Life Blossom: A Space for Wellbeing with a Strong Online Presence

With a passion for fitness, playfulness and wellness and studies in Marketing Management, Vasilia Simou started her career in a top managerial role at a leading Health, Fitness and Wellness business.

In this position, she developed a deep understanding of the health and wellness world both as a business and for its importance in people’s daily lives. This led to her creating her own very popular holistic centre, called Life Blossom, in the northern suburb of Maroussi. Throughout the year (with a summer break) Life Blossom offers a broad and colourful array of classes by expert teachers, from African Dance and theatre for kids to pregnancy, Yoga and Pilates and much more. Now again facing lockdown, the classes are continuing online.

Insights Greece - Life Blossom: A Space for Wellbeing with a Strong Online Presence

Interview by Alexia Amvrazi

What led you to create Life Blossom?

They say that if the book you’d like to read has not been written, you should write it yourself. This was my main principle in creating life Blossom, which is the space that I wanted to be in, relax, work out and meditate in. A space that is humble, minimal and yet soul-enriching, full of positive energy and warmth. A place that welcomes you with hugs and smiles, hot tea and healthy, homemade bites. Essentially a space where you can blossom into your true self.

Why did you feel it was important to have a space like this?

At Life Blossom, we believe that whatever we do and feel has a direct connection to our wellness. That’s why all the activities that take place there are aimed at improving or bolstering our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. We offer ways of dispelling stress and anxiety, aches and pains and other forms of dis-ease as well as bringing out people’s inner strengths and activating their innate healing mechanisms.

What kinds of classes does Life Blossom offer?

Insights Greece - Life Blossom: A Space for Wellbeing with a Strong Online Presence

Right now it’s all about online…online, online. Of course, we prefer real and direct human connection but at least it’s a way for people to keep following their favourite classes and stay in tune with their health. We offer yoga, pilates, pregnancy yoga, music-movement classes yoga and dance for kids, meditation and more. We also organise creative workshops for kids, that include theatre games and performance among many other classes. Our site has all the details.

What are the practical challenges of running a space like this?

There are several challenges to managing a space of this kind. Firstly I need to seek out the best teachers who will suit the needs of our members. Then it’s a question of organising all the programme so that everything flows properly while remaining flexible to people’s needs and changes or other circumstances. And then I also have to manage the social media promotion of the space and all we offer. Not to mention keeping the space clean, lovely and well-maintained, preparing treats for our members and … well the list is endless!

How much do you believe Greece has ‘progressed’ in the field of holistic wellness?

Insights Greece - Life Blossom: A Space for Wellbeing with a Strong Online Presence

As ancestors of the ancient Greeks it would be near impossible to not be loyal into the wisdom of holistic wellness. For the ancient Greeks ‘evzyn’ was of utmost importance and translated as the art of wellbeing. In modern Greece, holistic wellness has become increasingly important over the last few decades and more and more people are understanding its benefits. This has become evident in the huge increase of spa hotels and centres, wellness centres of various kinds, workshops, wellness retreats around the country, classes and health food stores and restaurants.

Where in Greece are your favourite places for healing energy & why?

Ideally, I choose to visit places where I can enjoy two forms of healing energy that are vital to me – walking in nature and hot springs. The Pozar Springs in northern Greece are one of my favourite destinations as are the hot springs of Aedipsos in Evia, and those in Kammena Vourla. The list is endless! Another place I love is Andros islands in the Cyclades, where I have a house, as there I can combine wonderfully scenic mountain hikes on awarded paths with lovely swims in the sea at its many beautiful beaches.

Mastering the Art of Greek Macaroons since 1900

Made with top-quality local ingredients and in every variety imaginable, these sweets are not to be missed!

If you’re strolling along bustling Athinas St it’s easy to pass Lonis’ patisserie and miss out on a whole universe of homemade flavours. Today with three stores around Athens and catering to everything from birthday parties to weddings, the tiny shop is packed with technicolored sweets.

Here you’ll find chocolates, meringues, ice cream, cakes, cupcakes and almond confetti in every shade and shape, but the specialty here are the melt-in-your-mouth amygdalota (almond paste) biscuits. Although they are very similar to the classic French macaroons, these were originally called ergolavoi. Still using his great grandfather’s recipe from 1900, owner Panayiotis Lonis has created a grand selection of both old-fashioned and modern renditions of these macaroon-style delights.

The fluffy yet slightly crunchy and chewy biscuits are made with 75% Greek almond powder, 20% meringue from fresh eggs and 5% sugar. There’s an other-worldly selection of over 20 flavours, including hazelnut praline, serrano chocolate, bitter almond, coconut, walnut, mastic, caramel, banana, pomegranate, black forest, tiramisu and apple-cinnamon. All the jam fillings are made using fresh local fruit and there are no added preservatives. Up with the times, the patisserie also sells gluten and sugar-free versions of their best sellers.

Lonis Patisserie can be found at: Athinas 7 in Monastiraki, Kifissias Ave 92 in Maroussi, and Pringipisson 28 in Gyzi.