Holistic HQ Presents // Yoga + Sound Alchemy

HHQ Presents | Yoga + Sound Alchemy | 28th Oct 2017

HOLISTIC HQ PRESENTS | YOGA + SOUND ALCHEMY
Breathe Wellbeing | 289 Little Collins St, Melbourne
2 – 5pm, Saturday 28th October

REGISTER NOW

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 28th October 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 $39 early bird (until midnight Sunday 14th October), or $45 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

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

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 // Shana Dean, Heart Weaving

Our 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 collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing.

The beautiful Shana Dean is the Founder of Heart Weaving, a community weaving group. Shana says, “I discovered the art of weaving almost three years ago. It served me as an invaluable emotional support & continues to intrigue and teach me in many ways.

“Weaving has played an integral role in the lives of people from practically every culture and level of civilisation throughout time. Before we had written text, many communities used weaving to communicate about who they were, the environment around them and their connection to the spirit world. This practice is ongoing, but sadly in many communities it is an extinct or endangered art form.

When I discovered the art of natural textile weaving several years ago, it fed into my innate curiosity and genuine love of the natural world and the creative process. Weaving drew me into a sacred dance with nature, opening my eyes and heart with a forever deepening awareness of the world around me. It held me as I emotionally unpacked through severe grief, and supported me as I stitched my heart back together again to emerge whole once more.

For this reason I named my teaching practice ‘Heart Weaving’ … Weaving with love, from love and for the love of weaving.”

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  1. What drew you to the craft of weaving? How has it impacted your life?

I discovered weaving through another amazing local woman weaver, Renee Bahloo, and took on a six-week course shortly after my dad passed away. I was also struggling to raise two small children and a five month old. It was a time I gave myself each week to sit down with other women and focus on feeling, connecting and just processing what that week had been like. I fell in love with it. Once you got into the pattern and rhythm of the weave, it was incredibly meditative.

Being able to intentionally take time each week to sit in circle with other open hearted women is a beautiful experience, for me it is incomparable with anything else. Weaving has me on a journey – it’s been like a best friend to me, it’s provided me with opportunities to meet some lovely people, to travel to some really special destinations. I have further plans to travel although I haven’t had the chance yet. I have also been repeatedly surprised and blessed by the community of weavers here and in places I’ve travelled to. I think what has also driven my passion for weaving, besides its deeply therapeutic benefits, is my ever growing understanding of the importance  weaving has as an art form in so many ways – culturally, environmentally, historically, as a communication tool, it’s just got so many layers to it and I just want to protect, nurture and promote this beautiful art form.

  1. What does it mean for the women who come together for your regular weaving circle?

I’m constantly surprised by the pieces created in my workshops, it’s so diverse. Even with first time weavers, once they get going, something innate kicks in and you can see it in their eyes. They go back to memories of their childhood, their grandma, their neighbour weaving things. Or it might be something else they have ability in, but didn’t attribute to weaving, such as knitting, or crocheting, or plaiting. They hadn’t felt connected to this art form. I get to nurture and facilitate that connection, and I love seeing that lightbulb go off. I also see the community aspect of coming together being nurtured in these gatherings, this was much more commonplace in times past and it’s a positive thing to keep alive in our current busy lives, to find time to sit and connect with each other person to person.

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  1. What’s your favourite piece that you’ve woven so far? Why is it so special to you?

I’ve got two! One of them is my sculpture mermaid. I love her because she’s big, and she’s pretty … and she’s a mermaid! But unwittingly, she’s also a representation of my journey through weaving.  She’s a depiction of the Yemanja, a water goddess from Brazil where I have family connections. Just prior to my dad’s passing I travelled there and I fell in love with her image and story. Yemanja is a very present image in Bahia where I visited – she is depicted everywhere in Salvador, the capital city, even in the amazing street art graffiti.

A year later I was gifted this huge reel of beautiful pandanus fibre whilst on a weaving retreat in Nusa Penida, Bali. I used it to create her body. I accidentally made her arms different lengths, and it also happened that her slightly broken left shoulder reflected my own injuries. Sometimes you don’t consciously realise what you’re doing, but there’s always something that comes out of your weaving that helps you heal or laugh at the synchronicities.

The other piece I love is a little coil weave bowl. I used pieces from the beach that I collected after cyclone Marcia came through a while back, as well as some vibrant fair trade hemp string I purchased. It was a mixture of plant debris as well as rope that could have otherwise caused marine damage, but instead it came together as this beautiful bowl.

