Every first of the month I’ll interview an inspiring person about his or her life. What does her inspire her, how she deals with modern life and how she started her business? This month Victoria from Nasma Life. I met her a couple of months ago when I was lucky to receive a massage at her beautiful place. I was pretty amazed! Felt so good and relaxed after the massage. When I travelled around in Thailand I took Thai Yoga Massages very often, but I really love Victoria’s style. Like she says: massage should be like a dance between two people. How did she get into the world of massage and vegan food?
How did you start your business: Nasma Life?
I moved to Amsterdam mid 2012 from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, after having lived & worked there for a year during my travels within South East Asia from 2010. Immersed in Thai Massage and other Eastern holistic therapies during the time I was there – Thai yoga massage resonated with me. I was blown away on how good my body felt during and after a session. From there the idea of Nasma Life happened pretty organically when I arrived in Amsterdam, asking myself ‘what next?’ With the desire to dive into learning this healing practice, coupled with the fact I love to travel & I love South East Asia, it was a really nice way to still stay connected to that vibe and continue to travel back to Thailand (and surrounds) each year.
Nasma Life started around the base of Thai yoga massage therapy – travelling back and forth to Chiang mai, Thailand and exploring the different practices with this form of body work. Through the development of my practice, came lifestyle changes, growth and exploration. From there, veganism became a big focus for me and with that the creativity in food preparation and conscious consumption.
Can you explain something about the benefits of Thai Yoga Massage?
It is a practice to experience more so than to theorize. To explain it in words, the first word that comes to mind is ‘openness’ – on a physical and with that an energetic level. It is not a static practice; it is a very rhythmic movement between giver and receiver – in this dance flow. The whole body moves and you feel this kind of stir of energy and release in a very calm rhythmic way. The beauty of Thai massage working on a floor matt, opens you up to a full range of movement and space – openness! There is beauty and healing in being able to stretch and move the body in its full range, generating energy flow in all directions. Each practice is unique as we bring together our own unique bodies and energy into play.
Why and when did you go vegan?
My lifestyle choice of veganism came pretty organically and over time. The biggest shift for me was when I began diving deeper into self-healing practices and becoming more ‘aware’ & conscious in my day to day choices. I have always said and believed I love animals deeply – but then to what extent? Is it exclusive to certain species? or clouded by ignorance in how we use animals for our own consumption? So basically it evolved from cutting certain groups out of my diet over a few years – pescatarian, vegetarian – until finally the questions within my subconscious, I couldn’t justify anymore and I just thought “I can do this” – If I can live this life plant based and spare animals through my own consumption (whilst also having a great impact on the environment and my health), then why not!?
Do you have a morning ritual?
I love sleeping so I must be self-disciplined with my mornings… Every morning I wake up and the first thing I’ll do is take a huge glass of warm water, either with a pure Aloe Vera shot in it or on its own. Currently I have also been drinking a large glass of home brewed kombucha first thing. It’s excellent for your digestive system! I like to then go back to my room and sit on the floor, on a cushion and take some time to practice a few breathing exercises and quiet meditation time, to still my mind for the day ahead. Then a shower, breakfast, emails (either stretch out a bit with yoga in the lounge or manage to catch a morning class at the studio if I’m free…) then whatever else is in-store for the day… hopefully Thai massage or making a yummy vegan cake.
What do you eat on an average day?
I love to cook and I love simple delicious ‘no frills’ food. What I love about a Vegan diet is that there are so many easy and accessible options and it doesn’t have to be ‘difficult’. Breakfast will usually be gluten-free bread (toasted) with half an avocado and Marmite (a Kiwi cult classic spread, try it!), water & an almond milk coffee. Lunch is pretty flux, depending on what my day is like, a simple salad or wrap with water is most common. Dinner is a really enjoyable part of my (our) day, I usually cook and always come up with something different depending on what we have in the fridge – no recipe ever seems the same as I just go with what I have. If we are lucky that evening then a slice of one of my raw or ‘nobake’ vegan cake for dessert.
What are your 5 favorite ingredients?
I would say avocados are up there, super versatile for cooking. Chilli & garlic, I basically use these two in all my savory meals. Coriander love it! Cashews, they are the super nut for savory and sweet dishes. Last but not least courgette (zucchini) amazing, raw and cooked – again for sweet and savory.
I don’t eat a lot of chocolate but when I do I’d have to say hands down the VEGO whole hazelnut chocolate bar!
How do you stay in shape?
Cycling everywhere is such a gift here in Amsterdam, so cycling is a given. My yoga practice, every day I will stretch out but I like to have at least 4 days in a week where I challenge myself in a stronger flow and sweat!!
How do you deal with modern life?
Travel! It is my vice! I make it a priority each year to visit Asia for at least a few weeks. I feel free when I’m travelling/visiting South East Asia – it keeps me grounded and connected to the important stuff like love and life experiences and disconnects me from worries and stresses that ‘modern life’ in a city can bring.
Do you have any beauty rituals?
My skincare routine is pretty simple. I wash my face and body with an organic tea tree soap & any blemishes I use pure tea tree oil. I use pure argan oil around my eyes & my home blend of coconut/almond/sesame oil with an essential oil on my body. I wash my hair with salt shampoo, very cleansing and gives it a bit of grip.
What cosmetic brand do you use?
Lush is definitely my ‘go to’ – I love the products on offer and they clearly mark vegan items. Plus it smells wicked!
What is the best place to go eat out?
At the moment we love the Food Hallen which is super close to our apartment. It offers an array of food choices for all diets, so a great place to meet and share a meal with friends.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. …” – Gandhi
What do you do if you really want to relax?
I’d dive into a good book (hopefully on a cozy rainy day with a blanket, comfy socks on my couch with my two cats) – I enjoy true stories about travelling adventures; ‘Shantaram’ is an excellent read. At the moment I’m reading ‘Revolution’ by Russell Brand.
My favorite city is Chiang Mai, I love it there, my home away from home.
Do you have an ultimate health tip?
Color and creativity into your cooking is my tip. If your plate is full with the colors of nature then you’re pretty much set. Be creative with what you have and keep it simple.