Monday, March 31, 2014

In the waters with Andrea Nann

We sat down with contemporary dance artist and choreographer Andrea Nann and asked her about her profession and how she stays strong, physically healthy and limber  ...

1. What is your career? 
I’m a contemporary dance artist.  I choreograph, design, devise, interpret and perform.  I am also the artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company and produce a collaborative multi-arts creation and performance platform called The Whole Shebang.  In April we have shows in Guelph and St. Catharines and I'm also currently performing in he:she at the National Ballet School's Betty Oliphant Theatre with Peggy Baker Dance Projects

2. What do you love most about it?  
I love the ephemerality and the immediacy of a dance experience and the fact that the art form asks for participation, through awareness or consciousness, from everyone (performers and audience) who is part of that experience.  On a practical level, it’s pretty convenient to have constant access to one’s instrument.  Wherever I go, it’s with me!

3. If you could clear up one misconception about your profession, what would it be?
I wish more people could see dance as multifaceted with aspects that can connect all of us.  Dance is more than elitist art or entertainment or exercise. 

4. How do you integrate the water circuit into your training regime? 
Any time I train or rehearse I push my body to gain and achieve optimal strength, flexibility and range of motion for action, reaction, control and dynamic expression.  Dancers, like all athletes, are constantly managing body pain whether it be sore muscles, strained or pulled ligaments and tendons, joint pain, tissue name it. The water circuit can be a great part of recovery because it follows a therapeutic sequence that alternately cools and heats the body, reducing swelling and promoting healing.  I always take full benefit of 'icing' my body, sometimes spending up to 5 minutes fully immersed in the cold pool.  On days when the waters feel particularly frigid I stay there by distracting myself, turning my attention to the shimmering reflections of the salt pool waters playing like the northern lights on the walls and ceiling...

The infrared sauna also offers huge toxin burning benefits and on particularly sore days, I end the circuit with 10 minutes in the Epsom salt pool, letting the salts do their work in drawing lactic acid out from my overworked muscles.  The Epsom salt pool is also a good place to give my muscles a final 'squeezing' massage, using my hands and my imagination to squeeze toxins out of my muscles before heading to the showers.

5. How do you do the water circuit? 
I have come to appreciate that the way I prepare to do something greatly impacts the quality of the experience I will have.  As odd as it might sound, I have even established an ‘entrance ritual’ to the water circuit.  If you are rolling your eyes as you read this then I suggest you move to the next question!  

I usually enter the pool room and stand off to one side so my ears can adjust to the sound of the room.  When I’m ready I slip quietly into the Dead Sea salt pool and move very slowly through the water, observing and responding to the buoyancy and the warmth.  I look into the water as I move so the underwater pool lights can soften my focus allowing my eyes to relax.  I take deep breaths and I sigh a lot!  I eventually find my way to one of the waterfall fountains and hold my fingertips directly under the stream, stimulating the nerve endings where the nails meet skin.  I do the same thing with my feet and lastly with the top of my head.  Then I make my way to a power jet to loosen the muscles of my back.  When I’m ready, I plunge my whole body under water and this marks the start of my circuit.  I do the rest of the water circuit at a pretty quick pace, always plunging myself wholly into the waters (yes even in the cold pool!) for optimal blood circulation benefits, often adding an extra loop between the infrared sauna and the cold pool.

6. What is your favourite part of the water circuit?  
My entrance ritual and the sauna and the cold pool loop.

7. Describe your perfect day. 
Any day that includes a d-e-l-u-x-e m-o-r-o-c-c-a-n s-p-i-c-e b-o-d-y g-l-o-w treatment.

8. How do you un-wind after a long day?  
Sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a glass of wine, listening to my husband and son talk about sports. 

9. What books on your nightstand?
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, Light by Souvankham Thammavongsa, Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson. 

