Candles, plants, and flowing curtains channel a warm, relaxing vibe in Samatva Yoga's custom-built studios, where students of all skill levels practice ancient poses with a modern twist. To expose pupils to a range of yogic styles, more than a dozen seasoned instructors build an interdisciplinary class lineup that fosters experimentation and self-growth. The studio's signature classes stem from classical traditions such as Hatha and Ashtanga, whose poses and breathing exercises cultivate strength, flexibility, and focus. Many sessions take place in muscle-loosening 105-degree temperatures, which help pores eject body-bound impurities and books on tape lodged in the subconscious. In addition to teaching backbends and arm stands to groups, staffers guide individuals through assisted poses during Thai massages and dissolve energy blockages with reiki treatments. At the downtown Kingston location, a sauna invites students to unwind and detoxify after they stretch and balance in classes and workshops.
When beautifying the heads and bodies of his clientele, Yetmir Keqa of Salon Yetmir draws from eastern European roots, an apprenticeship at James Brett Coiffure, and a natural stockpile of dry wit and sincerity that helps to ease minds. During hair services for men, women, and youth, Mr. Keqa caters to his subjects' personalities and penchants for auditioning for shampoo commercials, using products by Davines and colour infused with milk protein. Facials and massages soothe away stress and brighten countenances, and mani-pedis leave extremities ready for first-impression handshakes. While clients admire glossy black treatment chairs and full-length, thick-bordered mirrors, they sip a complimentary macchiato that lightens the mood and keeps hair awake long enough to say goodbye to its split ends.
In the early 1990s, Blackstar Body Piercing proprietor Roger Monahan found that public health guidelines lacked a comprehensive understanding of his industry. So he rewrote them. The municipality adopted the suggestions, and Roger was immediately pegged as a go-to expert on best practices for piercers. Then, in 1998, Roger's procedures for client safety and sterilization formed the basis of the Ontario Protocols, which the government adopted for personal service workers province-wide. Yet such meticulous procedures had always been the norm at Roger's own studio. In addition to Blackstar's hygienic installation of body art, clients enjoy free aftercare support and detailed advice to ensure that pierced navels heal properly and that hula hoops are only used as earrings with due caution.
Within the calming green walls at Soothing Oasis Spa, certified aestheticians maintain a tranquil oasis in the midst of a hectic world, helping clients reduce stress and refresh bods with head-to-toe pampering services. They nix unwanted patches of hair with the help of warm wax, festoon nails in brilliant hues during mani-pedis, and help faces regain long-ago looks via anti-aging facials.
The Ultimate Hair Salon's team of skilled stylists and colourists gussy up women's and men's hair with products from Wella's Koleston Perfect, Color Touch, and Sebastian. Drawing from an extensive service menu, stylists cut, colour, perm, style, or straighten hair, rending fashionable wig and paper-bag collections obsolete.
The Mane Obsession is a Redken Platinum Salon in which master stylists sculpts tresses into modest follicular masterpieces. Hair services, such as a spring-cleaning cut ($25–$48 for women, $15–$32 for men), mow skullscapes into aesthetically pleasing frontier, and a bang trim frees eyes from the tyrannical rule of egotistical strands ($6). Colourists switch natural hues from doldrums to vibrancy with the application of highlights ($55–$78), and protect entire heads from freezer burn with a full-foil ($70–$93). An intense conditioning service can rid hair from permanent winter windsweptedness more effectively than applying nymph breath or never riding in a convertible ($11 add-on).