Dojo Wellness Club
Updated: Mar 27
Allow me to introduce you to my favorite place in Nairobi; Dojo Wellness Club. Goodness. Where do I even start?
I had the chance to have a chat with Stella Deane, the managing director at Dojo and she had so much tea to spill.
Stella moved to Kenya 10 years ago; where she lived in Tsavo and Lamu then moved to Nairobi where she's been living for the past two years. Just to digress, the Tsavo and Lamu is living a dream !!! I mean, waking up to elephants everyday? I'd be in heaven. Living in the aesthetic, peaceful, slow town that is Shela, wow. Anyway, lol.
She did yoga since she was 4 years but didn't practice for over a decade. Upon practicing, she started getting frequent injuries because she was getting too flexible; not strong or fit, just flexible. In 2015/16 she incorporated other types of fitness into her lifestyle that were all rounded i.e. mobility, strength, function and endurance training. She began doing small classes in people's backyards and that's when the Dojo idea came up.
"Dojo is a world class lifestyle and wellness club offering an energizing escape to Move, Repair and Revive, helping you #FindYourWay to wellness. Dojo offers a fusion approach to mind-body, health and fitness through first-class coaching and mentoring in combat sports and natural movements with mobility, strength, function and endurance training, integrating rehabilitation and rejuvenation."
Dojo is a digital free space. The only machines there are the spin bicycles. This is because they encourage interaction during both classes and personal training. On machines, e.g. the treadmill, people are literally like zombies with their headphones plugged in as they go about their cardio. The classes at Dojo are based on skill and are quite a variety. To enhance mobility, they have mat pilates and over five types of yoga. To build endurance, there's the spin classes. For functionality they have classic HIIT, parkour, parkour fundamentals, primal HIIT, primal fundamentals, calisthenics and and calisthenics fundamentals. Lastly, to to build strength they have the boxing station, boxing fundamentals and K1 dutch kickboxing bag training. Whew. Haven't you heard words you've never heard before?
If you think about it, it's like a balanced diet - mobility, endurance, functionality & strength. Lagging behind in one does't make you 'unhealthy' per se, but you'll sort of have a weak spot.
Oh ! They have kids classes too. Just because you have kids doesn't mean you shouldn't have time to unwind. The kids classes allow busy/working parents time to be gainfully engaged with their kids as some of the kids classes are in sync with other classes.
My BIGGEST issue when picking a gym is trainers. Probably because I've had a bad experience before but it's something I'm very picky on. The first thing I noticed about the trainers at Dojo is how professional they are. I was IMPRESSED ! It was the first thing I asked Stella about because I was in awe. She handpicked all the trainers herself; scouting them from all over Kenya, specifically Nairobi and Mombasa. Did that blow my mind or what? Is the manager of your gym that dedicated to their job? Okay, I don't mean to throw shade, lol. Upon picking her trainers, they went through a 5 day course where they got to interact, got to know each other as they all had different personalities and they got to work together and with other people. She was however slightly disappointed that she couldn't get any Kenyan female trainers. If you know any, send them the Dojo way.
Now to the touchy part - the rates. Can we start with, there's no place like Dojo both in Nairobi and Kenya as whole. Okay? Okay. Doing market research when coming up with prices was quite a task because even whilst comparing rates with other gyms, at the end of the day, no one offers what they do. The pricing system here revolves around commitment and flexibility. There are several ways of payment. There's the Zen card which is the monthly card that allows for unlimited access to all classes and facilities of the gym, the Top Up card which allows you to put in a certain amount based on what class(es) you'd like to attend and the Wayfinder which allows you to have a feel of 5 different classes or the steam/sauna in a month. There's also the option of just dropping and paying for a class upfront.
Like most fitness centers, actually not most, just some, Dojo has a snack bar. It is plant based and and made from raw organic food. They get their fruits and vegetables from the farm they share with Talisman restaurant.
For most people, going to the gym is 90% of the time based on 'body goals'. True or true? I thought so. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to want your physique to look some type of way but, it shouldn't be the main objective/what motivates you. Let me explain. Say you have trouble sleeping and you're also trying to lose weight, which of the two issues are you going to try solve first? Well, you could do both but isn't it more practical to start with the sleep? Because I mean, if you're barely sleeping, where will you get the time to put in a workout? What am I saying? Focus more on your lifestyle as a whole as you work out not just an end result . Slowly you'll start noticing changes like you can go up a flight of stairs without panting, or your skin is getting clearer, you're sleeping better... you know? Just the little things. The little tings then add up to the big things. Wellness guys. Wellness.
Part of the future plans for Dojo are to have seminars. Seminars that revolve around encouraging wellness as a lifestyle. Wellness retreats too. They'll be called Dojo detox. The idea is a 5-8 day retreat with some days in Tsavo and some days in Lamu; a digital, alcohol and caffeine detox. Are you ready for the last bit? *drum-rolls* They'll be opening another branch in Westlands. Not today, tomorrow or in a month but it's in the works.
I really enjoyed writing this. As lengthy as it was, I did. Like my heart sank when I realized I was done. Thank you for making it this far.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up.
For anything I may have left out, best believe it's on their site
I said this once and I'll say it again, Dojo is way ahead of its time !