When Kate Danta opened P.B. Yoga & Healing Arts, she envisioned more than a simple yoga studio. Her holistic health center would offer both Pilates and yoga classes that explored different types of practice along with a range of wellness services such as massage and acupuncture. Kate is a holistic health practitioner, a massage therapist, and a yoga instructor with 30 years of experience, herself, so she was in a unique position to make her dream become reality. Rather than doing everything herself, Kate assembled a staff of certified massage therapists, naturopathic healers, and yoga instructors to add their knowledge of Svaroopa, Kripalu, and Kundalini yoga to the studio's repertoire.
Visitors to the holistic studio can choose to better their bodies and minds by choosing to attend classes or visiting one of the staff's variety of physical and spiritual healers. During yoga sessions, instructors lead students through guided relaxations, breathing techniques, and yoga poses to help clients build flexibility and relax deep spinal muscles. Pilates mat classes are taught by an experienced instructor who sold her thriving studio in order to move to San Diego and join the staff at PB Yoga and Healing Arts to challenge clients' muscles with small isometric movements, which work to improve posture and protect the back by building strength throughout the core. The studio also has a Pilates Specialist whose background includes the New York Ballet Co. She works one-on-one with the help of the Gyrotonic equipment and the Pilates Reformer. The studio's on-staff licensed acupuncturist specializes in sports medicine, and can relieve chronic pain by carefully placing needles in strategic points along the body. Clients can achieve spiritual balance with visits to a Sunday morning meditation class facilitated by an ordained Zen Buddhist monk, Tenshin; who also teaches the Tai Chi classes. The center also offers sessions with an on-staff practitioner who can deliver both psychic readings and spiritual counseling to help clients reach inner peace.
Though they don't serve food, the professionals at Healing Arts Massage & Wellness Center do oversee a buffet. Their Massage My Way package lets clients pick from a menu of enticing modalities and add-ons, including aromatic essential oils, warm stones, and hot towels. This muscle-sating feast functions as just one draw to the relaxation haven, where practitioners believe that massages should be a recurring investment. To help encourage repeat visits, they've also created special services such as the Island Escape, a tropical-themed treatment that adds mango-scented oil, coconut-lime foot-massage butter, and a scalp massage to Swedish or deep-tissue kneads. Visitors can even pose for a custom airbrush spray tan to complete their beachy, stress-relieving session.
Of course, guests can also elect to keep appointments simple with a single modality. In addition to classic massage styles, the calming techniques of craniosacral therapy and the pinpointed pressures of reflexology alleviate the body's more focused tensions. Licensed acupuncturist Robin Kohler often pairs her trade with massage appointments, striving to correct energy imbalances within each physique.
The center has fostered restfulness for more than 20 years and exclusively employs licensed massage therapists rather than relying on students or friends who give very encouraging back pats. Situated a mere three blocks from the ocean, its locale mirrors the serene atmosphere behind its doors.
Sara Elizabeth Skincare & Nail Boutique founder Sara Elizabeth Kuite has traveled the country to build her acute knowledge of bodily betterments, studying specialized skincare in New York City with celebrity facialist Ling Chan and scaling the Rocky Mountains to learn Japanese kobido massage techniques under sensei master Shogo Mochizuki. Today, she fuses Eastern ideas with Western technology in her current practice, which places an emphasis on deep healing and prevention of unnecessary epidermal wear. Her highly trained eyes carefully scan skin to spot specific conditions and create a personalized skincare regimen for each individual, and she gives each patient the time and attention they need to learn how to use products correctly and finally set the clocks on their VCRs.
Celery green walls and white overstuffed chairs provide a tranquil setting for all services, which include everything from anti-aging, hydrating, or exfoliating facials to hair removal with sugar paste or blue chamomile wax. Clients awaiting treatment may soothe sore eyes by browsing through a boutique stocked with raw vegan skincare products from brands such as Astara and Priori and high-powered CoffeeBerry antioxidant, or wander over to the elixir bar to nourish bodies and wilted houseplants with phytonutrient-rich beverages.
Pearls, crystal chandeliers, and white roses grace the country-chic interior of The Sanctuary Day Spa, once a 1950s cottage. But as attention grabbing as these embellishments are, it is the lack of patronage that is more noticeable. To make each guest feel like a VIP member, owner Tracy Duhs and her team only schedule one client at a time. This approach, coupled with cups of hand-blended organic tea, has earned the private spa high praise from local and national press. DiscoveredSD.com, for example, gave high marks to the spa’s ultimate facial, which blends vacuum massage, microdermabrasion, and red-light therapy with fragrant skincare products. Numerous publications have raved about the spa's Synergie vacuum-massage treatment, which can reduce cellulite as it detoxifies the body.
The spa space is also packed with high-end products, from herbal-infused Jadience creams, used during customized massages, to Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics, used to cover imperfections and age spots that relay one’s true birth date in Morse code. Clients are also invited to browse a collection of Arcona, Enessa, Bella Luxx, and Fenton Fallon products, which Tracy handpicks from around the world.
Both soundproof and lightproof, the fiberglass capsules at Float Spa San Diego simulate a world without gravity, and more importantly, a world without distractions. Eight hundred pounds of Epsom salts intermixed with warm water—heated between 94 and 95 degrees—fill the tanks. As a result, clients lose all sense of external stimuli, ultimately leading to unmatched relaxation and a greater empathy toward rubber duckies. The water, harmonized with the skin's temperature, erases the sensation of touch, and the salt allows the body, including the head, to literally float without effort. Researchers have given this phenomenon the moniker REST, meaning Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, as it has been shown to effectively reduce the brain's workload and enhance the mind and body's ability to relax and self-heal.
At Float Spa San Diego, the capsules are located inside private rooms equipped with showers for use before and after the session. Appointments kick off with 10 minutes of soothing music before all sounds and stimuli are shut off for 50 minutes of supreme silence and relaxation. With their modesty guarded by the locked rooms, clients are free to enjoy their flotation clad in a bathing suit, scuba-diving gear, or, for even less restriction, without any clothing at all.
Though they're skilled at airbrush tanning, brow shaping, and galvanic facials, the lash experts at Ultimate Lash and Brow specialize in applying semi-permanent eyelash extensions and brow design. They tailor looks to each client’s natural lash length and desired look, whether it be subtle enhancement or dramatic glamour. Aestheticians—who go through continuous training to keep up with innovations—work with clients of all skin types and eye beauty concerns, including small or deep-set eyes, dark shadows, mono-lids, and thin or full eyebrows.
The most modest of these packages, called Flirty Eyes, consists of 15 individual lashes, whereas clients opting for the Event lashes take on 100 new strands. The Masculine Eye treatment is specially designed for those who need masculine lash amplification, ideal for giving stern looks to scare away herds of saber-toothed tigers. The med spa's list of FAQs introduces extension novices to the methods, materials, and processes involved. An onsite product boutique equips clients with the best products for their new strands.