havenNestled in the bustling side-streets of SoHo is a true Haven amongst the busyness and at times, this chaotic center of shopping, restaurants and art galleries.  Haven has been around since 1998 and is one of New York’s original and affordable day spas. The ambiance here is incredible in that as one walks through the halls it  feels less like a spa in SoHo and more like a retreat in a remote and quiet place in New Mexico.  Haven is gently well lit and inviting with warm hues of mauve and plum.

I have enjoyed a variety of services here as I proudly was employed for five years at this spa.  This makes me favorably biased which is a good sign.  Not everyone can recommend places they were previously employed.  The owners have diligently put together a spa menu that is a head to toe fantastic and rejuvenating experience.  From body treatments to specialized manicures and pedicures.  I witnessed them consistently experiment till they would find the right combination of essential oils, scrubs and other delicious products for their services.  It would be difficult to review all the services offered here but I recommend Haven highly as a full service spa for grooming and relaxing.  Waxing is also available with both regular and organic wax for sensitive skin.

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chakraThe practice of Yoga has gained an immense popularity over the last few decades.  There are classes in gyms everywhere in small rural areas to cosmopolitan centers.  Among the benefits of participating consistently  in a well instructed class are good alignment, improved breathing and more spiritual connection (alignment through the Chakra system).  This last part is often forgotten or completely overlooked because yoga is often represented as simply another form of exercise.  Yoga means path or way.  The practice of the Asanas (poses in yoga) are meant as a way to connect to one’s center,  to source energy and spirit. Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that effects your body, mind and spirit by practicing balance, strength and focus as we connect to the chakra system.  The words Yoga and Chakra were taken over by a flighty new age perspective at one point -it is important to reclaim them as they are refreshingly structured and grounded.  They are concepts that have been around for thousands of years and for good reasons.

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aroma therapy candleThe word aromatherapy often appears in my articles,  so I would like to share some simple  tips on how you can use it to enhance the quality of your environment and to help improve your mood.  First, go to your local health food store and check the lovely assortment of flora and fauna sitting there on the shelf!  Always make sure it says 100% pure on the label.  This means exactly what it says without that marker you may be purchasing artificial oil which will not have the same healing value.  You can, of course, purchase essential oil online but going to the store allows you to sample scents prior to buying.

If  you or anyone you live with has allergies, be very mindful when making your selection.  Avoid the strong scents at first such as eucalyptus or tea tree.  Though they have great therapeutic value, they can be very overpowering when introducing aromatherapy for the first time in your home.  Try the more simple and equally beneficial scents of citruses!  Grapefruit, sweet orange and even lemon are fantastic!  Bergamot, a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit and the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea, is one of my favorites.   Most people will not have a problem with these scents (unless they have a food allergy to them).  In addition, they have the familiarity factor which make people feel comfortable and welcome.  Citrus scents are great to use in those dark winter months to bring a little sunshine in your home and combat depression.

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Soho SanctuaryIn the heart of SoHo is nestled a fabulous retreat for ladies only, especially those who can afford it.  SoHo Sanctuary is nothing short of amazing.  For many of us unfortunately it is a special occasion kind of a treat as it is on the least affordable side of Spa menu prices.  That said, it is well worth it and is a true treat when in need.  The “ladies Only” aspect adds an element of ease to the modest type or for woman who simply want to have a cloistered experience.  There is a steam room appropriately “egg-shaped” which is infused with lavender and which the use is included in the price of the massages and body treatments.

Cost: Signature massage $125 / $185     60 minutes / 90 minutes with an additional $15.00 more for aromatherapy

Ambiance:  Tastefully and comfortingly designed with natural wood floors and soothing accents.  This has a traditional earthy spa atmosphere.  Combined with bright marble in the bathrooms for a very classic style that is at once comforting and uplifting.

Customer Service at the front desk:  Very kind and accommodating.

Hygiene:  Excellent

Quality of Service:  SoHo Sanctuary prides itself on having a massage staff that is consistently being trained in the latest techniques and continuing the professional development of its staff’s training.  This is significant in that it raises the interest and commitment level of the therapists, thus creating a better session for the client.  I have personally received about four massage therapy sessions there over the last ten years and have always had an excellent experience.

Products:  SoHo sanctuary uses the Young Living brand of essential oils for its sessions.  This is a top of the line company known for its purity and high end price.  For facials, the Dr. Haushka line is used.  Many people love this line again for its purity, but I have always found it a bit heavy.

Overall Impression:  This is a professional and full service place.  SoHo Sanctuary also offers  fitness and manicures and pedicures.  For quality and ambiance it is wonderful but as mentioned one feels it when you are leaving to pay.  It is not a place many can frequent but for a treat it is worth it.  For women who really prefer to de-compress in a female only atmosphere, this spa has my highest recommendation.

http://www.sohosanctuary.com

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