As a child growing up in London, Daniella Hunter spent countless stints in hospitals, suffering with asthma. And, although her doctors never mentioned a link, as time went on, she began to notice a connection between her nourishment and wellbeing. That’s where her health consciousness began.
Later, in 2000, Hunter found herself living temporarily in Tulum, Mexico, while working as an underwater photographer. She fell in love with the area’s natural beauty and climate—so much easier on her constitution than London’s weather.
That’s why, twelve years later, she brought her husband, Charlie, back to visit. They soon realized that their family belonged there. On a philosophical level, thanks to Hunter’s personal plight, she had realized that everyone is in some stage of his or her own type of healing journey—emotional, physical or otherwise. So, ultimately, the family not only relocated, but—anxious to share the peace and healing they experienced—they founded Sanará, a luxury eco-conscious hotel, wellness center and yoga retreat that they describe as a “space to breathe, heal and be free.”
Here, Hunter describes the Sanará ethos and why taking time to reconnect to oneself is as essential to life as breath itself
Live The Process: Has leading a health-conscious and wellness-focused lifestyle always been important to you?
Daniella Hunter: I feel like I have always been on the path towards wellness, having been very sick as a child with asthma and having spent much of my childhood in hospitals. Although it was not something any doctors had ever suggested, as I grew older, I started to recognize the correlation between what you put into your body and health.
LTP: What inspired you to relocate your family from London to Tulum?
DH: I had traveled to Puerto Aventuras fourteen years ago and had lived there for over a year as an underwater photographer. Since then I had always loved the area and particularly the climate, so, when my husband Charlie and I visited Tulum in 2012 and then came back three times in three months, it was clear that this was somewhere we could be and continue to grow, evolve and still be connected. I had struggled with living in the United Kingdom climate all my life, so this played a big part in the decision. Charlie works on a lot of humanitarian and social enterprise projects around the world, as well as media productions, and he has found he can be as productive here as if he was living in Los Angeles or London.
LTP: Why is it important to give people a “space to breathe, heal and be free?”
DH: We all need time to breathe, in every moment, in everything we do. We are all walking a path toward healing and freedom, though we are at different stages. Breathing is the one thing we can all do to take a moment. In that space, in that split second, everything is okay, no matter how traumatic things may seem.
LTP: Can you tell us about the wellness practices and programs at Sanará?
DH: Sanará means: “It will heal/you will heal.” And we see this in everything we are bringing forward. To me it means: “Everything will be okay, everything will get better somehow, even if you can't see it.”
All our practices, programs and menus at Sanará are designed to meet people where they are on their journey. We have a holistic and gentle approach to healing, with an educational angle so that our guests can take home what they have learned with us and integrate it into their daily lifestyle.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
DH: Happiness is simply being on the journey and appreciating it.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
DH: Staying true to my authentic self and checking in every day to make sure that I'm doing just that.
Find more information on Sanará here.