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nia’s journey with caravan

Nia’s self-care journey


Can you tell us about your journey and where you are today?

I’m London born and bred but ethnically half Welsh and Korean. Growing up I was very much an introvert – I loved writing poetry, building websites and playing with my cats! As I started to come out of my shell during university, I really struggled with work-life balance and it manifested through periods of restricted eating and overexercising, I put my body and mind under a lot of stress during those years. Paradoxically, I was studying medicine and they were the unhealthiest years of my life. It culminated in a massive burn out episode and I had to take time out to recuperate and really get a few aspects of my life in check.

“I learned to prioritize balance.”

As a person of extremes, I learned to prioritize balance – whether that be in work, diet, or my personal life. It was difficult to adjust to at first but I tried not to be so hard on myself about slip-ups and adopted the motto that ‘something is better than nothing’, because my erratic schedule made it difficult to properly develop a consistent routine. Meeting likeminded others through hobbies and events made a big difference and I started researching new topics I’d taken an interest in, around more holistic approaches to health. I found that it’s ok to have fun for the sake of having fun, or because it feels good, and that not everything has to be about achieving something.

What is your experience with wellness?

I have a Bachelor of Science in medical science and took a special interest in gut health (it’s our second brain after all). When I took some time out to focus on my health I became interested in practices like meditation, especially in the form of sound baths and floatation tanks, kundalini yoga and breath-work, which made an immense difference to my health along with diet and lifestyle changes. I have a Level 1 Reiki certification and started a CBD brand called Yūgenial which focuses on holistic, high quality ingredients.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, it comes from the Hemp plant and interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It’s currently being discovered that this system is at the heart of a whole host of health concerns from improving gut health to regulating the stress response – as we have an extensive network of CB1 and CB2 receptors in almost every organ and system of our bodies. It’s such a fascinating area and has become my joie de vivre (joy of living).

What are some of your favorite CARAVAN classes and why?

The thing I love about CARAVAN classes in general is that there are a whole host of options that cater to every need and lifestyle, making them easier to insert into your routine, no matter what it looks like. I use breath work and meditation the most…

“It’s nice that the videos don’t have to be used every time once the basic skills are learned, so you can practice wherever you are.”

I have a mat by my desk at home so that every time I feel like procrastinating or feel a little stressed, I can whip on a quick stretching video to stimulate my parasympathetic nervous system and get back in gear. It’s also great that the library is constantly updated so I look forward to discovering more favorites to come!

How has incorporating wellness into you daily routine improved your lifestyle?

At the moment I try to do a quick 10-30 min meditation as soon as I wake up, by focusing on the breath, as well as a few minutes before bed, with a focus on gratitude. I go to dance classes on Saturdays and kundalini yoga on Wednesdays, and will occasionally incorporate sporadic sessions of things like yoga, breath work, floating, or something creative – there is always something on in London! I also love journaling and keep a dream diary and notepad and pen in my bedside table.

The biggest difference has actually come from my diet. Despite all the reasons to improve it the biggest motivator for me actually came from the effects that eating so much junk was having on my skin – being an ex-confessed pill popper my first reaction was to go to the doctor and get every medication under the sun. When they still didn’t work and had nasty side effects I finally gave my diet the attention and commitment it needed, eating more greenery, incorporating some supplements like CBD and Adaptogens, and eating less refined and processed sugars and dairy. It’s amazing how quick the results were!!

“Wellness is at the root of everything because if we don’t nurture ourselves as individuals, we can’t foster great work, great relationships or great lives that fulfill their potential.”

I learned that making your mental and physical wellness a priority is key for this reason.


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