Like your favorite wellness retreat, spa and holistic health clinic in one, THE WELL, located in Manhattan’s Union Square neighborhood, is the first-of-its kind wellness space that delivers integrated holistic, bespoke treatments from top practitioners for busy professionals.
Founded by Rebecca Parekh, the former COO of Deepak Chopra Radical Well-Being and a director at Deutsche Bank, THE WELL opened in 2019 and considers itself an ‘ecosystem for wellness.’ Guests have access to well-known, world-class doctors and healers for functional medicine treatments, nutritional counseling, Eastern healing practices, yoga and fitness, mental and emotional support services, a full-service spa, reflexology and virtual workouts and appointments. Not only that, but the 15,000-square-foot features ethereal interiors of stark-white walls, ambient lighting and contemporary decor. There’s also a juice bar, vitamin bar and cafe, plus a brand-new line of self-care products and immune-strengthening supplements, tinctures and powders (perfect for winter’s impending flu season). Wellness and self-care are more important than ever right now, so we caught up with Rebecca on wellness rituals she swears by and how her routine has changed since quarantine.
What do you do daily for your wellness?
Wellness is a big word and can mean different things on different days. I try to check in with myself daily to get a sense of what I need in that moment. Yoga is a non-negotiable for me. I love starting each day with mindful movement and purposeful breaths, especially in these stressful times. It helps to ground me and set me up for a more balanced day. Lately, I take walks outdoors while taking calls and on the weekends, I leave my phone behind and take in my surroundings. Nature is my new favorite pastime, and I feel the effects on my nervous system almost immediately when I step outside. I also prioritize food and what I eat. I love to cook and make sure to get in lots of greens and nutrient-dense foods on a daily basis especially when thinking about immune health and building resiliency this fall.
What do you do weekly for your wellness?
I love to set aside a night or two a week to stay in, cook a great meal and get to bed early. These low-key evenings really help me recalibrate and feel refreshed for the rest of the week. It has obviously been far easier to make this happen during quarantine, but I’ll continue to make time for this when life gets back to “normal.”
Beyond nights at home, there’s a lot I like to do on a weekly basis so the key for me is planning ahead. I build anchors into the week, like barre classes, time with friends, therapy and acupuncture. Once it’s on the calendar it’s a lot more likely to happen. It’s dynamic though — I don’t have a set checklist that says I have to do xyz every single week. It depends what’s happening in the moment: Sometimes wellness for me is a night with my laptop catching up on emails and work; sometimes it is a night out with friends. For me, it’s about balance and figuring out what I need more of or less of in that moment.
What do you do monthly for your wellness?
I’m involved with a few non-profits and very passionate about politics so I carve out time for that each month. I love music, so pre-quarantine I went to live concerts and performances when my favorite artists came through town. I try to attend interesting talks, lectures and conferences whenever possible and find that learning and education is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. My colleague recently inspired me to start each month with a list of intentions — what I’m going to focus on, a theme for the month, new habits I want to start. Time seems to be moving at hyper-speed these days, and I’m excited to use this as an opportunity to be intentional with my time and make sure I’m prioritizing the things that matter to me the most.
What do you do yearly for your wellness?
Every year I try to plan a big trip and travel somewhere interesting. I grew up in New Jersey but spent many summers visiting my dad’s family in India and traveling internationally. Those experiences at a young age really shaped my view of the world and broadened my perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day, and I find traveling is a powerful way to reset. I also have a few annual family trips that I look forward to, like celebrating my parents’ birthdays, visiting my brothers and gathering during the holidays. My family is such a big part of my life, and I feel my best when we’re together. I also love a good wellness retreat. I’ve been fortunate to attend yoga retreats all over the world and they’ve been some of the most transformational experiences of my life. It was during a weekend retreat in Sedona, Arizona 11 years ago that the idea for THE WELL was born!
Do you have any daily rituals you swear by?
Dry brushing, mindful eating, taking my daily supplements — these are quick simple things that I do each day. I’ve started chanting the Gayatri Mantra at the end of my morning yoga practice, which is a really powerful invocation and an amazing way to start the day. Lately I like to take an evening shower and use THE WELL Reset Oil before dinner. It signals to my body that it’s time to transition. According to my colleague Ananta, Director of Ayurveda at THE WELL, showering is one of the best practices for mental health in Ayurveda as you literally and figuratively rinse away the day. This new ritual has been a lifesaver during these months of work-from-home Zoom marathons.
What do you do to stay sane amid the current state of the world?
I try my best to take things day by day and focus on what’s on my plate in that particular moment. Life, after all, is a collection of moments. There is so much suffering and uncertainty in the world right now and I’m trying to channel my emotions into action. This upcoming election is so important, and I’m pouring my heart and energy into getting out the vote. If we care about wellness, we need to take it to the polls (or request our mail-in ballots). Elected officials control a lot — from the food on our plate to our access to healthcare. I’m spending time getting educated on policy issues, talking to representatives, supporting grassroots organizations and working towards a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable healthcare system.
THE WELL is pioneering a new way to care for your health. Drawing from both Eastern and Western medicine, we bring together doctors and healers to collaborate and create best-in-class spaces, products and content that help you feel the best you can.