Keep Calm and Try These Online Wellness Activities

These 5 renowned wellness brands are working out our kinks, imbuing Zen and keeping us fit, all from afar.

By Uracha Chaiyapinunt

Feb 24, 2021

FEELING DOWN, ANXIOUS OR OVERWHELMED? You’re not alone. Much of this past year has forced us to make changes to our daily life—from small inconveniences like wearing a mask at all times in public (especially an annoyance in humid Southeast Asian weather) and limiting the number of people we see, to bigger adjustments that are sure to have an impact on our overall well-being. In these strange times, it’s important to remind ourselves to keep our mental health in check.

While many leading wellness retreats and resorts in the region have reopened their doors, we can understand if you’re still a little hesitant about jetting off to a weeklong getaway right now (or, with borders still shut, if you physically can’t). For those who feel safest at home, you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to maintain a wellness routine—or start a new one—virtually. Take a look at our guide on mental health exercises and activities you can do without ever stepping foot outside the living room.

For those pursuing greater well-being and inner balance

An alignment of the mind, body and soul sounds exactly like what we need going into this year.

What is it?

Recognized as the world’s oldest holistic healing system, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healthcare that seeks to establish balance in life. At ONEWORLD Ayurveda in Bali, the team is dedicated to providing guests with a relaxing—but effective—healing journey. All guests are given an initial consultation before embarking on a tailor-made program that could include Vedic yoga, Ayurvedic meals, alternative treatments and therapy.

The virtual experience

Since the pandemic began, ONEWORLD Ayurveda has been offering online courses for guests unable to travel to the property—most of us, since Bali remains closed to tourists. Though you won’t get the rice fields, bamboo forests and lush tropical gardens of Ubud, you can still join a number of virtual experiences: a seven-day detox program developed by Ayurvedic doctors, yoga instructors and chefs; personalized yoga classes; and one-on-one online consultations with ONEWORLD Ayurveda’s highly trained doctors.

Seven-day detox program from US$95; personalized yoga classes from USD$195; and online consultation from US$75. oneworldayurveda.com

For those who miss the gym

With gyms and fitness studios indefinitely closed in some countries, it can feel difficult to keep up with your workouts at home.

What is it?

Singapore-headquartered COMO Hospitality Group’s wellness brand COMO Shambhala is made up of a group of urban and resort-based holistic health and spa retreats run by naturopathic therapists and doctors. They have launched a curated wellness digital platform.

The virtual experience

With COMO Shambhala ‘By My Side,’ members get to experience the resources of both COMO Shambhala Urban Escape in Singapore and COMO Hotels and Resorts without having to travel anywhere. A monthly subscription is required to gain access to a library of online videos and live classes (Pilates, yoga, sculpt and tone), all available in varying difficulty levels. For an additional fee, members can also book a private consultation with one of COMO’s accredited specialists.

Monthly subscriptions are S$22 per month with additional fees for one-on-one consultations. csue.comoshambhala.com 

For those interested in learning more about self-care

When you can’t make it to the spa, bring the spa home to you.

What is it?

For more than 25 years, Chiva-Som has been known as a pioneer in the field of transformative wellness. Its beachside resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, has welcomed celebrities, athletes and guests from all over the world. To maintain its high standards and to share its wealth of knowledge, the five-star retreat opened Chiva-Som International Academy to train specialists and those interested in learning more about self-care.

The virtual experience

If you’ve ever been curious about holistic approaches to medicine, the academy’s new online courses might just be what you’re looking for. All courses are conducted in English through an interactive online platform. Subjects vary from ‘DIY Face-Lifting and Firming Online Workshop’ to ‘Diet and Nutrition’ and ‘Anatomy and Physiology.’ There are also practical classes if you’re looking for a career change into spa management. Private training, customized online courses and corporate workshops are also available by arrangement.

Course fees vary depending on the subject, from Bt3,900 to Bt39,000 per person. For enquiries or registration, email info@chivasomacademy.com or call 66-2/711-5271. chivasomacademy.com 

For those seeking calm

Meditation can seem like an intimidating hobby to get into if you’re already overwhelmed by your schedule. In between squeezing in a morning workout and back-to-back conference calls, it can feel like there’s no extra time to spare. But sometimes, just a few minutes of centering yourself can be all it takes to recalibrate your mind and help you feel more refreshed.

The virtual experiences

Those new to meditation will find Hyatt x Headspace’s content a perfect first step into the world of mindfulness. International hotel group Hyatt teamed up with Headspace, a popular meditation app, to create content that helps you wind down, stress less and sleep soundly. The mindfulness exercises, guided meditations and sleep content, can all be accessed through the World of Hyatt app. (New users can download the app and join for free.)

But if you think you need community for extra motivation to get started, join one of Tokozenji’s free group meditation sessions. Established in the 1200s, Tokozenji is one of Japan’s oldest temples of the Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism. Since April 2020, the temple has been leading guided meditation classes via Zoom, posting their schedules and information on their website. Participants are welcome to join and leave freely during the session so there really is no pressure for first-timers. 


Nusa Lembongan Is a Haven for Surfers and Divers

A bit beyond Bali, boats bob in waters so clear you can see their shadows in the sand. Beach clubs ask only that you shed your pretentions with your flip-flops. And mola molas and mantas remind us of the important things. From a cliffside resort at the heart of Nusa Lembongan, Jeninne Lee-St. John finds paradise is draped in bougainvillea.

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