10. What’s your favourite indulgence? 
How do you spell d-e-l-u-x-e m-o-r-o-c-c-a-n s-p-i-c-e b-o-d-y g-l-o-w?

11. Early bird or night owl? 
I know every hour of the night.

12. Your ride?  The rocket?  Bike?  Car? 
I love my bike.

13. Who is your role model or mentor? 
My parents Richard Nann and Beverly Nann.

14. What advise would you give to young dancers? 
Be true to yourself.
To read more about Andrea and Dreamwalker Dance Company, visit

Friday, February 28, 2014

The power of Epsom Salt

Epsom salt can also be used for many beauty, health and skin issues.  We have listed a few things you can do at home with this simple compound …

 Beauty tips:

·      Hair: Mixing a handful of Epsom salts into shampoo absorbs excess oil, allowing hair to appear fuller and feel softer. The minerals in the solution help to repair and strengthen split ends from over-styling and damage caused by heat.
·      Face: Skip the professional facial and take part in a do-it-yourself treatment by combining pinch of Epsom salts with everyday cleanser. Gently massage onto skin and rinse with cool water. The result is a refreshed, rejuvenated glow.
·      Body: Epsom salts can help reduce the appearance of bruises and spider veins with a simple compress. Start by soaking an old t-shirt, or a cotton cloth, in cold water and a handful of Epsom salts and apply directly to skin. If cellulite is more of an issue, rub some salts on the problem area; the magnesium in Epsom salts helps draw excess toxins and fluid out of the skin, leaving behind a softer, smoother surface.
·      Feet: After a long day standing or wearing uncomfortable shoes, prepare a foot soak of warm water and a handful of Epsom salts to help soothe aches and pains, as well as combat odor. The anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling and puffiness and the granular texture helps to soften the porous skin on the heels making it easier to remove with a pumice stone or foot file. 

Sleep Aid
For those of you suffering from sleep problems due to stress, hormonal changes or insomnia, soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts before bedtime helps you unwind and relax so you can sleep better. Add a little lavender essential oil to the bath for added relaxation.

Beating the bloat
Whether you’re prone to a sensitive stomach or have indulged in a rich meal, soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts helps reduce water retention by drawing out toxins and excess fluids through the skin.

Feel healthier on the inside
If you’re looking for a quick, safe internal detox, a teaspoon of food grade Epsom salts in room temperature water has a gentle laxative effect that helps to ease a cranky digestive system and occasional constipation.

Friday, January 31, 2014

In the waters with Laura Desiree

We sat down with Laura Desiree and asked her a few questions about performing, staying healthy and what it means to be sexy. 

1. What is your career?  What do you love most about it?
I am a Burlesque/ Cabaret Performer and Instructor. What I love most about it, is the opportunity to empower women by way of exploring their femininity, physical ability and poise, while traveling the world and staying connected to my first love, performance!

2. What do you think is sexy?
Sexy is celebrating the body and one’s character with immaculate posture and grace in one’s actions and one’s dialogue. I love to channel old Hollywood actresses that effortlessly exuded this confidence; Marlene Dietrich in her black Tuxedo, Rita Hayworth tossing her hair with those long black opera gloves, Barbara Stanwyck strutting down her staircase or Marilyn Monroe, standing tall and sassy above the subway vents.

3. What is your secret to staying fit?
Staying fit is not an easy task. I try to enrich my body with a nutrient and protein packed diet along with taking time to dance at least an hour a day (whether it be for rehearsal or in my Ballroom Dance studies). Dancing can be an incredible work out with great core engagement and flexibility training.  

4. How do you un-wind after a long day?
I absolutely love cooking shows. Quite often I will draw a bath and position my laptop on a stand at the foot of the tub and soak for a good hour of delicious and inspiring food fantasies!

5. What books on your nightstand?
Eartha Kitt’s “Confessions of a Sex Kitten”

6. Proudest accomplishment?
Taking the leap of faith into the world of performance, I meditate daily on what a privilege it is to entertain and create for an audience. I have been able to follow this dream by touring North America as a soloist and I am gearing up for an amazing adventure, touring Europe with the company of my twin sister.

7. Your ride? The rocket? Bike? Car?
When transporting to and from a show, always a taxi. Showgirls pack far too much to drag onto the TTC.

8. What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown, 1954. By far one of the most gorgeous versions of ‘Embraceable You

9. Who is your role model or mentor?
Certainly a great number of the women who built my industry and paved the way for performers like me to self-manage, book shows and tour independently. The legends league of burlesque stars; Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili St. Cyr, Zorita, Tempest Storm, April March, Bettie Page and Tiffany Carter.

10. Proudest moment in my career …
Performing at a sold out venue for a Holiday show that I produced and performed in, with my entire family and my boyfriend’s family in the audience.

11. Tell us about your first experience with body blitz?
A body blitz veteran friend of mine took me for my first venture into the water circuit. I love routines, so I was sure to follow every step. I felt relaxed, revived, and when I returned home, I remember curling up for the most incredible nap that had me question later in the day if it had really happened, or had I just dreamt it?

