WELLNESS GUIDE: Brisbane 2015

Who better to ask about the best wellness in Brisbane than Miriam Van Doorn, a renowned spa consultant, yoga teacher and founder of ‘Mi Retreats’. Miriam has studied several yoga paths inclusive of asthanga, satyananda, vinyasa and chi gung yoga. As well, she has worked with leading brands including Ananda in the Himalayas in India and Spa Botanica in Singapore.

I have a great remedial massage therapist named Kevin Pearce from Yeronga Vitality & Health, whom I have known for eight years now. He has that intuitive touch yet innate knowledge of the body to give me that ‘fix’.

I trained many years ago as a beauty therapist so I look after my skin. I give myself facials and peels and always protect my skin from the harsh Australian sun. Having said that, nothing equals going to a spa or beauty salon and receiving a facial treatment as I absolutely love the facial massage. I recommend Outshine Beauty (www.outshine.com.au) and Medispa in James Street, New Farm. The therapists are amazing, down to earth and very knowledgeable. For that deluxe spa treatment though especially the spa indulgence and half or full day spa packages at One Wybelenna (www.onewybelenna.com) in Brookfield is my sanctuary when I need some time out for myself.

As a yoga teacher I stay pretty fit and I have my home practice of daily meditation and asanas and running around after my 1 ten year old son Keanu. I do love to attend classes myself though as I can switch off and truly be present in the moment. Stretch Yoga (www.stretchyoga.com.au) offer a wonderful arrangement of classes both in the City and in Holland Park. If you are looking for power yoga then Raw Power (www.rawpoweryoga.com.au) in Breakfast Creek Wharf is the place to go. On the Northside Soho Yoga (www.sohoyoga.com.au) is tucked away in Newmarket just around the corner from Crust & Co, the bakery for authentic sourdough breads and of course delicious croissants.

Wray Organic is a certified organic market and café franchaise that makes the best juices. We frequently stop by on the way home from school pickup! www.wrayorganic.com.au

We tend to buy all our fruit and veggies from the local market here at Mt Gravatt every Sunday and then supplement with fresh produce during the week from Wray Organic. We grow our own herbs and we used to have 2 chickens, sadly one just passed away, it’s so good having your own eggs.

The Ayurvedic Smart Detox from Back 2 Health in West End. It’s one of the most invigorating and energizing detox treatments for the body, mind and soul. The seven-day process remarkable improves and reinstates total body function, and most importantly, you’ll feel light, focused and have improved energy!

I love Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat near the Gold Coast so not too far away from Brisbane. This retreat offers you more choice than any other health retreat in Australia with a diverse range of packages and programs. Their Dreamtime Escape each afternoon at the spa literally makes you feel that way. The surrounding gardens, landscaping, the spa rooms and amenities, the therapists all make you feel on top of the world. My favourite is the LI’TYA Signature Ritual - The Dreaming - can’t get much better than this!

Spicers Balfour Hotel in the fashionable suburb of New Farm is a small, beautifully appointed hotel. The hotel is well-located to all the wonderful art galleries, restaurants and the nightlife of Fortitude Valley. Offers a great view of the Story Bridge from the Rooftop Bar. www.spicersretreats.com/spicers-balfour-hotel

As a family we love to go bushwalking so we often stay at places like Binna Burra or O’Reillys were we can choose from many half day and full day walks and finish it off with a massage or a well-deserved soak in the Jacuzzi. My ultimate retreat place though is Chiva Som in Thailand. Focusing on greater well-being and vitality, Chiva-Som offers extensive physiotherapy, fitness, spa and holistic health facilities to help you relax, restore and rejuvenate. I love to go once every three years to truly nourish and revive myself.

We love to cycle around the Bay and also in and around Brisbane. Brisbane has great bike tracks now and it’s so lovely to see and explore the city by bike instead of the car. Brisbane is such a green city, with lots of hidden pockets were you can stop at a beautiful park for an impromptu picnic or come across a small tucked away coffee shop.

Miriam teaches group, Mums and Bubs, Pregnancy and one-on-one yoga classes. They are informative and fun and influenced by Miriam’s belief in practicing with mindfulness and intention, developing breath awareness, meditative peace, learn postural alignment, and the joy that is yoga. www.miriam-vandoorn.com

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