Meet Steph Johnson – Yoga Teacher & Manager of COMO Shambhala Urban Retreat

First up, briefly tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m the manager & resident yoga instructor at COMO Shambhala Urban
. I was first introduced to yoga when i was 16 as method of coping with stress and anxiety. I credit the practice for providing a close-knit community, support and guidance that I so desperately needed, something I’m now recreating with COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Perth’s urban wellness center in the heart of Perth CBD.

I have practiced yoga for more than a decade, and have completed my Level 1 (350 hour) Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda teacher training with Tamara Yoga, in Western Australia. I have also trained with internationally renowned yoga and tantra teachers such as Seane Corn, Simon Borg-Olivier and Chantelle Boscarello.

Tell us about your daily beauty routine! What are your non-negotiables for looking and feeling your best?.

Self-practice! I can not walk out the door without doing my own practice. I HAVE to check in with myself every morning and every night! I’m also a bit of an obsessive shower-er, I have been known to have 4 showers a day… some may call that OCD…

What’s the one beauty treatment you can’t live without? And your favourite place to have it done?

Hair cut!! I started going grey at 24 (eek!) and I cut my hair every 8 weeks.

Who do you trust with your hair in Perth, and why?

Alicia from Baseline Hairdressing in Subiaco, she’s the bomb!

Favourite budget / at home beauty treatment?

Massaging sesame oil all over my body.. it’s whacky but it’s incredibly nourishing & calming and a fantastic remedy for anxious or ‘Vata’ types.

Your three, absolutely cannot live without, favourite products?

Bare Minerals Powder, Nars Laguna Bronzer and toothpaste.

What beauty treatment/ wellbeing activity would you love to try but haven’t yet?

You wouldn’t believe it but i have never done Jacobs Ladder… I seriously have to get there!! Otherwise Indoor Cycling scares the CRAP out of me but I’m game. Also, I’m rather curious about this new buzz on pole dancing!

Describe a typical day of eating for you – brekky, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks – the works!

Oh gosh, I’m really quite simple. I’ll have a smoothie and a cup of tea before I head out the door. Lunch is generally eggs in some form either on a salad or on toast with avocado and vegemite and dinner is greens with tempeh, salmon or roasted vegetables with some sort of tahini apple cider vinegar. I kind of do things on repeat…

How do you like to get your body moving? Describe your weekly fitness routine.

Yoga yoga yoga! And a walk once or twice a week. I am also occasionally dragged to a cardio session with friends… kicking and screaming though!

♥ Reece Carter (The Herb Nerd!) Dose Vitality Tonic!

Do you take part in any alternative therapies or take supplements? If so, we’d love to hear about it!

I am always trying out weird and wonderful things. I get a remedial massage once a month from Louise @ Resolve Remedial MAssage in Claremont, I went through a stage of getting bowen therapy, acupuncture and reiki once a week, I practice a lot of Tantra and I take 5ml of Reece Carter’s Dose Vitality Tonic once a day. Also.. chocolate!! LOTS OF IT! Is that a supplement? (ED: Yes.)

You’ve got a big event in 7 days time that you need to look incredible for. What’s your plan of attack to look & feel your absolute best?

Sleep, meditation, yoga, water and clean eating. That’s it. Not complicated. Straight to the point and very
manageable. I’m not one for big diets or restrictions. These are my non- negotiable and they work.

How do you like to relax? What are your favourite ways to de-stress? Yoga, Meditation and my body coated in sesame oil with a cup of tea and a good book. I’m currently reading: Relax & Renew, Tantra: The Path of Ecstacy & The Girls.

How many hours sleep do you usually get each night? Do you have any bedtime rituals or tips to help you get a great nights sleep?

I sleep 8 hours a night….without fail. I will always have a shower before bed, then check in with myself. This will either be in the form of just breathing, moving energy or meditating. Reading a book with a cup of peppermint tea is a pretty common practice too.

And lastly… do you have any top secret tips you use to keep looking / feeling great?

Be authentic!! Always be yourself. Trying to be something or someone else will only create suffering which in turn will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Being you, being bold and being brave will always reward you! And then of course.. yoga, water, meditation, self-reflection and lots of self care will help you along.

You can find Steph @ Como Shambhala Urban Retreat Perth:

1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth

Instagram: @comoshambhalaperth

If you have any questions for Steph please leave them in the comments below so she can reply! 🙂

Be well,


Wellness Wrap-Up: Bikram Yoga Comes to Perth City, More Acai in Fremantle, Free Fitness Classes & Your Best Booty Yet!

