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wellness blogger

WELLNESS GUIDE TO LA

WELLNESS GUIDE TO LA

We were bowled over by the abundance of wellness places in sunny California after a recent trip with our client Will Williams Meditation, who was over there hosting a 'shavasana disco' at the iconic Sunset Sound Studio in Hollywood (a unique experience bringing music and meditation together).

Here's a round up of our favourite places to explore: 

VENICE BEACH

Head to Ceremony Meditation  for a wide range of meditation classes (we tried the Intuitive Healing Visualisation) and a crystal shop to die for. 

Cafe Gratitude is going eight years strong in LA and for good reason. Their thoughtfully crafted plant-based menu is a must - try the Mexican 'I am mucho' bowl and raw chocolate deserts. 

RA MA Institute - try a Kundalini class here and check out their workshop schedule with spiritual and wellness leaders from around the world. We attended Jasmine Hemsley's Ayurvedic workshop and US launch of her new book, East by West

DOWNTOWN LA

The luxury Ace Hotel has a rooftop pool that anyone can use. 

Verve Coffee is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold brew in downtown and great for working from if you're with your laptop. 

SILVER LAKE / ECHO PARK

Yogala is a dreamy sanctuary - try the Kundalini yoga with Susie Q. They also offer breathwork, reiki and more healing modalities. One Down Dog is another great studio in East LA. 

Moon Juice - epitomises the LA wellness scene, with several branches across the city. Head here for adaptogenic superfood smoothies, teas and powders and listen to this interview with its founder Amanda Chantal Bacon.

Lassen’s health food store is a wellness wonderland filled with all the natural supplements, protein powder and kombucha that you could ever want. 

For a luxe massage with a low price tag, Now Massage is your place. 

Honey Hi on Sunset Boulevard uses organic and locally sourced ingredients where possible and is entirely gluten and refined sugar free. 

Eightfold Cafe - the best matcha latte we tried in LA, light and airy minimalist decor and plenty of room to work with really friendly staff. 

An hour and a half away from the city of angels is Ojai (pronounced 'oh hi') - a sleepy paradise nestled between the Topa Topa mountains. This town has been a spiritual seekers' centre for many years. 

Try Food Harmonics for gluten free, high vibe food and medicinal mushroom elixirs. Ojai also has a dedicated Kombucha bar, and you won't want to miss out on Beacon Coffee

 

Introducing...Otherness, London's new wellbeing events platform

Introducing...Otherness, London's new wellbeing events platform

We sat down with our newest client Alex Holbrook, founder of Otherness ahead of its launch on March 20th (Spring Equinox). Otherness is a new, easy way for Londoners to discover wellbeing events and seeks to make alternative wellbeing practices part of everyday life. 

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What inspired you to set up Otherness?

The idea for Otherness first sparked back in November when I was looking for some wellness event inspiration that I could take part in that night. As I was searching I realised that there was no dedicated platform that quickly, easily and beautifully showed these so I decided to create it! 

I wanted to build a hub of discovery, where you can always go to for inspiring events, to find hosts and try new experiences.  

What are some of your tools / practices / tips for staying grounded and connected to yourself in a busy city like London?

When you live in a city it is so easy to get caught up in the rush and lose your centre. I have a couple of practises that I do throughout my day (most days!), to make sure I stay calm and focused: 

- Three times a day I take a few minutes to take 5 breaths in and out to the count of six each. I do these when I first wake up, during the day and then before I go to sleep. This little time out helps me focus and gets my mind in check / relaxes me. 

- I go outside at lunch everyday, it could literally be five minutes to go and get a cookie! But getting out of the office and taking in fresh air connects really get me back to myself and gives me an energy boost, it can also shake off any stress wormholes / creative blocks I’m getting into!   

- I call one of my friends or family every day - it's so important to stay connected to your support group! Get into the habit of calling someone when you have a spare 5 minutes in your day - for me it's on the walk home from the station to my house and always lifts my spirits or makes me realise how lucky I am to have some of the people I do in my life. 

- Exercise is such a huge part of keeping me grounded and calm, even a 5 minute run can blow away the thunder of a bad day or frustration. 

