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Wisecrack Jolie Michelle Ow

Who: Jolie Michelle Ow
Lives: Singapore
Loves: Art, Movement, Mindfulness, facilitating classes and workshops for children
Does: Founder of Canvass Yoga, Art and Meditation Studio, Arts Therapist


I like drinking. It’s very relaxing and helps me to open up. My appreciation for that enjoyment is what helps me to treat drinking with respect. I think you need to enjoy the pure experience of drinking in order to cut back.


As a yoga and meditation practitioner, I’m conscious of how much I drink, especially as I get older and my body is slower to repair itself. But savouring a drink occasionally allows me to enjoy the company of others, and that helps me with my work. I don’t enjoy drinking alone, so in the last few years where socialising has not been as frequent, I’ve been drinking less.


When I was younger, I didn’t care so much - if someone offered me a drink I’d just take it and not think about the consequences. Now that I take a mindful approach to my lifestyle, I’m more aware of what, when, why and with who I drink. It’s not excessive but it’s not limited either. Which means if there’s a very good drink on offer and I get to share it with good people, then I’ll indulge, but not to excess. I tend to avoid sparkly stuff because I find for my constitution I lose control very quickly. But who doesn’t love a glass of bubbles to celebrate!

I make sure I notice how a drink makes me feel: flushed, warm, open and slightly high. And then I hydrate with warm water. I might have another good quality spirit afterwards but that’s probably it. 

If I’m invited for a drink I try to understand if it’s the sort of situation where the drink is going to be gulped down or are we doing this to spend quality time together? Sometimes there is social pressure to participate in an event, so I might drink slower or not at all. Pace is really important. If you’re in an environment that is busy, with faster music, you might end up drinking faster, so I just remind myself to alternate with water or non alcoholic drinks. Those moments give me time to pause and decide what I want instead of getting caught up in things.


I feel better drinking with awareness and knowing what ingredients go into my drink. One of my favourite things to do is sit up at a bar and have a conversation with the bartender, hearing the story behind what I’m drinking. It’s a great way to enjoy a drink. I really appreciate it if a mixologist can come up with a drink that is strong, masculine, and smoky, and then turn the process into an experience. I sip slowly, really savouring the effort and flavour. This means I end up drinking less.


I’ve been practicing eating mindfully lately, and it’s such a beautiful and sensual way to explore the senses. The act of being conscious and curious about where the food came from, what the chef prepared for you, and how it makes you feel. I feel the same about drinking.

The activation of the drink within your nervous system, the smell, the colour, it’s all such a beautiful and fun experience, whether it’s alcoholic or not.

The experience of drinking with friends should be pleasurable and rewarding. It can't be those things if we're excessive or if we deprive ourselves. But we can choose what we put in our glass, go for quality and really savour the experience. Drink mindfully!

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