It was the first piece that I did where I wasn’t learning from someone else’s style or ideas, or following a particular method, but rather it is my own expression. It’s called Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. When I display it, it’s a great opportunity for discussions about what elements are involved, and the issues underpinning them – environmental issues, fair trade and other issues that are close to my heart.

  1. You have three gorgeous children who also keep you busy. Has it been a juggle to find time to work on your craft, or have they been involved in the process?

Yes, no, maybe – all of the above! There have been times where I have had to not weave, and put it aside because it’s just not going to happen. But I try to spend my free time well. When you are a single mum of three, and you reach for weaving in your spare moments, you know it’s a passion because in truth you don’t have much time spare! They do get involved, especially as they get older – when we’re at the park, they’ll go off on their own accord and find materials for me, which is really cute.

Lately my son is most interested in sitting with me and making his own weaving and I love that time spent together. What I do know though is that I parent better when my needs are met, and weaving just happens to fill my creativity cup till it overflows.

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  1. You’re also studying a degree in counselling. Do you feel that this links in with your work with Heart Weaving?

Yes, I do. It definitely does. I’ve known even pre-weaving that I wanted to work in creative therapy, and I’ve found that sitting in a circle with supportive people around you – it holds a space, and a commonality. It’s amazing how it just naturally flows and you can see people overcoming obstacles, little ones or bigger ones, in their ability to create.

Sometimes they come in clearly thinking that there’s no way that they’re able to grasp how to weave. Sometimes they’ve gone through something difficult, and to come to the circle and be genuinely heard is incredibly healing. You might be creating a piece, and you go through the different stages of learning – from unknown through to understanding and  as you travel that path you may get to  points of frustration and these quite often cross over into other parts of your life.

Different forms of metaphors might come up through the weaving process that reflect the issues in your life – it can be ironic, and it can be humorous. I usually say to people at the start: if it’s pissing you off, that means it’s working.

  1. Weaving is an incredibly meditative process. Describe to us your ideal space for weaving; who you’re with, where you are, sights and sounds and feelings…

My ideal space for weaving is in the shade (because I often get sunburnt!), by the side of a babbling creek, with rock pools around me. Ideally somewhere where nature is flourishing in a balanced way, where it hasn’t been interfered with, and I can show the people I’m with how to find materials from nature. Mid-morning or mid-afternoon – I like those times. I’m not overly concerned about gender or age etc., but I love sitting with people who value the connection with the earth and with each other. You can’t get a much better spot then beside the creek, experiencing nature, seeing birds, it’s amazing how being in a space like that brings up reminisces of childhood and simpler times.

I love the blessing of elders in the workshops as well. When I was running a workshop on the Gold Coast, I had the sweetest woman who was 92, blind and in a wheelchair come up to me to share with me about her time teaching weaving in a rehabilitation home to returned soldiers after World War Two. There was a man she taught who had suffered a stroke, and she told me how she had figured out a way to teach this man who was really struggling to cope, how to weave his own basket. When he was leaving the respite centre she recalled presenting him with his basket, she told me “I still remember that he put his hands on my face and he said “very good miss, very good”.

It was the end of the day and I had hardly any materials left, but I gave her a small coiled basket I had with me to take home, just to hold in her hands and experience the memory tactilely.  It was a really humbling moment. Weaving has given me moments like this of pure connection with other human beings, and I don’t think I could have experienced that depth of commonality without weaving.

  1. What would be your ultimate weaving piece that you dream of creating?

I’m really inspired by forest sculptor Spencer Byles. I’d love to do a big woven installation piece somewhere unexpected, for people to happen across and just enjoy.

  1. What was the one moment that you feel has defined your life so far?

Hmm.. It wasn’t really one moment – it was more of a five-year moment. The last five years have been incredibly testing, managing as a single mum, studying for my degree, losing a beloved parent and surviving a big health scare amongst other things. It’s been an intense journey of self-discovery, finding who I am, in all my facets.  It’s forced me to reach out to my amazing friends who loved me when I wasn’t terribly loveable.

That time has come to an end in many ways. I’m not really a single mum anymore – I’m a single mum supported by an amazing partner. I can see in hindsight that it has crafted me into a much more rounded, empathic, and compassionate and real, very real person. I got over a lot of ideas of what I thought mattered.  These days I just focus on my lovely kids and partner and the great team we make, and on our wonderful friends and the new path ahead….

