In lieu of this notion, we spoke to Vandana Verma for the second part of our wellness edit. We’ve been following her for her fresh, no-nonsense take on wellness, food, and travel. Aside from working for Nicobar, she is also the founder of the modern wellness website, The Tonic, where she dishes out reliable resources for everything that you need to feel good (and stay that way).
Sun sign: Aquarius
What you do: Sometimes a writer. Most times I head communications for a brand named Nicobar
What you would be doing if you didn’t do what you currently do: Some sort of movement practice or something that had me outdoors and in the sand more
City/town you presently live in: Delhi, India
Your current favourite…
Beauty products: Moon Juice Beauty Shroom exfoliating acid potion, Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher concealer, Glossier Cloud Paint, The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder
Self-care rituals: So many, particularly recently. The more nutty life gets, the longer my list gets. Current non-negotiables include: entirely alone time, vigorous oil+bodybrush exfoliation, sweaty workouts that just juice all the overthinking out of me
Instagram handles: @amandachantalbacon @desiree.pais @thebroadplace
Podcasts: Pia’s Pod and That’s So Retrograde – just cool women talking about life, love, bodies, and sex
Books: Invincible Living by Guru Jagat is a remarkable toe-dip into kundalini yoga, a practice that seems really out-there to the uninitiated but that has transformed me more than any other
Websites: Everything lives in my Feedly; an unending scroll of things to read so I’m not on Instagram
Haunt in the city: Home. Being home with my man and my dogs is where I’m happiest
Indian and international brands/designers: @lovebirds.studio @bodicebodice @claymen_ locally. Elsewhere @rosie_assoulin @reformation
First thought/word that comes to your mind when you think about Lune? Delicate, dreamy sparkle
The wellness industry: This is a tricky one for me. Years ago I started The Tonic because of a desire to engage more deeply with wellness in my work in a manner my job at the time didn’t allow. My personal practice has come a long way since but I’ve stopped documenting a lot of it because even the word, ‘wellness’, now triggers my cringe reflex because of its association with an Instagram-fuelled compulsion for obnoxiously optimum health. I’m glad people are thinking and talking about wellbeing, but commodifying mental + physical health just feels icky in a way I can’t wrap my head around.
What wellness means to you and how it fits into your daily routine: Good health and feeling inspired and happy in my skin is a 360-degree affair. Everything is connected: brain, body, food, fitness, career, relationships, sleep, stress, sex, social life… so much of what is trotted out as ‘wellness wisdom’ is really just common sense. Eat well, sleep well, do the things that make you feel good and give you the freedom to do and be the things you want to. There is so much bullshit advice floating around, or trendy eating plans that require you to think and think and think about every damn meal, and healthy eating just isn’t that complicated. It is actually obnoxiously simple. The real work is just engaging with this simple wisdom in a long-term way, the only wellness that really going to be sustainable in the long run.
On wellness while living in a city: Oh man. Sleep, sweat, stillness. Delhi is particularly sooty and chaotic and when I struggle with it proper rest, proper solitude and proper sweaty workouts go a long way toward helping me find stillness in the madness. Oh, also weekly acupuncture has helped me sleep deeper than ever before.
Sisterhood (and what it means to you now that you wish you knew 10 years ago): Women are so remarkable and I am in awe of the women in my life, super-inspired by the generosity of the feminine. We are finally in an age where we’re learning not to apologize for ourselves, to step into fully embodied leadership and I wish I’d always known what allies these women would prove to me.
On love and kindness: All day, every day. I’m learning to be kinder, I wasn’t always. I’ve always been quite sensitive, but that is, I realize now a self-preservation thing. I’m learning to turn that sensitivity outwards. As women, we are so connected to our bodies, and they’re a vessel for so much, and I’m trying to fill that vessel with good things, kind things.
On beauty: The great thing about getting older is that my idea of beauty and what is beautiful just split wide open. I’m now finding beauty in so many little things: in women and men, in the creative process, in my husband in his studio, in the way my dogs wake up and stretch… I’m learning to be more inclusive and receptive to deeper layers of beauty.
Vandana wears Shop Lune jewellery: Mama Crescent studs with the Meaning quartz necklace and Horn necklace in gold tone in the look with the green dress; the Baroque Wave pearl hoops and the Rainbow necklace with pearls with the white blouse and an assortment of Mie rings.
Photographed by Gorkey Patwal