What started as an idea for a fortnightly segment has quickly turned very popular, with over 150 views in one day of the first edition (!) – and as I was squirreling away information for the next wrap-up, it quickly became obvious that there is just SO much going on in Perth’s wellness scene right now that a weekly post might be more fitting, so here we go! Would love your feedback as always xo

♥ Acai Brothers Fremantle

With warm weather just around the corner and beach season just about to get into full swing, there’s nothing like an icy bowl of deliciousness to help you escape the heat. Even better if that icy bowl comes in the form of a superfood-packed, skin & body loving antioxidant feast that just so happens to be bright purple and out of this world tasty.

While Natures Harvest, Bowl’n, Ohana Acai Bar, Hylin, Pearth Organic & more have been serving up Acai bowls on the reg in Perth for a while now – Acai Brothers Fremantle are the latest folks to join in on the action.

Initial reports seem to indicate that all of the bowls are blended with guarana with no option for omission – which may cut out a lot of their potential customer base (including me!) who are sensitive to caffeine/stimulants – but if an intense hit of energy along with your daily superfood dose is what you’re after, then this might just be your new favourite healthy haunt.

Acai Brothers is located @ 64 High Street, Fremantle.

The latest new yoga studio to get bendy, stretchy & sweaty in Perth is Original Hot Yoga – located on the cusp of Highgate & East Perth! Offering 100% Bikram Yoga classes (a sequence of 26 postures & 2 breathing exercises are practiced in a room heated to 40 degrees), this studio promises to change your life in 60 days.

Curious to check it out but worried about the heat or not being flexible enough? All of the classes cater to beginners – you’re more than welcome to rest at any time during class and just breathe on your mat. Just make sure to drink 2-3 litres of water per day when practicing & get your electrolytes in, as you’ll lose loads of water with all the sweating you’ll be doing.

Original Hot Yoga is located at 179 Claisebrook Road, Perth, and will be opening In November.

♥ HBF Free Fitness Classes are Back!

HBF offer free fitness classes to their members each year for 8 weeks and you’ll no doubt see large groups of people exercising around the place taking advantage of the generous offer! If you’re a member head over to the HBF Fitness website to sign up and start your Summer fitness journey.

♥ Lisa Burns Training Studio!

Last but certainly not least is a brand new studio from booty-sculpting dream babe Lisa Burns. Her brand new location in Doubleview, which is aptly named “Lisa Burns Training Studio“, is your one stop shop to get bikini ready & that booty poppin’.

Her signature “Booty Burn” class has a cult following, and take it from personal experience – your butt, thighs & stomach will be sore for DAYS. But the results are so worth it.

Along with Booty Burn the studio also offers Box & Booty (can’t wait to try this one!), Strength & Flow and regular boxing classes to fast-track your way to ultra fit. Once you’ve felt the burn you can check out the on-site cafe, Mr Herbert’s, for a caffeine, cold-pressed juice or raw treat fix. What more could you want?

Lisa Burns Training Studio is located at 243 Herbert Street, Doubleview.

Let me know in the comments below if you’re keen to check out any of these new Perth wellness & fitness options!

Be well,



Wellness Wrap-Up: Fire & Flow Launch, Two Perth CBD Vegan Lunch Options, Bowl’n is Back & LaFIT is Coming to Highgate!!

Hey wellness lovers! Welcome to a new bi-weekly series which will bring you all the latest beauty, health & wellness happenings in Perth 🙂 I hear so many exciting bits and pieces of news on a daily basis and am really looking forward to sharing all the brand new local wellness news every 2 weeks! Let me know what you think of this new section xo

♥ Fire & Flow Launch @ Matisse Beach Club in Scarborough

Launched this week is the brand new fitness method, Fire & Flow, which is a blend of sweaty High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to get your endorphins buzzing & heart pumping, followed by a gentle yoga flow to calm the mind and body – it’s the perfect mix to get you fit, toned & totally zen. Classes will be held in Wembley to begin with, and Fire & Flow offer an instructor-training for those who want to run their own sessions of this unique style! Head to the Fire & Flow website to find out how you can #sweatandreset!

♥ Perth CBD Vegan Cafe – Roark & Co!

Seeing more and more vegan & vegetarian options popping up in our little city makes my heart incredibly happy. As I work in the CBD and there is strangely very few great vego options around, I had resigned myself to the deliciousness and expanding waistline that Lord of the Fries (an all vegetarian fast food chain!) brings.

Enter newcomers Roark & Co + Kat’s Snacks. Both 100% vegan, 1000% delicious and conveniently situated very close to each other in Raine Square, making it your one stop shop for ridiculously tasty veg delights in the CBD.

Roark & Co serve up Pulled Jackfruit Wraps, which are incredible, along with a rotating selection of salads, loads of different patties, home-made soup, cold-pressed juice, kombucha and more. Plus the service is super friendly!

