Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 2nd Sept 2017

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 2nd September

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.”
– Pythagoras (569-475 BC)

We are so delighted to host this special gathering, featuring the wonderful Janelle Kingsley Yoga and Nicole Betts of Pursuit of Wellness, who will be leading a transformative afternoon filled with healing sounds, yin yoga and meditation.

Join us on Saturday 2nd September from 2-5pm at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing, at the heart of Melbourne on Little Collins Street. For three blissful hours, you will be absorbed and enriched in euphoric and energising sounds. Your guides will take you on a journey of relaxation, regeneration and harmonic healing by exploring the interplay of both sound and silence.

Mats, bolsters and blankets will be provided, as well as time to socialise over snacks, tea and fresh juices supplied by our friends at Pressed Juices.

Visit the link below to register now. Tickets are only $45 early bird (until midnight this Sunday), or $50 last minute. (Breathe Wellbeing members receive a $10 discount on all tickets).

We would love to see you there!

REGISTER NOW


YOUR HOSTS

NICOLE BETTS | SOUND MEDITATION

Nicole Lee is an internationally accredited Qigong Teacher, Mindfulness & Sound Practitioner and Natural Health Consultant. She offers classes, sessions and programs that develop mindfulness through conscious movement and stillness utilising the practice of Integrative Qigong.

Nicole also facilitates Sound Meditation events in collaboration with different musicians and sound practitioners that incorporate mindfulness, rest and meditation, as well as working with people to increase their wellbeing and vitality through natural and traditional medicine.

JANELLE KINGSLEY | YIN YOGA

Janelle Kingsley is a spirited yoga and meditation teacher and writer based in Melbourne. Her exploration of yoga began more than ten years ago whilst studying philosophy at university.

Janelle has taught diverse groups of people, ranging from the Department of Defence, students at La Trobe University, and managers for Lush Cosmetics. Having previously worked at The Yoga Social in Melbourne’s CBD, she can now be found teaching regular classes at White Dog Studio in Footscray. She teaches Hatha and Yin styles of yoga, pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

With her bubbling energy and downright infectious laugh, it’s hard not to see the brighter side of life when in Janelle’s company.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD | MC + MEDITATION

Victoria is a qualified Pilates and Barre instructor, and holds the Breathe Certificate IV in Pilates, as well as a Certificate IV in Fitness. She is also the Co-Director of Holistic HQ, a wellness community running retreats and workshops in Melbourne.

Fifteen years of personal yoga practice has also greatly influenced the atmosphere she creates in classes, emphasising mindfulness, breath patterns and finding the calm amidst the challenge.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this intimate event.
Don’t miss out!

Or just drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d so love for you to join us! x

 

REGISTER NOW

HQ MUSE // Hannah Buttigieg, Nutritionist – Food Intelligence

 

Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness community, supporting you on the path to good health, a sustainable lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

 

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We are so excited to introduce you to Hannah Buttigieg, our guest Nutritionist who will be joining our team at next month’s HQ Getaway (18th – 20th August 2017) at Amarant Retreat in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

Hannah has always had an avid passion for health and fitness, so it became a natural career progression for her to establish a business based on whole foods and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Drawing on her skills of years working in the field of addictions, Hannah understands how difficult it can be to change habits and therefore brings a wealth of knowledge to her work as a behaviour change nutritionist, exploring ways to change old habits and form new, healthier habits.

It is Hannah’s aim as the owner of Food Intelligence to educate people about the benefits of eating the right foods and demonstrate that food can not only give you the body you want but make you feel amazing.

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You have a very unique approach to your work as a nutritionist, shaped by your long career in the field of addictions. How have your past experiences working as a drug and alcohol counsellor influenced your approach as a behaviour change nutritionist?

 

Working with people who experience alcohol and other drug (AOD) addictions, especially in the forensic sector, are hands down one of the most challenging client demographics there is. In our society, we are taught that a person is either well or unwell, an addict or recovered. However, through my work in this sector, I was on a continual learning curve that showed me that this is not the case at all, not even a little bit – addiction is incredibly complex and all shades of grey. It may have been out of self-preservation, or it may have been because I am ever the optimist and try to seek the best out of people, but I learned very early on in my career to celebrate the small wins.