12. How has your health changed since using the body blitz therapeutic waters?
My stress has been reduced significantly. My concentration and focus has certainly sharpened throughout the day and for someone with very difficult sleep patterns, I need to be able to guide myself to a place of total relaxation in order to reach a state of deep sleep. I often channel the sensation of lying on the lounge chair, wrapped in my cushy robe and am whisked off to ecstasy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

In the waters with Megan Hoskins and Michelle Corbell

We sat down with Megan Hoskins and Michelle Corbell, body blitz members and owners of Moksha Yoga Danforth and asked them a few questions about staying healthy ...

What is your career?  What do you love most about it?
Megan: I am a yoga teacher, student, a Registered Massage Therapist, and the owner and director of Moksha Yoga Danforth. I love that I am a part of someone’s health care routine - Mind/Body/Spirit.
Michelle: Yoga teacher and owner and director at Moksha Yoga Danforth.

How do you keep a balance between practicing yoga and running a business?
Megan: A colour coded scheduling software.
Michelle:  I make time for things that inspire me: travelling, spending time with great friends and self-care which includes regular visits to body blitz.

Top 3 pieces of advice you would give to other women?
Megan: Make time for yourself. Don’t make excuses for your own amazing powers.
Enjoy the process, not just the end result.

What books on your nightstand?
Megan: Bossypants by Tina Fey and Teaching People, Not Poses, by Jay Fields
Michelle: Built to Last, by Jim Collins, The Ramayana, by Ramesh Menon, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, and Teaching People Not Poses by Jay Fields. I am a voracious reader, it seems the books I am currently reading are development books but it swings to indulgent reading as well.

Proudest accomplishment?
Michelle: The amazing community that my partner Megan and I support at Moksha Yoga Danforth.

Your ride?  The rocket?  Bike?  Car?
Megan: Two feet and a heart beat (The Rocket is handy too).

If you could clear up on misconception about yoga, what would it be?
Megan: That you have to be flexible. Yoga is a practice, meaning that with practice you improve. Your primary focus may be attaining flexibility (or strength, balance, peace) so it is best to just get started at the beginning… and I am sure that there is a style and an appropriate level that will be perfect for you.
Michelle:  That you need to be flexible to do yoga. It is about creating balance: flexibility, strength, stability in mind and body.

As body blitz members, what is your favourite part of the water circuit and why?
Megan: The Hot Epsom Salt Pool because I coordinate my juice to arrive at that exact time. Total bliss!
Michelle: I like sharing the experience so I often bring a friend and love the pools because you can chat, steam and sauna are amazing and like them best when I come alone. Don’t love the cold plunge but do it anyways – love the benefits so it is worth it.

How do you do the water circuit at body blitz?
Megan: I have two different ways to “do” the circuit. If I am with a friend we tend to chill in the salt pool until my fingertips develop wrinkles. Mostly because it’s a perfect time to gab. Then we move through classic styles. If I am on my own, I do 3 long sessions in a row in the sauna… alternating between the cold plunge at the dry heat… it seems to melt away all tension.
Michelle: I tend to spend a lot of time at the beginning in the Dead Sea Salt pool, it is great to just decompress and chat. Usually do the whole circuit. I love being a member because I sometimes only have a short amount of time in my schedule and am able to pop in and get rejuvenated.

How has your health changed since using the body blitz therapeutic waters?
Michelle: I think having the membership has allowed me to create space for self-care that sometimes gets swallowed up by busy-ness – and I think that I am more effective at giving to the business and students when I take time for myself.

Monday, December 2, 2013

holiday gift guide

We have put together 10 holiday gift suggestions so you'll have time to rest and relax...

1. office secret santa

therapeutic waters pass ~ $54 ($44 tues)

2. love you forever

annual membership ~ $1400

3. mother-in-law gift

body blitz robe +  therapeutic waters pass~ $89

4. the sure fit

massage + therapeutic waters + juice + dark chocolate ~ $149

5. the fountain of youth

argan oil face serum ~ $65

6. thank you, you’re the best

 for a school or piano teacher, dog walker or anyone giving you a helping hand
therapeutic waters pass ~ $54 ($44 tues)

7. sun vacation 

blitz scrub + scrub mitt ~ $42

8. hostess gift

body wash +  body lotion ~ $18 + $24

9. we’re having a baby!

get blitzed onsies ~ $20

10. mother and daughter or sisters gift 

get blitzed waters card to share ~ $270

Monday, November 11, 2013

random acts of kindness stories

Congratulations to our ‘random act of kindness’ winner Donna.  We were overwhelmed with the number of moving and inspiring stories. You can read Donna's story below as well as some honorable mentions.

winner ... 

