The Wellness Works
When COVID rocks the boat and forces change in an industry you love, how do you adjust? Absolute Magazine catches up with two Brighton girls Holly Cooper and Deanne Oliver-Pickard about life after lockdown and bringing a positive to the situation with The Wellness Works.
What is the Wellness Works?
The Wellness Works is an online yoga sanctuary offering complete nourishment for mind, body and soul. We created this online portal which is designed to be an easily accessible home from home, a guide to living well in our modern world. Whether you have 20 minutes in the morning to be guided through some simple salutations to wake up the body, need to take a pause in your day to reset with a session of breath work, or luxuriate in a traveling mandala flow around your mat. If you want to slow it down and go deeper with a delicious yin class, would like to focus on technique with a workshop, have trouble sleeping and would love to be guided through a sleep meditation while being bathed in sound of gong or feel the need to sweat with a dynamic practice – there is so much for everyone!
Initially we set this up as a kind of virtual retreat but has since gained so much interest, we wanted to offer this month long sanctuary to flow and align with the seasons, offering nourishment from the inside out. As well as the multiple disciplines of yoga, the movement & breath practices, we’ve shared some of our favorite plant based recipes to invoke an injection of creativity in the kitchen with some new ideas, a selection of inspiring readings, rituals and intention setting, as we guide you through this journey of exploration with us.
How did this partnership start?
We were both introduced a couple of years back by a mutal friend when Deanne made the move from London to Brighton – she knew we’d get on with both of us having very similar backgrounds. We both used to be DJ’s (well Deanne still is and has been playing for 15 years) as well as yoga teachers…we hit it off immediately and have been grateful to our pal since! Holly invited Deanne to teach in her Brighton yoga studio, Studio iO where we both built our community in such a special space.
We both had our own stuff going on outside of the studio with events and retreats but always knew we’d love to create something together. A chat on Brighton beach while eating some chocolates and a glass of wine and the concept was born!
How has Lockdown effected you both?
Holly’s Studio had to close it’s doors, so at the start of lockdown both of us were quick to jump on Zoom and offer our classes online daily. Our spare rooms, lounges and gardens quickly became our yoga spaces at home and life was transformed! It was a great way to connect with our regular clients but also with those who had been to our retreats before and lived in different parts of the world. At the beginning there was a buzz around yoga online and people enjoyed the routine of it. We all craved some form of structure during such a shaken up time. When lockdown eased the zoom boom eased too, this is when we both fortunately started teaching Beach yoga sessions at Rockwater in Hove. They created a huge deck overlooking the ocean with space for safe distancing and views to die for. After months of no other face to face in real life connection these beach classes gave everyone a chance to feel human again, to feel alive and able to embrace the great outdoors together. They have been our saving grace throughout summer, we both feel very lucky to have been able to offer this.
Whilst Studio iO was still closed due to social distancing measures restricting the reopening, Deanne’s retreat company Flow and Paddle was also affected, with having to sadly postpone all the late Summer retreats….so instead of feeling disheartened by these changes, we both felt this sense of determination and creativity to create something new, if we couldn’t meet in groups and on retreats then why not build something special online where we could hold space in another sense with our community.
We’re collaborating with some amazing brands to put together a bespoke luxury self care package for the guests, allowing them to create their own sanctuary at home. To separate from their at home working environment & transform it into their place for space. Our favorites are OTO CBD, FORM Protein powder, Sweaty Betty, KYEM crystal infused hand sanitizer. and Made by Coopers.
Lockdown has proved to have had a huge impact on peoples’ mental health, whether they have been living alone or trying to juggle kids at home stress levels have been higher than ever before. How does The Wellness Works aim to support mental health?
During this time we are surrounded by a lot of heaviness, of worrying negative information – so many are facing jobs cuts and redundancy, people working from home, home schooling or living alone…all of which has dramatic effect our mental wellbeing, with stress and anxiety levels at an all time high. We wanted to create something that offers support and connection, so our welcome circles, midway check in and closing circle is designed to build and sustain a real community feel, offering comfort that you’re not in this alone, we are altogether in this journey of life.
Are you forming any collaborations?
We are all about the collabs, we love working with other brands and supporting local independent companies. We are excited to collaborate with DJ Goldierocks, aka Sam and her immersive sound meditation experience, IO Project. IO offers the ultimate gateway to escapism through the powerful medium of sound. It’s an organic connection with our shared interests & the perfect partnership.
We plan to feature more teachers, speakers and professionals in the wellbeing field so that The Wellness Works continues to grow, evolve be an original innovative experience. Unlike other on demand yoga platforms, we want to ensure we are always offering something new and meeting the needs of our network. Knowing that we are both always at the end of the phone or email to chat and support each persons journey with us is a special thing.
What does the future hold for The Wellness Works?
We’ll continue to build on our seasonal sanctuary’s but we’ll also be offering a monthly subscription to access the online content.
The next big step will be our goal to ‘GIVE BACK’ in support of local charities and do something for our planet too. We will donate a % of subscription fees to a chosen charity and one day hope to be able to plant a tree for every subscription sold.
Find out more and how to join us here