What is important to me is most likely totally irrelevant to my client, because their circumstances and situation is totally different from mine. The most important thing I have taken from my work in AOD is to never be judgemental. Through this work, you are witness and privy to some very raw, often brutal and truly horrific things, and being able to detach yourself from the situation while still being empathetic is a skill that took me a very, very long time to master.  

Based on these experiences, I’ve built Food Intelligence on the following foundations – genuinely celebrating the small wins, because these accrue to the overall big win, and approaching each client from a place of empathy and non-judgement – it’s never our job to judge.

 

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What prompted you to start Food Intelligence as your own business? Was there an obvious gap for what you do that you could see in the market?

 

Food Intelligence came about when I was at a peak stress levels in a previous AOD job. I wasn’t looking after myself well, I was totally burnt out and not coping too well mentally. I enrolled in a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition as a way to learn to look after myself better. During my studies, friends and family kept saying to me that I should start my own business because my unique skill-set from AOD married together with my interest and studies in nutrition perfectly. From there, Food Intelligence came to life!

Well I should say, the idea of it anyway. I was still working full time in the AOD sector and knew nothing about business so it took about 18 months of research and development before I launched the business in March 2016. And yes, I did notice a gap in the market regarding what I do. I found there was a plethora of options for people who needed acute treatment for eating disorders, however for the general population there was very little out there. That’s where I step in as your one-stop shop for achieving your health and wellness goals.

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You’ve travelled a lot, both locally and internationally! What have been your favourite places to visit, and what special food moments or rituals have stayed with you from your travels?

 

Travel is a part of me. I feel anxious and edgy if I don’t have at least several plane tickets booked, or know I can take off at the drop of a hat. Which is probably why doing the Monday to Friday 9-5 thing never worked well for me! In Australia, my favourite place that I’ve spent time (other than the Surf Coast) is the Kimberley in Western Australia.

I was fortunate enough to have worked in a rehabilitation clinic funded by an Aboriginal Corporation. During my time there I was taken to remote places that had pristine beaches, deserts and amazing oases without any people in sight, except maybe the traditional land owners.

Reflecting back on it, the food I ate during these trips was pretty incredible and totally illegal to eat if it wasn’t from an Indigenous person! We often feasted on sea turtle, dugong and stingray. On weekends I’d go mud crabbing and fishing with friends. It was like living in paradise and I very much miss that lifestyle.

With my travels overseas, I don’t think I could say one place has been my favourite. Every place I have been holds a special place in my heart and I’d love to go back to each one of them, except there are too many other places to explore!! My one food moment that stands out in my overseas adventures would be when I was 21 or 22 I was backpacking through Egypt. The girl I was travelling with and I were walking through a tiny town, I can’t even remember its name, when we were walking past a Mosque.

There was a group of women, all dressed in burkas, sitting down on the grass in the shade having a picnic. My eyes met with theirs and I smiled. They called us over and invited us to join their picnic. We could not speak a word of each other’s language, but we managed to ‘talk’ non stop throughout lunch. We feasted on tabbouleh, pita bread, hummus and falafels.

When I think of food and what it means to me this story is exactly that. Food is what brings people together, it breaks down barriers, it gives us common ground, it allows for mutual respect and a snap shot, however small, into other incredibly beautiful cultures.

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You grew up on the Surf Coast and Geelong. What does the area represent to you, and how has the coastal life influenced you as a person?

 

Its home! Its where I come to rest, to be with family, to be with friends who have known me for most of my life. Its where I recharge my batteries after travels. Its where I flop on my mum’s couch when I’m sick. It’s a little piece of paradise that makes up my entire world. Without daily walks on the beach, surfing and diving at every opportunity, road trips down the coast in search of waves or crayfish, I really have no idea who I’d be!

I guess it has also been a big influence on me being an environmentally conscious person, seeing the damage done to our oceans horrifies me and the fact that I can’t stand pollution makes me live my life in a certain way. For example, I make sure I’m energy conscious at home, I take my own bags to the supermarket, I try not to buy packaged food to minimise my waste, because I see the direct result of those choices every time I am in or near the ocean.