  1. Where in the world do you dream of your weaving taking you to? Who would you love to work with or study under?

I would love to connect with my indigenous heritage. Throughout history, everyone wove. We wove before all this plastic, before modern technology. Therefore, every culture has their traditional weaving. I’d love to go back to Scotland, and tap into my heritage – I’m a proud Gordon! There’s a touch of Viking there too.

I’m told there’s a beautiful weaving community in Scotland, and I’d love to visit with them, spend time on that land and learn those traditional weaving techniques. I’d love to be able to bring that back here and share it with others who share that heritage and anyone else who would like to learn it as well. Because, we all have connection to land; we all have traditional weaving heritage, but all of that was cut from our history with the to-ing and fro-ing across continents. I’m sure I’m not the only the one with a desire to connect in with our ancestors in this way.

  1. You’ve created a safe space, a sense of community and a beautiful artistic outlet for those in your weaving circle. What are your hopes for Heart Weaving down the track?

More adventures. Meeting more beautiful people. Expanding my knowledge of the land and other cultures, of what people are willing to share with me. Weaving to deepen community connections. I’d like to facilitate more social experiences.

For instance, through a current collaborative project I’m working on with Thriving Families, the ‘Nambour Community Quilt’ we are providing an opportunity for community members to come together and weave not only artistically but socially and emotionally.

The end result will be a lovely art piece to display as well as a deepening sense of community connection and belonging. It’s also been a lovely way to document an expression of who we are as a group at this time in this place. That’s the beautiful story-telling element of weaving right there at its best.

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heart_weaving/

Photo Credits: Natalie Owens, Global Pearls

 

HQ MUSE // Alice Chien, Intent Mind

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 collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our very first Muse, the gorgeous Alice Chien!

Alice

Alice Chien is a career ninja who helps big hearted peeps find and do work they believe in. She likes meeting people who are feeling stuck, hating on their jobs and hanging for a change because she knows they’re sitting on a huge amount of potential. Potential for growth, digging deep and action taking. All the good stuff.

Alice started her business Intent Mind because when she went through a career crossroads a while back she found it confusing, overwhelming and lonely. No one should do this stuff alone. Knowing what she knows now, she has tailored coaching programs to help career adventurers work out their journey ahead, with a clear mind, a bulletproof process and tailored support.  

1. Through your work as an NLP practitioner and career coach, you love to help people find their passion. What led you on the path to find your own passion?

Years ago, I got the job I had dreamed about since my uni days. The organisation I was working for was amazing, on paper, the role I was allowed to play was amazing, but it did not feel all that amazing. In contrary I felt drained and a lot of times unhappy. While the missing elements are obvious to me now, I didn’t really understand what was going on back then. I felt like I had something wrong with me.

Through my attempts at understanding my own psychology, my drivers, my needs and triggers I realised I loved learning about what internal and external conditions are required for people to feel fulfilled and good about themselves.

Because of the rocky time I had working out my future career, and the havoc it played on my professional and personal life, I have a high value on helping people work this problem out. I believe when people are inspired and aligned with the work that they do, their ability to add value to others and themselves goes gangbusters. I often think I have the best job in the world. Definitely for me anyway!

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2. You’ve set up your own thriving business, Intent Mind (www.intentmind.com.au). How did you find your feet as a business owner?

With plenty of help! I’ve had a coach or mentor support me at every stage of this journey. They’ve been part of my business and my workflow. For example, in a coaching program, you meet up with a coach fortnightly, they add value to the problems you’re facing, provide accountability, prod with great questions and direct you to great resources. It’s really helped keep me in perspective of what’s really important to my goals and kept me moving along. I’d say surrounding yourself with people that believe in you is one of the keys to businesses thriving. Without this input, the confidence, momentum, and resources you need to draw from is missing. Today, I love playing that supportive role for others where I can.

3. What was your first ever job? What skills did you learn that you still find yourself tapping into today?

First ever job was working in the family newsagency selling Tattslotto tickets, newspapers, dry cleaning and cigarettes as a teenager. People came in from all walks of life. In any one day there’d be office workers, Chinatown restaurant staff, asian international students, drug dealers, tourists and out of towners. Most people were kind and friendly. Some barely acknowledged your presence except to pay the bill. There’s a resilience and flexibility you gain from customer service roles serving people with different needs. One of the skills I still tap into today is understanding and meeting people where they’re at and being flexible to their needs.

