Wellness practices such as yoga, reiki, naturopathy, massage and healing therapies are flourishing in Sydney right now. Embracing a holistic lifestyle, one that includes diet, mental health, physical health and emotional clearing, is key to creating a life of wellness for many Sydneysiders.
Wellness is one thing that Sydney does very well. The sunshine, climate, café culture and ample opportunities to dive into the ocean to the east or the bush to the west make it a favourite destination for yogis, spiritual soul searchers and avid surfers.
Sydney is spoilt for choice when it comes to living well, and its inhabitants know better than anyone how to weave wellness into their daily routines.
For some, that’s a high-sweat spin class, while for others, it’s calmly meditating. For other people, it means vinyasa flow or a surf at dawn. Sydney is a unique city to live in because all these opportunities are possible.
And what’s more, with so many beaches to choose from, Sydney breeds a culture of wanting to look good. But as Leigh Hawkes of Love All Beings Reiki explains, wellness comes from within and has nothing to do with external results. And, while physical fitness is an integral element, a good diet, optimal mental health and emotional healing are also some of the important components needed to achieve wellness.
Body, mind and soul
“Australia has a rich history of healing,” Hawkes explains. “It’s important to acknowledge the traditional custodians of Sydney’s sacred land, whose practices were the epitome of wellness. Yet, most of Sydney’s wellness industry today is focussed on physical fitness via gyms and training like F45 [a high-intensity workout].”
There are a few pockets of Sydney that offer access to a more holistic mentality, though. Bondi, in particular, has become a place where wellness fans congregate. Alternatively, venture towards Newtown where wholefood and vegan eateries sit on every corner.
“When we change our beliefs to be positive, we make positive choices, which influence the world around us, which, in turn, inspires more wellness in the city,” says Hawkes. Wellness is a holistic experience, and to be entirely well, our bodies, minds and souls need to be in balance. It’s important to nourish the body with the right food, clear out old emotional baggage that weighs us down, feed the mind with topics that inspire and pass on those good vibes. If all this is for you, here’s where to go in Sydney.
With five locations around Sydney, this yoga and pilates studio lets visitors tap into their ‘om’ from a variety of different locales, from Potts Point to Kirrawee. The studios offer heated yoga classes for both beginners and the more advanced, and the same goes for reformer pilates. BodyMindLife has also recently introduced infrared saunas at its Surry Hills and Bondi locations where visitors can sweat to a meditation podcast of their choosing. Come to BodyMindLife for a lunchtime moment on the mat or a pre-swim sweat by Bondi Beach.
“Energise your body, calm your mind” is the slogan at Elixr Health Clubs. While this health club feels a little like a gym with a swimming pool and cardio and weights machines dotted around the place, its origins sit in spirituality, with its founder Richard Chew believing strongly in the power of meditation and placing emphasis on healing through fitness. There are personal trainers, yoga wall classes and barre floor classes available.
Leigh Hawkes, at her studio Love All Beings Reiki, is a reiki practitioner and wellbeing coach | Courtesy of Love All Beings Reiki
Clients come to Love All Beings Reiki for emotional clearing and healing. A session with Hawkes includes emotional and spiritual guidance where clients will be encouraged to be curious about their fears, struggles and emotional setbacks using matrix therapy techniques. Hawkes offers various holistic modalities to enable clients to tap into the clarity they need to transform their lives, reduce stress and empower themselves as they move forward. Book online to make an appointment.
A restaurant, a cinema and an ashram all sit under the Govindas masthead, but what it really offers is a place for those who want to be more mindful. Talks from all sorts of interesting people on all kinds of fascinating topics are hosted here, as well as kirtan, meditation and a medley of the latest blockbuster films shown in the cinema that boasts super-comfy loungers. Any visit to Govindas should be paired with its delicious vegetarian buffet.
Born out of a desire to create a mental health clinic where truly modern folk could feel at home, The Indigo Project is a beautifully contemporary psychology practice where expert therapists weave contemporary techniques into their therapy. The project also offers events such as Listen Up, which is a monthly mindful listening journey where attendees are gently guided through meditation between musical tracks.
Health Nuts is where people come to find absolutely any kind of supplement in Sydney. Not only is the store all about protein smoothies, açaí berries and charcoal powders but it is also filled to the ceiling with organic produce, essential oils and salt lamps. If that wasn’t enough, there’s an all-vegan café where shoppers can fill their boots on varied salads or order a delicious golden mylk latte.
The Buddha Bar is a relaxing massage and healing clinic in Newton | Courtesy of The Buddha Bar Healing Clinic and Emporium
An oasis in Newtown, The Buddha Bar Healing Clinic and Emporium offers all sorts of massages, including ancient stone ritual, swedish and kahuna massages. The Buddha Bar also provides alternative therapies such as acupuncture, ayurveda, energy healing, reflexology and myofascial cupping. The clinic is calming and relaxing with water features and Buddhas dotted around to guide visitors through their healing.
Eating locally has many wellness benefits. When you choose produce grown on local farms, you are eating seasonally and supporting the area’s farmers while also reducing your environmental footprint. Simply place an order and collect on Saturday morning. The reusable hessian bags are full of produce grown within hours of Sydney by independent farmers, and they often feature vegetables you’ve never heard of. It’s food for the soul and an excellent way to make a positive impact in the community.
Tabitha McIntosh’s Woollahra-based clinic offers complementary medicine and natural health in the form of naturopathy, clinical nutrition and herbal medicine. The clinic can assist with a range of disorders, anything from thyroid issues, food intolerances and food allergies to fertility. Her wellness practice places great importance on nutrition, and she uses her qualifications in medical science, medicine, naturopathy and nutrition to help clients achieve optimal health goals.
Lentil As Anything is a restaurant and community centre for those who care not just about their wellness but the wellness of others. Pay what you can for a meal here, creating an environment of inclusivity. As Shanaka Fernando, the founder of Lentil As Anything, wrote on the centre’s website: “We call ourselves a human race, but it’s not a race. It’s not a competition. I prefer the term humankind. It implies kindness. We share an affinity. There is a richness that awaits us, and it relies on our ability to embrace and be open to each other.” Everyone is welcome, so nourish the soul knowing you’ve given back to the community here.