 

Who are your biggest influences when it comes to cooking in the kitchen? What are your favourite go-to recipes?

 

One of my biggest influences is Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef, to me she was well ahead of the whole health food movement and seeing her career grow has been hugely inspiring. I also love how she has stayed up to date with new nutrition research and includes that in her work. I have one of her cookbooks from over 10 years ago and all recipes call on artificial sweetner which makes me chuckle as these days she’s evolved to only use wholefoods. I just find it so inspiring watching someone grow like that as a person, a chef and an influencer.

 

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How has your approach towards self-care changed over the years? What are your favourite rituals for self-care now?

 

It has changed dramatically that’s for sure. In my late teens and early 20’s, self care consisted of partying hard two or three nights a week, working out as much as possible and calorie counting. I was a bit of a wild-child back in my heyday, but these days nothing pleases me more than a night in with a cup of tea and either a good book or a Netflix binge. I also prioritise sleep, if I don’t get enough I am not a nice person to be around, I’m grumpy and overeat which then makes me even more grumpy! Daily movement is also mandatory for my self care, whether it’s yoga, pilates or walking, I make sure I move daily.

 

What does your ideal day look like?

 

My ideal day is having a little sleep in and then heading to my favourite hot yoga studio for a 9:30am class, followed by brunch with the girls. Then depending on the mood of the ocean, I’d go for a dive, surf or fish. The best way to finish up the day would be with friends having a big cook-up for dinner. Even thinking about it makes me smile.

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As our guest nutritionist, what are you most looking forward to on your first HQ Getaway this August?

 

I’m so pumped for this retreat! From experience the main thing I’m looking forward to is getting to know the guests. The women who attend these types of retreats I find so inspiring. I think it takes so much courage to say to the world, “I’m dedicating a weekend to myself, and I’m going to disconnect from the world, and reconnect with myself”.

The exchange of energy and wisdom is something I am also really looking forward to as well. Exploring the Yarra Valley will be fun. It’s not somewhere I’ve spent a lot of time and I mean, how could it not be an incredible weekend when the backdrop is so gorgeous…?!  

 

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You are currently creating a really exciting addition to the Food Intelligence portfolio – a blog featuring all of your favourite nutrition and lifestyle tips. What kind of things can people expect, and (equally important!) – when will this be launched, and how can people sign up?

 

This is equally exciting as it is terrifying! It’s something I’ve been working on for a few years now and have never been brave enough to put it out there. I’m also in the process of launching a monthly Food Intelligence newsletter which will have recipes, blogs and other goodies.

At the moment I’m having some website work done so it’s best just to email me at info@foodintelligence.international and I’ll sign you up to the newsletter where you can easily access the blog. Once my website is all sorted there will be a sign-up page.

 

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What advice would you give your younger self in pursuing your dreams?

 

Don’t be so hard on yourself and take more breaks! I’m my own worst critic, which has certainly helped me at times to push myself, but has also seriously stressed me out unnecessarily at others. I’m also known to work to the point of burnout and only then will I take a break. This is something I’m working on and is most definitely still a work in progress!

 

Instagram: @food_intelligence

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodintelligence1/

Website: http://www.foodintelligence.international

 

 

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HHQ PRESENTS // PILATES + PAMPERING PLAYDATE

HHQ Presents | Pilates + Pampering Playdate | 22nd July 2017-4

SATURDAY 22ND JULY, 2-5PM
BREATHE WELLBEING, GOLDIE PLACE
MELBOURNE CBD

BOOK NOW

Holistic HQ is delighted to host this special gathering, guest-starring the wonderful Claire Toone, studio owner and head instructor at Noosa Flow, who will be leading an uplifting and nurturing afternoon filled with energising and restorative Pilates sequences, meditation and pampering – the ultimate girls’ day out!

Join us at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing Goldie Place, a beautiful studio hidden away down a laneway off Little Bourke Street, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. For three blissful hours, you will enjoy thoughtful sequencing, energetic flows and relaxing meditations; a gorgeous mini-spa pampering experience featuring products from our local partners Perfect Potion and Pressed Juices; and a goody bag filled with special treats to take home with you.

