Hong Kong's Wellness Experts Share What Wellness Means To Them
Shane Aspegren, Musician and Founder, ONDO Sound
“Modern humans have turned into extremely goal-oriented creatures, but it is important to remember that human life (like all life forms) is a process rather than a static thing. In my view, if we are using the term “wellness” to refer to a state of being, we have to keep the process part at the centre of our perspective—that there is not one perfect state to be attained in the future but rather, a continual opening into whichever practices are working for you.”
Samantha Chan, Running Coach, Joint Dynamics
"Wellness is living both a physically healthy and mentally healthy life to me."
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Janith Chang, Yoga Teacher and Life Coach
"To me, in this present moment, wellness is about raising our frequency and finding true alignment on all levels of our being: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And because we are all interconnected beings, wellness is not just about the wellness of ourselves as individuals, but ultimately, about the wellness of our communities and our natural environment, as well. When we invest in and transform our own wellness as individuals, it naturally creates a ripple effect into the different communities and eco-systems around us, gradually attuning the world at large to greater states of wellbeing."
Olivia Cotes-James, Founder, LUÜNA naturals
"Wellness goes beyond the state of being physically healthy, encompassing wellbeing in your body and mind. This is both a deeply individual journey, rooted in understanding one's own personal needs, and a broader societal pursuit, within which we must strive, collectively, for wider social-wellbeing. At LUÜNA, we work tirelessly to move the needle on gender equality to support the wellbeing of individual women and girls in Asia."
Resham Daswani, Tea Curator and Founder, Spiral Spaces
"Wellness, to me, means being in a natural flow with the harmony and connection of existence. When we can experience that the life force within us is the tapestry of all of creation, we move from the separation of egoic duality, that is causing our sickness, to Oneness. This shift heals the body, mind and spirit. When we act from this space, we can move into authentically expressing ourselves as human 'beings', rather than human 'doings'. We can then navigate daily life and situations with greater skilful ease, mindful clarity, and a joyful calm that is nurturing and balanced for ourselves, our families our communities and our Earth. Wellness is to recognise our nature of existence as a whole, not in parts, with awareness of the intelligence that permeates through all things, and to consciously evolve and align ourselves to the 'Way'."
Christine Deschemin, Hypnotherapist and Founder, Renewed Edge Hypnotherapy Centre Hong Kong
"Wellness is the path to wholeness. It is the pursuit of choices that lead to growth. It goes beyond preventing illnesses. The pursuit of good habits that make wellness can strengthen many pillars of life: career, social links, physical and mental health. When you enrich each of these facets, you maximise your quality of life."
Erwan Desvalois, Running Coach, Joint Dynamics
"Wellness is waking up pain free and being able to achieve what brings you joy and happiness during the day."
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Petra Greening, Founder of We Are Fk
"To me, wellness means having a healthy mental outlook on life. Your head and your heart are the foundations of wellness, it has to come from within before it transforms the outside."
Annie Hon, Traning Manager, Joint Dynamics
"Wellness is taking daily actions and developing good habits around nutrition, recovery and stress management. It may be as simple as waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day."
David Jacquier, Founder, Joint Dynamics
"Wellness is about having a state of mind and body that allows you to enjoy the challenges life throws at you. Wellness could be defined as having a good physical and mental 'mojo'..."
Gianni Melwani, Yogi & Co-Founder, Ikigai
"In order to answer what wellness means, we need to look at its opposite. When we think of being unwell, we generally think of someone feeling sick with an illness. These scenarios refer to our health condition. Poor health conditions prohibit us from functioning properly in our day to day activities. So in its simplest form, wellness means being able to function fully without our mind and body working against us and becoming a hinderance in our lives.
The next question is, how do we live well? Or even better, enhance our wellbeing to a level where we are thriving instead of just surviving? In order to truly live well, we need to have a comprehensive understanding of our mind, body, emotions and energy. While we all require different applications of wellness-based practices—due to having been shaped differently by our environments, social conditioning, lifestyle, gender and age amongst many other variables—there is still a basic foundation upon which one should build on when it comes to wellness.
Building your life in a conducive and healthy way takes in to account the following basic principles: Sleep (quality and duration), nutrition, proper exercise, proper breathing, proper rest and relaxation, and positive thinking and meditation. Wellness naturally happens as byproduct of taking care of these principles."
Hema Mirpuri, Founder, The Yoga Room
"Wellness to me is creating an environment where my body is in harmony both physically and mentally. I practice wellness by starting my day with a conscious breath and carving time and space to dedicate to yoga and meditation. It is also important for me to focus on habits that contribute to my wellness such as spending (uninterrupted) time with family and friends, eliminating distractions, eating wholesome food and being environmentally responsible. By continuing to make choices that allow for holistic wellbeing, it becomes a habit and a lifestyle that I believe everyone can and should strive for."
Stacey Monaghan, Holistic Health and Wellbeing Coach
"Wellness for me is living in a state of alignment and harmony with our mind, body and soul. When our relationships, career, spiritual practices, social connection, environments, as well as of course nutrition and life style are truly aligned for us we are able to live a life that deeply fuels and nourishes us—both on and off the plate."
Akiko Sakai, Yoga Teacher & Founder, The Studio
"Wellness shouldn’t just be about what you eat, but also about how you live. I believe that we have lost much of our wellness due to social media, technology and the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong life. I believe that nature and art have tremendous healing effects on our day to day lives. Through painting and art, I find my creativity and calmness (even when I’m not feeling that creative). The process of preparing and sitting down to paint is a self-meditation and relaxing process that helps reset the mind. I also love to be in nature—taking walks to the beach or exploring new hikes in my neighbourhood helps to recenter and ground myself. As we all know, nature heals."
Aaron Stadlin-Robbie, Founder, Talking Mental
"What wellness means to me, is having self-awareness of what makes our engine go. There are many contributing factors that lead to that self awareness including education, communication and lots in between. That's why wellness for me will always be a journey in getting to know ourselves better. So I encourage everyone to remove stigma around anything that might stop you from being well."
Sabrina Villard, Shaman and Founder, V Healing
"Individual and natural active pursuit of a harmonious relationship between our own body, mind and soul. A Harmonious oneness helps to avoid physical and mental illnesses and helps to reveal our true essence of Identity. Wellness is also related to reaching an optimal state of peace within ourselves and with our own external environment. How to reach this harmonious and peaceful equilibrium is variable and a very personal experience"
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Amanda Yik, Forest Therapy Guide and Founder, Shinrin Yoku Hong Kong
"To me, wellness is relational. We are well when we have strong and healthy relationships with our body, with people around us, and the place we call home. Honouring the body's intelligence is key, and that includes responding to physical signs of misalignment, allowing ourselves to be informed by our emotions and feelings, and having the courage to follow our intuition. When we step into that wholeness we are more able to relate to others and build solid interpersonal relationships with healthy boundaries. As a transformational coach and forest therapy guide, I see nature as an extension of our body. The more we learn about the ecosystem and the environmental crisis of our times, the more we realise that unless the earth is well, we cannot be truly well. I see supporting urbanites to experience the interconnectedness of all life on earth and understand the impact of our choices as core values of my work."
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This article is part of Tatler’s first ever Wellness Week––a week-long programme of events and articles hosted by Tatler Hong Kong and Lululemon, designed to inspire you to take a pause and celebrate yourself. From July 19-23, Hong Kong’s leading wellness experts will take over The Upper House to host a series of events––from an energetic run club and morning meditation to fireside chats uncovering taboo topics and workshops to help you unearth the magic of manifestation. Visit the Wellness Week content collection for practical guides, inspiration and advice on a new way to be well.