November 1, 2019
Saigon is a whirlwind of thrumming motorbikes and air quality creeping down the dodgy side of the index, a mishmash of buildings stacked up like boxes. It’s temptation galore in the form of buzzing rooftop sundowners, upscale restaurants, low-key beer joints. The chairs of its countless coffee shops spill out onto the pavements, mingling with food vendors and swerving motorcycles. It’s an absorbing, electric frenzy of fun and I embrace it all. But there does come a point when it can seem overwhelming, leaving me gasping for some greenery, with the urge to run from the ruckus. That’s when it’s time to weave a little wellness into your daily routine in the city without having to make that run for the nearest hills. Let me give you the lowdown on these sanity-preserving pockets of loveliness.
Saigon’s newbie Nulla is a combo of zero-waste café, natural product shop, and yoga studio. Its upstairs yoga studio offers one daily class, including aerial yoga and its stress-busting qualities of hanging upside down in a hammock. Extend your post-yoga high and tuck into a poke bowl, sip on a smoothie, slurp some Da Lat coffee. Browse and sample local foodie treats in its shop, or plan a pamper with the likes of scented candles, essential oil face serums, and creams.
Nulla: 168 Lê Lai, P, Quận 1. HCMC
This is where I head for my daily yoga fix. With two locations in the city and a packed timetable with two classes per hour morning until night, it’s the very definition of convenience. It’s what you’d call a yoga factory, churning out a stream of smiley yogis by the minute. All styles of yoga are offered, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, and Yin.
11b Nguyen Binh Khiem, District 1. HCMC
9 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 6, Quận 3, HCMC
Minding its own business in a quiet area of District 2, it’s a villa-based sanctuary offering wellness treats in mood-lifting surroundings replete with vibrant splashes of color from flowers, décor and what it puts on your plate. Spend a day of R&R languorously lunching on healthy fare, a pamper with a premium facial, a dip in the pool and then commit to a poolside sofa, basking in its serene garden…. And then perhaps a cheeky gin cocktail to seal the day.
L’Herbanyste: 215E4 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
Craving your yoga free of the sounds of honking traffic? Then walk through natural, leafy surroundings away from the main drag and reach the nook for you. The glass-walled studio invites a deluge of light, and classes and workshops are taught by experienced pros. Yoga Pod offers seven daily classes during the week, and four at the weekends
Yoga Pod: 28 Đường Thảo Điền, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
This friendly studio is the brainchild of Suzanne Vian, one of Asia’s most celebrated names in yoga teacher training. It has a community feel and offers a couple of classes per day, most of which last 75 minutes and are all creatively sequenced, with a major focus on physical and mental wellbeing. There’s everything from resetting restorative classes, sweaty vinyasa flows, and kids’ yoga to teacher training.
Jiva Studio: 50 Ngô Quang Huy, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
Spiced is a co-working-cum-foodie haven set in a beautiful District 2 villa. It brings a generous sprinkling of seasoning to a workday compared to those flavorless corporate workspaces that are springing up all over the city. Knuckle down in a bright and airy attic co-working space or veg out by the pool in a tropical garden, then tuck into a nourishing spiced-up lunch prepared by its renowned in-house chef, Tri Phan. A workday spent here leaves you feeling recharged with your daily dose of greenery, piquant cuisine and a variety of spots for grafting or bantering with co-workers. It’s an inspiring setting where work, fun, and foodiness come together under one happy roof. It also hosts pop-up food soirées and marketing guidance courses.
Spiced: 15/1 Đường số 10, P, Binh An, Quận 2. HCMC
Let’s talk about food. La Holista is a holistic health and wellness company that crafts plant-based foodie delights, such as sugar and gluten-free cakes and cookies, energy balls and bread. It also delivers nutritious meals in biodegradable sugarcane containers. All of this is the fruit of the collaboration of Chiara Squinzi, a Health Coach and Medical Practitioner, along with Pascale Fioretti, an experienced hospitality professional, NLP & Executive Coach. They organize monthly hikes for a day-long blast of local nature, as well as events such as Kombucha-making workshops.
La Holista: 22a01 Đường 64, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
If your body is a temple, then Mandala is your mecca with wellness as its worship. This spacious villa (yep, another one complete with garden and pool) opens its doors for eclectic classes in its well-kitted-out studio, such as pre-natal Pilates, adventure yoga, yoga for older bodies, Ashtanga meditation and Reiki shares. If you’ve got a dose of the mopes, there’s nothing like its juice cleanses to set you on the trackback to vitality. Try out some alternative medicine treatments such as osteopathy, acupuncture, Reiki, energy healing, reflexology, medical and clinical massage, deep tissue & sports therapy to relieve those aches and pains.
Mandala Wellness: 41Trần Ngọc Diện, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
Aveda Herbal and Wellness
Aveda H&W is all about Ayurveda, a way to future-proof your body from any nasties that creep up on you as you age. Ayurveda uses herbs to gets the right to the source of your health issues with its oil massages, treatments, and medicines. I went for my favorite: the Shirodhara, which is layer upon layer of warm herbal oil poured onto your forehead for about 45 minutes, which sends you into a state of blissful relaxation. If you’ve got about of insomnia or are plagued by headaches, this can be your go-to treatment.
Aveda Herbal and Wellness: 1 Xuân Thủy, Thảo Điền, Quận 2. HCMC
Yoga Joy Saigon
Yoga Joy Saigon is a boutique yoga sanctuary that offers an array of classes such as Hatha, restorative, HIT x yoga, slow flow and Pilates. Its major draw is family and children’s yoga, for some healthy family time that aims at unveiling the fun element of yoga. It’s the ideal spot to instill some healthy living habits in the little ones while having some playful fun with the family.
Yoga Joy Saigon: 14 Đường P, Tân Phong, Quận 7. HCMC