Tickets are only $50 early bird (until Sunday 16th July), or $55 last minute until the day of the event. (Breathe Wellbeing studio members receive a $10 discount).

Grab your girlfriends and book your tickets early for this special experience – only 18 spots available, so get in quick sticks to secure your place.

We would love to see you there!

BOOK NOW

YOUR INSTRUCTORS

CLAIRE TOONE, NOOSA FLOW

Claire has been practicing various styles of Pilates and Yoga for the past seven years. After a career in luxury goods sales and marketing, Claire changed direction to follow her passion for fitness and wellbeing.

Her mission is to empower people through moment and wellness so that they can live their lives with confidence, balance and energy.

Claire has taught clients from all walks of life utilising her powerful mix of Pilates, yoga, functional fitness, nutrition and coaching techniques. Her bespoke classes as well as her innately supportive nature have helped her clients achieve bodies, attitudes and lives they love. Claire’s teaching career has seen her instructing in London, Paris and Zermatt, before spending two years in New York City, where she worked for various boutique studios and private clients.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD, HOLISTIC HQ

Victoria is a qualified Pilates Mat, Reformer, Barre and Boxing fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, Reiki Practitioner, Meditation Teacher, and the Director and Co-Founder of Holistic HQ.

Nine years ago Victoria completed her Pilates certification with the Australian Pilates Academy, as well as a studio apprenticeship with Matrix Pilates. She’s since completed her Certificate 4 in Fitness and Certificate in Pilates via Breathe Education, and is currently completing her Diploma in Clinical Pilates.

Victoria has trained and successfully competed as an INBA Sportsmodel, winning 2nd place at the Victorian championships in 2010, and has a big love for Pilates, Yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and… mermaiding! She is a proud Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, and has a decade-long background in marketing, fundraising and events for some of Australia’s most loved charities and not-for-profits.

Victoria teaches at Breathe Wellbeing in Melbourne’s CBD, White Dog Studio in Footscray, and Armature Pilates in Brunswick, as well as private 1:1 and 2:1 Personal Training sessions throughout the week.

BOOK NOW

RECIPE // Simple Jaffa Chocolate

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Vegan. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. SIMPLE. What’s not to love about this easy-as chocolate recipe? Exactly the kind of thing you need to have handy when cocoa cravings hit – all the goodness without the fillers. Winner!

 

BASE INGREDIENTS

1 cup cocoa butter, melted

1 cup cocoa powder

1/4 to 1/2 cup honey (err on less over more)

 

ADDITIONAL EXTRAS

10 drops Doterra Wild Orange essential oil

Grated lemon, lime or orange zest of one fruit

handful nuts – sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds or cashews

dried fruit for extra sweetness

 

On a very low heat, allow cocoa butter to melt, then stir in cocoa and honey. Add any additional extras you’d like to throw into your chocolate mix, then pour into a baking-paper lined tray and place in fridge for at least half an hour.

Cut with a knife to allow to break into bite-size pieces. Store in a mason jar or sealed container and enjoy with freshly brewed coffee, or as a little treat after dinner.

 

 

A day in… Noosa (part 1)

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Our A Day In… series gives you a sampling of our favourite destinations, across some of the most-loved locations in the world. You can let our itinerary take the lead and enjoy your very own carefully curated one-day retreat, or choose your own adventure by picking out a few special stops along the way. 

Having just returned from a recent holiday to Noosa (which also happens to be my hometown), I’m so excited to share with you some of my favourite things to do, see, eat and experience…! I’ve split this post into two just so I can feature ALL my favourites (of which there are many), but don’t be surprised if part 3 gets published in a matter of months…!

With love, Vic xx


A DAY IN… NOOSA

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8.00AM: Eumundi Markets + bookstore, breakfast at Bohemian Bungalow

No visit to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a trip to the Eumundi Markets. Held every Wednesday and Saturday morning, it offers everything and anything by our locals, from farm-fresh produce to fashion and jewellery, artists and artisans and massage and music.

Allow at least an hour to enjoy a meandering walk around the markets, sampling local treats and finding little gems to take home with you. Make a point of seeking out one of the wonderful reiki and massage therapists, and book in for a 30 minute session in a private tent to set your day with the right intention.