I have a woman in my life who I don't know well but she was my emergency intake worker over a number of weeks when I urgently needed housing and help when I found myself in a situation of having to flee my comfortable home to a place of safety. She provided me with guidance, compassion and urgent housing. I feel Rosa, the counsellor who helps abused women in crisis at Toronto's Barbra Schlifer Clinic (downtown) needs a free session at body blitz (or any of your services) as she's so busy helping women in distress that she probably doesn't have time to take a proper break to relax or pamper herself regularly. I'm guessing this via inference but I would be honored and thankful if she would get some kind of act of kindness from body blitz as she is a front worker on Toronto's hidden segment of the population: women and children escaping abusive home lives all over the city (from all walks of life).
Donna (I withheld my last name for privacy reasons)

honourable mentions …

Good Morning, 
I would like to tell you about my friend Charmaine Singh. 
Charms (as I nicknamed her) always puts absolutely everyone first before herself. She is hands down the kindest,  humble, honest without being brutal and most encouraging person I have ever encountered. I am not just saying this because she is my friend. I am saying this because it is so refreshing to be blessed with such a kindred spirit in today's society. And kindred spirits deserve a break every now and then. She currently lives in a situation with 11 other people in her home, 5 being her children, and nieces/nephews and goes out of her way to help everyone in all ways possible, day in and day, out no matter how exhausted she is. She deserves a break. Her acts of kindness aren't publicized or may not even be appreciated by those around her. But that doesn't stop her from always helping others and giving her best. We need to show people like Charms they are an asset to today's world so they don't give up on themselves. We need to help strengthen their faith. Her receiving this reward would do just that.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Julianna Debedin

Hi there.
 I would like to nominate my wife (Jennifer Capes) for your acts of kindness contest. My father became ill in July and was hospitalized. He passed away on September 1st. My dad was the primary caregiver for my mom, who suffered a series of strokes 20 years ago. She uses a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care. Since July, my wife has given up almost every weekend to help care for my mom. She has also helped support me and my family through a really difficult time. Her kindness to my mother and willingness to help, makes me so thankful. My wife loves body blitz (she says it's her favourite place) and I think she deserves a special visit. 
Thank you,
Jon Starchuk

Monday, November 4, 2013

Parties at body blitz

We love having parties of all kinds at body blitz and have hosted many birthday parties and bridal parties. Here are some of the nice things women have said about us ...

"We had a really great time at body blitz on Saturday. It was my first time at the East location and I was very happy with the services. Thank you for arranging the bookings for the various treatments. They all started on time and based on the feedback from my friends, they all thoroughly enjoyed their treatments. I was really happy with your response time and your professional service. As someone who makes reservations on a frequent basis for work and extracurricular purposes, I can attest to your professionalism in the service industry. Thank you and the rest of your staff members for making my birthday so memorable."
Kelly Ku
, President, Rotaract Club of Toronto

"What an amazing experience!!  All the girls had a fabulous time - it was a 1st for everyone!!! Thanks again to you and your staff for making this a memorable experience for all of us and the bride.  I am definitely coming back to enjoy the waters again. Thanks again for the exceptional customer service!!"

Cristina Tonus

"It was absolutely amazing. Each one of us had a brilliant time, and we haven't a single complaint, however minor. The other three have been to many more spas than I have and I was so gratified (as the organizer) to hear them say that body blitz was one of the best spas they had experienced. It was some combination of the laid back vibe, the lay out, the friendliness, the juices, the therapies -- the way you make everyone feel comfortable and pampered without being exclusive or elite. We loved it.
Thank you for making me seem like such a genius!"

"We had a wonderful time and you were wonderful in putting it all together!  It was very well organized and the staff was wonderful and professional!  I am planning on organizing another one shortly for November!  Thank you again." 
Magdalena Lysenko

"My group and I had a fantastic time on Saturday. I had not been to your spa before and I really appreciated and liked that the staff took the time to give us a tour when we arrived. They answered all our questions. They were helpful and friendly. The whole experience from start (booking via email) to finish was wonderful!" 
Sara Faulkner