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Meet the QuaranTEAM Bringing You Slow at Home

As the whole world moves through the ripple effects of COVID-19, we take a long pause together. Odd as it may sound at a time when everyone is encouraged to isolate, we feel more connected than ever in this  period inviting us all to slow down. In the spirit of connection and community, we are proud to introduce our new Slow at Home series, bringing you the very best slow living tips from our QuaranTEAM—tried-and-true slow pros.

We will be sharing colorful and varied slow living tips, nutrition wisdom, mindfulness practices and favorite books (like In Praise of Slow by Carl Honoré pictured above), ranging from slow food to slow movement to slow intimacy—slow everything!

We hope you can experience the joys of slowing down by joining our Slow at Home movement.

Introducing Our Slow at Home QuaranTEAM

Meet Julie

Julie traveled the world for almost 7 years as a scuba instructor before landing on the island of Gili Air, Indonesia. Here, she co-founded Slow Villas & Spa, as well as a few other businesses.

Life on Gili Air taught her to recharge, slow down, and rethink her speed of life. Julie stands for the slow movement, promoting sustainability, and awakening a more easeful lifestyle in people all over the world.

Julie has become an expert and industry leader in wellness travel, organizing several wellness seminars, retreats, events and festivals—including Gili Air’s Slow Food and Yoga Festival. She has cultivated a community of exclusive luxury retreats in Asia, connecting excellent instructors with unique locations Julie has a deep love for humanity and the earth, and she is passionate about helping the local community transform Gili Air into a zero waste island.

Through her non-profit organization, The Soraya Foundation, and with the help of generous donors, Julie is able to affect positive changes in the Gili community and cultivate a plastic-free paradise on this island.

In her spare time, Julie teaches Yogalates, Ecstatic Dance, Zumba, Pilates, Acro Yoga, Meditation, Hula Hoop, and Poï. These days, you’ll find her at home writing and soaking up sunshine in her Gili garden.  

Meet Brandee

Brandee Leigh Johnston is Founding Director of Kenza Yoga Centre on Gili Air. She has over ten years of experience teaching yoga internationally, from Vancouver to Asia.

Brandee first found yoga in her native West Coast Canada in 2002. She has since completed over 950 hours of Yoga Alliance Certified teacher trainings, studying with some of the most prominent figures in modern yoga, including Baron Baptiste, founder of Power Vinyasa Yoga, Ana Forrest, founder of Forrest Yoga, and Chris Chavez and Christine Price Clarke, certified Anusara instructors.

Through her extensive network within the international yoga community, Brandee has taught and assisted in teacher trainings across the world for the past twelve years. Her style of teaching is inspired by her roots in Power and Hatha yoga. She has a strong focus on alignment and intelligent sequencing, which she typically combines in her classes via vinyasa flow.

She has a passion for pranayama and mantra which she integrates within her holistic teaching style. Brandee has also studied plant medicine and shamanic practices over the years. After living and teaching in Bali for over a year, Brandee visited Gili Air and fell in love with the island’s natural beauty and tranquility.

She founded Kenza Yoga Centre in October 2019, and now splits her time among the Gilis finding new ways to practice slow at home.

Brandee Leigh Johnston headshot
Jean-Louis Thonnard Headshot

Meet Jean-Louis

Jean-Louis Thonnard is a PhD in Physical Therapy, internationally acclaimed researcher, and seasoned Hatha yoga instructor. He has just launched a research project dedicated to the benefits of Hatha yoga for patients with nonspecific low back pain. (Psst: Look out for more tips on yoga for low back pain coming soon!) In his career, Jean-Louis…

  • Graduated in Physical Education from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium
  • Licensed in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in 1979
  • Obtained a doctorate in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in 1988
  • Was appointed lecturer and later professor emeritus at UCL
  • Held several courses at the Faculty of Motor Sciences and Ecole Polytechnique de Louvain
  • Created the Neuroscience Institute at UCL and was responsible for the system and cognition research pole between 2010 and 2016
  • Authored (and co-authored) more than 140 publications with more than 5000 citations (H index of 43—see Google Scholar)

Since the 1990s, Jean-Louis has explored the dynamics of gripping and the kinematics of movement as they occur in zero gravity. He is the Principal Investigator of the GRIP Experiment, launched in 2016 at the International Space Station (ISS).

Before launching his experiment with the ISS, he prepared his experiment aboard parabolic flights simulating the weightlessness experienced in space (organized by the European Space Agency). Jean-Louis has also led many studies related to the neurosciences of touch and the bio-mechanics of the finger pulp. 

Meet Lauren

Lauren McGrath is a yoga teacher, writer, photographer, beauty expert, and digital marketing chameleon. She recently moved to Gili Air after completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Radiantly Alive in Ubud, where she learned to craft creative and intelligent vinyasa sequences from the heart. Just one year earlier, Lauren completed the Moon Course at Las Piramides Del Ka on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, exploring metaphysical studies and lucid dreaming.

Before her solo travels, Lauren worked in the luxury fashion and beauty industries in New York City as a social media manager and content creator.

In the years prior, she worked as a photographerprofessional makeup artist, and style and beauty editor for Philadelphia Magazine. She knows the sting of career burnout intimately, experiencing it herself at 26 years old. Through this energetic death and rebirth process, Lauren has come to understand that slowing down and staying connected are crucial to her happiness.

These days, Lauren wakes up slow to the sounds of beautiful Gili Air. She leads online yoga classes and long-distance Tarot readings for her friends and family at home.

You’ll find her meditating on the beach, practicing fluid vinyasa yoga in her garden, cooking vegetarian dishes with love, and finding new ways to live slowly.

Lauren McGrath headshot

Together, these four are excited to bring you a holistic and varied curation of the very best ways slow at home tips.

Do you have a slow living topic you’d like the QuaranTEAM to address? How are you incorporating slow at home? Drop it in the comments below, post to Instagram or Facebook using #slowathome, or send us a direct message.

We can’t wait to jump into all things slow at home with you!

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