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Betony Vernon

Daring, provocative and boundary-defying, Betony Vernon is an
American-born designer, sexual anthropologist and author based in Paris.

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Do you have a nickname ?

Some of my close friends call me B, Lady B, BB. And my father used to call me Stachys, which is the Latin equivalent of Betony, the Wildflower after which I was named.

Where do you call home ?

As Josephine Baker said, “J’ai deux Amours” – the places I call home are Italy and Paris.

What defines home for you ?

Home is where all your most important daily rituals take place in their most complete form. My house is all about wellness, from my gorgeous bathroom to my exquisitely comfortable bed where I recover and resource. I have a room that is dedicated to pleasure of all sorts, including my movement devices like Hoolah Hoop, TRX and my latest addition – the trampoline. There is no better way to start your day than rebounding to Disco.

Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?

I turn to Vipassana Meditation, or my lover for some serious TLC.

Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey...

My journey started when I was diagnosed with scoliosis at a very young age and I have managed to keep its affects at bay through movement. Yoga is part of my daily routine. By the time I was 13 I was basically an Amazon which inevitably made me very body aware.

Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?

I love to go to the Italian countryside. Tuscany has so many different options for hot springs and healing waters. Also, I am addicted to Thai Massage.

What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?

Making love.

What's your daily Health + Wellness routine ?

Exercise: TRX, speed-walking, swimming, yoga, disco.

Nutrition: I have been a vegetarian most my life.

Spirituality: I do not separate body, mind and spirit. They are one. I believe it is urgent that the Western world begins to invest in their spiritual awareness and awakening, before its too late.

And, in addition: Meditation, Vipassana, Medical Hypnosis.

What are your Health + Wellness essentials ?

Beauty: Dr. Jackson’s organic, eco-friendly products.

Nutrition: I am firm believer that industrial food products are not only dangerous for our mind and bodies but also for our planet. If you are eating food that is wrapped in plastic and branded you should have doubts about its quality and nutritional value, even it is marketed as bio. I am privileged to have access to local farmers and fresh markets here in Europe, which are still (for the moment) Monsanto free.

Athleisure wear: Boudoir by Catherine Delish.

Other: I believe that active wear should not be worn beyond your exercise routine. As for lounge wear, I cannot live without it.

What's your go-to health food ?

I love seeds, Kombucha, juicing, grapefruit and green tea.

What's your devilish indulgence ?

Champagne.

Do you have a favourite yoga position ?

Headstand.

What makes you laugh ?

My lover.

What do you fear ?

I don’t operate from a place of fear, however, the current state of our biosphere, environment and political situation makes me very angry. The threats of planetary destruction are avoidable. Because I realised that I am not alone in my anger, I developed a medical hypnosis session that helps people suffering from what I call eco-anxiety.

How do you find serenity ?

By surrounding myself with beauty, be it the works of human kind or Mother Nature.

What is it about IKIGAI Global that appeals to you ?

IKIGAI corresponds to my belief that body, mind and spirit are one. Making people happy is my mission.

What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?

There are many but if I had to choose one it would be The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins. I read it when I in my teens and it confirmed my belief that Mother Nature is the greatest healer.

How, what and why have you changed over the last 10 years ?

I stopped listening to my male advisors, who often said to me, “You can’t do this, you cant do that.” And I learned that we can do anything we set our minds and hearts to. I also learned that thoughts are reality and what you allow your mind to focus on is what you will obtain.

EDEN, the luxurious BV salon located in the heart of historical Paris, France. Photo by Raul Higuera.

What has been the hardest thing to accept ?

That there are only 24 hours in a day.

What do you do to make the world a better place ?

Everything I do is in the name of love, whether it is for yourself, others or the planet. I create a durable response to the predominantly non-durable adult market today. I also believe that when we learn, we must also teach, and this is why I started to do sexual wellbeing salons at the turn of the century. It was through these didactic salons that I realised that, in order to make a serious change in the world, I must reach a wider public, and so I started to write my book The Boudoir Bible. I am excited to announce that Rizzoli NYC is in the process of re-printing it for the third time in English (it’s now published in seven languages).

What would you like to share that informs / inspires / empowers you ?

My book, The Boudoir Bible, Mae West: “Come up and see me some time”, the painting Bacchus by Caravaggio, Brancusi Totems, photographs by Irving Penn and Irving Claw.

Do you have a good luck charm ?

I have silk pouch filled with salt that was given to me by a very powerful woman, which I always carry with me.

Who or what inspires you ?

Martin Luther King & my Mother. She was protected by Dr King in the early Sixties after joining the Greens Burough 4, at the Woolworths in Greens Burough – North Carolina, on 1st Feb 1960, helping to spark the Civil Rights revolution.

What is your mantra ?

Good thoughts, good food, good rest, good friends, good sex, great life.

And finally, what is your ikigai ?

Just love.

Drawing by Francois Berthoud. Cover photo by Raul Higuera.

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