WILDERNESS. WONDER. WELLNESS
Enhancing wellness globally through immersive experiences in nature, supported
by science, and respecting local peoples, culture and the environment.
1. To become a leader in wellness experiences based on immersion in Nature. We seek to enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of our guests and at the same time equip them with the knowledge to lead a fulfilling, healthy and balanced life.
Wilderness brings with it a sense of wonder - of awe at the beauty and majesty of Nature and its restorative power. Wonderment has been shown to rewire the brain, to take us out of everyday ways of seeing and thinking, and this is the beginning of deep wellness. With Nature as our therapist, Ayus Wellness brings the wilderness into wellness experiences, and takes wellness journeys into the wilderness.
2. To enhance the quality of life of the local and Indigenous people, imparting skills to lead a productive life. By respecting culture and environment, Ayus Wellness wishes to create models for 21st century relationships with Nature and traditional societies. Respecting local traditions and the environment is fundamental to Ayus Wellness’s DNA.
Ayus Wellness is a wellness experience company centered in the Borneo rainforest at Mulu, Borneo, East Malaysia. With the Ayus Wellness Experience (AWE), guests will immerse themselves in the magnificent beauty of Mulu’s 60-million-year-old primeval rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, while enjoying wellness journeys inspired by Borneo indigenous knowledge of Nature, nutrition and healing.
The Ayus Wellness Experience (AWE) involves bringing wilderness into wellness experiences and bringing wellness journeys into the wilderness. It is a time to reconnect with Nature, re-balance, renew and transform from deep within. Ayus Wellness partners with local indigenous communities and these partnerships are the foundation around which the Ayus Wellness Experience is built. This results in the respectful and ethical incorporation of Borneo traditional knowledge into our wellness programs.
AWE journeys include immersive forest experiences including mindful forest journeys, yoga in primeval rainforest settings, deep tissue or relaxing massages using essential oils and aromatherapy derived from traditional knowledge and an optional sleep program drawing on Eastern wisdom and modern science. The Ayus Wellness cuisine draws on Borneo herbal and food traditions known for their powerful nutritional and health values. For much of this we have scientific understanding which we will share in the evening knowledge programs as the journey unfolds.
The Five Pillars Of Wellness
The wilderness brings with it a sense of wonder, of awe at the beauty and majesty of Nature and its restorative power. Wonderment has been shown to rewire the brain, to take us out of everyday ways of seeing and thinking, and this is the beginning of deep wellness.
‘Wonder is the beginning of wisdom’ Socrates
Behind Wellness, There Is Science
The Ayus Wellness Team
Robert Geneid is a businessman who has been working in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo for 27 years. His involvement with the indigenous community of the Mulu region over this period has provided a unique insight into its Peoples, traditions and the environment. He was instrumental in obtaining World Heritage status from UNESCO for Mulu National Park in 2001 and his company has been managing the tourism aspects of the Park since 2002.
Robert has for decades had a deep personal interest in natural healing and has been following wellness trends most of his life.
The decision to establish Ayus Wellness resulted from a natural convergence of personal interest and local experience. What started as a collaboration with Professor Bodeker, a world authority on Mental Wellness, has blossomed into a full partnership in Ayus Wellness.
Co-Founder and Director, Ayus Wellness
Prof Gerard Bodeker
Co-Founder and Director, Ayus Wellness
Chair, Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute
A Harvard-trained public health academic, Gerry Bodeker researches and advises on integrative medicine and wellness. He has researched and taught in medical sciences at Oxford University for two decades, has worked with refugees and indigenous peoples, is adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, and works with the private sector, governments and UN advising on culturally – themed wellness strategies.
He has specialized in Asian traditions of medicine and healthy lifestyles, including the study of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Prof Bodeker has published widely, including the following books: The World Health Organization Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Public Health and Policy Perspectives on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Understanding the Global Spa Industry; and Mental Wellness: Pathways, Evidence and Horizons. He currently serves as Chair of the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute.
Ismail also has a family history of healers, his skills being passed on by his late father. Ismail is regarded as an elder and a wise man of the community of Batu Bungan. His family has focused on the healing powers of plants from the forests as well as a combination of folklore and ancient Penan tales. He is widely consulted to prepare herbal and medicinal remedies from the forest for the community of Batu Bungan.
Ismail selectively chooses to share his Penan healing secrets to the outside world but admits that he deliberately with hold some of the more important traditional medicinal secrets.
Ismail is employed as a licensed Park Guide and knows the forest like the palm of his hand.
Penan Elder and Medicinal Plant Expert, Ayus Wellness
Ayus Wellness Coordinator
From the remote open deserts of Namibia, some of the oldest deserts in the world, to the remote rainforests of Borneo, some of the oldest in the world, Andia Grestner values a sense of place. She also has a deep interest in human behaviour and graduated in Psychology from the University of Stellenbosch.
Andia regards nature and animals as powerful therapeutic tools for wellness and has experience of horse riding therapy and horse trekking operations for tourists back in Africa. Being a resident in Mulu allows a great understanding of the community and environment and she happily shares that with Ayus Wellness guests to ensure the best experience possible.
Mme. Shilpa Ghatalia is one of the region’s most renowned Yoga Masters and she has developed a way of practicing Yoga that will revolutionize both personal understanding and practice. AWE guests will get a rare chance to experience Integrative Yoga, developed by master teacher Shilpa over her 30 years of devotion to the Yogic way of life. Integrative Yoga is uniquely tailored to each person’s individual needs and body, providing both experts and beginners with sequences for daily practice. Shilpa’s personalised teaching style will complement any yoga practice that any guest may have already established and profoundly change the way anyone approaches yoga.
Shilpa’s Integrative Yoga is equally conducive to beginners and experts as it introduces a unique spine-centered practice, which enables guests to delve into any pose without causing harm to their bodies. It combines special breathing practices and teaches guests how to “flow” into poses with a fluidity which will turn the practice into meditation in movement, enabling guests to experience a new way of ‘homecoming’ to the timeless bliss within.
Ayus Wellness Master Yoga Teacher
Runikedy Livan Robin
Runi, a member of the Kelabit indigenous community of Sarawak, holds a diploma in Tourism Management, and is also an instructor in traditional Sarawakian dance, a cultural dance choreographer, a certified Zumba instructor, and a fitness instructor. She brings this deep cultural expertise to Ayus Wellness. A native Sarawakian, deeply familiar with the forest, Runi guides guests on deep immersive journeys into the forest to experience Nature’s healing effect on the body and the mind.
Angela, a member of the Kayan indigenous community of Sarawak is a dance and certified fitness instructor who guides guests on Ayus Wellness Experience forest journeys that bring balance to the body and mind. Angela has holds a certificate from a Fitness Incubator for Young Entrepreneurs and holds a Diploma in Banking and Finance and oversees administration in the Ayus Wellness office at Mulu. Angela’s understanding on the inter-connected nature of the rainforest, enables AWE guests to develop present-moment awareness of Nature’s healing sights, sounds and rhythm.