SHE has evolved from being an actress, model and emcee to an entrepreneur and wellness guru. Jojo Struys is a very busy woman who runs her own TV production company (Kyanite TV) and wellness centre (OhanaJo Studio), and conducts programmes that centre around wellness.
She even did a series on Discovery Channel called Jojo’s Diary of Asia in which she showcased some of the most unique places to de-stress.
The idea to open OhanaJo in mid-2017 came after she underwent intensive yoga training in Rishikesh, India, located at the foothills of the Himalayas. She describes her little oasis as a holistic healing place, where she teaches people self-healing using yoga, sound therapy and other exercises.
She feels blessed to be working in her passion, her ‘ikigai’ (a Japanese concept known as ‘reason for being’).
During an interview done via social distancing, Struys happily shared with us about her wellness journey.
You wear so many hats. How do you find time for yourself?
“It’s a challenge but we all have the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us how we spend it. It’s important to compartmentalise and prioritise the key turning points in the day, with the morning being probably the most important.
“I feel the way we start the day can influence the mood and tone of how the rest of the day might pan out. It’s vital to have a morning regimen … there’s something very special and empowering about doing exercise so early in the morning. It really helps to keep me grounded. It’s like kickstarting the day in positive gear, and meditation really helps to calm and clear the mind of whatever stresses I might have.”
What helped you realise that your heart lies in teaching people about wellness?
“I studied Reiki, a Japanese energy healing system when I was 19 years old, never knowing that years later I would be conducting Reiki workshops [to teach people to] heal themselves and others.
“I also studied additional units in psychology, even clinical hypnosis, after I graduated from my business degree in Australia so the interest in the field of spirituality, healing and wellness was always there. But a turning point was going to India to attend my yoga training. It felt like a calling to actually share knowledge and to help people along their spiritual path.”
How do you define wellness?
“It’s not one particular thing. It’s about how you live your life and all the lifestyle choices you make. It’s how you breathe, what you’re eating, how you’re thinking, whether you’re moving your body, or getting enough sleep at night. It’s a state of being.”
How do you balance the pressure of teaching as well as running a business?
“I’m following my heart and knowing deep down that I need to continue to do this work, whether it’s on ground, online or all over the world.
We serve some of the most unique classes in Asia and were blessed to be recently voted Yoga & Sound Healing Studio of the Year (endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism). As an entrepreneur, I feel what keeps me grounded is remembering the original intention I had to open this space. It was to help people find a safe space to heal, shift, or transform in any shape or form.”
What is the best way to relieve yourself of everyday stress?
“Stress is linked to our thoughts and how we perceive or respond to whatever is coming our way. So be aware of your internal dialogue, especially if it’s negative, complaining or blaming in nature. It’s always up to us whether you want to view the glass as half empty or half full. What someone might view as a challenge or disaster in life, another might view as an opportunity.”
“I find breathing techniques and yoga extremely beneficial, as it’s all about mindfulness and bringing you into the present moment. Stress happens when the mind is living in the past or future, but if you can use the breath to anchor you into the present, this can really shift perspectives and help calm you down.
“The amazing thing about breathwork in particular is that it requires no equipment and it can be done almost anywhere.
“Try this right now. Let us do some deep breathing together. Breathe in to the count of three and slowly with control, exhale to the count of six. Repeat this a few times and notice how in a matter of moments, you can bring in the benefits of relaxation into your being.
“When we lengthen the ratio of our exhale, we help to slow down the pace of our gushing thoughts and engage the parasympathetic nervous system and the body’s natural relaxation response. We can empower ourselves at any point in the day when you feel you need to slow down and take a breather or when you feel things are getting too much.”
Do you observe any special dietary habits?
“I am currently vegetarian. I also enjoy home made power smoothies with various superfoods in the morning because I find them so energising.”
Is there such a thing as achieving inner peace?
“When we shift our inner perspective, everything around us changes with it. Anything is possible so yes, I feel we can achieve inner peace!
“Life is never a straight road. There will always be ups and downs but if you can experience more moments of inner peace, these golden moments are so precious and healing.”