What does your regular skincare routine look like?
I’ve been using Valmont skincare for twenty plus years and do regular facials at their Hong Kong spa every three weeks. I prefer hands instead of machines when it comes to facials because I love the positive energy a loving, caring touch transmits. If someone knows you well and massages your face with love, it gives an incredible glow. I do HiFu once a year for jawline tightening, lifting and general maintenance, and at home, I use a simple jade Gua Sha tool to improve circulation and remove toxins. Simplicity is key to a healthy beauty routine. So many people overdo it, but more appointments just lead to more stress. When it comes to products, I use the Valmont renewing pack and different items from Dr. Barbara Sturm and Amore Pacific.
How do you take care of yourself from the inside out?
Meditation and breathwork are essential practices for overall wellbeing. I’ve been meditating for seven years and do a lot of different breathing exercises, including somatic, pranayama, embodiment, kundalini and yogic breathing. By activating our life force energy and breathing from the top Chakra to the ground, you align your energy with the earth. I do daily breathwork and chakra activation to activate my womb and feminine energy from the source. We rarely take care of our womb, and I think many women neglect the womb’s sacred energy. Loving our period and embracing our bodily changes as females is something I genuinely believe in. For example, we often talk negatively about the womb during periods and menopause. And personally, I think this is wrong, because speaking negatively to our womb creates negative energy, and it’s a dangerous cycle. The health of the womb determines the health of a woman inside and out, so I always send loving energy to the womb during my daily breath work practice.
How do you balance your feminine and masculine energy?
I balance my energy by first acknowledging the feminine energy to ‘be,’ and masculine energy to ‘do.’ I’m very aware of my internal and external actions and words, which allows me to ‘be’ and ‘do’ by aligning myself with the moon phases and bringing my Yin and Yang elements into balance. For example, I observe my energy when I feel more Yin during certain moon and menstrual cycle phases. Shedding during your cycle is like winter, and you should let yourself be more relaxed and take it easy. Afterward, when spring and summer come, you blossom and feel renewed. Women can use their cycles and moon phases to understand their energy levels better and optimise their lives. I am very sensitive to my Yin and Yang levels and plan my schedule and life around them. For example, when I’m travelling to a city like New York, I want to make sure I’m in the Yang phase because it’s intense and always on the go.
Do you have spiritual wellness practices, a guru, or special texts you recommend for overall wellbeing?
Healing my inner child is one of my most important daily practices. The hardships we feel can come from our inner child and how we perceived events when we were young. The only way to deal with buried emotions is to actively heal ourselves and not run away from them. People are afraid to open this can of worms, but it’s necessary to turn their lives around. I do a lot of inner child healing with my teacher and therapist in Hong Kong, Sonia Samtani, who is founder of the All About You Wellness Centre. I also read books by Diana Cooper and Deepak Chopra, and follow feminine coach Amy White from London and Linda Moana, a sexuality coach in Hong Kong. Natasha Tome has a meditation called “rising vibrations with the angels” that I’ve been doing for three or four years. I’m a certified Reiki healer and very interested in chakras and balancing energy.
What are your morning and evening routines?
I do yoga, stretching, and breath work for an hour every morning. I talk to my body and rotate different ways to search for tightness. I use somatic breath work to release blocked energy by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. That hour to myself is sacred. A cup of coffee and time with kids comes next. In the evening to wind down, especially on Yin days, I have long baths with essential oils, candles, petals, wine, music, etc., depending on how much I want to pamper myself.
Do you have any nutritional guidelines that you follow?
I don’t like to categorise my eating habits and set restrictive boundaries, so unless I’m allergic to something, I eat what I want and listen to what my body needs. The more I define myself, the more boundaries and restrictions I create, and I don’t like to let routine dominate my life and eating habits. For sugar, if I crave it, I’ll allow myself to have it, but I am always aware if it’s an emotional craving. If it’s an emotional craving, I have to be very conscious not to satiate it with food. Instead, I address the emotion, build awareness, and take time to deal with it. If we’re trying to avoid emotions, we will use shopping, exercising, travelling to fill the void. The void will always be there if you don’t address it.
How do you optimise your health at home?
I have a special space set up for rituals where I honour myself and my energy with plants, crystals, smudge sticks, a yoga mat, and a sacred blanket. I put my journal, affirmations, and things I want to connect with on an alter to honour them. Affirmations are very important to me, especially when I have a new thought or finding about myself or let go of old beliefs and emotions that don’t serve me.
