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Davina Harilela

In conversation with the experiential marketing consultant, holistic nutrition coach, and yoga / movement instructor.

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Davina has over 10 years of corporate experience working in a high-stress environment where she dealt with a range of health issues including candida, acne and hormone imbalance, which she healed naturally. She has a strong desire to help people discover their health potential, feel good from the inside out and develop mind-body awareness.

Davina’s passion is to educate and inspire overwhelmed men and women to live a simple, healthy and sustainable lifestyle that works best for them.

Davina received her health coach training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN).  She is also a Hatha Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  In addition to coaching, Davina also offers practical workshops on a range of health topics, loves to experiment with healthy recipes and incorporates easy movement, yoga, meditation and breathing techniques into her client tailored solutions.
Do you have a nickname ?
Where do you call home ?
Hong Kong and New York.   
What defines home for you?
A place where I feel a sense of belonging with close family and friends, but also a place that inspires me, and gives me the opportunity to learn, grow and give back to the community.
Davina Harilela Ikigai Interviews Lovetruefood

Photo by Lakshmi Harilela


Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?
Dance practice, going for a walk, talking to friends.
Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey...
It started back in 2003 when I discovered a thyroid nodule which turned out to be benign. At the time I was suffering from a lot of stress and anxiety. I met with a Naturopathic Doctor who completely blew my mind because she was so intuitive; she introduced me to homoeopathy, flower remedies and ways in which I could change my diet to support my well being.

The next shift I experienced was in 2009 when I discovered yoga – not the practice but the philosophy of yoga. It helped me develop an awareness around my thoughts and the connection between my mind and body. I began to listen to my heart and this led me to pursue my passion for movement through yoga and dance. Yoga and dance provided me with the tools and foundations for wellbeing that help me to this day.

Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?
Los Angeles, which is always on the cusp of wellness trends and Europe, for the best organic produce and natural living.
What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?
The Farm San Benito for a complete mind & body cleanse.
What is your daily Health + Wellness routine ?
Exercise: A combination of yoga, dance, walking and strength training (weights).

Nutrition: I consider myself a ‘flexitarian’ – my eating habits evolve and adapt according to what my body needs. Coconut oil is a staple in my diet, not only for oil-pulling but for cooking, as it has so many benefits and properties such as being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. I try and variate my fats and switch between ghee, avocado and coconut oil for cooking. My diet consists mostly of wild fish, seafood and organic chicken and vegetables. I try to keep it as ‘Whole30’ as possible and stay away from grains, processed foods and sugars (except for when I travel). I’ve tried everything from being vegetarian, to vegan and paleo and feel happiest with a balanced diet that isn’t so restrictive and that incorporates as many whole foods as possible. I’ve pretty much stayed away from dairy, gluten and refined sugars for over 10 years.

Spirituality: Finding time to connect with nature during weekends, having a consistent mindfulness/meditation practice (even if it lasts only 5-10 minutes), finding time to journal, reflect and read spiritual literature and connecting with like-minded people.

Davina Harilela Ikigai Interviews Universe 1

“Be kind and find ways to give back through your work.”

What’s your go to health food ?
Avocado and lemons! They both have multiple uses.
What’s your devilish indulgence ?
Dark chocolate (specifically Hu Hazelnut Dark Chocolate bars)… It’s the way to my heart.
What’s your favourite yoga position ?
Probably one of the most underrated poses – child’s pose. It calms the nervous system and has a way of restoring any physical injuries I am experiencing.
What makes you laugh ?
Inside jokes with my close friends and family. Being goofy.
What are your favourite Health + Wellness essentials ?
Beauty: Currently in love with Kypris’ Antioxidant Dew. Also can’t live without Josh Rosebrook’s facial cleanser made from organic wild-crafted ingredients. I’m also a fan of natural deodorants; Agent Nateur’s holi rose no.4 deodorant smells great and has non-toxic ingredients.

Nutrition: These are my daily go tos;

Athleisure wear: Crushing on Alo Yoga for style and Lulu Lemon for comfort.

What do you fear ?
Public speaking. However, I’ve realised that what you fear the most will always come up again in your life. When you confront your fears, you start to realise that they lose their power over you, and then, as if by magic, you set yourself free.
How do you find serenity ?
I always ask myself, in any situation, what will give me peace of mind. I also remind myself of the serenity prayer; ‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?
I absolutely love the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It’s the yoga bible. I studied it a few years ago and it blew me away.  I get something different from it every time I read it. I am currently reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown I equally relate to this as well.

“Trust the journey.”

What do you do to make the world a better / more sustainable place ?
Be kind and always serve a purpose that is greater than yourself, when you connect to that work flows effortlessly.
What would you like to share that informs / inspires / empowers you ?
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.
Do you have a good luck charm ?
Before a big day or presentation I do some breathing exercises (Kapalabhati – which really helps to calm my nerves) followed by a freestyle yoga practice, when I listen to my body and follows what feels good.
Who or what inspires you ?
New York City – it’s where I found my passion and love for dance. I love that the city embraces individuality and non-conformity. It inspires me to be myself. There are also many ambitious, intelligent female leaders that I could call out, however, the people that inspire me the most are the ones that surround me every day, from my family to my close friends.
What is your mantra ?
Trust the journey. When things don’t go according to plan or an obstacle comes my way, I always remember that the dots will connect and it’s all part of a bigger picture that I just can’t see yet.
And finally, what is your ikigai ?
Davina H Ikigai Interviews Word
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