Afterwards, duck across to the Berkeleow Bookstore across the road which offers a wonderful range of new and second-hand books for you to peruse, as well as beautiful gifts and homewares. You can then take a short walk two blocks up to the Bohemian Bungalow for a coffee and breakfast, drinking in the gorgeous eclectic decor whilst enjoying your new reads.

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11.00AM: Noosa Flow for Pilates + Green Juice at Jimmy Fox

Claire and her wonderful team at Noosa Flow have created something truly special in the heart of Noosaville. Having transformed an old accounting firm into a pristine-white, greenery-filled Pilates studio, with magical views out to Noosa River and the world below, you can’t help but feel hit by a wave of calm each time you step through its glass doors.

Claire’s classes are nurturing, all-inviting and geared towards to mindfulness, kindness and self-care, but don’t be fooled by her sweet intonations – she makes sure you feel it work in all the right places.

Allow 50 minutes for all of the classes on their schedule, and if you feel the need for refreshment afterwards, Jimmy Fox downstairs do a mean green juice.

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12.30PM: Pack a picnic at Belmondos, then lunch at Cafe Le Monde

Before making a visit to the beach, head to Belmondos Organics just around the corner in Noosaville to curate a picnic for your afternoon hike to Mount Tinbeerwah. They have a beautiful and diverse selection of fresh organic produce as well as delicious savoury and sweet treats made by their sister cafe VanillaFood in Noosaville. Bring a cooler bag and stock up!

One of the classic institutions of Noosa, Cafe Le Monde is the perfect spot to stop for lunch – although better known for its burgers and cocktails, it has changed its menu in recent years to accommodate the health-conscious and those with dietary concerns. They have a great range of gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as a bountiful stock of fresh Noosa Pressed Juices. It’s a great spot for people-watching, and quick access to the Main Beach only metres away.

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3.00PM: swim at Little Cove + gelato at Massimos

If you’re keen for a little sunshine and some stunning views, then it’s time for a short walk up the hill to Little Cove, the first sandy beach past the main strip. It’s an ideal spot to relax, watch the surfers take on the waves around the point, and enjoy a completely protected swim with minimal waves.

Some of my favourite memories have been made at this spot, and I am at my happiest dreaming of swimming in these turquoise waters, looking up at the endless blue skies and the lush green gums lining the shore. If you happen to travel there in April, you may be graced with the annual migration of blue butterflies that come in their thousands, fluttering overhead and out to sea – a breathtaking sight.

Once you’re ready to hit the road, double-back and make a quick pit-stop at Massimos. Their gelati defined my teenage trips to the beach, and their Ferrero Rocher gelato and Mango sorbet are life-long favourites. Don’t miss it!

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5.00PM: Mt Tinbeerwah sunset + packed picnic

Mount Tinbeerwah is the nearest mountain to where I grew up, and cuts a striking silhouette, even in comparison to the unusual mountains that define the ranges of the Sunshine Coast. It offers 360* views from the gazebo that sits at its pinnacle, from the coast (Noosa, Coolum and beyond) to the hills (Eumundi, Cooroy, Pomona).

The best time to visit is around 5pm just before the sun sets, but keep an eye on the time – the sun dips quickly and although the path up and down the hill is short and beginner-friendly (allow for a twenty-minute round trip to the gazebo and back), we recommend taking a torch and wearing sensible walking shoes.

If you get there a bit earlier, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic with the delicious treats you collected earlier in the day from Belmondos Organics, either in the gazebo or on the rock escarpment surrounding – the breathtaking panoramic views are so worthy of a linger.

 

Stay tuned for our Part 2 of this story in the new few weeks! If there is a particular suburb you’d like to have featured on our blog, please drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d love to hear from you! xx

Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 10th June 2017-3

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 10th June

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole.”
– Pythagoras (569-475 BC)

We are so delighted to host this special gathering, featuring the wonderful Janelle Kingsley Yoga and Nicole Betts of Pursuit of Wellness, who will be leading a transformative afternoon filled with healing sounds, yin yoga and meditation.

