To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of a select number of Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. The Yoga Shala regularly hosts community-building social events, and Acro Yoga and Kirtan Chanting nights are offered twice a month. The studio also offers teacher apprenticeships each season and hosts a yoga tour group retreat with a 200-hour immersion to India each winter.
Jenn Guerra is a person of many talents. The certified massage therapist practices numerous forms of bodywork, from the intense pressure of deep-tissue massage to the targeted manipulation of trigger-point therapy and acupressure. But she knows just as much about the spirit as she does the body. She regularly holds spiritual readings in private sessions, at events and parties, and even over the phone, as long as the client’s line isn’t being tied up by someone going on the Internet in 1995. For all of these services, Jenn Guerra can work out of her office or travel directly to clients' homes.
Though threading has been among Asia’s most popular depilation methods for thousands of years, it only recently made its way onto the service menus of Western spas. The ancient practice has shown signs of becoming more of a spa mainstay, however, thanks to an eco-friendly process that also manages to stay on good terms with sensitive skin.
For evidence of threading’s rapidly expanding popularity, one need not look further than Brow Shapes' Eastern-inspired treatment menu. When not sculpting brows into precise arches, the spa’s artists rely on their attention to detail to draw henna tattoos that depict flowery swirls, geometric patterns, or extremely detailed public-transit maps. The spa also features a variety of facial massages, each of which can be customized to relieve pain, aid in relaxation, and improve skin tone.
Dr. Cynthia M. Lopez began her medical career in the Philippines, returning to her hometown after medical school to provide health care to families who could not otherwise afford it. Since that time, Dr. Lopez has become an expert laser cosmetic surgeon, helping enhance the beauty of her clients within a practice designed to evoke the calm and relaxation of Mariveles, her archipelago hometown. Dr. Lopez and her staff aim to demystify the advanced techniques they deploy in pursuit of increasing each patient's confidence, walking them through the steps of liposuction, skin treatments, cosmetic injections, and how exactly they manage to steal and replace the noses of children.
Monica Miller Lucido, an aesthetician since 1989 and a massage therapist since 1997, ministers to aesthetic needs between the earth-toned walls of her serene treatment rooms. The skin specialist performs swift waxing services as well as massages that promote the stress alleviation and mental clarity necessary to vocally complete a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle read aloud by a cantankerous drill sergeant. Alternatively, European facials, acne facials, and exfoliating microdermabrasion treatments cleanse pores and render them healthy. The boutique skincare center is located within V.I.P. Salon.
A member of the Green Spa Network, Body del Sol Medical Spa tends to clients with medical-grade services enhanced by organic products. Inside the spa's bright, energy-efficient facility, staff members renew epidermises with facials, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion treatments, as well as laser hair-removal sessions that target follicles with deep-penetrating light pulses. Techs also revitalize the body with head-to-toe scrubs and an array of massages designed to soothe tense backs and shoulders sore from supporting well-fed parrots.