Rosanne Lee is a Vietnamese-Canadian who has been in Saigon since 1996. She is the founder of Mandala Wellness, a sustainable and comprehensive platform dedicated to health and wellness.
Hidden Saigon (HS): What brought you to Vietnam?
Rosanne Lee (RL): I moved to Vietnam in 1996 from Vancouver. My background is in Marketing and I came to open the first water park in Vietnam. The project fell through in the first year and I then was recruited by one of the first international advertising agencies to come into Vietnam. After that I joined my husband in building an interior design and architecture firm.
HS: Please tell us a bit about Mandala Wellness Center. What services do you offer?
RL: Mandala Wellness connects holistic health service providers to people looking for more balance and health in their life. Services include:
Holistic health: acupuncture, counseling and psychotherapy, energy healing, hypnotherapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy, podiatry, reiki, reflexology, sound therapy, therapeutic bodywork and more
Healthy cold-pressed juices for delivery only
Classes: yoga, Pilates, somatic movement, meditation
Workshops, courses, and events related to health & wellness
Our mission is to provide knowledge and the opportunity for people to take better control over their lives by being more connected to themselves and their environment
HS: What prompted you to start the center?
RL: I have always had a passion for health and fitness. I started to teach fitness classes the week after I arrived in a couple of the 5-star hotels as a way to keep active and balance from the corporate life, as well as to share my knowledge with the Vietnamese about health. At that time this information was not available in Vietnam. When I left the corporate world, I wanted to do something that was more meaningful and related to my passion for health, healing, and sharing…Mandala was born!
HS: What is the holistic and wellness movement/scene like here in Saigon?
RL: The movement is still new and the local community of wellness practitioners and wellness knowledge is growing. With people’s concern for safe food in Vietnam and the growing interest for yoga and fitness, people are seeking to find information about how to be healthier, more balanced, and heal. We are seeing more wellness practitioners coming to Vietnam and wanting to share their knowledge by offering their services or giving courses and workshops. Like the movement elsewhere in the world, there is a growing trend towards vegetarianism and veganism, and we are seeing some great sustainable local products come onto the market.
HS: Where do you see Mandala Wellness Center in 3 years time?
RL: In 3 years Mandala Wellness will have several locations throughout the country servicing the Vietnamese community with Vietnamese practitioners, leading retreats and workshops, and private consultations.
HS: How has COVID 19 impacted your business and what have you done to sustain yourself through this?
RL: We closed Mandala Wellness mid-March ahead of the lockdown as we did not want to risk the health of our staff, practitioners, and clients. Having no income for over a month is daunting! But the economic gain is not worth our health and it was the right decision to make.
HS: Do you have any nutritional and health tips you want to share with people to help them through this pandemic?
RL: Nutritional and health tips during these strange times...try to limit the exposure to information about the pandemic as it can be overwhelming and confusing. Get outside into nature even if it’s on your balcony or roof. Get some sun and feel the air. Get rest and if that means an extra nap, go for it. It’s ok to be slower these days. Practice a few deep breaths when you wake up and/or before going to bed. Drink and eat well. I like lemon juice and smoothies as they are easy and quick to make and you can use up old fruits & veggies.
HS: If people wanted to read up or get more information on holistic and wellness are there any sites or books you recommend?
RL: The below blogs and sites are my recommendations: