Nahid de Belgeonne, the founder of Good Vibes, believes that exercise is crucial for mental, as well as physical, health. Having worked in health food shops since she was young, Nahid knows the wellness industry inside and out. She worked in fashion and earned a Masters degree in Computer Science, before opening the first Good Vibes yoga studio in 2006. What makes Good Vibes unique is the emphasis on enjoyment in classes, and the use of exercise as a form of self care, to boost mental wellbeing. It was also the first independent Power Plates studio in the UK. Despite running her own company Nahid manages to seem calm, and is perhaps one of the most insightful people we have spoken to in the wellness industry. Nahid is now a British Wheel of yoga accredited teacher, and the yoga expert for Aveda UK, and therefore a total girlboss!
How did you first get involved in yoga, and what are your tips for a complete beginner?
I absolutely didn’t think yoga was for me, but I found myself working in a stressful job that paid really well but didn’t nourish my soul. I handed my notice in after 7 years without any idea what I was going to do next. I decided to book myself onto a yoga holiday to see if I could finally get what yoga was about. I googled and found Huzur Vadisi in Turkey and the teacher teaching at the time I could get away was called Simon Low, he was one of the founding directors of Triyoga and while there I totally got it, it gave me access to an inner peace that I had never felt before.
We have heard that yoga can make hair grow faster, and even combat hair loss. What are some other benefits can people see from yoga?
The real fruits of yoga is that it is a healing practice and trains us in the long term to be emotionally resilient, so that you can tap into the rest, digest and healing part of your nervous system both on and off the mat. I used to be so reactive and now I allow myself time to pause, consider and then respond.
Like yoga, we believe that hair oiling is a ritual. How do you fit yoga into your daily routine, and how can others learn to do the same?
We are all so busy these days and so you have to decide to make time for the things that make you feel good, I fit in a 45 minute yoga practice in the mornings, it is my daily non-negotiable habit, my mat is laid out in the bedroom and I have cultivated the discipline of stepping on the mat no matter what. If for some reason I don’t manage the morning, I’ll step on the mat in the evening, the practice can be a flow, an exploration of just a few poses or restorative yoga but it is every day.
When you first became vegan, there weren’t many resources and recipes online. What are some tips you wish you’d had when you were starting out?
The internet! Looking up recipes in the health food shop or the farmers market so that you can buy your ingredients and feel inspired – it is so handy! I also wish I had invested in a slow cooking pot when I was younger, you pop everything into the pot in the morning, set the timer and you come in to a hot meal in winter – amazing! I am not vegan anymore, I am a pescatarian but I still don’t eat meat – I haven’t for about 30 odd years.
At Alchemy, our products are 100% vegan certified. What are your thoughts on vegan beauty? What are some of your favourite beauty products?
I prefer my ingredients as pure as possible as what you put on your skin impacts your inner body and I favour products that do not engage in animal testing. I buy from Organic Pharmacy, I particularly like their liquid eyeliner. I make my deodorant from coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda and essential oils, I also make my own pulling oils.
We believe in tailoring our hair oils to fit our clients’ moods and emotions. Which yoga classes would you recommend for someone looking to boost their energy? And which ones would you suggest for relaxation?
I’d recommend a vinyasa or hatha flow to boost your energy and a restorative yoga for relaxation, you are held by props so that the body can totally let go, its delicious!
Do you have any hair style tips for yoga classes, so we can better concentrate on our poses?
Yes, put your hair up on top of your head so that when you lie down you don’t have your ponytail sticking into the back of the head and wear clothes that don’t vex you. Tucking things in or being fearful of too much boobage in a revealing top is exactly what you don’t want to be concerned with on the mat. I favour natural fabrics and easy styles that you can tuck in so that your clothes aren’t a distraction. Oh and check your backside in a mirror – there are so many leggings out there that go too translucent when you bend over.
The different seasons can be hard on the hair- what are some self care tips you would suggest for combatting Winter?
I put a facial oil on my face at night and I also have 3 spoons of linseed oil a day – it is rich in omega 3 which is good for heart health, regulates cholesterol and is good for the brain. I use a put a little coconut oil in my hair if it feels dry and wrap a scarf around my head and leave I tin overnight, I wash it out in the morning – it leaves my hair feeling silky soft.