Posts belonging to Category 'Reviews'

Ultimate Wellness Package @ COMO Shambhala – Perth’s Best New Day Spa.

 

After the craziness of Christmas & the silly season – cue late nights, champers & plenty of delicious festive treats, it’s not unusual to be left feeling a little flat as our bodies try their hardest to recover from lots of leftovers and (more than likely) a lack of exercise.

I was invited to try out the COMO Shambhala Ultimate Wellness Package ($195) – and if I could, I’d prescribe it to everyone in my life who needs to press restart on their health & wellness in 2016. Take two hours at this luxury Perth CBD day spa and call me in the morning.

The Ultimate Wellness Package consists of the 75 minute signature massage, followed by a super healthy main course & juice/smoothie of your choice from the COMO Shambhala menu at the on site restaurant (POST).

I’ve been lucky enough to try out many massages over the years, so I don’t take it lightly when I tell you that this experience with Jennifer my masseuse was, without a doubt, one of the best massages I have EVER had! I almost don’t want to share this review because it was THAT good and the word will spread, making it harder for me to book back in 😉 But I just can’t keep this gem to myself.

The pressure was firm, yet nurturing, & a gorgeous combination of essential oils – Bergamot, Thyme, Geranium & Marjoram mixed with a base of sweet almond & vitamin e – were expertly applied and massaged into my tired muscles, bliss.

I’m all about the little details and these were all on point. Hot towels on the feet AND neck (my absolute favvvvourite part of most treatments!), a home-made ginger, lemon & honey tea + healthy cookie (!!) post-massage, making sure I knew what was going on each step of the way, and a facial and head massage to complete the experience.

I floated out of there on Cloud 9, and promptly found myself on Cloud 10 upon reaching POST restaurant.

Choosing one of these incredible options and a juice proved tough – the all sounded AMAZING! After much deliberation I decided on the Green Goddess (this is usually a starter, but the staff kindly prepared a main size for me) & a gorgeous mixed veggie juice.

This was a warm green soup, and one of the best I’ve had, however my favourite part of the dish was the biggest flaxseed cracker I’ve ever seen – I’d eat this every day if I could! I felt so nourished and relaxed after slowly enjoying the meal and juice that I started wishing teleportation had been invented so I could click my fingers and instantly be back home, snoozing happily in bed.

Since this technology is not available yet, I said goodbye to the friendly staff & made my way home with a smile on my face, and a deep relaxation that I hadn’t felt since my holiday to Bali 6 months earlier.

If you can’t quite spring for an island holiday, this is honestly the next best thing. Thanks to the Ultimate Wellness treatment I’ve been able to start 2016 with my best (and most relaxed!) foot forward, and can’t wait to pay this beautiful new spa a visit again soon 🙂

For more information and to book, check out the COMO Shambhala Perth website & feel free to tell them I sent you!

Be well,

Annette xo

Perth Wellness Retreat: Nature's Paradise, Mundaring.

Every now and then, I have what I like to call “ahh” moments. Something will cause me to pull my focus out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to sit back and appreciate the beauty of what is in front of me. I had one of these “ahh” moments as I arrived at Nature’s Paradise Wellness Retreat. Situated in Mundaring, about 45 minutes drive from central Perth, it feels a million miles from the daily grind, without actually being that far away at all.

Nature’s Paradise opened at Easter just this year, and owners Neil and Jenny have worked wonders to create such a beautiful space. The forest provides a breathtaking backdrop, and the retreat itself is a grand beauty. Neil welcomed me as I arrived, and gave me a tour of the retreat, which features 3 suites, each with access to the wrap-around balcony, plus a library, a guest retreat area and communal dining and sitting areas. The guest retreat area comes complete with an outdoor, claw-foot bath, hammocks, a massage room and infra-red sauna – just what this city girl’s aching muscles called for!

♥ The view from the Library

♥ The guest retreat area, with hammock seats and bath

♥ The outdoor bath

After showing me the house, we moved on to the gardens. Neil has worked incredibly hard to bring Nature’s Paradise to life, and his passion for the retreat is infectious. We toured the veggie garden, which provides an increasing amount of the produce used in the kitchen, and the various rock paths Neil has created to cater for guests who want to get some fresh air without straying too far from the comforts of their room. I wanted to see more of the forest, and Neil was more than happy to oblige- we walked for about an hour through the trees, stopping to take in some beautiful views of Mundaring Weir and the dam, as well as dropping by the Learning Centre, before coming home for a relaxing herbal tea and a chat with Jenny. On our wanders we spotted an echidna, wandering very lazily over the trail, which shows just how close to nature this retreat really is!