4. Who do you call your mentor? Why do they play such an important role in your life?

I’m really grateful to have had a few mentors over the years who I turn to for their unique special magic. One mentor I’ve gained so much wisdom from is Benjamin Harvey. He shows up authentically and adds value wherever he goes. He’s taught me so much about the power of storytelling, how to ask meaningful questions, how to manage my energy and my time and how to build a business from the heart. He’s a boss at helping people to progress in their lives and take action. A lot of the methods he’s taught me I continue to use with my coaching clients with outstanding results.

5. What’s your all-time favourite memory? What draws you back to it?

All time!! Not sure about all time, but one memory that I’m going to love forever is looking after monkeys in Ecuador in the Amazon volunteering through an organisation called Merazonia. There was this woolly monkey named Diego, who was being picked on and ostracised by his Woolly monkey peers. As such he was in an enclosure by himself, in a spot deep in the jungle. Because Diego was alone and craved company he was the only monkey we were allowed to touch. The memory I have is being in the thick of the jungle, sitting next to Diego, picking at and scratching his back. I felt like a monkey and we shared a nice quiet time. I love this moment and this time I spent in the jungle with no electricity or technology around. My biology said yes to it big time to being in the jungle.

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6. What was 2015 for you?

2015 turned out to be a contrasting year. In February I came home from an incredible 6 month South American adventure overseas with my partner Ben and THEN attempted throw myself into work double time when coming back to Melbourne. At times I was loving the feeling of busting through work, achieving goals, other times I felt like I was way too loaded. I learnt lessons about my own self care deal breakers and now prioritise a lot more time to balance out the go go nature of having my own business.

7. What are your hopes for 2016?

To focus on one meaningful thing at a time and to be really present with it. Clear and present.

Aside from that the roadmap ahead includes: making a lovely little home with my main man Ben, cooking and eating more home made foods than ever before using my growing collection of kitchen gadgets and launching an 8 week online program that helps people to uncover careers they will thrive in.

8. You’re also involved with a purpose-filled, authentic community of leaders via Collective Potential (www.collectivepotential.com.au). What inspires you about the community you’re creating there?

I love what we’re creating at Collective Potential! Our event and program spaces help people find what they need to live fulfilling lives. There’s a whole spectrum of why people come to experience what Collective Potential offers, but ultimately by making real connections and having the support of others, we become our best selves. It’s totally inspiring seeing people come into our rooms, challenge themselves and light up with their potential. The stories participants have shared about what they’ve gained and achieved after Collective Potential workshops are incredible. I get massively inspired by the changes people make because they’ve found this community. It’s powerful stuff.

9. You’re a seriously busy lady! What keeps you grounded? How do you take care of yourself in your downtime?

In my calendar I block out “me time” style activities where I get to do whatever I feel like without any guilt or feeling like I should be doing something else. These activities include yoga, meditation, peppermint tea, lying in bed reading or writing in a book. Also I find that unless I schedule these in either they don’t happen. There is a decent amount of planning that goes into keeping my life feeling balanced actually! And I don’t always get it right.

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10. What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? Why did it have such an impact on you?

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – it’s a biography and memoir by Maya starting from age 13 growing up with a mother that was at times difficult to love. Reading her story gave me a new respect of the experience of mothers who don’t fit in the motherly mould and the painstaking decisions women sometimes have to make. Maya Angelou writes in a way that pours your heart into 100 different shapes. It’s an amazing read.

11. You have 24 hours left on Earth, and $10,000 in your pocket. What would you do?

I’d fly/arrange for all my favourite peeps to meet me in a giant hot tub or a waterside oasis, kick back with fruit shakes, good snacks and tell them how much I loved them and what they meant to me. I’d give the remainder cashola to Oxfam, but I reckon the $10,000 would be tapped out after that!

F: https://www.facebook.com/IntentMind
I: https://www.instagram.com/alicewchien/
W: www.intentmind.com.au

Kamalaya Spa Resort | Koh Samui, Thailand

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DAY ONE // We arrived last night after a heavy boat ride across the waves from the tiny island of Koh Tao, feeling rather salty and windswept. Kamalaya Spa Resort is a truly beautiful sight to behold, the treetop villas scattered amidst a heady tropical rainforest that winds down the hill towards the sea. Kamalaya is renowned as an award-winning wellness retreat and health sanctuary, a mecca for the rich, famous and those just wanting to hit ‘refresh’ on their current lifestyle.

The reception area is vast, and you could be forgiven for feeling like you’ve walked onto the set of Jurassic Park. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the thatched roof, stone floors and high wooden frame, and the lush surrounding gardens with buddhas and stone elephants sitting resplendent amongst the ferns. We are given a tonic drink on arrival, vivid green with a sprig of mint – you can tell it’s good for you just by looking at it. Clive, the resort manager, warmly greets us as we check in, and the reception staff show us to our room nestled up on the hill. Everything is taken care of; the special treatment has already begun.

