Over the past few years, Perth’s health and wellness scene has taken off and we are loving it! From the juice cleanse companies to the healthy cafes, from the wellness warriors to the hip yoga studios sprouting up all over town, Perth has got it going on.
To celebrate all of Perth’s health magic, we’ve created a cool little health and wellness series which will allow you to gain insight into the lives of some of Perth’s healthiest cool cats. They’ll share their tips and tricks and a whole lot of inspiration to help you live the healthiest life ever. Yesss!
This week, we met with Stephanie Johnson, yoga instructor extraordinaire at COMO Shambhala’s incredible yoga studio in Perth. Stephanie is all about self-nurture and loves connecting with others through yoga. We took ten with Steph to talk about her work at COMO Shambhala, her top health tips and where she likes to pick up a raw treat.
Hi Stephanie, what’s your story?
I began practicing yoga at 16 as mum would take me to classes to cope with stress and anxiety. I remember absolutely loving it, but back then, I lacked commitment and dedication. It wasn’t until I was 26, and faced some hard, life changing events that I returned to the mat—giving it my heart, soul and the commitment to bring me to where I am with my practice today.
I was working in Melbourne as an event manager when I returned to yoga. Continuously searching for happiness, and a way to give to others, I made a huge step and quit my job to volunteer in Africa for an organisation supporting HIV positive women. This experience, and the space and perspective it gave me, allowed for my love and passion of yoga to stream through.
I then returned to Perth and developed my practice, and completed my teacher training under the nurture and guidance of my teacher, Tamara Graham. I then teamed up with Como Shambhala and opened the doors to a space that does just that.
What spurred you on to build a career in the health and fitness industry?
It happened very organically. I’ve always had a strong interest in health and wellbeing and making positive choices in life. But it was my experience in how yoga helped me to overcome certain obstacles in my life and the benefits I felt through my practice, that drove me to truly want to share this with others.
Have you always been fit and healthy?
I’ve definitely been fit…but admittedly, I loved to party during my early 20s and can safely say I used to burn the candle at both ends! But I soon came to realise that being kind to your body, is much more beneficial than a big weekend!
I’ve always recognised that when I’m not feeling my best or operating at optimum peak, it generally comes back to the state of my health and mind. I noticed this a lot during high school, especially through TEE. When I had to study for hours on end it was regular exercise and just generally looking after myself that kept my stress and anxiety levels at bay, to help me stay motivated.
What’s a regular day look like?
Each day is different for me—I need variety and spontaneity! I like to start my day with self-nurture and finding time for myself. Most days I wake at 5:30am and jump straight onto the mat. I’ll practice 40 minutes of asana and 20 minutes of meditation each morning.
I teach yoga 7am Monday, Wednesday and Friday so from the mat it’s off to teach. Otherwise I’ll take the time to sit down and treat myself to a yummy, homemade breakfast with a cup of tea. HEAVEN!
I try to get to the beach every day in summer, and most days in winter—if I’m brave enough! There really is no better therapy. At night, I’m generally in bed no later than 9:30pm. I’m definitely an ‘8-hours-a-night’ sleep kind of girl!
Best part of your job?
Feeling like I'm constantly on a live-in health retreat! With the COMO Shambhala wellness menu at POST and our beautiful spa just steps away, I love working closely with both of these businesses to provide an incredible COMO Shambhala experience for our guests. It's this niche offering to the WA market that is so exciting to be apart of.
Being a yoga teacher, you also connect with some amazing and beautiful people. I love the connections I’ve formed with my teachers, my peers and my students. Watching the power of Yoga with others, you’re able connect on a very meaningful level. You develop a deep understanding and compassion for others. I love the way my job is filled with such happiness. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to love what I do and do what I love every single day.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
There’s nothing else I would want to be doing other than this!
Favourite form of exercise?
Yoga…but I also love hiking. There is nothing better than going for a walk with a friend and solving all the world’s problems!
Your top health tip?
Self-nurture. Whether it be running a hot bath, sitting down with a cup of tea, meditating, enjoying a delicious meal by yourself or with a loved one, there is nothing more powerful than self-nurturing.
Very often this practice of looking after ourselves takes the back seat and we become burnt-out and resentful. If we’re taking the time to fill our own cup and look after ourselves this naturally radiates on to others.
It’s something I have to practice every day!
Best place to get a healthy treat in Perth?
What’s next on the horizon for you?
For now, it’s all about growing the wellness offerings here at COMO Shambhala. We’ve teamed up with some of the best practitioners and teachers in the world so I’m really excited to be able to bring some of those here to Perth. We have a whole month of wellness activities coming up very soon, as well as numerous workshops, programs and retreats. It’s an exciting time that will see wellness in Perth really move up to that next level.
Fave Local Perth Spots...
For a drink
Rooftop terrace at Wildflower. It's Perth’s best kept secret! You can't beat 5pm with a glass of champagne overlooking the Perth city skyline.
I have a new found obsession with the avocado on the real seed nut toast at Post. It’s the perfect mix of indulgence without being too heavy on the stomach!
For a coffee
I’m a bit of a green tea drinker and Luke Arnold at Telegram Coffee makes it exactly the way I like it.
Viktoria & Woods. You can’t go wrong with their effortless basics and chic street style. I’m always looking for ways to team their clothes back with my yoga leggings.
Looking to get your yoga on in Perth? Search The Directory!
Image credit: Nancy Hanna