rituals? Coffee and yoga. How important is a good sleep and dreaming to you? Very important. I don’t think I can perform without a good six hours of sleep. I dream a lot and often that’s where I get my inspiration, it’s also a good reminder of where my current state of mind is at. What's a tip for staying healthy and happy? Put a mask on while drinking red wine, do your nails and eye lashes, bake and cook things, binge watching tv series and so much more! How do you re-centre and unwind? Reading, nature and dancing. What's currently inspiring you? Being in paradise, tropical environments, and the sea! I’m currently working on my summer range in Indonesia!