wellness

Beauty and Fragrances at M Boutique Create a Tapestry of Sensations

M Boutique
M Boutique’s interior designed by David Monn is like an immersive art experience.

There is a small section of Franklin Street that greets passersby with the fresh scent of jasmine and is reminiscent of a different time and place. The fragrances inspire thoughts of springtime enchanted gardens and it draws your attention to M Boutique (200 Franklin), which opens up to a cozy scene of manicured lawn, fall foliage, and a zen-like soothing habitat.

Founder Chris Foster in M Boutique
Founder Chris Foster in M Boutique

Welcome to the world of Founder Chris Foster, whose personal story can be discovered in M Boutique’s line of products for personal care, home care, pets, and babies. Drawing from his background in the fashion world, Chris pays special attention to beauty in all of his creations without compromising efficacy and safety. All ingredients are made with natural ingredients and while there is a luxurious quality about the items, they are priced affordably because they are locally made and sold directly to the consumer. Continue reading

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Gymtimidation? It’s real… but, we’ll “Work It Out” for you!

humanatease_gymtimation

Intimidated by all the bulky exercise machines and huge, mean-looking buffed bods at the big-box gyms? If so, you are definitely not alone. This is one of the main reasons (cough, cough–or excuses) from clients as to why they don’t go to the gym. Unfortunately, so many people avoid the gym because they’re either a) not sure how to use the exercise machines; b) they lack the confidence to give them a try; or c) they’re just too damn intimidated to even walk into a gym.

Why? “Gymtimidation!” It’s that voice inside your head that says “I don’t feel comfortable with my body,” “how am I going to look next to all those fitness fanatics who work out all the time?” “I don’t even know what I should be doing in the gym?” Your ‘meaning making machine’ is always at work and it creates a lot of negative views about the gym.

But gymtimidation is not a reason for not getting exercise, it’s an excuse; and a pretty lame one at that. #Sorrybutnotsorry to be so hard on you, but how else am I supposed to show you how ‘unreasonable’ our behavior can be? Know that a reason is valid and usually unavoidable — ex: “I was late because the train broke down” = reason. Whereas, an excuse is a transparent or perhaps a subtle attempt to shift responsibility away from one’s self — “I was late because I missed the train” = excuse. Continue reading

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Your October Horoscopes Are Magical!

stars
Brandon Morgan

This month is definitely going to be a lot more pleasant—and less harsh—than all the changes September brought. Until the 22nd, the sun will be in the sign of peace, love, and harmony—giving us all those fun, romantic vibes. Mercury and Jupiter will be visiting Libra, putting love on everyone’s minds. Love wins when Libra is in the house. Then the sun moves into Scorpio on the 22nd, making everything much more intense.

A powerful supermoon emerges into Libra on October 16—giving us romantic energy and partnership vines, and then there is a new moon in Scorpio on the 30th, giving us spooky and ethereal vibes. This will definitely make for a rather interesting and mystical Halloween—be on the look out for anything unusual.

♎ LIBRA ♎

This is your month, Libra—at least for most of it until the 22nd. You are in your element, which means you should go bold. Everyone is attracted to you this month—and it’s largely due to your confidence and charm—you feel independent and in control, and that’s attractive to others. Venus in your money zone until the 18th, which means you should expect some extra cash this month—whether it’s from freelance or an unexpected birthday gift. However, also keep in mind that the full moon on the 16th is in your relationship house—making you commit to a partnership—which could be romantic and/or financial.

Be mindful of tensions at home, whether with a roommate, partner, or family member. Be diplomatic—which is a strength of yours. The new moon on the 30th also indicates a time for your job to become a focus on your mind—especially if you want a promotion.

Suggestion: Buy a pumpkin at The Garden (921 Manhattan Ave.) & carve it into something adorable and/or scary—like a ghost cat. 

♏ SCORPIO ♏

You are absolutely dazzling this month—your sultry nature is magnetizing. Until the 18th, Venus is in your sign, making you feel extra passionate. Then, on the 22nd, the sun will land in your sign, making you focus on your goals and passions—this is your time to be ambitious and put yourself out there. This month is also a time for you to heal and rest, as the sun will go through Libra and your 12th house of subconscious healing. This calls for you to work through any emotional issues with have with yourself and others, and attempt to fix them. Otherwise, these problems, like relationship insecurities, will only keep popping up. This is also a time to end toxic relationships, jobs, and other aspects of your life holding you back.

