Category: Stress Management

Six Senses Spa – Paris

A zen oasis hiding in plain sight is what I would call the Six Senses Spa at the Westin Paris, Vendôme hotel. I was searching for a massage in Paris when I remembered the discreet entrance on the corner of rue de Castiglione, which stretches between the Tuileries Gardens and the Place Vendôme, and rue du Mont Thabor, home of my favorite Japanese restaurant in Paris and so many other good things! Upon entering the spa, the landscaped “vertical garden” wall sets the tone. Organic, hushed, warm, and welcoming. Great staff! From reception to the very capable therapists. Zero attitude. Each guest is tended to in an authentically kind way — such good energy. As you know, I love design and I can only describe the treatment rooms at minimalist, wooden pods that feel like cocoons. All the hustle from city outside is sealed off. True relaxation. A special experience is reserved for the post-treatment lounge area. While sipping quite possibly some of the BEST ginger tea, there is a beautiful movie of Place de la Concorde and its iconic “Roule” (ferris wheel) projected onto the wall. No sound. Just images. It might sound like an odd juxtaposition, but it works! Oh, and the massage? Heaven.

Six Senses Spa – Westin Paris, Vendôme

Clarins Spa at the Royal Monceau hotel, Paris

 

Spa My Blend by Clarins

Spa My Blend by Clarins

Although I don’t get them often, I love a good facial. When I lived in New York City, I was a devotée of Christine Chin. She is a formidable, tell-it-like-it-is (“Oh, does it sting? Good! Beauty is torture!”), skin genius. Period. It’s taken me awhile to find a new place, but I think I just struck gold with the Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Royal Monceau hotel. The design is a sea of white lacquer and mirrored furniture. With so much stimulus hitting us from every direction these days, the minimalism felt clean, crisp and oddly soothing. Plus, I loved the beautiful fresh juices and treats to sample pre-appointment. My therapist, Marine, was a true delight and the real deal. Professional skin diagnosis, an incredible custom protocol for my skin (hence the name, “Spa My Blend“), and (when has this EVER happened) on top of a fantastic facial, the treatment included a hot stone massage for my neck and shoulders. Oh, a hand and and foot massage as well. When the treatment was over… a salted caramel macaron was waiting for me. Hello? God, I felt great.

There are moments as an expat when you love where you live, like where you live, feel like a fish out of water or just want to go home. By the way, these moods can all happen in one day. What helps tip the scale more to love is when you start to have your “network” going. Your friend tribe, your butcher, the fabulous lady you buy your flowers from, your fish monger, your “bio coop,” and on and on. Spa My Blend is officially part of the network. Expats in Paris: what gems are in your network?

Spa My Blend by Clarins, Royal Monceau Paris

Leonor Greyl – Paris

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Today is the day that I finally treated myself to a customized “Hairspa Treatment” at Leonor Greyl in Paris. As a recent transplant to the city, I’ve been … busy. Moving anywhere is intense and moving abroad just dials it up even further. But then again, it is Paris. And amidst sorting the apartment out, settling on a school for my daughter, and the general hilarity of dusting off my French again for unsuspecting Parisians, the city is such a jewel. (Even if it has been under a stubborn rain cloud!) And, for self-care? C’est top! Women love to pamper themselves here. And, though I’m sure many go the day spa route from time the time, the real pampering is in the everyday attention to hair, skin, nails, and their “esprit.”

But today was not about the everyday. Today was about indulgence. Upon arrival, I was in a robe and escorted to a cozy room. My lovely attendant started by applying the amazing Huile de Leonor Greyl to my scalp with a lovely massage. She then produced a magical little machine that examined my scalp. The verdict? Hydration, hydration, hydration! Then came the customized treatment of oils mixed with deep conditioning, a neck and shoulder massage and finally a 15 minute steam session. Amazing. Hair like silk. I’m hooked.

If you are traveling to Paris, this is a heavenly respite from the usual go-go-go pace. Also, the products are incredible. Only all natural plant extracts and vitamins — paraben, silicon, and cruelty-free. I’m a new devotee to their Regenerescence Naturelle Scalp Oil, followed by the Huile de Leonor Greyl plus Masque Fleurs de Jasmin mask. Home spa sorted!

Leonor Greyl

Leonor Greyl Paris

 

Summer Workshops at Omega Institute

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With the tagline, “Awakening the best in the human spirit,” there’s a lot to love about the Omega Institute. Located in idyllic Rhinebeck, NY, Omega offers weekend and weeklong seminars covering topics like Mind, Body, Spirit; Health & Healing; Relationships and Family; Leadership & Work; and Sustainable Living. I don’t know of anyone who returns from an Omega workshop disappointed. Seriously. There’s something for every kind of wellness seeker. Here’s a sample of  some upcoming workshops that might be perfect for you, but check out their full roster!

1. Insight Meditation for Beginners – Geared towards beginners, but also great for those looking for inspiration to add to existing practices, and for professionals who want to share techniques with clients. Insight Meditation, also know as Vipassana Meditation, is an ancient form of meditation where emphasis is placed on grounding our attention in the present moment.

Details: Weekend of June 3rd, 2016 – June 5th, 2016;  taught by Matthew Daniell;  $185-$410.

2. Omega Wellness Weekend — This is the perfect way to get a sample of what Omega is all about. In this weekend, learn from three experts about holistic well-being. Topics will include: naturopathic and functional medicine, food and nutrition, and intuition. The goal of this weekend is for you to find inner balance and gain knowledge of what you need to thrive.

Details: Weekend of June 24th, 2016 – June 26th, 2016; taught by Tom Francescott, Kathy Fitzgerald, and Wayne Homsi; $310.

3. Meridian Yoga (The Art of Energy Flow) – This workshop is all about unblocking energy. When our energy is blocked, we’re not functioning at the optimal wellness level that we could be. Learn about your body’s energy pathways and how to release stored tension with techniques including yoga, qi gong, breathing exercises and shiatsu message. The result? You know when you feel so good standing on your own two feet — literally and figuratively? There you go!

Details: Weekend of June 10th, 2016 – June 12th, 2016; taught by Daniel Orlansky; price $305.

Bonus: Can’t travel? There are also Online Workshops!

Indo Boards For Balance

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If you want to work on your balance and core-strength the Indo Board might become your new best friend. Created originally for surfers with down time, the Indo Board can be used by anyone at any level. Seriously. The original set comes with a roller, but you yogis out there might want to try the Indo Yogafit Balance Board.

If you’re missing Standup Paddleboard or just want a new way to work your body, these boards are great to fire up core-strength, improve balance, and add some fun to your normal practice. They also have a really lovely design. The original Indo Board version is a different experience. You’ll place a roller or cushion under the center of the board, then step on the board with each foot on either side and balance away! The key is the keep the board from touching the ground. This will happen a lot at first — so be it. Just keep getting the board up. Your knees should be in “surfer stance” with a slight bend. Once you get used to balancing — which is a fantastic workout in and of itself! — you can ramp up by adding squats, then squats with weights, and so on.

Their site is really helpful (some boards even have graphics to show where your feet should go) with lots of videos and many, many options for board type and design.

What’s so great is that you’re working your core, gaining strength, increasing your balance … and it’s fun! Ready to tap into your inner surfer girl?

Indo Board

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