Women We Admire | Tonya the well woman
Tonya is founder of The Well Woman, a business and community for modern holistic wellness. Her philosophy is simple. Radiance starts on the inside. Eat whole foods. Learn to interpret and listen to your body. Talk about your feelings. Meditate often. Support your community. Trust and develop your intuition. Listen to the moon. Stay curious. Leave the planet better than you found it. She hopes that through inspiring a connection with nourishing foods, ritual and self-care others can experience the same healing that she has from chronic health issues.
Province Apothecary: What do you do when you wake up?
Tonya: Well I just figured out how to change the scary alarm tone on my iPhone to a selected song from my Apple Music. So now I wake up peacefully to the angelic sound of “Ik Ardas Wahe Guru” from the White Sun album, instead of terrified and anxious at the sound of an awful alarm tone! That has been revolutionary! White Sun is an LA-based band that does incredible interpretations of yogic mantras. Beautiful way to rise. Once I turn my alarm off, I then do a silent gratefulness practice. I throw my hands up, palms facing upward to the sky and just go over all that I have to be grateful for. This practice puts me in a good headspace to begin my day. I was inspired to start this technique when I heard about it from Nitsa Citrine. I read an interview of hers where she did that, with the hands up. I gave it a try one morning and it stuck. After that, I chug a glass of water or herbal tea. From there I will do a short breath work and meditation series (time permitting). I try to make it a priority but of course, some mornings are busier than others.
PA: What do you eat for a power breakfast?
T: My breakfasts are quite consistent and I always go for a “power” breakfast! This usually means a smoothie packed full of strengthening and supporting foods, herbs and adaptogens. The ingredients change but there is almost always kale (because kale!), reishi (to strengthen the immune system), ashwagandha (for adrenal/stress support), slippery elm (digestive support) and maca (for the endocrine system). Other ingredients I use often include chia seeds, bee pollen, spirulina, cacao, matcha… the list could go on but I’ll save myself from sounding like too much of a superfood junkie :) And I also add a scoop of plant-based protein. This sets my day and body up to be fully supported for whatever comes my way, on top of giving me tons of energy!
PA: Name a book or a band you love right now.
T: Book: Conscious Loving by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks.
Album: White Sun II :)
PA: How do you ground yourself (during the day)?
T: By remembering to breath. It always comes back to the breath. This is the most instantaneous way to get into my body and back to the present moment. Also getting into nature. This always leaves me awe-inspired and feeling grounded and tethered to this beautiful planet.
PA: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
T: I am very inspired by Japanese aesthetic, world view, tea rituals, food. If I could go anywhere, right now I’d have to choose Japan.
PA: What's your best business advice?
T: Slow down and consider what you are truly, eagerly passionate about. What cause keeps you up at night? What kind of changes do you wish to see for our future? If we all launched businesses from our hearts, with the intention of spreading love and consciousness, then we could see the changes our future desperately needs. Plus, this type of business, figuring out your life’s work, fosters a fulfillment that is ineffable.
PA: What women do you admire?
T: My mom, Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Khalo, Michelle Obama, Amanda Chantal Bacon, Sarah Britton, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Alice Waters, Rupi Kaur, Eva Cabaca, Donna Gates, Hulda Clark, MFK Fisher — so many more!
Tonya Papanikolov, B.Sc., RYT, CNP | The Well Woman | @thewellwoman_
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