Wellness: A day at the Dew centre in Lagos
Lagos is a busy, exciting, and yet very stressful city. Personally speaking, working in Apapa, and living on what Lagosians call the ‘island’ can sometimes mean up to 3 hours in traffic on any given day. I always joke and say that the traffic alone in Lagos, can break up relationships and I would be curious to test that hypothesis.
The bustle and hustle of the most populous city in Africa can be exhilarating in some ways, yet ever so chaotic at the same time. I always say that if you can live in Lagos, you can pretty much live anywhere. Hate it or love it Lagos is Lagos, and it is important to create a balanced wellness routine to offset the day-to-day stresses.
The COVID-19 pandemic somewhat made everyone take a much-needed pause and many people found themselves idle at home in their thoughts. The lockdown forced many to start practising wellness and exercise routines at home, focusing on a concept called “self-care”. Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish. Self-care means taking care of your mental and physical health, so you have the ability to do all the things you wish to accomplish on a daily basis: excel at your job or business and help care for others.
Wellness in Lagos
Wellness according to the Global Wellness Institute is ‘the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health’. Wellness has always been an important part of my work-life balance, so I was excited to discover wellness at the Dew Centre which is located on 31 Adebayo Doherty Streetin the upscale neighbourhood of Lekki Lagos.
The Dew Wellness Centre
The Dew Centre is the brainchild of notable interior designer and wellness advocate, Omon Anenih-Mordi and Africa’s first design consultancy, boutique hotel and wellness centre. It promises its clientele a safe space for self-discovery and healing from the hustle and bustle of Lagos city.
Our visit to the DEW Center was exhilarating and relaxing. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed with a smile. We were taken on a mini-tour of the sensory garden, spa and amazing health and wellness facilities. As we stepped foot in the DEW centre, we were fascinated by the amazing art pieces and the beautiful, artistic and creative images that paid homage to the African woman in all shapes and sizes.
The DEW centre’s ambience is serene and peaceful. We opted for the Vinyāsa yoga class and I can say that it strengthened my core, relieved my stress and gave me some high-intensity workout training. We had a wonderful instructor Tunde (@lifelongfitnessintl on Instagram). He was just perfect: courteous and patient and designed the session to cater to our specific fitness capacity. Boffy also enjoyed it thoroughly and are now committed to practising yoga daily.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga is a great way to work on your flexibility and strength. Just about everyone can do it. It’s not just for people who can touch their toes or want to meditate. Some types of yoga are about relaxation, whilst others are similar to the one we practised at the Dew centre, make you move more. Most types focus on learning poses, called asanas.
They also usually include attention to breathing. Yoga poses work by stretching your muscles. They can help you move better and feel less stiff or tired. In one study, people improved their flexibility by up to 35% after only 8 weeks of yoga.
There is a misconception that yoga is an alternative to religious practice; it is not and has nothing to do with worship. You can actually burn up to 1000 calories in a one-hour session. I have practised yoga before, but I was seriously challenged.
Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are very physical. Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, build upper-body strength. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abs. Poses that strengthen the lower back include the upward dog and the chair pose. When done right, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.
After our workout session, we went on to have a full body massage, and it was wonderful and soothing. The massage room was beautiful, the background music had a tranquil and calming effect, and the masseuse was polite and professional.
The Dew massage rooms are very relaxing, you will not miss the breathtaking photographs by renowned Nigerian photographer Kelechi Amadi- Obi. The series of photographs which I will dare to call pieces of art is entitled “The Bare Exhibition” which features a series of carefully curated photographs with nude subjects that explore the theme of freedom, self-exploration, self-acceptance, and identity through a study of the female form. “The bare exhibition is focused on the female form, but it is more than just the body. It is about self-acceptance, body confidence, owning your truth, and stepping out of the shadows, and into the light” says Omon Anenih-Mordi.
Benefits of massage therapy
When it comes to relaxation, there are a few things we all associate with that it, and a massage definitely one of them. It is great for relaxation and has therapeutic benefits, too. The term “massage” itself actually encompasses a wide array of different types of massage, ranging from Swedish massage (the most common type) to massages that have a more targeted and specific purpose, like a sports massage, which is aimed at helping athletes recover.
No matter the type of massage, the benefits come down to one thing: pressure. “The skin is moved during a moderate pressure massage, which results in a calming and slowing of the nervous system,” says Tiffany Field, PhD, director at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Massage therapy also has these benefits: decrease in heart rate lowered blood pressure, and changes in EEG patterns (electrical activity in your brain).
What I find unique about the Dew Centre is that it’s not just a spa or yoga studio in Lagos, they use design to take the concept of total wellness while recognizing that a person’s every thought, word, experience and behaviour affects their greater health and wellbeing. The wellness centre’s design of spaces, as well as all the services, ensure the promotion of education, clarity, connection, common sense, empathy, and well-being. The Dew centre is the first of its kind in Africa, mixing elements of design, education and wellness.
The Food and the Sensory garden
To round up our experience we had a light lunch at Angelo’s café in the Sensory Garden, which is a literal garden area where you can relax while enjoying some tea and light lunch. It was a beautiful scenery and offered tranquillity as we munched on our salmon and turkey sandwiches while enjoying the soft breeze and the freshness from the exotic collections of plants. The Dew Centre offers the possibility to become a plant mom or dad. They offer plant care services as well. It was the perfect way to round up our day and we felt re-energized.
We left the DEW centre feeling excited, rejuvenated and relaxed. We will definitely be back for more yoga classes, massages, and also to check out their counselling services, because mental health is as important as physical health. What I love most is that wellness is an inside-out experience at The Dew Centre, and I encourage you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Lagos and spend some time at the Dew.
To find out more visit www.thedewcentre.com