♥ Vegan Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sprouted Mini Loaves @ Kat’s Snacks – ’nuff said

Kat’s Snacks will have you dreaming of their Sprouted Mini Loaves which will thrill your tastebuds while giving you stable energy through the day. Their Peanut Noodle Salad and Lentil Burger with Hand-Cut Fries are my personal favourites, and they also serve up fresh pies, toast with loads of different toppings which look amazing & much more.

Be sure to pay both of these small local businesses a visit! They are both located on the ground floor of Raine Square and are open weekdays 🙂

Bowl’n is almost back!

Ever since CBD favourites Bowl’n disappeared from their William Street location earlier in the year, the city has been sorely lacking in superfood smoothies & bowls. With warmer weather just around the corner – apparently! – our favourite Instagram-able treats are about to return to our fair city. With a new location on King Street/St Georges Terrace currently in the works, it wont be long before city workers can get their daily dragonfruit fix, bump up productivity with a cacao smoothie & pack in the acai antioxidants after a weekend of partying. I can’t wait.

♥ LaFIT Studio in Subiaco… opening in Highgate soon! Photo: The Essentialist Blog

The Life Changing Magic of LaFIT. For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, LaFIT is a one-of-a-kind (literally, there are no other studios in Perth offering this method), body-sculpting, butt-toning, low-impact workout that takes place on a Megaformer, will leave your body shaking & basically works fitness miracles.

It’s been many months since I’ve taken a class and my Winter body is begging me to get back there. Luckily for me, and you, the babes Claire & Jaye behind this sensation are in the process of opening a second studio in Highgate… and rumour has it that this new studio will also be bringing another brand new workout style that has a cult-like status in New York & LA to our little city. Care to take a guess?!

Which of these wellness tidbits are you most excited about?! Leave me a comment below and we can chat about it! If you hear of anything new popping up feel free to drop me a line too!

Be well,



Why I saw A Naturopath When I Felt Healthier Than Ever.

It’s been 4 years since I last popped in for a check up with my naturopath, Marnie Downer. In those past 4 years I have undergone some huge changes in my life – from working in the fast paced world of agency PR while running this website, to leaving the PR world behind for a part-time job at lululemon with dreams of growing the website to a full-time gig, and then unexpectedly starting a high-stress business from scratch for the next 3 years. During that time my body & mind were pushed to their limits. I lost 10 kilos, gained it back again & had at LEAST 2 mental breakdowns in the process.

While I’m in a much better place emotionally & physically now and I’m a big believer that everything you experience is valuable and full of lessons, I can’t help but wish I’d kept in touch with Marnie while I was going through it all so she could have helped me care for myself a little better!

Today I went to see her again for a very different reason than I have previously, and I’m going to suggest that you should do the same (with her, or another naturopath that you like the look of!) no matter what is going on in your life.

Right now, I’m in a really good place. I enjoy my job, am completing yoga teacher training, have 2-3 days off a week, am learning to cook and meal prep nourishing meals, getting Wellness WA back up and running, sleeping well, low anxiety, learning to run, starting personal training again next week… I could go on as there really are loads of things I am happy about and grateful for in my life at the moment.

However, how often do we only seek help when things are dire? When we’ve well & truly hit the wall. Ground zero. Nowhere else to go.

What if we flipped this and continued working to improve ourselves and our lives when things are already going well?

With this in mind I decided to book in to see what I could tweak and improve in my “pretty good, most of the time, except when I drink wine, eat chocolate & smash a packet of chips” health & wellness routine, so that I can run with the good things that I’ve already got, and maybe add a few little improvements here and there to see even greater results.

It was well worth the appointment and I learnt that the next steps for me personally are taking an activated vitamin b supplement to improve stress resilience, drinking licorice tea to support my adrenal glands, upping the hot water with lemon for overall vitality & making sure to make my green tea with 80 degree water instead of boiling so that all the goodness is intact.

I also feel really empowered knowing that someone has my back nutritionally, knows my full medical history & diet and is making her recommendations based on my personal body makeup and goals.

I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to a naturopath (Marnie or otherwise) – they can tell you all kinds of things you never knew about yourself and your body, and I find I learn something new every single time I have an appointment. Whether you have an acute issue, are feeling a bit stressed or even are just tired all of the time, there is help available and it’s only a phone call or an email away 🙂

So, have you considered seeing a naturopath before? Are you in a dire situation physically or mentally? Or are things going pretty good but maybe they could be just a little bit better? Let me know – my passion for this area has been reinvigorated and I’d love to help point you in the right direction!

Be well,