Finding a balance between a hectic lifestyle and the time to heal oneself is a challenge in itself. In this modern-day and age, sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to be calm—whether it be through meditation or sport. Born in London, with family ties in India, Navi Wrighte is a Kansa Wand Therapist, who began her practice after learning the ropes from her grandmother. She now works with Anantara Angkor to provide holistic therapies to wellness travellers. We speak to Navi on healthy holidays, implementing a healthy lifestyle, and what true balance looks like.
What was your first healthy holiday experience? My first healthy holiday experience was in, of course, India. My family would travel there to visit relatives every few years. The village food in Northern India is 100% vegetarian and always freshly cooked for every meal. There is something magical about eating a diet that uses only locally-grown food. It’s like your body is somehow more in sync with your surroundings.
The pace of life in India is much slower than in my hometown in London, too. As a child I often found it a little boring, however, looking back, I think those long hours spent walking the fields or in quiet contemplation helped prepare me to embrace my Indian cultural heritage in later life. I don’t think I could have become a Kansa therapist without first experiencing India.
How do you reboot after a hectic week? Kansa Massage is my reboot. Clients often tell me how relaxed they feel after a session but the energy certainly flows both ways. When I’m performing a massage for a client, I find myself quickly entering a deep meditative state. Kansa massage is as relaxing and energising for me, the therapist, as it is for the recipient.
Who are your role models, and why? Singers have probably had the biggest influence on my life. I’m a sucker for ’80s and ’90s music so I’d
have to say Madonna and Beyoncé. They are the epitome of hard work and dedication. Their characters are just larger than life, like mythical beings. I’m just filled with awe whenever I watch either of them perform. Like most women of my age, I’m also a huge fan of Princess Diana. When I was growing up in London during the ’80s, Princess Diana really was the living embodiment of every little girl’s dream. She was also an incredible activist in a very difficult time. That’s something I really admire.
Who do you admire professionally, and why? I love the Author and Research Professor Dr. Brene Brown. As a woman in the wellness field, her ideas really resonate with me.
Describe an ideal retreat experience here in five words. Tranquil, Therapeutic, Tasty, Timeless, Transformative.
What are the crucial factors involved in implementing a successful healthy lifestyle change? I think that living a healthy lifestyle is a perpetual journey of education and improvement. For anyone starting out, I’d recommend working on the body first. Probably begin with a good detox, then look at nutrition. After you have these two nailed I’d begin to work on fitness. There is a cumulative health benefit from taking these three seriously which can’t be achieved any other way. Finally, I’d look to work on the mind. This one can be the hardest for most people as it was for me. If I have one hack it’s this—try to find something you like doing and turn it into a mental practice of some kind. For example, I’m terrible at meditating, but I love to cycle, so cycling in silence became my fun form of meditation.
What does true balance look like? True balance to me is to move slowly and deliberately through life. To have a purpose and reason to everything you do and not constantly be reacting and allowing external factors to drive your decisions.
What’s your fitness motto and why? “Show up.” And I simply mean that in the physical sense. Just go to that Yoga class or get yourself to the gym. There has never been a single time when I’ve shown up and later regretted it. If you just do that one thing consistently then you’ve already nailed it I think.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Break down your goals into small achievable moves. In my own practice, I aim to get 1% better every week. This may not seem a lot or maybe the maths are a bit silly expanded out over a lifetime, but the sentiment is this; if I can just keep getting a little bit better at everything I do, then I’m in the driving seat. I’m living life deliberately. I’m becoming someone that’s a better version of myself each and every day.