♥ The veggie patch

♥ Mr Echidna

♥ The views of Mundaring Weir

♥ The beautiful forest surrounding Natures Paradise

I have to be honest, at this point I didn’t think my visit could get much better, but it did! At Nature’s Paradise, all food is catered for- guests have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, tea and coffee, plus delicious treats made by Jenny throughout the day, and meals are served in the dining room which showcases the stunning forest scenery.

All food is vegetarian, organic, made in-house and mostly prepared according to raw food principles, but meat-eaters do not despair, you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all!

Dinner began with a pumpkin soup- warm, hearty and delicious, served with spelt bread, butter and olive oil with balsamic.

Next was Nature’s Paradise’s specialty- pizza! This pizza was no Domino’s variety though- made in a dehydrator with a buckwheat base full of herbs, and topped with avocado, olives, mushrooms, onion, capsicum and a cashew ‘cheese’, it tasted amazing and was as good for my body as it was for my taste buds! The recipe is a well-guarded secret, but Neil did share some tips with me which I am keen to try in my own kitchen!

The meal would not have been complete without sampling some of the home made ‘fruit & nut’ chocolates, which were absolutely divine!

Earlier during my tour of the property, I had gushed over the beautiful claw-foot bath on the deck in the outdoor guest retreat area. Jenny was kind enough to run me a macrobiotic sea salt bath after dinner, and as I lay in the bubbling water, looking up at the trees in the night sky, the cool air above me, I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt so relaxed. It was truly something special.

After my bath, I returned to my very spacious room, with its luxurious king-size bed and spa bath ensuite, and fell straight asleep (no prizes for guessing that I slept like a baby!).

♥ My very spacious Grande Deluxe room

Unfortunately I had to get up well before the sun in order to get back to my day-to-day responsibilities, but even then, Jenny made sure that a beautiful continental breakfast was laid out for me. Had I stayed, I was told that I could have expected a beautiful cooked breakfast, including eggs, buckwheat pancakes, fresh fruit and juices, plus tea, coffee and almost anything else my heart desired!

Nature’s Paradise is perfectly named- it is exactly that! Neil and Jenny are fabulous hosts- so welcoming, generous and knowledgeable- and they have created a place that truly caters for every interest. Whether you want to relax in the gardens, soak in the bath, challenge yourself with a personal training session, meditate or hike in the forest or ride trails through the trees, they have thought of it all! I have been reading lots of articles lately about the benefits of spending time with nature, and I absolutely agree. I left Nature’s Paradise feeling so well-rested, renewed and reinvigorated and would recommend it to anyone looking for a retreat to truly nourish mind, body and soul.

You can visit www.naturesparadise.com.au or telephone Neil 0412 977 487 or Jenny 0403 718 050 for more information.

What do you enjoy doing to “retreat”? What makes you feel rested and renewed? Let me know in the comments below!

Article by Katie, a wellness-focused career girl with a newfound appreciation for the power of nature.

Be well,

xoxo

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Five Favourite Workouts at Fitness First!

Having been a member of Fitness First gym since 2008, I’ve had ample time to try out the various classes and workout options available, and have found some winners over the past few years.

I first joined the gym for the great range of Les Mills classes on offer, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing but they were a lot of fun and the instructor managed to keep me motivated for an entire hour! Since then, there are a few classes I’ve continued to go back to.

Body Pump

A favourite of mine because it allows you to build muscle strength and tone while also working on your general fitness. A pump class works your entire body using weighted barbells, focusing on a different muscle group with each track. If you’re thinking of trying pump for the first time I would suggest sticking with light weights for the entire session because you’ll definitely feel it for the next couple of days, but stick with it and you won’t regret it! I recommend exercising with weights at least 2-3 times a week to see noticeable results.

Body Attack

Another class I’m a regular at, Body Attack, provides an intense cardio work out – and trust me when I say your heart will be racing for the entire hour! I find this class to be a great complement to my running because it combines aerobic, agility, interval and strength training in the one class. This class works you damn hard but is highly addictive!

