Wellness matters
Wellness Matters
Why on earth does a strategic communications and content advisor have a page aboutWELLNESS on her website?
Quality of life | Performance | Perspective
Through my private and confidential one-on-one work with my clients – writing speeches, creating strategies, business plans and other business matters – the topics of health, stress and wellness inevitably raise their ugly heads. Stress and burnoutInsomniaDiet and eating disordersSubstance abuseRelationship challengesGriefEmotional upsetsTime managementImposter syndromeDaily habitsSelf-esteem/body images Through my own health challenges over my lifetime, as well as supporting others with terminal illness and happily supporting others to full recovery, I have a deep investment in self-care and putting health first. (Not “after I finish this project”). I have personally invested considerably in daily and weekly health and wellness services as well as more substantial investments in health retreats in some of the best health retreats in the world. I can wholeheartedly attest to the value (for those with the resources) of health retreats to fast track physical and mental change.

Asa Maia, Uluwatu, Bali

Ideal for: People wanting to really understand the benefits of hot/cold therapy and to deepen yoga, breathwork and Pilates practice. Also great for people who wish to do a hybrid work/rest week in Uluwatu. (I combined my week here with major deadlines for a highly productive and inspiring week.)

The Asa Maia is a truly exceptional place – I came for an eight-day/seven night EXHALE package. In every detail of this 10-room property you will see owner Martha Booke’s brilliance, attention to detail, cultural sensitivity, exquisite aesthetic and connection to Bali. Guests sleep in painstakingly relocated and reassembled traditional east Javanese gladak houses with sloped bamboo roofing. Each gladak has been modernised with gorgeous bathrooms and outdoor showers, sensitive lighting systems and Sumba textiles by Earthline Architects who has also conjured up the AMAZING contrast therapy hot/cold plunge centre, main reception building/spa, sexy gym with all Pilates equipment, heavenly yoga shala, restaurant, divine pool (with steps perfect for reading IN the pool), sauna and ceremonial fire area.

The EXHALE program includes all meals (YUM!), several daily yoga classes with a roster of hand-picked fab teachers – Daniela is a beautifully gifted teacher able to teach at every level – as well as exceptional yoga classes she integrates aspects of classic Pilates mat work and Capoiera, also great Yin and Vinyasa classes by Sarah and Koni are available. Breathwork combined with hot/cold therapy with the truly extraordinary Noah Sherwin is also a transformative experience. By the end of the week, I felt truly at home. There are not many hotels in the world where you will see the owner dropping by for an infrared sauna and a juice shot. Trust the way each wellness program is designed.
Loved the mix of guests who can all sit at a humungous communal table for meals (but there is no obligation to mingle if you want to chill). The WiFi works really well too – and I found it a great place for thinking, writing, working and reading.

Miramonti, Dolomites, Italy

Ideal for: City slickers in desperate need or mountain air and a good soak. It is also for ideal for people who are not quite ready for a serious health retreat. Come here to rest, try hot/cold therapy and forest bathing without too much ‘woo woo’ around.

Boasting a breathtaking view and surrounded by ancient woodlands, the MIRAMONTI was built on porphyry, and is located 1,230 m above sea level, high above the city of Merano.
Miramonti is a mountain retreat designed for recharging the body, mind and soul. Here you can rest between soaring mountains and emerald forests, soaking in thermally heated infinity pools, onsen pools, Finnish and infrared saunas, ice bath, whirlpool or Sonnenterrasse. After a steam and soak, you can wander to an indoor or outdoor lounge area where you lie under blankets and stare at the mountains, sipping mountain herbal teas and eating dried apple slices. The views are so epic that this place was actually the set of the coveted James Bond 007 “The Spy Who Loves Me” movie). Spy chasing aside, It is a place to escape and reconnect with self. It is a place that is able to combine luxury and naturalness.

Food is locally sourced with an emphasis on slow food. You can fine dine here and get the best of the nearby Alto Aldige wines but there is plenty of scope for detoxing with lots of birchers, mountain honeys, celery juices, broths, pollens, potions and vegan options.

Activities include yoga, hiking, forest bathing and meditation. Miramonti has been designed with a carefully considered simplicity and a paramount amount of style. Says Monocle: “Crafted by the incredible Heike Pohl, co-founder of illustrious Italian studio, Arch-Tara, her understanding of Miramonti’s location and spirit shines right through: “It was about completing what’s already there: the panorama and the cordial hosts.”

I promise Miramonti is a retreat that will make you feel alive, brand new and deeply connected to nature.

Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand 

Ideal for: People looking to retreat and maintain privacy. Personalised programs allow you to really keep to yourself if you wish. There is a communal table in the dining area which some guests love, but others are very happy keeping to their group or flying solo. Ideal for couples with very different health goals/interests where one wants to go to the gym and the other wants to do yoga. Also excellent for people looking to invest in a week of holistic treatments (e.g. acupuncture, lymphatic drainage and digestive issues) with therapists hand-picked from around the world.

I love this place so much I had my honeymoon here! Kamalaya offers a range of wellness programs around Detox, Resilience & Immunity, Stress & Burnout, Yoga, Emotional Balance, Embracing Change, Ideal Weight, Optimal Fitness, Wellness Sabbatical, Corporate Wellness and Sleep Enhancement retreats. Adjust the intensity of your program and opt for something tailor-made. You can focus on specific healing modalities, such as Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, and with the help of experienced practitioners you can customize a wellness program that is specifically suited to your needs. Food is off the charts delicious and the spa is literally heaven on earth.
Created by Karina and John Stewart, Kamalaya is one of the most awarded health retreats in the world. The idea for Kamalaya was inspired by the 16 years John spent devoted to a life of service and spiritual studies in a Himalayan community and Karina’s 22 years in the study and practice of diverse Asian healing and spiritual traditions, including her background as a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is safe to say that Karina and John are pioneers and I am happy to report that they have kept the remarkable Buddhist meditation cave intact on the property, a reminder that in the end, it is about the practice of meditation where true light can be found.

Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, Glenorchy, New Zealand

Ideal for: Fit, motivated people wanting to take their health journey to the next level. Also ideal for people who aren’t comfortable with chanting or ‘woo woo’ activities.

I’ve completed the Revive & Thrive 6 day/5 night program as well as the longer 8 night/7 day program. Just fantastic.

From Aro Ha: “We’ve taken a look at every aspect of our multi-award-winning programme and optimised it for our new world. From hygiene to contrast hydro-therapy, from our menu to our movement sessions, here the latest research is infused into our practices. You’ll deepen your breath, nourish your immune system, calm the nervous system, and remember what it’s like to delight in the rising sun. Transformation happens quickly here. Our days will harness the power of nature, nutrition, mindfulness, yoga, functional movement, and other research-based best practices. All ages, abilities, and fitness levels are welcome.”

Como Shambhala, Ubud, Bali 

Ideal for: People looking for a high-end,luxurious health retreat where participation in any activity is completely optional. Also ideal for people wanting to experience the very best holistic cooking in the Southern Hemisphere.

A truly five-star health retreat, with utterly brilliant menu designed by Christina Ong. Come for hydrotherapy, bathing in sacred pools, an expansive, blissful yoga shala, private pilates studio, walks, cycling and personal wellness programs… The spa is a haven for deep, deep relaxation and there are a range of tailored programs to help you reset. I can especially recommend the acupuncture with Head of Wellness Kimberley Rose Kneir and pilates/yoga with Monica Troiani. The rooms and suites are the epitome of barefoot luxury, impeccable service. Breakfast of jamu juices, the most delectable fruit in the world and ingenious gluten-free taste sensations in a relocated Javanese carved house is a personal highlight. I can’t wait to go back.

