Now more than ever there is a need to re-focus on health and wellbeing. The Labour Government introduced a “wellbeing” initiative into the 2019 budget. Three years on and we have been truly tested to the very core as to what that might mean for New Zealanders. We have been tested as a country, within our wider communities, places of employment, families and as individuals.
As we move into another phase of the global pandemic, the question remains – what does “wellbeing” mean? And even if it remains elusive, how can we get more of it?
Suz Stokes is a local yoga teacher and the founder of a health and wellbeing company called the “35 Day Detox”. For the past 10 years she has lived quietly in Raumati South, spending time each day walking in Queen Elizabeth Park and at the beach. Deciding to focus on her own wellbeing has meant converting her old garage into a private yoga studio and establishing an edible garden. In 2014 she wrote a recipe book focussing on whole food recipes that support healing the body using ayurvedic principles. Last year as we went back into lockdown she finally sat down again and wrote the story of that personal transformation.
Right from the beginning of her Yoga Teacher Training in 2011, personal health and wellbeing has been the prime focus. It has taken her from the corporate offices of Dubai and planted her firmly on the Kāpiti Coast. This knowledge and experience has assisted her in pivoting into a state of perpetual motion, not only starting her own company in 2014, but getting off the couch and jumping wholeheartedly into the endurance sport of triathlon.
The 35 Day Detox starts with the five-week “reset” challenge that Suz first developed for herself and then her clients. Guiding individuals and small groups through yoga principles as well as food choices and physical fitness helps clients regain connection to their mind, body, and soul. The program is unique in that it is intrinsically connected to the lunar cycle allowing us to tap into the universal flow of energy and work within those rhythms to build resilience.
As we woke to a new Covid-19 world in 2020 the question Suz posed was, “How can my experience of transforming life from the inside out be of more use to others?”
“It is all very well to publish motivational social media posts, and without a doubt the online yoga classes on YouTube provided temporary respite for many clients. Like many others the in-person and group sessions moved online to Zoom.
“However, the distractions of uncertainty and survival were overwhelming. Yet it made no sense to give up on the dream of people living happier and healthier lives. There was a gap in the global online learning market – one where people could tap into the guidance and wisdom of various modalities to achieve that one elusive goal – a greater sense of wellbeing.”
So in 2021 Suz and her team recreated the 35 Day Detox Challenge into an online program. No matter where you are on the journey there is always room for improvement.
- The first step is always to stop and take stock of your current situation. Only from a place of stillness is change possible.
- Next is an honest assessment of what is working and what is not at an individual level. Without a strong individuals the team cannot function well.