Body Balance

When I want to turn down the pace and have a more mindful workout I like to go to Body Balance, which combines techniques from tai chi, yoga and pilates and ends with a meditation. Bliss!

Goin' Solo

I also like to work out individually when I’m not going to a class. Fitness First have a great selection of equipment and my local even has a women’s workout room if you prefer a bit of privacy. I like to alternate between working my upper body and my lower body, with a bit of cardio in between.

An example of an upper body workout I would do includes back exercises using the lat pulldown machine, the seated row machine and barbells for dead lifts; then working my biceps and triceps using the barbells and cable machine.

For a lower body workout I would start with squats and lunges using the squat rack and dumbbells, followed by the leg press machine and dead lifts, and finishing with abdominal work.

Before each workout I warm up with a bit of cardio – I love the cross trainer for this; and I like to end my upper body workout with a good run on the treadmill.

♥ Liz is one of the lovely PT's at Fitness First in Subiaco

There are always personal trainers around to answer questions, help with equipment and give you training tips (you can even ask them about the exercises or machines I’ve mentioned if any of it sounds like jibberish!). You can also arrange a one-on-one session with a personal trainer for more inspiration. Winter is the perfect time of year to get into a healthy routine, and going to a class or personal training session is great motivation.

Do you have a favourite work out you enjoy? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Written by Alice – fitness lover who is already getting excited for the return of summer!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, Alice is a paying member of Fitness First & all experiences are her true thoughts! 🙂

Be well,

xoxo

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Alternative Therapy Review: Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) at Evolve Wellness Coaching.

Body language is a familiar concept to most, and the impact it has in our interactions with others is huge. But what about the 'conversation' our own body has with ourselves? It feels increasingly difficult these days to tune in to our bodies and the messages they send our way. Whether it be a job that keeps us constantly in our minds, endless technology distractions or the demands of looking after others, there can be precious little time in modern life to really connect with ourselves.

Meditation and yoga can be very helpful in this respect. There are also powerful approaches such as Somato Respiratory Integration (SRI) which I started working with about 18 months ago. SRI is a series of twelve simple exercises using breath, movement and touch designed to increase levels of perception in your body. Each of the exercises relates to a state of consciousness, such as feeling stuck, disconnected or conflicted in life. The approach was developed by Donald Epstein, the creator of network chiropractic. You can read about my experiences of Network Spinal Analysis here!

Although simple, SRI is extremely profound. I recently worked with Ginette Hillman of Evolve Wellness Coaching , an experienced SRI facilitator who operates from the Fremantle area. The session starts with a conversation so that Ginette can ascertain which of the twelve exercises would be of most benefit to you. You then move onto a comfortable massage table and Ginette gently guides you through the relevant exercises, which involves placing your hands in various positions on and around your body, focused breathing and using specific phrases to express the state of consciousness you are working with.

In the weeks leading up to the session I'd been feeling pretty out of sorts – anxious, overwhelmed. As I worked through the SRI process I felt a strong emotional release and also some 'tingles' and coughing, as trapped energy was freed up. After the session I felt an incredible sense of lightness and the underlying anxiety that's plagued me for weeks has magically transformed into a deep peace. I'm sleeping better too.

Ginette is wonderful to work with. She is extremely caring and understanding, which enabled me to feel safe and relax into the process. She has an intuitive gift to sense how you are feeling, including where you may be 'stuck' or disconnected, and to gently coach you into greater awareness and openness. Once you've had a series of SRI sessions with Ginette to learn and refine the technique you can also self-practice, making it a very empowering healing tool. In addition to SRI Ginette offers wellness coaching – see www.evolvewellnesscoach.com for more details.

Introductory Course 6 weeks

1 hour introduction to SRI plus 5 x 30 minutes sessions $297

An Introduction to the Discover Stages of Healing; stages 1,2,3

♥ Reduce stress and fearfulness
♥ Connect with your bodies messages and feedback

SRI Ongoing Sessions 30 minute sessions $47

How do you check in with your body? What do you find most helpful?

Article by a very 'zen' feeling Karen, holistic health coach and owner of Conscious Cravings whose mission is to inspire people be more nourished with food, life and love. Find her on Facebook!

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Be well,

xoxo

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