Jamaican lives in Bali, runs global wellness business

by Kinisha Correia

International wellness entrepreneur, Nadine McNeil, was born and grown in Jamaica, but works around the world offering yoga, transformational coaching and wellness expertise to a global client list.

Universal Empress

McNeil, known through her Universal Empress brand, currently lives in Bali, Indonesia. She launched Universal Empress in 2010, with a mission to help individuals on transformative journeys of self realization, and share the healing tenets of yoga within communities where it has been largely inaccessible.

She presents at international conferences, leads corporate workshops, and teaches at yoga studios across the globe. She also implements a variety of programs, classes and workshops for underserved populations, with past projects in the United States, Jamaica, Haiti and Africa.


Discovered yoga

Before the birth of Universal Empress, McNeil discovered yoga while working with the United Nations, practicing regularly to find balance and respite from the job’s emotional and physical demands.

During her 22 years with the organization, her assignments included stints in Sudan, Iraq and Kuwait, and in 2004 she served as head logistics specialist for UNICEF in response to Indonesia’s tsunami.

After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, McNeil led support initiatives in that country, and has also worked in the Netherlands with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. These and other experiences rooted in her a continued devotion to activism.

McNeil tell us more about her work.

What she does…

“As a global wellness entrepreneur, my work is all about integrating the modalities that I have learned and practiced for nearly 20 years.  


“Based in Bali, Indonesia, I offer a variety of classes at Yoga Barn, the largest wellness facility in South East Asia. I teach yoga, host women’s circles and retreats, both in Jamaica and Bali. My clients range from the individual to corporate entities, especially as it relates to my transformational coaching.  

“My process is intended to support clients in developing into the best version of themselves, and my work is done either in person or online.”

Her philosophy…

“Anything we desire already lies within us. As humans, many of us carry around limiting beliefs that block our progress and growth.  Through transformational coaching together we ‘unpack’ where these fallacies live so that we may break free from them and step into being the fullest expression of ourselves.”  

Being Jamaican impacts her global work…

“Jamaican by birth, Universal in outlook is how I describe myself. The brand Jamaica goes a long way these days and there is no exception in the world of wellness. Increasingly, Jamaica is being appreciated as a place to go for health and wellness travel.

“Particularly in the yoga world, Bob Marley is revered as a sage and his wisdom has impacted the world in a deeply profound way.  At festivals and large events, I teach a vinyasa flow practice that combines a yoga practice with reggae music, and it’s always a hit!  

I’ ve coined this offering Jam-Bali, mindful movement with a message that infuses Balinese sacredness with Jamaican reggae music.

“For me it’s an immense privilege to be a global ambassador for my birth-land in the area of wellness. A large appeal for the work I do is born out of being Jamaican.

“For the past three years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching yoga on the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise, the BEST conscious reggae party on the planet!  I especially come alive when teaching yoga to communities who for one reason or another might not have regular access to it.”

Wellness tips for people all over the world…

Learn to listen to and honor your body. The body knows before the mind does.  

Practice self-love daily. How we treat ourselves is a radical act on the path to self-love. Forgiveness is a huge part of this process.

Learn to make time for you. During this time, allow nothing to disturb your inner sanctum. Pray, meditate, write.

Rest, eat a largely plant-based diet and MOVE your body!


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