This week we’re featuring the Dubai entrepreneurs dedicated to making us healthier and happier from the inside out — today is the turn of Eda Gungor, founder of SEVA
It’s one of Dubai’s true hidden gems. Nestled behind Jumeirah Beach Road in a sprawling villa surrounded by stunning gardens, SEVA – known up until very recently as Life’nOne – is famed as the wellness mainstay of the city, offering a holistic, whole-human approach to the health of mind, body and spirit.
Founded by Eda Gungor in 2014, within it’s whitewashed walls you’ll find studios for yoga and meditation; a wellbeing centre for seminars, training and international guests; a conscious shop for ethically-sourced, powerful products and wellbeing tools, as well as Table, the fist exclusively plant-based cafe in Dubai, which offers a highly conscious menu and the chance to enjoy connectivity to your surroundings.
“I’m from Istanbul, and had been working as a food and travel journalist as well as in some other corporate entities, but never really felt quite aligned,” says SEVA’s founder, Eda Gungor. “Looking at the bigger picture, I realized that I needed space to heal myself, challenge myself, to grow as a person, and learn how to express myself. A series of fortuitous events led me to realize that opening a spiritual centre and cafe in Dubai was what I was meant to do, and my journey through meditation, yoga, esoterica, plant-based eating and community-building became the focal point of my vision.”
Starting out as a wellbeing centre with a juice and smoothie corner, which, due to demand, soon became the first plant-based cafe in Dubai, SEVA is now the go-to destination for the wellness-focused community, and those looking for the best international therapists from a variety of different disciplines.
“What we aim to do is expand consciousness, align with nature, encourage people to enjoy life as an experience and live each moment with all of their feelings and emotions. We aim to bring joy to everything we do and in each person’s life,” explains Eda.
Attracting an eco-conscious community that practice a healthy lifestyle, and are considerate of the fragility of the planet, Eda says that once people start expanding their awareness and therefore understanding themselves better, the changes they see happening to their health and general wellness often encourages them to go a few steps further in embracing a more considered lifestyle.
“Much like how the community grows and develops, so too has the business,” says Eda. “This place was Life’n One for seven years. The nature of the universe is change, and that time came for us. SEVA is the result of deep reflection on the way we wish to serve our community, the region and the world at large. It’s about moving from the individual, to the collective.”
With the community comprising an ever- growing group of open-minded individuals who are aware that current times are vastly different from what they used to be, with a desire to align with the new world and expand their awareness, what gets Eda up way before dawn every morning is the drive to share all the information she has been given access to, and strengthen the people around her.
“Do I have a life mantra?” she laughs? “Yes. I can do this. It’s OK. I am.” With so much uncertainty in the world right now, Eda is well aware of the support people seek to help them lead a healthier lifestyle in mind, body and spirit.
“This is the time to finish that book, learn a new language, and find something to focus on to empower you. Follow the guidelines offered and stay safe. Try to do yoga or meditation daily. Choose a mantra, and remind your loved ones just how much they mean to you. there’s never been a more signifcant time.”
With Dubai in lockdown, SEVA has launched virtual meditation and yoga classes on its YouTube channel, astrological readings and coaching sessions via Zoom and a delivering service for its plant-based organic food; Sevaexperience.com
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- Words by Lucy Wildman
- Photography by Ausra Osipaviciute