What is Spa Lifestyle

meditatingI think that sometimes there is a misconception about spas. Granted we live in a workaholic society that thinks taking time for a massage or facial is an indulgence, but I can assure you that the majority of us in the business see the primary benefit is to offer a healing experience. Touch and relaxation are powerful tools for getting back to one’s authentic self.

Spa Lifestyle integrates this sense of healing and well being into all aspects of our life. For example, by changing my perception that I was the boss to realizing that I was in service to my co-workers, not only created more harmony, but revitalized my passion for the business. We all have the potential to change our circumstances by changing our perceptions.

How can we take a sense of well being into all aspects of our life? There are a variety of ways. For some it may take the form of transparent communication. Speaking the truth can free one from resentment, which can be healing, and ultimately create greater intimacy. Bringing greater harmony to all aspects of our life is what I mean by Spa Lifestyle. The spa is great, but bring the sense of healing and well being to your home,  workplace, relationships and most importantly to yourself.

Kundalini Rising

Dance SoloI was at Esalen this weekend for another Soul Motion Dance workshop with Arjuna and I want to share my kundalini experience!

The sacred spiral is one of the building blocks of the Universe. Interestingly it is also the motion of the kundalini or shakti that runs up the spine through the crown chakra. In Soul Motion this subtle micro movement is the foundation of our dance.

kundaliniDuring my dance this weekend I began to follow the spiral of energy up the spine  and was profoundly shaken by the discovery of a a blockage at my throat chakra. I literally started to gag as I felt the energy’s inability to move past this point. When I finally felt the release I burst out in tears of gratitude for this powerful lesson.

I have spent a lifetime swallowing my words in order to maintain a harmonious environment. I know this problem is common for many women. As the peace makers in the household we value harmony above all else. Of course, what results is a burning resentment which, in my case, actually expressed itself as bile!

What I love about dance is that this emotional lesson was manifested in the physical. Speak up dear sisters. You are wise and powerful and have a lot to say. Also dance, sing and laugh….this helps!

 

Growing Young-A Natural Facelift

Aging gracefully has always been my mantra. How you feel is how you look but at fifty five my outside self no longer  reflected my inner self. Who is that fifty five year old woman in the mirror?  Why, I don’t feel a day over twenty four!

I have  always been afraid of getting a facelift.  In the spa we see many botched results and even the so called successful ones can leave a  strange,  frozen expression with shiny, over polished skin.  I wanted better results without undergoing the knife and finally decided on a procedure called Ultherapy. 

Ultherapy is a noninvasive facelift that promises to deliver a firmer neck and jawline over a period of six months. There is no down time, and the procedure lasts about two hours. The laser  impacts the subcutaneous layers of the skin and it feels like small electrical shocks.  The procedure is not for wimps! After twenty minutes I was weeping quietly.  The assistant mentioned that it was better than a facelift. Yes, true, but still it hurt!

The good news is that once the procedure is over so is the pain. The next day I noticed a bit of puffiness around my jawline but it healed within 24 hours and I was back to myself. One week later I can feel the healing and contraction.  Already friends are commenting.

The real therapy is that every  morning for six months I get to look into the mirror for the signs of growing younger. Six months of looking in the mirror,  anticipating a more youthful me, is plenty reason to invest in Ultherapy. Of course if I chose to wake up every morning looking for the beauty in my face instead its flaws, I wouldn’t even need Ultherapy. Now that is an ah hah moment.

Healthy Treats

As I’ve aged my metabolism has slowed down and I realize the only way to maintain my ideal weight is to avoid all empty calories. By empty I mean processed grains and sugars. Over the years I have slowly and so almost effortlessly eliminated some of my worst food addictions.  I see now that many of our food choices are cultural and surprisingly some of the healthier alternatives are more delicious than these traditional comfort foods. That bowl of ice cream I used to eat after dinner every night has evolved into a homemade coconut ice cream free of sin. Interested?

Read on….

Rich, creamy & delicious.
Rich, creamy & delicious.

