12TH JUN 2017
MARK AND RIKAI BLONDEL, ON FINDING BALANCE
We're constantly inspired by the creative community around us, and want to bring you a window into lives of those people who who manage to create a life where refined design, a healthy lifestyle and clear mind come together seamlessly.
In life we all strive to design our best possible existence, often though, it can be hard to strike the balance between work, quality time with friends and family, creative pursuits and self-care. But some people seem to have it down to an art.
Like couple Mark and Rikai Blondel. Rikai is a women's health yoga teacher, Mark an award wining film maker, together they run a Vedic Meditation Studio and are proud parents of beautiful daughter Indigo, with another addition to their tribe soon on the way. We sat down with them to find out how they do it all and still manage to find balance.
Tell us a little bit about who guys you are and what you do?
R: I am an adventurer at heart, constantly looking for the next thing to try and experience, with the intent of developing a greater understanding of myself. I am a lover and a mother with our current creation growing in my belly. I teach yoga, specialising in women’s health.
M: I’m equal parts, traveler, and homebody. Rikai jokes that I could happily sit under a cherry tree and listen to the breeze for the rest of my days, but I’m stirred to move with life’s currents. I’m a filmmaker, and Vedic Meditation teacher. Together we’re a happy little growing tribe of three, soon to be four, living on the deep-south wilderness coast called The Sapphire.
Tell us about your new meditation studio, and why Merimbula?
M: It’s a tranquil little gem of a space hidden away in the heart of town. We moved to this area 2 years ago after travelling and a good stint in Sydney. There was a piece of land down here with a little running river that was ideal and inline with our goals of simple country living. We’re country kids at heart. Rikai grew up down here, with my childhood spent up the road in the Snowy Mountains. This deep-south environment feels like home for us. It’s pristine, uncrowded and crazy beautiful. We’ve created RṢHI Meditation Studio because we wanted to contribute something of substance to this area. Its offering will include and extend beyond yoga/meditation courses and become a space for those seeking good company, community, and activities aligned with the greater theme of self-discovery. We’ll also offer travel and accommodation options for busy Sydney-siders and Melbournites to fly in and experience the beauty of the area, and master meditation on an ideal getaway.
R: It’s such a beautiful space; a peaceful nest tucked away in the central area of town. We wanted to create an accessible space where people can gather and feel a part of and supported by a conscious community. As well as provide a fitting escape for city dwellers.
Describe each of your daily routines, and the one daily ritual you can’t live without?
M: We tend to wake before the Sun and begin with Agnihotra, an ancient super science to purify and balance mind, body and environment. Then we meditate, feed up, and either shoot into the national parks for a surf before work, or wag the day and head into the mountains if it’s snowed. Rikai is heavily pregnant now so I surf while she and Indi and the bump play in the sand and around the winter beach fire. During the day I shift between meditation courses and production work and sneaking off to surf again.
Nights are pretty much dedicated to family. My girls are my world. I meditate again before night falls to reset, de-stress and be present with them. Our nights are typically filled with art, play, conversation, music and good times. My can’t live without ritual is undoubtedly Vedic Meditation.
R: Daily ritual I can’t live without… umm… waking up nice and early, ideally before our little girl Indigo, and start the day with yagya, sun salutations and meditation. We all go to the beach in the morning whenever possible then my routine varies depending on the day. But the staples are always sitting down with little Indigo at meals and at points during the day so we can slow down and connect and talk and ahre. We love walking in nature, visiting our little river, and lots of creative activities. She has a big and vivid imagination like her Dad and I try to accommodate and nurture it. I like to fit in a few Yoga classes a week and feel highly adaptable and grounded in life thanks to it. Before the night routine starts I meditate again so I can start the night fresh and nestle in happy with my family.
Mark, you are also an award wining creative within tv, film and digital, how do you keep balanced with all the demands the industry brings?
M: Yeah these arenas can be very demanding on the mind and energy levels and my wellbeing. Also, my time. The work environments I enter can often be very high pressure and sometimes a little intense so I make dang sure I look after myself in order to progress without struggle. Ultimately, it’s very rewarding when you’re in a good place and not struggling under the weight of demands. I think myself fortunate that I was determined and set my mind to learning the arts of self-repair and sustainability early on. I have routines and rituals and processes I adhere to. Quite simply, to keep balanced and stay healthy and sane amidst the intensity of creative campaigns I get in the ocean, I get into nature, I turn all digital devices off after work. I do simple things like chop wood and do some gardening and sit and stare at the wind moving the trees. It’s so simple but my mind and energy settles and all the irrelevant stuff falls away and left feeling happy and lively. I also make sure I keep good company. I eat well. I keep my body moving with exercise and yoga and use my secret weapon, meditation, to remove all stress and boost my energy and keep my mind sharp, creative, positive, lively and attuned to its tasks.
Rikai we hear you’re a very devoted mum and also currently expecting with your guy’s second tribe member, what rituals do you have for balancing the demands of motherhood with setting up a new business?
R: Meditation, twice daily, this is my tried and tested, solve anything & everything magic pill. Our little girl has been around us meditating since she was born, so she is very respectful of this time, I use to fit it in during breastfeeding, and now Indi's older we just let her know it’s time for us to meditate and she will quietly play.
Also, being in nature either on our land or at the beach seems to ignite my creativity and ground me, with a busy little one this is easy as they love adventure, the outdoors and using their imagination.
What are you both reading at the moment?
M: MATISSE, Volmar Essers
R: Childbirth Wisdom from the Worlds oldest societies by Judith Goldsmith
Describe your families 'perfect' modern utopia…..
R: A self sustainable home, vegies and herbs growing all about, leaving no footprint, by the sea and close to the mountains, surrounded by nature with the only sound being birds chirping, cows mooing, water flowing, children’s laughter, and surrounded by good, wise company.
M: Second that.