Start your working week with a thought to improving your wellness in the working environment. A holistic day retreat provides a unique alternative for the corporate world as Erica Baigrie and Holly Woods discover

Feel like your life is out of control? Are you working long hours and forgetting to stop to smell the roses? According to Gino De Pasquale, ex-CEO and founder of De Pasquale Advertising, nine ‘til five is a thing of the past and workers could use a program to help promote mental and physical wellness.

De Pasquale with business partner Craig Levitt, started the Dojo Wellness Experience to help diffuse the increasing chaos in business. He draws on his own life experiences including suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at only 19, to shape a meditation focused retreat that inspires and invigorates staff.

“This idea of being still and disconnecting from the corporate chaos is something that has been with me for a long time,” he says.

The one day retreat provides companies with a relaxing alternative that uses meditation and other techniques to encourage inspiration and communication especially as De Pasquale notes working in a team is sometimes overshadowed by competitiveness in the workplace. “It’s an unusual experience in the corporate environment to work together.”

Recently the team at West Point Auto took a break from the showroom and undertook the Dojo Wellness Experience. General manager Luke Hawkins believes the experience was very worthwhile.

“It was a very positive experience, certainly a very different environment to how we would normally have business meetings,” Hawkins says. “We got a lot out of it and the guys have learnt different things to improve themselves, to improve their relationships with each other and the customers.”

He notes his team “was able to discuss things openly in an open forum and take on important things to bring back to the business.”

De Pasquale says the experience includes looking at what’s going on at work and what staff would like to change.

“My experience doing these roles is that we use our history to judge what to do. We try to help the organisations to break from tradition, to pay attention to what is going on.”

For more information on the Dojo Wellness Experience, visit