Coconut Ice Cream

1 can coconut cream

1 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbs raw cocoa

1/4 c  Xylitol

1 tsp vanilla

2 bananas

2 tsp chopped walnut

Blend all the ingredients together except the walnuts. I use a Cusinart but a blender would work too. Freeze for 2-3 hours and serve with sprinkled walnuts.

If you are unfamiliar with Xylitol it is a natural sweetener made from the Birch tree. It has the lowest glycemic index of any natural sweetener and is one third of the calories of white sugar.

Chia Seed Pudding

1/4 cup chia seeds

2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup Xylitol or honey

Mix all the ingredients and leave in the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. It is very similar to Tapioca pudding but oh so healthy and easy!

Say No to Diets!

The pitfalls of dieting.
The pitfalls of dieting.

One day, at the tender age of fifteen, I noticed my growing belly and announced to my mom that I was going on a diet. By the end of the first day I had managed to devour an entire  banana cream pie!  Just the mention of going on a diet can inspire us to binge.  There was the time my sister went on The Watermelon Diet. It ended with us devouring a gallon of Dryer’s Rocky Road Ice cream. I still remember the feel of the spongy, sweet marshmallows and the creamy dark chocolate on my tongue.

Why is there such a strong tendency to binge when we deprive ourselves of the things we love? What you resist, persists and sure enough as soon as I declared my weight a problem, it became one.  What finally cured me of this debilitating pattern? Moderation and self acceptance. This small shift from fixating on my problem to focusing on balance and well being, liberated me from the constant worry about my weight.

As I’ve aged my metabolism has slowed down and again I had to shift my eating patterns.  Over the years I have slowly and so almost effortlessly eliminated some of my worst food addictions starting with white sugar and white flour. So many of our food choices are habitual and surprisingly some of the healthier alternatives are more delicious than the traditional desserts.

Interested? Read on….

Rich, creamy & delicious.
Rich, creamy & delicious.

Coconut Ice Cream

1 can coconut cream

1 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbs raw cocoa

1/4 c  Xylitol

1 tsp vanilla

2 bananas

2 tsp chopped walnut

Blend all the ingredients together except the walnuts. I use a Cusinart but a blender would work too. Freeze for 2-3 hours and serve with sprinkled walnuts.

If you are unfamiliar with Xylitol it is a natural sweetener made from the Birch tree. It has the lowest glycemic index of any natural sweetener and is one third of the calories of white sugar.

Dance, dance, dance!

Dance Solo

I discovered Soul Motion Dance at Esalen last February. For me it was a life transforming experience.  This is a free flow class with few guidelines but what emerges is a spiritual practice which is deeply self nurturing.

Arjuna, the founder of Soul Motion is a remarkable teacher who drops golden messages throughout the dance that evoke both tears and laughter. The practice itself is such a heart opener and a fun way to strengthen the body. I have never walked so tall and am so pleased to find myself leading with my heart instead of my head.

There seems to be a global dance explosion and between Monterey and Santa Cruz County there is lots to choose from. In addition to Soul Motion there is also Gabriel Roth’s 5 Rhythms. I am currently taking a class from Rachael Jordan in Santa Cruz who is a student of Gabriel Roth. Gabriel Roth taught that there were 5 natural rhythms to our dance; flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. The dancer moves through a musical “wave” that explores all 5 rhythms. The practice of these rhythms become a metaphor for one’s life and is a powerful way to heal old emotional wounds or discover aspects of oneself that may otherwise  remain dormant.

The dance environment is completely non judgmental and there is an emphasis on play and making connections on the dance floor which create friendships and camaraderie among the dancers. Arjuna encourages these connections through simple techniques such as corridor dancing whereby students dance through the corridors of the dance circle. Each taking the limelight in the center of the dance briefly and moving with each other in and out of the corridors. The effect is a sensation of wholeness on the dance floor. We all become each other’s dance. It was wonderful! GO…..

Links to local dance:

http://www.dancejampg.org

http://www.the418project.com/current-class-schedule

http://www.consciousdancer.com/

Soul Motion Video

Corridors of Dance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh2gpxzBA0s

 

 

Well Being & Health