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Vivian shares her personal tips on easy, therapeutic ways to de-stress while in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Vivian Chong

Freelance writer-editor

Vivian Chong is curious about many things, which was probably what led her to carve out a career as a writer. A nomad at heart, she began specialising in travel writing when she led the helm at Malaysia Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Going Places, for seven years. She left in 2013 to venture into freelancing, and that has meant having more time to discover even more interests while continuing to write about travel and lifestyle topics for a variety of publications as well as her website She is currently the Editor of Zafigo, and is on Instagram as @vivchong.

Chasing deadlines is part and parcel of her job, and it can often get quite hectic. To de-stress, Vivian finds escape in these therapeutic activities, which are also ideal to help the just-arrived traveller get over jet lag.

Meditate under the shade of tropical rain trees

“Every now and then, I feel the urge to head into the forests and be surrounded by soothing greens. Earlier this year, I discovered yet another way to connect with Mother Nature. Once or twice a month, spiritual healer Stacey Lee of The Golden Space organises her ‘Meditation retreat in nature’ at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) in Kepong. We start with a silent walking meditation as we make our way towards a beautiful clearing surrounded by towering rain trees with large canopies. There, we continue with more meditative activities guided by Stacey, to get to the root of the issues that are troubling us. It often brings out surprising revelations that I never realised existed within my psyche. At the end of each session, I always feel mentally and emotionally refreshed and energised.”

Check The Golden Space or Meetup for details of the next session Fees RM65/about USD15 per person.

Heal through universal life force

“I’m fascinated by Pranic healing, an energy healing system developed by Filipino Master Choa Kok Sui that is now practised around the world. Prana World in Bangsar South has an open session every Thursday evening, where anyone can drop in for a free 15-minute healing. You sit with your eyes closed while the healer cleanses your energy field using hand movements and sometimes, crystals. I have had a stubborn migraine alleviated, and a sore shoulder lighten up after a cleansing. Stay on for a short talk on Pranic healing, followed by group meditation. The couple who manages Prana World are both Iranians, as are many of those who attend regularly. The atmosphere is always welcoming and friendly, and at the end of the evening, food is served – usually tahdig, a one-pot rice dish with a layer of crispy grains at the bottom.”

Prana World’s free HOME (Healing, Orientation, Meditation, Enlightenment) sessions are held every Thursday, 6pm onwards at A-3-3 Centrio Hillpark, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur. Check their Meetup page for updates.

Laughter, the best yoga

“First of all, there are no asanas involved and you don’t even need a yoga mat. Laughing yoga is based on the premise that when you laugh, the body responds by showering you with feel-good endorphins. In a laughing yoga session, you ‘induce’ laughter through fun, imaginative scenarios (the mind doesn’t differentiate between real and ‘fake’ laughter). It may seem awkward at first but trust me, it gets funny pretty quickly and soon you’ll have no trouble bursting into laughter on cue. A joke may have you in stitches for a few seconds, or a minute or two at best whereas a session of laughing yoga typically runs for an hour… that’s 60 minutes of uninterrupted happiness – imagine how good that feels!”

Follow the laughing yoga Meetup group for upcoming sessions, which are held sporadically around Kuala Lumpur, including at Aravind Yoga Studio KL, Plaza Damas, Desa Sri Hartamas.

Live jamming, with paints and brushes

“If you’re the type who enjoys letting the mind wander while dabbling in creative work, you should give Art Jamming a go. In an open space with a casual atmosphere, you are provided with all the necessary supplies to create your masterpiece. There are no rules or expectations; the canvas is yours to turn into whatever you desire. The first time I ‘jammed’, I had no idea what to paint so I let the brushes, colours and my intuition guide me along. I thought I was just there to live out my Picasso dreams, but I ended up learning something about myself. The painting process itself is very relaxing and quite cathartic too.”

Art Jamming is available at The Studio at KL, Publika; Lorem Ipsum, Bangsar; The Refinery, Sentul.


To find out more about Kuala Lumpur, read Zafigo’s City Guide here

Read more Voices of Kuala Lumpur

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