I use affirmations to balance out my feminine and masculine energy. I have feminine energy affirmations to affirm that I am soft, loving, trusting and beautiful. Successful women are usually defined in hard and strong masculine terms, but the strength of women is in softness. The affirmation is to remind me anything vulnerable and soft is ok, and that I honour my softness and feminine power. Alternatively, if I become too soft, I write affirmations on how to be strong and remind myself of the glory of strong and masculine energy.
What is a powerful affirmation you can share?
In Hong Kong, we’re brainwashed to desire more fame, business, and money. That creates moments and emotions that can make it feel like there isn’t enough. To remind myself that there is more than enough, I use the following affirmation:
The universe is abundant, and I am abundant. I have enough, and I feel at peace with the resources I have.
How did you become interested in the business of spinning?
After having three children, I completed my MBA and had withdrawal symptoms after writing my final paper. I decided to write another one, using everything that I had learned to create a spinning studio business plan. Cardio exercise is very important to me because I had heartbeat irregularities fifteen years ago, and my father passed away at 42 because of his heart. I knew I had to strengthen my heart and do cardio exercise regularly. It was just when spinning was taking off, and I loved going to Community in Montreal and Soul Cycle in New York, and I knew people in Hong Kong would love it. My husband is an entrepreneur, and he encouraged me to set up my own business, so I took the thesis and created XYZ.
What does your weekly workout routine look like?
I do cardio exercise every day to train my heart and alternate between XYZ, jumping jacks, skipping, hiking, and anything else that makes me feel uncomfortable. I use cardio exercise to stress test my heart every day and I make sure to push myself to my limits. I also stretch daily and like power yoga, Ashtanga and strength training. I prefer agility training instead of weightlifting because I want to train my joints and maintain my muscle mass. Many accidents happen when you fall down misaligned, so you also have to play around with misalignment training to keep joints strong.
What supplements do you have in your cupboard?
I take cosamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, probiotics, and magnesium daily. I also do body brushing, scraping and nasal washing with a neti pot.
Favorite wellbeing apps?
Insight Timer, Alo Moves, and Deepak Chopra’s meditation app. I think Deepak is an excellent starting app for good vibes.
The most profound advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was swamped with work at UBS my mentor told me to tackle challenges in the office like a hard workout in the gym. From that moment onwards, I looked at issues and problem solving as a chance to learn and improve. I pick up problems like weights in the gym and use them to make me stronger.
How do you create a successful wellness company with a memorable brand?
The brand and company are both living beings, and it’s important that the name, design and aesthetic light up the soul. The mission, vision and aesthetic help people understand why the company exists and what it stands for. The tone of voice, photography, social media, design, communications, and branding must evolve around why the company exists and what it is here for. It has to have a soul by itself, stay true to the values of stakeholders, clients, owners and staff, and it has to exist for a good reason. Of course, generating revenue is very important, but always align yourself back to why it was born. It’s also important to remain agile and be able to flex and contract when necessary. Strong and flexible businesses are the most successful.
What’s next for your XYZ and Sojournal?
I want to add something soft to the masculine XYZ studio. In Taoism, both Yin and Yang have a dot of each other – balance is key and we need to add some feminine energy to the business. For the next Sojournal, we will hopefully hike Kilimanjaro if we can stick with the schedule in October. In December, we are planning on a trip to India, depending on travel restrictions.
What is the quickest way to heal yourself?
Observe your breathing whenever you feel emotionally charged and angry or frustrated. Then allow yourself to yell, make sounds, and cry to acknowledge and allow yourself to go through the motions without blocking emotions. If you’re angry, yell, if you want to hit something, hit your pillow – don’t lock it in your body. It’s very important to release the anger and energy and allow yourself to feel frustrated. Something as simple as crying when you feel like it is helpful, beautiful, angelic, and magnificent. Emotions are an energy pathway, and if you always stop your feelings, they stay locked and cause disease. Express yourself freely, however you choose, and don’t judge your feelings. Writing your emotions and feelings in a journal daily is a great place to start if you’re not comfortable with expressing them out loud at first.
Reiki, inner-child healing, meditating, earthing, and embodiment somatic breathing are all beneficial too. Most importantly, and this is for women especially, don’t ignore your energy. You’re a powerhouse, use your body language, take away social norms, ignore taboos, and embrace your female energy. Allow yourself to be flirtatious, allow yourself to be feminine. Women are born to blossom and not to stay as buds.