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Having chosen one of the more modest suites, it is comfortably cosy and sweetly laid out, with an incredible view out across the palm-swept bay. The mini-bar is stocked with sesame seed treats, herbal teas and designer waters – notably lacking in beer and spirits. A bowl of mangosteens and fresh limes sit by the bed, waiting to be eaten after a long session in the Yoga Pavilion.

We stand by the window and drink in the gorgeous scenery below. The water is beautifully calm off shore, as a small reef breaks the surf 300m from the beach. Later that evening, we lie in the soft white sheets of our bed and look out across the water through the sheer mosquito netting. It’s not just the humidity that catches your breath.

 

DAY TWO // Our second day at Kamalaya is peaceful and pleasant as we physically start to slow down a little. At 7.30am, I tiptoe past my sleepy husband to take my very first Tai Chi class, which proves to be far more physical and certainly more enjoyable than I imagine. The waves softly lap the beach below as our hands sweep through the air, transitioning gracefully to the next movement.

After class, I finally manage to drag my man out of bed, and we enjoy a gorgeous vegetarian breakfast banquet overlooking the bay at the restaurant. I choose to make my own bircher muesli with goat’s milk yogurt, oats, almond milk, fresh seasonal fruit and raw honey.

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We follow that with a session at the naturopath, who puts us through a rigorous assessment. She happily concludes that we are both in great shape and youthful for our respective ages, but stresses that as enter the next stage of our lives – fast-paced careers, children, mortgages and general busy-ness – we will need to take greater care to manage the current balance we maintain. We heed her message, and count our lucky stars to be in such good health now.

After a gym session in the functional fitness centre, we make our way down to the crystalline white sand beach, where we lay on sundeck chairs and the staff bring us icy cups of water under our umbrella. Whilst my man takes off for a long run along the beach, I sit back and enjoy the morning sunlight dancing across my skin as I read my book.

Lunch is equally leisurely; we wander back past the extravagant stonework and underwater caves to a private thatched pavilion by the pools, and feast on super-fresh prawn Pad Thai and a lighter version of a spice-laden chicken panang curry. The juice I choose is delicious, aptly named the Kamalaya Detox Juice: freshly extracted coconut water, ripe pineapple and Thai basil.

We enjoy the luxury of a long nap after lunch, and wake up with minutes to spare to sprint across to our evening stretch class. The sun dips behind the horizon as we sit in lotus pose, hands relaxed by our hearts, humming a resounding AUM in sync with the class. I decide to try the detox option at dinner, a nourishing green vegetable soup seasoned with kaffir lime, galangal and lemongrass. Afterwards we lie on the bed back in our room, drinking in the stillness, and enjoy the sounds of the crickets and the waves coming through the window.

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DAY THREE // Our third day at the resort is sweetly pleasant and unhurried. I wake up early, prepare a small cup of sweet lime tea and eat a sesame seed bar before heading to a flow yoga class. The Thai teacher, Siri, is patient and instructive with her students as we transition from one pose to the next, and although I’ve felt on the verge of a cold the past few days (what some might argue is the effect on a body that is slowing down after a period of stress) I am feeling wonderfully warm and physically revived following the class.

I try out the buckwheat pancakes at breakfast, which are utterly delicious with homemade pineapple, strawberry and blueberry jams, as well as a cheeky dollop of warm whipped butter. At times I felt a tad rude sitting there eating non-detox food at a health retreat, but I have come to a little realization the past few days as I looked around at all the California hippies, London rockstars and heavyweight executives: I’ve underestimated how much I’ve already achieved a sense of balance in my own life. I can happily consider myself a healthy individual at a healthy weight and disposition. So, what am I doing here?

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Don’t get me wrong. I’ve noticed I now fit a little better in my shorts since being here, and I certainly feel far more relaxed and energised than I did on arrival. But I’ve always yearned to sign up to one of these detox/yoga/spiritual retreats and emerge feeling sparkling and wonderful. The irony is, I’ve learnt that so much of this is already in reach — that I’m already capable of feeling sparkling and wonderful, all the time.

Revelation? Maybe. In any case, I am quietly happy lying here on the sunloungers, lapping up the last bit of sun we will get before returning to the chilly Autumn air in Melbourne.