This month will also prove to be busy in your social life, which is a good thing even if you feel tired, since you need all the support from your friends that you can get.

Suggestion: Buy a banging new record—or an old favorite like T.Rex’s “Electric Warrior” at Rough Trade (64 N 9th Street)—and throw a dance party.

♐ SAGITTARIUS ♐

You are a social butterfly this month. Everyone in your life is looking to you for fun and support—and luckily for you, you’re good at both of these things. You want to be there for everyone, but make sure to schedule in enough relaxation time so your work isn’t affected by everything you’re doing. Mars lands in Capricorn, which is your income zone all month, which means you’ll be busy with your career—whether that means you took on more work or are trying to get your name out there more. Venus moves into Saturn and align in Sagittarius on the 29th, which means good news on the job front is on the way.

Venus comes into your 12th house until the 18th and you’ll rock the rose-colored glasses—which means you’re about to get more attention—and it’s not always attention you want though. Let yourself have freedom, but also don’t get overwhelmed by everything. The new moon on the 30th will remind you of the importance of boundaries and saying no—because a burned out Sag is a sad Sag.

Suggestion: Get a “Hey Ladies” cocktail over at Hail Mary (68 Greenpoint Ave.) and have a spooky date with someone special.

♑ CAPRICORN ♑

You’re on this month, to say the least. Until the 22nd, the sun moves alongside Jupiter, putting you in your ambitious zone. Since Mars is sailing through Capricorn all month, this only intensifies how determined you are when it comes to your career. Beware of keeping a healthy work-life balance, though. Be sure to plan a few social events in the beginning of the month to keep you balanced. Venus is visiting you until the 18th, indicating you feel a little restless in your romantic life. Keep your options open if you can. If you have a partner, make sure to do new things and have a separate life, in order to keep the mystery alive. On the 29th, Saturn meets with Venus, making it a very romantic night.

Suggestion: Get a lobster roll and a drink at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. (114 Nassau Ave.) as a way to keep the summer alive.

♒ AQUARIUS ♒

This is a month for you to open up to others and focus on your relationships. The sun joins Jupiter in Libra and your ninth house of honesty until October 22. You want everything to feel real, which is partially why you also are hit with the travel bug this month—you want to explore. That being said, Venus is in your career house until the 18th, meaning that you have obligations you need to be present for.

The sun will be in Scorpio for a month on the 22nd, which makes your professional life a priority for you. The Scorpio new moon on the 30th could bring brings a huge development for you—and it’s a good one. Make sure to keep your stress levels at bay, since you’re clearly working overtime. This is not a time for you to not be on you’re A-game.

Suggestion: Check out the smoked salmon benedict for brunch over at Anella (222 Franklin St.) with your BFF.

♓ PISCES ♓

This month is all about the deeper meaning for you. The sun joins Jupiter in your esoteric house until the 22nd, which are also joined by Mercury from the 7th on. Basically, you’re really going to get to know the people around you this month, and you’ll be forming new bonds with people—or getting closer to those you already know. Keep in mind, however, not to get codependent with someone. It’s easy to do so, but never healthy. Your career is about to get revamped on the new moon on the 16th as Aries is in your house of income. All of your hard work be coming to fruition. That being said, be careful with those around you at work, you don’t want to be ruthless.

Suggestion: Time to get mussels for lunch and catch up with a friend over at Esme (999 Manhattan Ave.). Great for a rainy day.

♈ ARIES ♈

October is super relationship-focused for you, to the point that you may be totally lost in your relationship. Your partnership is growing into something special and exclusive, especially since the sun moves on to Scorpio on the 22nd. Love is definitely in the air for you, whether you’re with someone new or old. However, you still need to focus on your job and career, especially as Mars is drifting through Capricorn, which is your 10th house of success all month. Aim high—because if you don’t, you won’t get what you want. Your hard work will pay off at the new moon on the 16th—there will be a change for you coming on the 29th, both in your home life and career.

Suggestion: Get a group together and eat order a pizza at Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.)—maybe after an unofficial workshop. 

♉ TAURUS ♉

You need to slow down this month, and really evaluate what you want in all aspects of your life, since you’ve been on “go” for awhile. The full moon on the 16th lands in your 12th house of endings, which means you should let go of all your relationships that just aren’t working out—even if it’s super hard. Sometimes these relationships aren’t going to end forever, but morph into something else. That being said, your month is full of social events and opportunities, so take hold of them.

Suggestion: Delight in a delicious macaroon at Bakeri (105 Freeman Street). 

♊ GEMINI ♊

October is the month of love for you. Libra is brining out the flirt in you, and because Mars ins in your seductive 8th house all month, you are basically just pure magic. Venus also slides into your commitment zone on the 18th, making a relationship super serious for you. That being said, the 22nd brings your health into picture. You need to start paying attention to your body, especially when you’re so busy with other people.

Suggestion: Reinvent yourself at Beacon’s Closet (74 Guernsey St.).

♋ CANCER ♋

You are a hermit this month, and that’s not a bad thing. You seek solitude in many ways, but there are going to be many moments of socialization this month too. A lot of friends from out of town may decide to visit you, which will make your home life and social life combine. But don’t think this means your romantic life is on the down low. It’s not. Mars is in Capricorn all month, which basically means your seventh house of relationships is on fire. You’ll be busy with dates, which means you may definitely find yourself enthralled by someone at the end of the month.

Suggestion: Check out the East River Ferry rides from the base of India Street and do some writing/journaling on the ride. 

♌ LEO ♌

Guess what? This month is for you. You are keeping busy in really great ways. Whether it’s drinks with friends, new hot dates, or taking a writing class, you are really upping your game. The full moon comes in your house of publishing on the 16th, which indicates a boost in your passions and career. This full moon also makes you want to travel—so do it. Plan a short trip somewhere.

Venus heads into Sagittarius from the 18th, which means your romantic life is about to take a seductive turn. But don’t forget about your job, because you need that money.

Suggestion: Go to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave.) on the weekend with a few friends and check out the live music.

♍ VIRGO ♍

October is going to be a successful month for you, as the sun will be in your money zone until the 22nd. This also means you should be networking as much as you can, since a dream opportunity may land in your lap. When it comes to your love life, Mars and Capricorn align in your fifth house of fame, self-expression, and romance. This means you’re going to be attracting many people, so don’t be surprised if you get a lot of attention and offers. The new moon on the 30th indicates you may team up with someone in a deeper way—a friend may also need your support by the end of the month.

Suggestion: Get your art on and go to PS1 MOMA (22-25 Jackson Ave., LIC) for a quiet day by yourself.

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Four of Wands Wellness Collective: Self-Care and Community

Four of Wands Wellness Collective Williamsburg Store Window
Four of Wands exterior; all photos via Four of Wands

Four of Wands Wellness Collective (349 Leonard Street) is a self-care studio in Williamsburg, where people can find different kinds of holistic treatments, classes, handmade gifts, and a community space. Owner and Licensed Massage Therapist Daru Oda wanted to create a space for  doing “what makes you happy. We forget to do things that are fun or to expand our minds. At Four of Wands, we can take care of ourselves for an hour.”

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Trying Out Reiki at Maha Rose

Maha Rose on Green Street - Photo © T. Joseph
Maha Rose on Green Street – Photo © T. Joseph

The giver of reiki doesn’t push on the receiver’s muscles or pull dirt from their pores, but if they hover close enough they could. They might touch the receiver lightly, but sometimes don’t touch them at all. A healing form developed in the East, reiki is supposed to bring physical and emotional energies into balance through an exchange between the giver and receiver.

I tried reiki for the first time at a donation-driven community event at Maha Rose (97 Green Street). The event listing described reiki as “a high vibration energy that transmutes lower frequency vibrations helping the body to come into balance…” This doesn’t mean much to me. Then again, if someone described the way my phone functions I probably wouldn’t understand it right away. Continue reading

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Solfire: A Shop to Set Your Soul Ablaze

Solfire interior
via Solfire

I’ve lived in Greenpoint for eight years and have always felt a void in wellness offerings.  Thankfully, that’s begun to change as juice bars, gyms, and yoga studios started blooming on almost every corner. The emergence of establishments like Lucent Yoga, Botica Apothecary, and Help Your Self is exciting. Until recently, the one thing still lacking was somewhere to buy workout gear. Not just sneakers or a jump rope, but truly functional, cutting-edge activewear. As a former apparel buyer turned full-time yoga teacher, I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made pair of leggings or running shorts. What you wear when you workout can totally change your experience, as anyone who’s suffered from inner thigh chafing or bleeding nipples can attest!

