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 14 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. On November 8, The Yoga Shala is hosting a show featuring Dave Stringer, a musical performer who practices Kirtan, a form of devotional chanting. The studio also offers teacher trainings each spring and fall and plans a group yoga retreat and a 200-hour immersion to south India in January.
Drawing on her medical background, Marlene Fortney transmits youthful brightness back into clients' features with skin-refining treatments in an intimate spa setting, located inside A Little Indulgence Day Spa. Her spa service menu centers on the face in a range of treatments that incorporate creams rich in antioxidants, deep-cleansing ultrasound rays, and enzyme exfoliants that gently whisk away roughened façades like a brick-wall repossession. For more intense skin restructuring, Marlene can draw on a retinue of high-powered treatments, such as glycolic-acid peels or diamond-tip microdermabrasion treatments that work to unveil smooth complexions from beneath dull skin cells. The specialist also brandishes waxing treatments that span from faces to feet to rid bodies of unwanted hair or sculpt brows into arches sharp enough to pop double-entendres in midair.
The stylists at A Little Indulgence Salon sculpt hair into works of head art, cutting strands with shears sharpened on years of know-how. After scuttling split ends, adding layers, and picking out burs, mane tamers bathe head threads in shampoos from lines such as Dermalogica or Enjoy Professional Hair Care. Half or full highlights then deepen looks by enhancing the dimension of freshly lopped locks. Service concludes as hair undergoes a finishing styling that reflects its grower’s personality or favorite Dr. Seuss character. While undergoing scalp metamorphosis, clients can relax within the studio’s décor of stucco walls, murals of palm trees and archways, and leopard-print upholstery.
Founded with the goal of outfitting its pupils with the skills necessary to excel in the spa and salon industries, Milan Institute of Cosmetology deploys a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and hands-on learning to train fledgling cosmetologists and aestheticians around the country. As the most important aspect of the course of study, student salons and spas serve as a real-world classroom wherein nascent beauticians—under the careful supervision of their instructors—can practice their newly minted skills on humans or sentient mannequins. The beauty apprentices gussy up patrons head to toe via sundry lavish salon and spa services—specific to each location—that may include nail services, haircare, facials therapeutic massages, or nourishing body wraps.
Dr. Gregory Stafford had tried nearly everything. After suffering from back pain for several years, he unsuccessfully attempted to fix his pain with drugs and spinal injections, stopping short of surgery. Instead, and the behest of his wife, he went to a chiropractor. The pain quickly dissolved and changed his life so dramatically that he quit his job at a pharmaceutical rep and went back to school to become a chiropractor.
Now at the helm of his own clinic, he fixes his patients vertebra by vertebra with consultations and digital x-rays that unearth the cause of pain. Alleviating aches and strengthening bodies is a number of services including massages, adjustments, and exercises such as pushups with an exercise ball or bench-pressing Dr. Stafford.
By working in a physical therapy office, a chiropractic office, and a day spa, certified massage therapist Dominique DeBenedetto of Spa Bleu Fonce gained a diverse set of skills. Relying on more than six years of experience as a massage therapist, she combines her comprehensive knowledge to relax bodies and relieve tensions with Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massages. Dominique also soothes expecting mothers and pregnant pet fish with prenatal massage and promotes overall health and wellness with reflexology sessions. Aside from massage therapy, Dominique offers UV-free airbrush tanning to imbue skin with an even, natural-looking bronze color.