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The path to wellness within, according to Abuelita's Wellbeing

Opening earlier this year, we caught up with Simona, Founder of Abuelita's Wellbeing, to chat all things movement and how her journey with wellness brought her to creating her own brand and CIC out of Hackney Downs Studios.

What led you into your practice? 

I've always been interested in bodywork and fascinated by the connection with the mind. Observing changes within myself, during and after I would go for a massage, I started exploring the idea of embodiment. Soon after, I would find myself paying for my first course in Massage. Since then, working with hundreds of clients, I got to understand the patterns of pain, and where and why it builds up. 

Regardless of being or not being active, our emotions, if they do not have a language to express themselves, get stuck into the body in various places. And we tend to find explanations for it, such as long hours spent in front of the computer, or the exercises we do. Overworking at the gym, poor posture, tiredness or fatigue, are most of the time psychological responses to a state of mind we are in, or unconsciously burying certain feelings that we are not ready to feel, and in a prolonged period of time they can affect our wellbeing. 

Whether it is before or after intensive training, looking for more of a somatic approach and a safe space, or dwelling into a "me-moment" for relaxation, I always try to adapt, and find the right energy to suit everyone's needs when they come for a session with me. 

Based on your extensive experience with Abuelita's Wellbeing, what are your top three personal wellbeing tips that people can incorporate into their daily routine to improve health and happiness?

Discipline, flexibility, and kindness are my everyday mantras for feeling good and happy. 

Eating healthy, exercising, resting well, and letting the mind wander, are the keys to keep a great state of mind, and give us the energy to engage awareness into our daily practice. When we lose these, the energy we create within ourselves will be limited, and most of it will be used for work and survival mode actions. And that is the path to losing touch with our mind and body. 

Although I am mostly known for my 1-to-1 therapy sessions, the experience of daily life made me understand that everything has to be tackled from at least three directions, in order to be more effective (but don't get me wrong, starting with one change in routine, is a massive step ahead, and the most difficult, but in time will lead to another, and another). 

With that in mind, I started the Mini-Retreats which incorporate Movement, Creativity, and Nourishing food. Self -Care starts with as little as making sure that we feed all parts of ourselves correctly and balanced. Body needs to move and rest. Mind needs to create and rest. Gut needs healthy food and time to digest. Connecting them is key to getting happier and healthier. I am not inventing the wheel, this is ancient wisdom, but we live at such a fast pace, that we usually forget, or do not have time to take care of ourselves. 

By bringing all these together, creating the space for at least half a day to explore them in a group setting, it just made sense to me. Shared experiences, story telling, group activities, can be a reminder that we all struggle in various ways, but it's important to keep trying. And we don't feel alone anymore when we find new connections with like-minded people looking for the same tools.

The Mini-Retreats I now organise at Hackney Downs Studios for the general public, are part of Abuelita's Wellbeing CIC, a non profit Community Interest Company, which aims to support people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, or suffering with mental health, offering them access to wellbeing, through 1-to-1 Bodywork Sessions, Community Events, as well as Empowerment through Raising Awareness and teaching Self-Care Techniques. And all profit is used to make this happen.

For those inspired by your journey and wishing to delve deeper into wellbeing, could you recommend any books, podcasts, or resources that have influenced your approach or could serve as a guide for others.

There are three books that changed my approach to life, and the knowledge and wisdom I found in them, guides my day to day actions:

The Body Keeps the Score - Bessel van der Kolk

Molecules of Emotions - Candace B. Pert

The Hero with a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell


Book in with Abuelita's here.

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