The biggest life lesson I can take from the situations I’ve faced is asking for help.
Support is a lifeline, and it comes in many different ways. Not being okay is actually fine!
It’s all about finding specific or unique ways that work for you.
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Welcome to my story...

My name is Varvara, and I am a Certified Health and Wellness Coach with over 25-years’ experience in the health and lifestyle sector. I have helped many clients work through some of life’s toughest challenges, and here is why

Everyone embarks on a personal journey at some point, and I am no different. There have been some significant times in my life when my belief system, and life focus spun in many ways. I have suffered postnatal depression, a life-changing divorce, as well the upheaval of relocating from Greece to the UK (and back again!). While the obsession to meet unrealistic expectations of myself grew, so did my unhappiness. I put so much pressure on myself to be a Supermum and supportive wife alongside the pursuit of a successful career. What was truly important became completely distorted. Without the clarity and support to navigate through these circumstances, there is no doubt that my life would’ve taken a different path.

 

My background began as a masseuse on working onboard cruise liners before moving to London to become a special events makeup artist. Working in these industries gave me the opportunity to meet some incredible people, especially women. Both hospitality and beauty are fast-paced sectors, and a work/life balance is hard to achieve. It was through this realisation that I co-founded Healthy Options in my other homeland of Greece, a company which organises first-time retreat-like experiences for a more balanced approach to wellness.

Yoga has always been a huge part of my life and I have been practicing since my 20s. I was inspired by my mother’s love of yoga and holistic mindfulness, and amazingly, all three of her daughters have grown to become yoga teachers.

Yoga has helped me to regain my strength, to reconnect, and provide a mental clarity. During some of the low periods in my life, yoga gave me the power to overcome these situations. Drawing on my massage and body work skills, I felt the need to delve deeper into the connection between the mind and the body through yoga. It was while studying this practice that I decided to become a yoga teacher.

Moving on...

Upon my return to the UK, and after my own experience with postnatal depression, I then trained to become a doula to support other mothers through similar circumstances. I launched Varvara Yoga in the New Forest, which soon became a source of support for many clients who discovered a new and enlightened way of living with yoga in their daily life, along with my wellbeing coaching. Training to be a Health and Wellness Coach was a natural, intuitive move for me due to my background, both personally and professionally.

I have supported, educated, and guided many individuals and groups to discover better ways to manage behavioural and lifestyle changes, as well as enabling them to live life to the full.

My expertise:

Health, Wellness & Life Coach

Mindfulness & Meditation Practitioner

Yoga, Movement & Alignment Teacher

Body Worker, Massage Therapist & Reflexologist

Birth/Post-Natal Doula & Baby Yoga Practitioner

Skincare & Make-up Consultant

Interior & Garden Design Advisor

Healthy Options - Where it all began in my (other) homeland

There’s a lot to be said for the way in which life is lived in the Mediterranean, and I’m not just talking about enjoying the weather!

After living life at high speed in the city, and still recovering from the fast-paced world of working on a cruise liner, I relocated to Greece (where my family still resides) to co-found Healthy Options. I created the concept behind Healthy Options when seeking my own refuge from the chaotic life of the beauty and hospitality industries. It was about discovering ways to pause, rest (beyond sipping poolside cocktails), and to recharge, ready to return to work. Yoga has played such an integral part in my adult life and it's amazing ability to help me disconnect from the hustle and bustle of a busy life, yet so many hard-working women cannot achieve this, and this is how Healthy Options was born.

We organised first-time retreat-like experiences to indulge women and educate them about a more balanced approach to life. I wanted to show that you can enjoy mindfulness at dawn, yoga at midday, and a glass of wine in the evening - because life really is about balance!

The success of Healthy Options grew year-on-year. What initially began as a small group of novice yoga enthusiasts (and a small marquee to practice in!) quickly became a widely renowned retreat for ‘sailing widows’ and single women, joined together for the love of escapism, culinary excellence and Mediterranean beach life.

We welcomed guest speakers, embraced the offerings from local businesses (including snorkelling, herbal garden tours and cycle rides) as well as paying homage to the island’s delicious cuisine and Mediterranean culture.

The company grew so successfully that my sister took on and managed a secondary centre on mainland Greece, and we welcomed returning guests time after time. I was touched by the positive feedback from guests and the friendships made. The experience very much forged the next chapter in my story.

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It was upon returning home that many of the women I had hosted at Healthy Options required additional coaching to help introduce their newfound practices into everyday life. Healthy Options laid down the foundations for what I do, and the aftercare I provided for guests developed into the coaching programmes I offer today.

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