Karen Gray, an extensively trained and nationally certified massage therapist, kneads tense muscles with a variety of massage techniques that reduce discomfort and relieve stress. Before undergoing 60-minute sessions, twined torsos sit down and speak with Karen to discuss any persisting aches, daily stresses, previous injuries, and conspiracy theories. With her breadth of personal knowledge, Karen crafts a customized massage to address her customers' concerns and give them a soothing massage session. Depending on the results of the consultation and the pull of the moon on the tides, locked muscles may receive a traditional, relaxing Swedish massage, a thorough deep-tissue hand pressing, an energy balancing via gentle reiki hand placements, or a combination of these and other massage methods.
Prana Yoga School of Yoga and Health takes its name from the Sanskrit word for "breath," a vital life force. As part of the studio's mission, its instructors aim to expose students to all the benefits of yoga and holistic health in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. With 60 classes available each week, Prana Yoga's two locations offer sessions designed for practitioners of every experience level. During all-levels courses, instructors invite all students to practice together while also modifying and adjusting poses for those who need it. Restorative sessions help practitioners relax, and prenatal courses bring relief to mothers-to-be.
In addition to group yoga, the facility hosts private one-on-one yoga, teacher-training programs, and a variety of workshops. Massage therapists are also available to perform Thai, hot-stone, and Swedish massages. As part of a commitment to giving back to the community, the founder of Prana Yoga also runs the Pranayoga Foundation, which brings yoga therapy to people with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Owners and principal members of the stylist team Emilio and Gino corral their decades of experience to create two distinct spaces where clients revel in personalized services. They staff more than 60 aesthetes, each of whom receives focused training on adjusting hair, skin, nail, and massage services to clients’ stated preferences and lifestyle. During and after haircuts, the team uses a house brand of products to style strands and address specific hair problems such as color fading, excessive oil, or naturally occurring pipe cleaners. During facials, the aestheticians home in on what lies below bangs by cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin, and tension dissipates during therapists' restful massage sessions. The downtown Pittsburgh location also plays host to an elegant serata—a private, chandelier-lit escape where bridal parties can enjoy ultimate relaxation before addressing the fact that their friend is marrying a panda bear.
Melinda Smith started dreaming about feet in high school. Confused by the recurring visions, she asked a teacher for advice and began to study reflexology—the practice of gently massaging pressure points along the feet in order to promote well-being across the entire body. Melinda’s first encounter with the healing bodywork technique cemented her resolve to study massage therapy, and she eventually founded her own studio with numerous modalities on the menu.
The spa includes four private treatment rooms, each of which is designed to channel one of the four elements (earth, fire, air, and water) that Aristotle discovered with his particle accelerator. The rooms’ different energies serve different purposes—with the earth room aimed at relaxing minds and the fire room intended to cultivate inner strength. Outside these rooms, the spa's aestheticians and technicians incorporate botanically derived Aveda products into skincare treatments and paint nails with chip-resistant OPI gel polishes.
Vital Living WellSpa's accomplished staff, which include registered nurses, licensed aestheticians, and 11 certified massage therapists, focus on healing bodies with de-stressing massages, rejuvenating facials, and calming body treatments. In fact, Vital Living requires patrons to fill out personal-health information forms, answer skincare questionnaires, and consult fortune tellers to ensure that problem areas aren't glossed over during body-mending sessions, causing future health troubles. The spa specialists then get to work repairing corporeal landscapes, revitalizing skin with more than 10 facial and body treatments that use high-end Bioelements and Sircuit Cosmeceuticals products and powerful essential oils, and untying knotted musculature with classic massage varieties such as deep tissue, trigger point, and neuromuscular therapy. Vital Living may also add extras such as hot packs, heated blankets, pillows, and sweet compliments to any treatment to further soothe corpora.
Aestheticians at H.I. pamper clients, painting on OPI or CND Shellac polishes, waxing brows, and affixing false eyelashes. Offering an alternative to standard polishes, organic polishes are water based, formaldehyde free, and avoid the use of toxic chemicals. Other treatments include hot-stone and prenatal massages that use Colombia organic coffee scrubs, a variety of facials, makeup application for special occasions such as weddings and proms, and organic waxing services aimed at exfoliating and leaving skin smoother.
Meanwhile, on the salon side, rows and rows of bottles, boxes, tubes, and other Paul MItchell products line the shelves. These potions allow owner Jessica and her team to create custom hair colors, and the salon's digital imaging lets clients see potential shades and hairdos before any dyeing or snipping takes place. Stylists can also perform keratin-straightening services and revitalize dry scalps and damaged strands.