JAN 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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Page 39 of 107

38 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2016 SPA HOPPING expanded their businesses and developed followings; vacation ers enjoyed an enhanced experience during their stay in Mendocino; and the Stanfords were able to attract more and more guests. "We provided the space and the practitioners provided the services. As we expanded, so did our offerings. But everything had to hold the integrity of our own values," says Joan. In 2012, the Mendocino Center for Living Well launched offi cially as a holistic and integrated wellness center, separate but part of Stanford Inn. It neatly con- solidates under one umbrella the spa, yoga, gardens, restaurant, workout room, bike/canoe tours and rentals, and various workshops, services and classes. All wellness services and events are promoted via the website and in a 24-page monthly newsletter offered to Stanford Inn guests upon check-in. Certifi ed nutritionist and weight- management coach Sid Garza-Hillman was hired as program director to oversee the wellness services and teach nutrition and weight-management classes. UNIQUE EXPERIENCES About half of the Stanford Inn guests add a wellness experience to their stay. "When people are on vacation, they're more open to trying something new," explains Joan. As a board- certifi ed and registered art ther- apist, she encourages them to participate in Crea tive Playshops and Imagination Workshops, during which they employ pen- cils, chalk, pastels, wate colors or collage materials to express themselves artistically, against a backdrop of candlelight and soft music. The goal is to encour- age them to joyously play, as a child would, and take pleasure in the creation process without judgment or worry about the fi nal product. "Creating art is therapeutic; similar to meditation, it's a wonderful way to empty your mind, get rid of tension and reconnect to the present moment," says Joan, who also has a master's degree in psychology. "Doing something sensory and physical is cathartic and provides an outlet to escape your brain's constant chatter." There are also Friday evening "Fireside Chats" led by Jeff and Garza-Hillman, during which guests relax by a crackling fi re in the lobby, and discuss philosophies of wellness. "We like that it's a conversation starter and makes people think," says Garza-Hillman. For visitors who opt for conventional spa treatments, the Inn's on-site Massage in the Forest day spa pro- vides facials, various massage modalities and ayurvedic treatments. Yoga and tai chi sessions take place in a light-washed studio with natural wood fl oors and windows affording expansive views of the sky and trees. The class menus welcome apprehensive newbies with whimsical names such as Yoga for Working Stiffs. The Center's on-site gardens supply fresh ingredients for its restaurant, Ravens. Ravens' nutritional, inspirational vegan dishes have converted even former steadfast meat eaters.

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