Gwinganna, Queensland

Ideal for: People having their first taste of a health retreat. For many guests, they are just starting out on a healthier life. Also great for people wanting to fast-track knowledge of sleep, stress, nutrition and optimal fitness.

I have been here seven times, coming for the daily program (choose from yin (slow) or yang (challenging) activities, the sublime walks across the huge property in the Currumbin Valley near the Gold Coast, the beautiful yoga shala and great focus on functional movement in the huge hanger gym. Gwinganna has a conventional group program everyone dines together at assigned tables each meal, shares group activities and then has afternoon “dreamtime” for rest, spa treatments and relaxation by the two infinity pools. The best thing about this palce is watching people transform over the week. It is amazing what NOT doing what you normally do can go, watching how exhausted people come to life with proper rest and nutrition and even the toughest blokes end up admitting how much they needed to be here. It’s not cheap but health is wealth.

True wellness warriors


My number one modality yoga for more than 30 years. I practice online with EkhartYoga.com and in person with Eden Londner, a truly gifted Iyengar teacher. Her therapeutic teaching style is focused on the integration of science, yoga philosophy, and the poetic imagination in the yoga practice.  When Eden is busy teaching retreats all around the world, I use EkhartYoga.com, an utterly brilliant online service that I have been a member of for more than ten years. The site’s creator Esther Ekhart, has curated the best teachers in the world. I also use the app and always have ten downloaded classes with me so that if there is no Wi-Fi, I can still practice. The site also includes meditation, pilates, talks and a range of at-home programs.

Eden Londner @Eden.yoga WhatsApp +61 423 298 657


Marieke’s Art of Living

2024 destinations include Mexico, Cuba, Portugal and Morocco. Some of the best experiences of my life have been travelling with Marieke on tours and retreats in India and in Australia. No one curates an itinerary better than Marieke, with every guest showered in hospitality and personal care. From the exquisite boutique hotels, culinary experiences and daily itineraries through to the knockout cultural moments, vistas and sensory joys. Marieke has an unrivalled contact book to ensure impeccable guides, local knowledge and entrees to the best hospitality and travel experiences on the planet – allowing a deeper connection to place, to landscape, to culture and local communities. Her depth of research, lifetime of travel and passion for what she does is reflected in everything she does. She is sensitive to all ages, abilities and interests, always delivers incredible value for money and creates perfect small group experiences.


Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” “It’s the mind itself which shapes the body.” “A man is as young as his spinal column.” Joseph Pilates

Modern life – doubled up over screens, bent over desks, stressing about deadlines – takes a considerable toll on posture. And as a result, the effect it has on our physical, spiritual and emotional well being.

Pilates actually reverses our natural physical decline and nearly 40 years after Joseph Pilates’ death, his methods still offer a potent antidote to 21st civilisation’s sedentary, screen-fixated ways.

Pilates is a form of strength training, but it doesn’t look like some of the other strength training exercises you might be familiar with. Pilates focuses more on improving muscle tone than building muscles, but the result is similar: greater stability and endurance.

I am a more recent convert to Pilates and love to recommend The Village Pilates in Caulfield North – especially classes with Alessandra, Sarah and Desiree. I promise whatever fitness training you are doing, Pilates will enhance it.

The Village Pilates

Shannah Kennedy Coaching

I invested in a coaching program with Shannah Kennedy 12 years ago after my mother died. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Shannah has a well-earned reputation as one of Australia’s best life coaches. In particular Shannah has guided me to radically improve my time management, boundary setting, strategic planning and self-care. She embodies the reality that you can spend ten years trying to fix something alone that a coach can support you to fix in ten minutes. Her bestseller The Life Plan is a book I regularly share with clients and her coaching exercises around clarity, direction and purpose are a consistent go-to for me. Over time, our relationship has evolved and now Emily Ross Bespoke is very proud to offer services to Shannah around editorial, copywriting, marketing strategy, Linkedin and stakeholder relations and Shannah’s work was a fundamental pillar of the Values process I have developed.