What's exciting you about the wellness industry at the moment?

What's not exciting! I think the fact that things that were seen as very alternative are now coming into main stream consciousness and everyone is so open to trying new things. For me a huge demonstration of this is Balance magazine in London - a whole, monthly, FREE, magazine that covers all aspects of wellness - from meditations to gong baths - which is handed out at stations. 

What is your biggest vision for Otherness?

For everyone that has an interest in wellness to use the platform (aiming high!). Outside of this it is to help the movement that's taking place whereby everyone realises how important our health is - for mind, body and spirit - and takes the steps to look after themselves in each of these areas. 

I would love Otherness to become the point of reference for all - whether someone is just starting their journey into wellness, right through to someone who is a well worn wellbeing warrior - we can guide you on the path.  

Tell us an interesting fact about you...

I used to be a professional dressage rider! I could ride horses before I could walk and still ride now, but only every few weeks as Doodle (my horse!) is in Kent. 

INTERVIEW WITH WELLNESS BLOGGER CYN CITY

INTERVIEW WITH WELLNESS BLOGGER CYN CITY

You blog at Cyn City and work as a digital consultant - how do you keep a work-life balance in a hectic city whilst juggling multiple roles?

Very good question. This is actually where I got my inspiration for my blog - how to balance working long hours while also having fun, exploring new cities, trying new foods and keeping healthy. My blog is my way of channeling my balance and therefore my passions and interests outside of work support my blog in terms of finding content and relevance and keeping it creative.

I love style: I pick up style magazines, peruse Pinterest and get up early each day to indulge in putting together an outfit based on the weather. Like clockwork my neighbours will see me pop my head out of my window at 7.40am to check the forecast and also see if the London general consensus is that you need a jacket #CyntraIsWatchingYou.

I love to cook: therefore I will go and listen to talks from new and upcoming chefs, go to new restaurants for brunches/dinners to be inspired and get copies of new cookbooks that come out. In that way I am always able to support my Instagram feed order with images.  

I love balance: I believe that exercise can usually solve most problems. If I have had a hard day and the sunshine is out you will find me walking home from Soho with my favourite playlist on to let go of the day. I practice Pilates and will take time each week to keep sane. I also indulge with Rosé in the sunshine with pals when I just need to unwind.

All of the above keeps my mind balanced and my creative juices flowing.

What are your top tips for those looking to start their own lifestyle / wellness platform?

1) Ask questions and reach out to people already doing it. The network of other blogger friends I have is great and we always support each other.

2) Get a really good website designer who knows a thing or two about SEO.

3) Be authentic - it is very easy to see someone doing well and be like "yeah I want to do that" but unless it comes from the heart it will be transparent and you will lose interest.

What has been your biggest challenge since setting up Cyn City, and how have you overcome it?

Photography. Lifestyle platforms must be visually stimulating - it is what makes people come back for more. I have never been taught how to take pictures or edit for that matter and teaching myself has been a process of trials and fails but slowly I am getting there. The way I have over come it is by going to as many photography workshops as possible and YouTube videos - they really are so helpful.

Instagram: Taking pictures of myself. I hate it. I get so cringed out by having my photo taken and have done since a child. I would either go cross-eyed or stick my tongue out as a kid and now that has transpired to me always wearing sunglasses or going for a pout. The way I have overcome this - well I haven't - but it's just taking a breath and not being overly analytical when I post the photo.

How do you prefer to work with brands?

I only work with brands I like. Whether it is sponsored/ paid or on a gift basis - I will only represent brands I truly use or enjoy. I have been contacted in the past and been offered large amounts to put my face to some chemicals or pills which are supposed to make you magically: slimmer, prettier, sportier or a unicorn (I jest) but I feel that to truly represent myself and be authentic I only work with people or brands which I believe in.

By having this mantra, I have met some incredible people and brands and have stayed friendly building my network. It is lovely to see brands growing from strength to strength. I will quite often feature a product on my website from a brand I like just to show love and support when un-requested. As I said, Cyn City is my passion.

Do you have any tips you can share on how to build an authentic social media following in the wellness world?