Kamalaya Spa Resort
102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Road, Na-Muang
Koh Samui, Suratthani 84140 Thailand
http://www.kamalaya.com 

Note from Victoria: I wrote this several years ago, after a visit to Thailand and my very first (and long-anticipated) visit to a health retreat at Kamalaya. I adore this place and would absolutely love to go back – so much so, that I was inspired to start creating my own retreats, recreating the good habits that were developed at Kamalaya. Wellness retreats are a wonderful way to reboot your life and get back on track, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Should a spa resort in Thailand feel a little out of your reach right now, we encourage you to sign up to our newsletter and find out about our next HQ Getaway Retreat, to be held in the Yarra Valley early next year. More information will be up on the blog shortly…! V xx

 

WE LOVE // Yogakiss + Paddleboard Yoga on Noosa River

>> INVERTING INTO A BACKBEND on land is tough enough. Wow, I was both enthusiastic and somewhat apprehensive to try out Paddleboard Yoga for the first time. That said, I love the laid-back freedom of stand-up paddleboarding, and relish any opportunity to hit the water when I’m lucky enough. It’s surprisingly simple thanks the wide, buoyant boards that skim easily across the ocean on a still day. It’s also a deeply meditative, core-engaging, bicep-building wonder of a workout, and great for soaking up a bit of vitamin D in the sunshine. For those who are ready for something different, paddleboard yoga is still fresh to Australian shores. Kat Harding (@yogakiss) has been running her classes on the Noosa River for the past two summers, and has also built a loyal following to her outdoor yoga classes at Noosa Woods on Hastings St.

We turned up a little before 8.30am near the iconic big pelican, the sun already heating up the glassy blue waters of the river. Kat was ready and smiling, waiting with the paddleboards, and reassured us that the class would cater for all levels – including those who’ve never paddleboarded or practiced yoga before. Kat keeps the classes intimate, with a maximum of six per session. We waded into the shallows and hopped up onto our boards, taking our paddles and pushing out past the moorings. Once on the river, it was magic – the water was crystal clear blue, and the gentle movement of the paddleboards meant you could meander and enjoy the sights both above and below the surface. A leopard sting ray, the largest I’ve ever seen, skulked along the sandy bottom; a beautiful translucent jellyfish floated past, its pale blue body undulating.

We cut across to the other side of the river, and began in Tadasana. Reaching up to the sky on the inhale, I could feel my feet press into the board to stabilise. Exhaling, I folded in half, forehead brushing against my shins. The board gently wobbled beneath me, my core muscles kicking in. These simple movements were already challenging me. As the boards began to float downstream with the tide, we took our paddles and waded back to start another round of sun salutations. We worked our way through seated twists, arm balances and even inversions. Although it took a few attempts to lift up, my very first backbend on a board was met with happy cheers from the rest of the group – I grinned back at them, albeit upside down!

We found peace resting in Savasana on our boards, eyes closed, hands and toes drifting off the sides in the cool river. Sunlight danced across our eyelids, and the sounds of the lapping water filled and centred our consciousness. Sharing a final Namaste, we took our paddles to the water one last time and arrived back on shore, exhilarated, relaxed and revived. I can’t wait for my next session.

# NB: On the 22-24 March, Kat will be running a special weekend for those based on the Sunshine Coast (or looking for a cheeky getaway) – a three-day retreat built around morning paddleboard yoga sessions, yoga in the park and walks through the spectacular Noosa National Park. If you’re interested, get in touch with Kat: Instagram @yogakiss | Email yo_kat@hotmail.com

Welcome to Holistic H.Q.

Sarah Churcher Photography

>> HOLISTIC HQ IS A LONG-HELD DREAM OF OURS. Our vision has seen countless drafts, but its essence has always remained the same – a grassroots collective built on fresh ideas, a creative lifestyle and spirited, happy vibes. Holistic HQ is a celebration of the beauty to be found in the everyday, and an expression of a life well-lived.

We should disclose – this isn’t just the voice of one person. Holistic HQ is a platform for a whole chorus of interesting, colourful, inspirational people from all over the world-wide community, coming together in a stylish yet laid-back forum that is (we hope!) a pleasure to view let alone read.

We intend to grow organically in response to your needs, and in the coming months we will present to you a delicious smorgasbord of fabulous people, promotions and places. These pages will serve as an online magazine-blog put together by contributors, collaborators and curators; as well as providing a platform for promoting community activities and events here in Australia and around the world.

Welcome to our inaugural post, and the beginning of a beautiful new adventure. The Holistic team can’t wait to meet you!

With love from HQ,

Victoria & Abby xxx