Join us on Saturday 10th June from 2-5pm at a gorgeous urban oasis – Breathe Wellbeing, at the heart of Melbourne on Little Collins Street. For three blissful hours, you will be absorbed and enriched in euphoric and energising sounds. Your guides will take you on a journey of relaxation, regeneration and harmonic healing by exploring the interplay of both sound and silence.

Mats, bolsters and blankets will be provided, as well as time to socialise over snacks, tea and fresh juices supplied by our friends at Pressed Juices.

Visit the link below to register now. Tickets are only $40 early bird (until Sunday 4th June), or $45 last minute. We would love to see you there!

REGISTER NOW


YOUR HOSTS

NICOLE BETTS | SOUND MEDITATION

Nicole Lee is an internationally accredited Qigong Teacher, Mindfulness & Sound Practitioner and Natural Health Consultant. She offers classes, sessions and programs that develop mindfulness through conscious movement and stillness utilising the practice of Integrative Qigong.

Nicole also facilitates Sound Meditation events in collaboration with different musicians and sound practitioners that incorporate mindfulness, rest and meditation, as well as working with people to increase their wellbeing and vitality through natural and traditional medicine.

JANELLE KINGSLEY | YIN YOGA

Janelle Kingsley is a spirited yoga and meditation teacher and writer based in Melbourne. Her exploration of yoga began more than ten years ago whilst studying philosophy at university.

Janelle has taught diverse groups of people, ranging from the Department of Defence, students at La Trobe University, and managers for Lush Cosmetics. Having previously worked at The Yoga Social in Melbourne’s CBD, she can now be found teaching regular classes at White Dog Studio in Footscray. She teaches Hatha and Yin styles of yoga, pranayama, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

With her bubbling energy and downright infectious laugh, it’s hard not to see the brighter side of life when in Janelle’s company.

VICTORIA BROCKFIELD | MC + MEDITATION

Victoria is a qualified Pilates and Barre instructor, and holds the Breathe Certificate IV in Pilates, as well as a Certificate IV in Fitness. She is also the Co-Director of Holistic HQ, a wellness community running retreats and workshops in Melbourne.

Fifteen years of personal yoga practice has also greatly influenced the atmosphere she creates in classes, emphasising mindfulness, breath patterns and finding the calm amidst the challenge.

There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this intimate event.
Don’t miss out!

Or just drop us a line at hello@holistichq.com.au – we’d so love for you to join us! x

 

REGISTER NOW

HQ MUSE // Annette Ruzicka, Photographer and Filmmaker

Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness community, supporting you on the path to good health, a sustainable lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

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Annette Ruzicka is a documentary and portrait photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. A love of the natural environment and the unseen or unlikely people who fight for its protection has been the initial focus of her work both in Australia and abroad.

Annette runs a portrait and corporate/lifestyle photography business including videography for individuals, small or large businesses. Annette was also a finalist for the coveted 2016 National Portraiture Prize.

 

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1. The focus of your work via Annette Ruzicka Photography is very much on the unseen or unlikely heroes of the conservation movement, both here and abroad. How do you seek out the subject of your photography, and how do they inspire you?

As a photographer, you’re looking for the real people – the brains, brawn (for lack of a better word) or champion of the work or project – whatever the case may be. This is not always the most obvious or boisterous person, it could be the person in the background just getting on with it. The key is spending time with them, getting to know their story and quite simply, to observe.

The story often unfolds right before you. As my work has incorporated a strong focus on environmental issues, they inspire me by simply doing what they do – either off the smell of an oily rag, or in less than ideal conditions and doing it to address a major environmental problem – and for that alone they inspire me.

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2. You recently were named a finalist for the 2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize – congratulations! What did this accolade mean to you?  

It meant a great deal indeed. At the risk of boasting, it’s a highly coveted prize of national recognition. It’s been extremely valuable for my career and to have one your images selected, framed and in an exhibition is a wonderful feeling in the competitive world of photography. One thing photographers are is very sensitive of their work – so to have this acknowledgment was extremely gratifying.

 

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3. Your volunteer work in Costa Rica was a pivotal experience in your life. What was so remarkable about your first trip there?

