Invited to drop by for a visit, Sarah Gojekian, a long-time Metro Jacksonville favorite, shares her experience at Herschel Street's Soluna Yoga+Spa.
Tucked away in a line of specialty shops on the forefront of Herschel Street, Soluna Yoga+Spa welcomes you as soon as you eye it. It's easy to find (I used my phone GPS, if you're not ultra familiar with the area) and there's diagonal on-street parking. Colorful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags wave in front of the storefront.
The inside is exactly what I wanted. Quaint, comforting - a small space, but one that feels very open. You walk into an oasis of greens and purples, draperies, worldly inspirations, two tall shelves to put your things, and a table in the corner with offerings of tea.
I took the Tuesday night 7:30 'Restore' class. The teacher, Nicole, warmly welcomed me, signing up and checking in was easy, and there's a large basket of purple mats in case you need one.
The yoga room sits to the left, and a hallway leads back to a Thai massage room, another massage room, and a third - the "grey room". The lighting throughout is mood-setting… and mood-changing.
The yoga studio is a perfect dim. There were seven of us taking the class and we fit spaciously. Up to 15 can fit cordially. With restorative yoga, we spent a gracious amount of time letting go of inner distractions and centering our body and breath. With a manipulated breathing structure setting the tone for the class, Nicole began guiding us through a meditation of refined poses. Though some may feel simple, the task of becoming mentally aware of the physical gratitude of each, is awakening. There was such an ease among the seven of us, not speaking, but surrendering to the practice as one. Using bolsters (big round pillows) as a support for the legs or backs, the poses are relaxing and as in a name, restorative. Pinpointing parts of the body that carry stress and toxins, the class guides you to practice stillness.
Nicole was attentive in assisting each student in just about each pose. In a standout moment, she came and wrapped a blanket around me as I lie twisted and rested atop the bolster. The warmth sank right into me, as did the entire experience. It was one that stayed with me for days after.
For spa services, yoga information, retreats, workshops, and more visit www.SolunaYogaSpa.com.
Editorial by Sarah Gojekian