Tyrone native Rosemary Devlin has begun a novel wellness center in Westchester County, just north of New York City. Cliodhna Joyce-Daly traveled there to talk about Devlin’s desire to change our approach to full-body health.
Eight years ago, Rosemary Devlin’s son had a near-fatal allergic reaction to pistachios during an airplane flight overseas. Two trainee Irish nurses successfully treated it, but the incident sparked Rosemary to become a more educated consumer.
“I began reading every label I came across,” Rosemary told me when I met with her this past June, “and I couldn’t believe the amount of food that was processed.”
The need for a more organic approach fueled a desire to create a global community dedicated to healthy living. The chance arose when a friend was moving to Boston and needed someone to take over her yoga studio in Cross River, New York.
At first, Rosemary, who was busy raising five boys and helping run EuroTech, the construction company she had founded with her husband Fay, demurred. But when the property came up for sale again the following year, Rosemary was ready. And in 2009, she bought the studio, along with Yellow Monkey Village, and transformed the enclave of captivating rustic buildings into a world-class spa and wellness facility called O2 Living Center.
When I visited O2 Living, Rosemary’s warm and approachable personality was full on. “I want my guests to feel welcome and like they are home,” she says. “We really want to make this place a relaxing destination for a day retreat.”
Part of Rosemary’s relaxation therapy is an invigorating hot yoga class. “It’s a great stress reliever,” Rosemary says. “Especially for people coming in from the city. It gets rid of their tension.”
After the yoga class, Rosemary recommends that guests get an O2 Holistic spa treatment. “Everyone needs a little pampering,” she says.
Full-body massages are offered daily by award-winning serene massage therapist expert Sarita Sahni. And facials given by the lively esthetician and endermologist, Eva Vaughan, a consultant for the Dr. Hauschka brand of skin care products. All products used are organic and are produced without artificial preservatives, chemicals or GMOs.
Rosemary’s primary focus for O2 Living is health from within, and she partnered with chef Tom Donnelly in 2009 to develop the in-house menu and a line of organic juices. Now, all O2 juices are packaged on site using organically non-GMO grown fruits and vegetables. They are made in a two-step juicer with a grinder and cold press to maximize the amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in each glass.
“The problem with other juice brands is their use of high-pressure pascalization, where all the nutrients are removed and fortified with vitamins and minerals that are unnatural,” Rosemary says. “We wanted to make sure all the nutrients were present in our juices. That’s why I decided on cold-pressed juices.”
O2’s three to five day juice cleanses are a big hit with clients, who love the rejuvenation factor.
Rosemary recommends that people over 40 do the cleanse at least two to three times a year.
“It makes you look and feel good,” says Rosemary, “and who doesn’t love that!”
These juices, along with O2’s macrobiotic salads, can be purchased on site or around the Westchester County and Tri-State areas, usually in small, organic food stores like Saw Mill Clubs, Mrs. Green’s Natural Market, and Westerly Natural Market in Manhattan.
Although Rosemary’s original vision was to create a humble center where she could share her love for health, O2 Living has become an expanding holistic community that is not just based on health, but living, learning, and continuing to embrace unknown potential.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” she says. “But I think we’re heading in the right direction.” ♦
To contact O2 Living Center visit www.o2living.com or call (914) 763-6320. They are open seven days a week and welcome newcomers.