Gosh, where do I start? The natural values of the area, the amazing mass turtle nesting events (which only happen 7 places in the world), the locals who kept the work going – amidst poor socio-economic factors, and the complexities and politics of a small community, it was both fascinating and a privilege.

 

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4. Where do you find your happy moments when your work hats are off?

Taking photos! There’s nothing more satisfying than creating an amazing image, or learning something new or finishing that mini-documentary. Being out in nature, looking up the stars until your neck hurts, bush walking and sometimes, just sitting on the couch with the husband with a big bag of popcorn watching The Walking Dead!

 

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5. If you could travel to one special place you haven’t yet been, what would be your dream destination? Why does it capture your imagination?

I want to spend a good 6 months in both Central and Southern Latin America. After my eight weeks in Costa Rica I have developed a visceral yearning to go back. The magnificent natural values of the continent speak for themselves – the Amazon being the most obvious, and its ancient history including Machu Picchu. But it’s the wonderful people of the region, I believe, that I will above all continue to love – culturally, I feel of all the countries I have visited it’s the most aligned to who I am.

 

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6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I am stressing out about something, or letting my imagination get carried away with things, it’s easy to assume the worst. I was once asked, “what evidence do you have to believe this will happen?” and the answer 9 times out of 10 is none! You can always let your insecurities and fears eat away at you,  but nowadays I simply ask myself this question – I find it always stops me in my tracks and lets me just get on with it.

 

Instagram: @annettruzickaphotography

Facebook: www.facebook.com.au/annettruzickaphotography

Website: www.annetteruzicka.com.au

 

 

Happy new year!

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Happy new year Holistic HQ loves! There’s always an exciting, buzzy feeling as the new year begins!

As we reflect on the year that was and look towards the year ahead, you might be ready to pen down the goals that you’re aiming for, or positive changes you wish to make in your life. With this in mind, if you are in the mindset of planning new goals for 2017, here are some helpful tips to support the changes you want to see.

Consistency: Making a start is something that I have a hard time with, and which we all tend to struggle with when beginning new habits. Believing you have the power over your actions is a great behaviour change motivator and one that will get you on the track and keep you there.  Taking that initial step and committing to your goal consistently will help with making it a habit and enhancing your feelings of achieving your goal.  Making incremental changes but keeping them consistent so that you have the change regularly in your life will give you the power to see how well you are doing and how far you have come.

Positivity: Giving yourself the recognition that you can do anything is a really powerful thing! Whatever it is you are achieving, saying something to yourself like “yes I can” or “I’m already making this change and I’m feeling and seeing the benefit” will work wonders on making a goal a reality and one you will achieve.

Motivating yourself can be difficult but introducing positive mantras to yourself throughout the day can help with keeping you on the path to successful change.

Support: Having supportive friends, family  and colleagues are always a bonus to have around when setting a goal and making a change. The beauty of having that support is that you will be encouraged (and reminded!) to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. By letting  your family and friends know what it is you want to set out and conquer, asking for their support to help these changes come about will strengthen your commitment to your goal.

Self love/care: At this time of the year it’s so easy to get caught in the merry-go-round of guilt and self hate.  Over-indulging at Christmas and the holidays can make you feel like you need to restrict or punish yourself. Unfortunately, this sets you up for a new year where you’ll probably make impossible goals.

Have you noticed a lot of new year goals are centred around diet and exercise? These especially make you feel like you need to deprive yourself or ramp up the exercise to twice the amount. This kind of thinking will hurt the relationship you have with yourself. Take the time to give credit to yourself and reward yourself with the changes by perhaps buying a gorgeous candle and taking a luxe bath. Or get a massage, buy some flowers or anything else that you enjoy to encourage the love you have for yourself and the positive changes you are making.

One of my goals for this year is to meditate, so I made a plan to meditate for 5 minutes  each day and then make steady but consistent increments of 2 minutes each week. I said to myself that “I am meditating every day and I feel calmer”. I’ve let my boyfriend know and given myself a mini celebration to work towards of buying a bunch of flowers for my study desk at the end of week 1.

What positive changes do you hope to make in 2017…?

 

Love, Abs xx