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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

a mini retreat in the riviera

Body Therapy Center Day Spa
1700 South Catalina Avenue, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 540-0163
website: http://www.bodytherapycenter.com/

We are your neighborhood day spa, specializing in personalized service. Stay for an hour or an afternoon and you will leave feeling renewed.
All classes are held in our beautiful ocean view studio. Classes include Hatha Yoga (all levels), Pilates Method Mat Classes, Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and many more.

sometime in july of last year, i had heard about this studio through diane gilbert at the yoga center in redondo beach, right after she had informed me that the class i had just shown up for at her place was cancelled (and more about THAT story here). she said something about checking if a spa around the corner had a yoga class i could still make. but since i wanted to go to a sure class rather than a possible class, i immediately headed towards another yoga studio a couple of miles away instead. in my haste, i never caught the name of the place she was referring to. i mentally bookmarked the fact that there were other possible yoga classes in the area, but quickly forgot all about it. oh well.

then sometime last month, a friend and i happened to be strolling down catalina avenue in the riviera village in redondo beach, looking for a place to have dinner. when we came across a place called the body therapy center, my synapses started firing. and i wondered: could this be that spa diane talked about? i peered into the window, and sure enough, there was enough evidence to convince me that i had finally found it. unfortunately, they were already closed for the day, so i made another mental bookmark, determined to check it out the first chance i got.

that first chance came a few weeks later while i was distributing global mala flyers at various studios in the south bay. i dropped off some flyers at this new yoga discovery and picked up a copy of the class schedule.

i scanned the offerings: gentle yoga, restorative yoga, hatha flow, pilates, qi gong, reiki training, and something that was called a "mini retreat special".

hmmm... a mini retreat at a spa? that sounded very inviting...

so on the second wednesday of this month (which happened to be the first time this once-monthly class was going to be held), i drove back out to the riviera village to pamper myself at a spa yoga class with betsy kenoff. it turned out to be a yoga-and-reiki package deal, where the first hour or so was an all-levels yoga class and the remaining time was to be spent in a reiki healing session.

the body therapy spa is located at the corner of catalina and avenue I in a small two-story building which houses a collection of small businesses, including the green temple, a wonderful vegetarian restaurant whose tables take up most of the lovely open-air courtyard. body therapy's reception area, boutique, and main spa facilities are located on the ground floor, right by the restaurant. after i checked in at the front desk for betsy's class, i was instructed to take the stairs up to the second floor to the classroom on the ocean side of the building. i really don't know why i never thought of looking out the window to check out the view; maybe i should do that the next time i drop by...

our yoga class was fairly gentle, although betsy gave us suggestions on how to modify the poses to make them more or less difficult. despite the fact that i almost always chose to take the more advanced option offered, the class still ended up being a far cry from what i would consider strenuous. but then again, since i got a nice stretch without tweaking any of my usual hot spots, i was satisfied with the end result.

once we emerged from savasana, betsy laid out an assortment of munchies for those of us who needed a little energy boost to get through the rest of the evening -- banana chips, trail mix, chips, hummus, guacamole... yum! and while we helped ourselves to the goodies, betsy brought out her biomat, which she uses in her reiki practice to provide additional heat and ion therapy to those being treated.

still feeling the blissful effects of our just-ended savasana, i eagerly volunteered to be the first to receive reiki healing from betsy.

so what is reiki? according to the reiki website,
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

whether it was the result of the yoga class, her laying her healing hands on me, the comforting heat from the biomat, or all of the above, all i know is that i emerged feeling calm and relaxed after our 2+ hour mini retreat.

which is exactly how one expects to feel after a visit to a spa. aaaaahhhh...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not from LA, but this is a fun concept you have here on this blog.

Anyone promoting Yoga is doing good stuff!

8:37 AM  
Blogger joni said...

thanks, krishan! and when there's such a variety of yoga like we have here in LA, you can see why i enjoy what i'm doing immensely!

10:24 AM  

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