On a recent morning jog, I was intrigued by a sleek silver sign that read: “Solfire.”  The storefront was a beacon of light on the once desolate stretch of Driggs Avenue from the south tip of McCarren Park to the Bedford L Train. I peeked in and saw a plethora of colorful capri pants and made a mental note to pop by during store hours. When I revisited the shop later that week, I was surprised to discover that Solfire (483 Driggs Ave.) was so much more than a clothing shop. Continue reading

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Healthy Vegan Eats at Acai Berry

We’ve had some dismal weather recently but we all know that summer is just around the corner. Pretty soon we’ll be ditching our sweaters and rain gear to bare our arms, legs, midriffs, and in some cases a little too much more. While there’s nothing like hunkering down in the New York winter to slurp bowl after bowl of steaming ramen, come summertime it often is too hot and sticky to stomach more than a salad or smoothie. And if you’re after some lighter fare, Greenpoint’s recent addition, Acai Berry (650 Manhattan Ave), could be your go-to stopping place on your way to McCarren Park this summer.

Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.
Choco lava acai bowl via Yelp user Danielle B.

Opened in March 2016 at 650 Manhattan Avenue, Acai Berry offers a lot more than the name implies. Of course you can get the popular and refreshing acai bowl, but the vegan restaurant also offers a host of other snacks, juices and light meals. The acai bowl comes in four different 16-ounce options, all for a reasonable $10. You can opt for the traditional “Aronia Bite” bowl that comes topped with fruit, hemp granola and chia seeds, the ever present healthy green option with spinach, kale and avocado blended into the base or go all out for the “Choco Lava” bowl which incorporates raw cocoa and chocolate hemp protein into the mix.

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Spring Into Summer Fitness with Human@Ease’s Intense B.E.S.T. Plan

unnamedOur fitness journeys can be difficult, especially when you’re not sure how to start or how to remain consistent. A lot of us have been conditioned to develop a pretty poor relationship with food, along with many limiting beliefs about the power we have to change things. And just like any relationship that is like a turbulent roller-coaster, it typically ends up in a downward spiral. If you constantly find yourself overwhelmed on how to even get started, we totally get it.

With so many programs, information and sales pitches, it can be overwhelming to sift through it all. If you’re in that situation, then please keep reading…

Human@Ease owner and health coach Dy has a program that guides people through the process of getting fit, focused and committed; as a result, it’s a lot less intimidating… and it works! Continue reading

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Spring Into Fitness with our 12-Week Intense B.E.S.T. Bootcamp at Human@Ease (Sponsored)

Female athlete getting ready for running in spring park. Fitness workout outdoor concept.
Human@ease (31 Nassau Ave)

With the change of seasons comes a renewed time to recommit ourselves to our fitness and wellness goals. Though the spring is not the beginning of our calendar year, it’s still a new season. Besides, the summer is around the corner and who doesn’t want a beach body?

You know looking and feeling great doesn’t just happen; you do have to work for it – but you don’t have to do it alone. Human@Ease’s B.E.S.T. Plan (31 Nassau Ave) takes all the guess work out of diet and exercise so that you are informed and ready to take action on your fitness goals. Continue reading

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Know Your Neighbors: Hosh Yoga Studio’s New Teacher Training Scholarships

Greenpointers Summer Market 2015 Rooftop Yoga with Hosh Yoga
Greenpointers Summer Market 2015 Rooftop Yoga with Hosh Yoga

While sifting through clothes at beacon’s closet or grabbing a beer and a brat at Spritzenhaus, you may have seen a procession of yoga-pantsed Greenpointers heading in and out of the unassuming grey door on the corner of Nassau and Guernsey.

A closer look at 55 Nassau will lead you to Hosh Yoga, a Greenpoint nonprofit made possible by a team of 60 volunteers and instructors, which provides donation-based classes with a mission of health and wellness as a right to life, not a luxury. Continue reading

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