Pitstop with Pete Phornprapha
This December will be another exciting edition of Wonderfruit Festival this year (2017) in Thailand. We were definitely wow-ed by the first one earlier this year - read all about the experience here and why you should take that end year to fill your inner curiosity and wonderment at this amazing festival (if you are in the Asian region). The festival has brought arts, environmental awareness, wellness, feasting and so much more. Beyond the running of the business, we wanted to learn more about how the founder of Wonderfruit Festival, Pranitan "Pete" Phornpraha, lives a conscious and well-balanced life in this modern fast paced world.
Congratulations on this year’s Wonderfruit! What is the intention behind Wonderfruit and why does the wellness segment come into play? Thanks! A big part of our wellness program is finding balance our lives - body, mind and spirit. We think that if you feel good - through yoga, eating well etc, you’ll lead a better life and do more good in the world. That’s really how it ties into the ethos of Wonderfruit, which is to find creative and fun ways to make a positive impact on the planet.
Being Thai, tell us some of the health and wellness regime every Thai does. I can’t speak for every Thai, but I suppose Thailand is known for its massages and herbal remedies. Actually, though, I think wellness in Thailand goes much deeper. You walk into any spa here and you’ll see a Buddha image, which illustrates the importance of the spirituality element and that is what informs our lifestyle. The culture of wellness and slower pace of life you experience day to day in Thailand all comes from that.
What does a day of living well in the modern world means to you? I think in this modern world, it’s important to find balance in order to live well. For example, I’m involved in startups and fintech, blockchain and bitcoin - so I’m on the cutting edge of a lot of very modern developments. But I’m not on social media. You can’t escape or ignore the pace of the world we live in - you have to embrace the tools that help you in your daily life, and try to avoid those that add or create stress. So I choose which ones to use, to find some balance.
If you could pick a retreat to go to in Thailand, what would it be? Wonderfruit - does that count? (It counts,Pete!) I’ve been to a couple of meditation retreats in beautiful settings, which have been a great way to rest my mind. You can take care of your body by exercising and rest it by sleeping, and you can take care of your mind by stimulating it with work, but it’s important to rest it too.
Sustainability is a common ethos of Wonderfruit, how can one achieve sustainable healthy habits to improve their overall well-being? I think that by choosing to eat organic and dig deeper into where things are coming from, it not only benefits my health and makes me feel physically better, but it also makes me feel better because it’s having a positive impact on the planet. It’s like I’m doing my part for my own good and also for the greater good.
We saw the few wellness segments and workshops at Wonderfruit. Which modality or activity have you incorporated in your day to day? I do yoga once a week and meditation - though I’d like to do that more. I eat healthily and exercise regularly. Actually, wellness is part of our Wellness & Adventures pillar, within which we also have running, cycling and swimming, and those are all activities I enjoy. The six pillars of Wonderfruit (Arts, Music, Family, Farm to Feasts, Talks & Workshops, Wellness & Adventures) are designed to create an overall, holistic balance for life, so I suppose I’m trying to incorporate the entire wonderfruit lifestyle into my day to day.
It’s always easy to look at one’s physique to think he/she is healthy, what one doesn’t see is the mental and emotional wellbeing. Which comes first for you? I suppose mental and emotional well-being is priority, because once you’re mentally and emotionally well, you’re more likely to be active and physically healthy. Again, will it’s all part of that holistic balance.
Healthy Thai food for breakfast, lunch, dinner: I have a massive smoothie of Thai fruits, veggies and nuts for breakfast every day. I indulge with lunch - anything I want, and for dinner I just try to stay away from carbs and have som tam or something.
Thai Massage makes me: say “ouch!” It’s really painful!
My favourite playlist for yoga: When I practise yoga I like silence.
Things I need during my travels: A good book, my iPod and my running shoes.
I would like to try this healing modality: Fasting. I’ve done it a little - for short periods, and I’ve heard good things. I think by fasting or having a restricted diet, there is a reaction that the body creates, which can definitely create a good state of mind.
A mantra I live by: I don’t really have a mantra.
I pause for wellness by: Spending time with my kids.