Network, hashtag, comment and like within your niche. Never be afraid to ask for a follow back when you meet people. Comment on pictures - you will be surprised at how even the biggest bloggers out there will respond to you - which may lead to people click on your Instagram, which then may take them to your blog and there you have it - you have already grown your following.

Get out to wellness events and network. I have met some truly inspiring people by doing this. I have met, chatted and been followed by people who only had 3k followers at an event and now have grown to have 1.9million and love #midgettrees (no name dropping here).

Hashtag and check the hashtags you use to like others within your niche. I will always have a look at people who follow and comment on my pictures who found me through a hashtag and I will follow them back if I like their content.

If you do you and it makes you happy people will naturally align to that. Keep at it and stay positive, and of course, balanced.

Visit Cyn City here and follow her on InstagramTwitter and Facebook 

Interview with Kat & Vanessa from wellness blog Brunch n Grind

Interview with Kat & Vanessa from wellness blog Brunch n Grind

Your mission with Brunch n Grind is to 'demystify' the at times intimidating world of fitness - has fitness always been a big part of your lives?

Kat: Fitness and dance has been in my life from a very early age. Growing up I played netball and took my ballet exams with the Royal Academy of Dance. However, as I grew up and went off to uni I lost my love for staying active. It wasn’t until I moved to London (in my late twenties) that I found the fun in fitness again. My approach to staying active is now different and I work out to have fun with my friends, get those endorphins pumping and to help reduce anxiety and stress. I used to see fitness as a chore but by trying lots of new classes in London I’ve found some great forms of exercise that I’ll happily get out of bed at 6.30am for!

Vanessa: In a word: no. After a decade of boozing and partying through my twenties, I suddenly found myself on the wrong side of thirty with a body I didn’t recognise! As a weight loss tactic, I took up running and fell into a love/hate relationship with it but went on to run 2 marathons and a handful of halves. I’ve been an on-and- off yogi for years, using it to counterbalance stress and keep me grounded, but I’ve always had a general dislike for gyms, feeling out of place or self-conscious. One of the main reasons we launched Brunch n Grind was to help others push past their comfort zone and get stuck in to everything from boxing to bouldering, until they find a form of exercise they love - paired with a fab brunch destination, of course!

Do you think it's important to have a niche as bloggers?

Definitely. The market is pretty saturated when it comes to blogging but we’re firm believers in raising each other up and making space for everyone to share the experience. We see Brunch n Grind as your ultimate guide to London’s wellness scene, like TimeOut but especially for fitness lovers and foodies. We want to be the go-to website for Londoners on the hunt for a sweat sesh and undiscovered brunch spot. We bring our readers reviews, tips, exclusive discounts, giveaways and opinion pieces documenting our own fitness journey.

How do you prefer to work with brands?

We reach out to brands that we know our audience will love and we also get approached by brands that want to work with us. We’re continually networking and discussing opportunities to collaborate with various studios, activewear brands and restaurants but at the heart of everything we do, we look for authenticity and aligned values. We know how important it is to gain our readers’ trust and loyalty so we’d never try to short change them with poor content or paid posts that don’t fit in with our inclusive, body confident approach to wellbeing.

Do you have any tips you could share on crafting a unique tone / voice / brand for would-be wellness bloggers?

We started by looking at other brands and bloggers that inspire us to see how they were creating content and building a brand. It helps to draw from a wide pool of references and create a list or mood board of things you notice from their written language and image treatment. Stay open to evolving your tone and branding as you get to know your audience demographic. It takes time to realise what your brand stands for and communicate that effectively, but don’t get too hung up on that to start with or you’ll never launch a thing!

What's your ultimate dream for Brunch n Grind?

We’ve been busy building this fabulous community of like-minded fitness and food lovers
and now we want to bring them all together in real life with a series of events! Ultimately
we’d love Brunch n Grind to grow into a well-known platform, spreading the endorphins and
brunch love far and wide! We dream of one day launching our own products from beauty and
activewear to books and apps or going global with content hubs for all continents. For now
though, we’re taking it one squat at a time on our journey to world domination!

Visit Brunch n Grind here and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram