The “Language of SPA” – It’s Poetic!

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Before I knew and experienced the world of travel and spas, I would immerse my passion, feelings, and thoughts into words. Pencil to paper,  I had a passion for poetry and have realized it’s been quite some time since I’ve tapped into my treasured gift .

The last few years, I’ve been on a mission, a journey to combine all my passion and purpose into my business, and live a healthy and fulfilling life doing what I love!    With all the stimuli the external world fills our minds with, it’s easy to loose yourself in the whirlwind of negativity, conditioning, and information that takes you away from your own sense of self.

My motto is it’s important to “take the time to take a time-out”, and through  my travels and spa experiences, SPA has become more than something to do or somewhere to go for relaxation.  SPA has afforded me a place, a community, a family, and an opportunity to connect more deeply with my mind, body, and soul.

With “The New Language of Spa” being this year’s theme for next week’s Washington Spa Alliance Symposium, I felt inspired, and wanted to share with you, through these words, what the Language of SPA means to me.

The Language of SPA

The language of SPA has no barrier
It’s as pure as essential oil without a carrier
It whispers through water in a thermal spring
And raises my vibration when the Tibetan bowl sings

As if the clouds heard my cry and came rushing to ease my pain
Vichy and aromatherapy drip down my back like summer rain
It’s calm in the chaos, an umbrella in a storm
It flows through your senses and becomes your lifestyle norm

Gender, race, and social status, the language of SPA rises above
Because the only thing that matters, is how it wraps you up in a blanket of love
It carries no age, and wears no face
The language of SPA transcends time and travels at its own energetic pace

The language of SPA reminds you to recognize and value your self-worth
As it reconnects you to the healing benefits naturally provided by the earth
It fills my breath like salt from a Himalayan cave
And caresses my fears like the tides from an ocean wave

But yet, the language of SPA, some fail to hear
Though the mind, body, spirit dialect sounds oh so clear
You may have misconceptions, and associate its history with luxury, indulgence, and wealth
But when properly translated, you’ll find roots in self-care, mindfulness, and better health

You can only understand it if you’re willing and able
It may come to you in the sauna, during meditation, or on the massage table
The language of SPA  is spoken around the globe
With a universal outfit..you know.. the spa robe

The language of SPA makes no promises, it’s no magical fountain of youth
Instead it opens up your mind and encourages you to seek your own truth
Delivering unique messages in the silence that only you can see
Your “Soul’s Purpose Aligned” is what the language of SPA says to me

The language of SPAHH, YES, you can speak it too
Just close your eyes, now listen….what does SPA say to YOU?

 By: India K. Robinson
 “Confessions of a Spa Bunny”
Copyright©2016 The H.I.S Agency, LLC

*Content  may not be republished without written permission of the author. Direct link to this site may be shared*

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India K. Robinson, Creator & Founder
Twitter/Periscope/Instagram: @confessspabunny

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Confessions from Noel Asmar – Noel Asmar Group

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It may seem unrelated, but when I think of holiday cheer, I reflect back to September and my experience at the International Spa Association  (ISPA) Conference in Las Vegas.  Though it was not the holidays, it certainly felt like one. A big family reunion, lots of hugs, tons of great gifts (some that were even secretly dropped in your room, so you always arrived to a surprise), music and dancing, learning from your elders, friendly competitions, and meeting new people who you instantly connect with.

One such group of people, were the lovely individuals from The Noel Asmar Group, of which I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with at the lunchtime fashion show, exhibit booth, auction, and farewell party. I felt welcomed into their tight knit family, as if I was meeting distant cousins or long-time pen pals for the first time.

I actually reached out to Noel Asmar directly prior to the event, once I heard there was a fashion show planned that would highlight the brand’s spa and hospitality uniforms, as well as debut her new spring/summer 2017 fashion collection, and requested an exclusive interview.   To my excitement, she agreed.  Check out the “confessions” that were revealed as a result.

 “Confessions from Noel Asmar”

You indicated that your motto “Made for the Way You Move” is the vision for everything you do, from your uniform line, to the portable pedicure bowls, the equine apparel, and now even with the the new lifestyle fashion collection.  Outside of your business ventures, how does this motto play a role in your personal/daily life?

 I have always been passionate about creating garments that would not prohibit movement. Designed to enhance the motion and never restrict the natural movement and shape of the human body, each style is designed to enrich the wearer’s experience. This freedom and free flowing inspiration is truly a way of life for myself. I am always looking for a solution and will not be held back by the notions of “it can’t be done.” I am constantly on the go, with 4 successful global brands, industry initiatives and as a wife and mother of three I am always on the move. I emulate a lifestyle and design philosophy that needs to be made for the way you move in order to just keep up!

What is changing/has changed in the world of spa uniform fashion, and how does the Noel Asmar Group want to influence the spa uniform trends moving forward?

When I launched SpaUniforms.com in 2002 there was no such thing as “spa uniform fashion” – so we have certainly experienced a lot of change in this industry in the last fourteen years!  In that time we have seen almost every major hotel property incorporate a spa into their offering and with this evolution came the necessity to offer integrated fashions for various departments within a spa, salon, hotel and overall property. We are proud to have expanded our offering and now service over 4000 properties around the world. We continue to push the boundaries on a traditional uniform to design functional silhouettes that people are proud to wear!

“Designed to enhance the motion and never restrict the natural movement and shape of the human body…”

You indicated how “the uniform is far more powerful than anyone thinks”. What power lies in a uniform, and how does that translate into better business for spas who embrace that power?

After experiencing the power of a uniform while I was working overseas, I understood the value that a garment can truly have. I saw hotel staff in ill-fitting, worn out, hand-me-down uniforms at a property where I worked. These men and women had selflessly devoted their entire careers to the care and well-being of others, and while they took pride in their positions, they had never received any appreciation or recognition of their efforts. I was creating my own personal collection of custom women’s garments at the time and felt that I needed to do something for the staff. I will never forget their reactions after receiving a clean, new uniform made just for them. They were now a part of something much bigger. They always did their best at their job, but now their dedication and passion resonated from them.  A uniform had the power to transform them and this reflected well on the business. Never underestimate the incredible influence of a uniform.

What’s the most unique thing that sets the Noel Asmar Group apart from other brands?
I believe that our brand comes from an authentic place. We are constantly inspired by our clients and take their feedback into consideration with each new design. We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service because our team is passionate about the product and truly cares about the client. We are constantly evolving, and Noel Asmar Uniforms has adapted and grown with the industry in ways other brands have not.  We are proud to offer one of the widest selections of styles for the spa and hotel industries. Our dedication to offer trend setting and in stock styles is a unique benefit of working with our team.

“Never underestimate the incredible influence of a uniform.”
What inspired you to design a fashion “lifestyle” collection for retail?

For many years our existing equestrian and uniform clients have requested contemporary lifestyle fashions that embrace our existing dedication to quality, premium fabrics and expert design that they have come to trust from all Noel Asmar brands. The Noel Asmar Collection was created with our existing clientele in mind, and we have been very well received by the contemporary fashion industry when we went to market this year. From the passionate equestrian fashionista to the jet-setting resort client, the Noel Asmar Collection offers premium fashions for the modern woman living life on the go. This fall we released a small capsule collection with a rich equestrian lifestyle influence and textured palette. The full brand launch will take place with the free flowing and exotic Spring 2017 collection. Inspired by the elegance and breeze of the resort lifestyle, we are looking forward to seeing the line offered in premium fashion boutiques and at luxury resorts around the world next year.

Behind every successful company, there is a support system that keeps things “moving” seamlessly. I had the pleasure of meeting some members of your team, and their energy, smiles, and motivation was infectious. If I was sitting in on one of your staff meetings, what might I hear you telling your team if you were offering words of motivation, teamwork, and encouragement?  

If you were to attend one of our staff meetings you would certainly be laughing! Our team is truly an authentic and fun loving group of individuals. We hire for cultural fit and take pride in the creative and passionate community we have built. I believe that when you are passionate about your people, your people are passionate about you. I give them the power to follow their interests and find purpose within the company and in their own life and that karmic energy brings the brand to life.

 “I believe that when you are passionate about your people, your people are passionate about you.”
Check out my video highlights from the Noel Asmar Group Fashion Show and Exhibit during #ISPA2016.  The show highlighted the brand’s motto of “Made for the Way You Move” with contemporary dancers visually expressing how much you can physically “move” in the attire.    I can attest to the comfort of the uniform line, as I wore my own Noel Asmar ensemble (Coco tunic and Ibiza pant) the day of the fashion show, which just happened to be in the signature pink/black spa bunny colors.

Learn more about The Noel Asmar Group brand at : www.NoelAsmar.com | www.AsmarEquestrian.com | www.NoelAsmarUniforms.com  | www.PedicureBowls.com

Confessions from The Setai Spa & Robert D. Henry Architects

In the middle of a bustling financial district, I looked for the branded flag that identified the entrance to the Wall Street sanctuary known as The Setai.  Hidden within a residential building, The Setai Club & Spa resides on the 3rd floor, and welcomes you with warm hues of red and tan, dark woods, tiled walls, and an air of seduction.

With a welcome as warm as the decor, I was escorted to the locker room to change into my robe and slippers.  I wandered the softly lit corridor to the heat experience area, which was dark and mysterious as if you were far removed from any city and hidden within your own private lair.

My therapist Erica soon came to retrieve me for my “suite experience” with a Polynesian Spa Ritual.  I entered a gorgeous room, which included an oversized marble soaking tub,  rain shower, plush treatment table, and gorgeous Italian glass tile work.  The ritual commenced with a yummy drink called the Yumberry Elixir (no seriously, that’s the name), which I was told is packed with Vitamin A, C, and E, is anti -inflammatory, and lowers bad cholesterol.  I then enjoyed a sand, salt, and coconut shell scrub enriched with Tahitian vanilla extracts and Monoi oil, a rinse in the shower, a White Lilly Lagoon bath soak, and ended with a restful full body massage with Bora Bora sand pouches (of which I was able to take home with me).

The scents transported me to an exotic island, and the spa music made me feel like I was the star of my own Broadway show.  Somewhere in between the island and broadway, my own snort awoke me from my slumber.  My skin felt radiant and smelled amazing, as I floated in a daze to my next destination.

The Setai is unique in the fact that not only is it an exclusive amenity within a residential building, but they also open their doors to non-residents as a day spa.  See video highlights of my visit to The Setai Spa below:

Confessions from Robert D. Henry Architects at the Setai Spa Wall Street

Following my treatment, I had the pleasure of chatting in the Setai Tea Lounge with the architect behind The Setai, Robert D. Henry.   Mr. Henry’s love affair with spas started 18 years ago, with his first project being the Mar-a-Lago Spa in Palm Beach for Donald Trump and Marla Maples.  I wanted to learn more, and asked Mr. Henry to share more of his confessions:

What do you enjoy the most about designing spas over other types of architectural projects (i.e commercial, residential) ?

Spa’s allow us to create an experiential journey for Guests integrating all the senses, it is our speciality and focus and influences all our other projects.  We are doing a number of homes with wellness as a focus, enhancing the quality of life for the Owners.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Wellness research and practitioners; I’ve had more than 300 spa treatments all over the world.

What do you feel is the most unique design feature about The Setai as compared to other spas you’ve designed?

The East meets West fusion associated with the Setai brand. Mysterious, sensuous and exotic, an escape from the everyday…other-worldly.

Spa’s allow us to create an experiential journey for Guests integrating all the senses, it is our speciality and focus and influences all our other projects.  We are doing a number of homes w/ wellness as a focus, enhancing the quality of life for the Owners.

Were there any design considerations that had to be accounted for with the spa being primarily in a residential setting as opposed to say a hotel spa?

The aesthetic was brought thru from the Lobby to the Amenities and Residences.

What will the spa of the future look like?  

Our next generation of Spa projects will establish new experiences w/our projects for the Mandarin Oriental -NY and the new signature Spa for Ivanka Trump’s Washington Hotel.

Mysterious, sensuous and exotic, an escape from the everyday…other-worldly.

Robert D. Henry recently debuted a new line of signature spa furniture at the 2016 International Spa Association Conference in partnership with SALT Chamber and Touch America.

Learn more about Robert D. Henry Architects HERE

SPA BUNNY TO TAKE “CONFESSIONS” AT THIS YEAR’S INTERNATIONAL SPA ASSOCIATION (ISPA) CONFERENCE & EXPO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (September 9, 2016) – The H.I.S Agency, LLC assigns India K. Robinson, “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” to serve as media correspondent at this year’s International Spa Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV from September 12-15, 2016.

“Confessions of a Spa Bunny” is making its mark on the spa industry by bridging the gap between spas, consumer, product companies, and resource providers through social media, wellness-centered events, thoughtful content, and building authentic meaningful relationships.

As a newbie to the ISPA Conference, India says she plans “to attend as much as possible, from the first-timer orientation, to the general sessions, and professional development seminars.  In addition to discovering all of the innovative products, treatments, and services being showcased on the expo floor, I’m most looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, some of which I’ve never met in person, but have only connected with through social media; and networking to build new partnerships.  Oh, and of course, gathering new confessions”.

So what’s on the spa bunny’s media agenda during ISPA?  Highlights will include social media and live streaming coverage throughout the week, an exclusive post-fashion show interview with the Noel Asmar Group, relaxation area experiences with Luzern Laboratories Inc., and Decléor, appointments for the Pro Sleep Massage by [comfort zone] and Lava Shell Facial by Spa Revolutions, and planned visits to check out the new Salt Booth designed by Robert Henry Architects at SALT Chamber, the DAFNI hair straightening brush, sound therapy with Eastern Vibration, custom spa tunes at Private Label Music, all of the innovative and therapeutic spa chairs such as Magnesphere by Magneceutical Health and SolTec Lounge from Spa & Club Ideations, and of course a selfie with the Eminence Organics bear to support #EminenceKids to name a few.

“I’m a planner”, says India, “but I wanted to ensure a nice mix of scheduled activities, while still allowing some flexibility for the unexpected.  Some of my pre-planned choices are an extension of my experiences from the ISPA East Coast Media event held in NYC this past July, and others are those that sparked ideas for the next series of spa bunny confessions”.

Of course a visit to Las Vegas wouldn’t be complete without adding a couple of spa visits to the itinerary, so “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” plans to spend some time at ISPA member spa(s) the Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan and a post-conference digital detox with The Spa at Mandarin Oriental.

Learn more about “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” at www.confessionsofaspabunny.com and be sure to follow on social media to catch all of the ISPA coverage: Twitter/Instagram/Periscope @confessspabunny and Facebook at www.facebook.com/confessionsofaspabunny

Want to request a one-on-one or connect with the spa bunny at ISPA to give your “confessions”?  Send requests to spabunny@hisincorporated.com

Contact:

India K. Robinson
“Confessions of a Spa Bunny”
Office: (757) 447-4624
spabunny@hisincorporated.com

Press Release PDF

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India K. Robinson, “Confessions of a Spa Bunny”

A fan of the industry and spa connoisseur for over 10 years, India dived into the media scene and created “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” over 2 years ago.  What started as video “confessions” to educate individuals on the benefits of spa by highlighting different treatments, products, and experiences from around the world, quickly turned into a social spa movement with hosted wellness “time-out” events, retreats and trips, spa concierge services, spa media hosting, and wellness coaching and consulting.   The spa bunny’s passion for spa is reflective in her motto and mission to help individuals “take the time to take a time-out”.

Past memorable media coverage by “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” includes the 2015 and 2016 Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA) Symposium, “Celebrating Jurlique 30 Years Young” at the Australian Embassy, WSPA Members-Only “Evening with Caudalie”, and the International Spa Alliance (ISPA) 2016 East Coast Media Event, which included a “Sight, Sound, Touch” event highlight video and exclusive one-one interview with Bellus Academy’s President Lynelle Lynch on Wellness for Cancer.  Earlier this year, India also grabbed the attention of spa media maven, Mary Bemis, who invited her to recite her infamous and touching “Language of Spa” poem during Mary’s Town Hall at the 2016 WSPA Symposium, and was featured during National Poetry Month on Insider’s Guide to Spa. 

 India is an active member of the International Spa Association, Wellness Warrior, and the Washington Spa Alliance.

One-on-One with Bellus Academy’s Lynelle Lynch About Wellness for Cancer

Out of all of the wonderful things I had a chance to experience during the ISPA East Coast Media Event, and from all the coverage and content I gathered, my interview with Lynelle Lynch, President of Bellus Academy, is the one I want to be heard and shared the most within the spa community.  It’s important. You can help make a difference in the industry, so listen up!

During my one-on-one, I learned something that I didn’t even know was happening, or not happening for that matter, in the world of spa.  Something that as a fairly healthy person with  normal day-to-day life stressors, I couldn’t imagine not being able to experience now, let alone if I was dealing with a life altering disease like cancer.  I take for granted how easily I can book a spa appointment, enjoy a relaxing massage or body treatment and de-stress from all of life’s worries, even if only for a few hours.  Lynelle Lynch, however, painted a picture of a very different scenario:

“Once if you were pregnant and you went to go get a massage there was nothing.  and now pregnancy massages are everywhere.  So if you are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation you are not allowed to go to a spa right now, they would turn you away, and how traumatic and emotional.”

Wow.  Just think… how heartbreaking it must be, as a cancer patient or survivor you attempt to take back some of the control cancer has spread into your life, only to realize it has raised its ugly head in a place you want to retreat to for sanctuary. So instead of feeling empowered, you have to walk away and leave feeling as if you no longer have any control at all.  I agree Mrs. Lynch, very traumatic and emotional indeed!

I was happy to hear, however, there are now options and an educational solution to help spas and spa professionals avoid creating such a devastating experience for the clientele that may need them the most.

Bellus Academy in partnership with Wellness for Cancer, a 501c3 organization, and with support from the Global Wellness Institute, and leading cancer doctors, worked together to develop a custom training program that helps debunk the myths surrounding claims of massage spreading cancer or being contraindicated for cancer patients.  Instead, the training provides education on  what is safe, proper protocols that should be followed, and helps identify  treatments that can be offered at spas to allow cancer patients and survivors to experience the nurturing and de-stressing benefits massage and touch can provide during such a difficult time in an individual’s life.

The Global Wellness Institute’s website discusses the Wellness for Cancer Initiative and identifies the disconnect in the spa industry:

First, spas must have the proper perspective about supporting clients with cancer, which means understanding that our role is well-being not disease care. Second, we need to take responsibility for our role in holding space for our clients to reduce their stress, find inner peace and increase their emotional resiliency.   Individuals don’t want to go to cancer specific spas; they want to get away from their cancer – they want to visit your spa. (http://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/wellness-for-cancer-initiative)

According to the official press release, “Bellus Academy Becomes First U.S. Academy to Offer Wellness for Cancer Massage Therapy Training”.  During my interview Lynch indicates, “starting in September we have it built into our curriculum at Bellus Academy, we have a full spa at 20,000 square feet in San Diego, so we’re hoping that we’ll be a catalyst for all other spas in Southern California.  Offering the training not just to our students coming in but also to professionals within the San Diego county community”.

The 10 week, 50-hour Wellness for Cancer curriculum is designed to be flexible and can be completed entirely online or at the academy.  The hands-on training is held in class with a Wellness for Cancer certified educator.  Lynch says the in-class program gives students “a much more in-depth ability to have conversations, and to question things if they are not really understanding it well”.  All students will have to complete case study modules where they identify and find patients, offer complimentary services, and help them to relax and de-stress.

wellness for cancer-o#83AAD

Wellness for Cancer has created a little tree logo (pictured above) that will be utilized as the universal symbol for spas employing certified professionals and who have chosen to “debunk the myths” by  providing safe treatment options to individuals living with or surviving cancer.   Lynch hopes that the symbol will become widely recognized, “like when you go to  restaurants and you see the little gluten free symbol”, and that certified partnerships can be further developed on the Wellness for Cancer website, where guests will have the ability to perform a search and find places they can go for spa services, or identify products they can utilize during their cancer journey.    Lynch states:

“So in the future, 5 years from now, we’re hoping that this message gets out there and that more spas send their therapists to this level of training, and that more product companies put this into their menu of services so that they actually are identifying which products can complement the different services, and we’re all working as a unified profession. “

The final takeaway from Lynch: “It’s so important we reach the entire spa community and get them trained as soon as possible.  Join this movement because it’s very important”.   Important indeed!  I whole-heartedly believe in the healing power of touch, and though a trip to the spa may not be a cure from a literal sense, we all know there is so much more that can be healed beyond the physical. Will you join the movement and debunk the myth?

To learn more about Wellness for Cancer, or for inquiries on how you can become a certified Wellness for Cancer spa or therapist, please contact Bellus Academy President Lynelle Lynch at Llynch@bellusacademy.edu or Spa Director Joanne Berry at joanne@wellnessforcancer.com.  View the official Bellus Academy Wellness for Cancer press release here:    http://www.bellusacademy.edu/wellness-for-cancer

Story by:  India K. Robinson, “Confessions of a Spa Bunny” coverage from ISPA East Coast Media Event July 27, 2016

 

Sight, Sound, Touch: ISPA East Coast Media Event

I invite you to immerse yourself in the sensory experience afforded to invited media at the 2016 International Spa Association‘s East Coast Media Event at Gotham Hall in NYC. An evening of stunning visuals, high touch, and healing sounds.  Confessions of a Spa Bunny was there, and this video highlights the event through my eyes, these are my “confessions”…

Video and photography collaboration presented by: The H.I.S Agency, LLC & EyeConic Photo

“True Colors” Spa Happy Hour at The Pearl

I love spa happy hours, and though there aren’t as many as I would like, I always look forward to the events and happy hours hosted by The Pearl Spa in Fulton, MD.   Last week, I attended their “members only” happy hour event, invited a few VIP guests to join me, and we had a good ole time enjoying Lotus Wei flower reading, Wei of Chocolate meditations, artistic moments with the Buddha Board, herbal tea shots from Tea Forte, aromatic candle scents and body products from Red Flower, 21 Drops essential oil samples, homeopathic oral sprays from Sprayology, sangria, salad in a cup, and much more!

Their spa boutique is filled with many of my favorite brands and products, and you can find some great gift ideas for Mother’s Day!

Featuring Carita Paris at Four Seasons Washington

The Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC carries the luxurious Carita skincare line, a leader in anti-aging skin care products . Founded by the Carita sisters, well known hairdressers in Paris, they created a brand that symbolizes luxury and beauty that’s proven itself for over 60 years!

This brief  “60 seconds or less” Confessions of a Spa Bunny video highlights my introduction to Carita and exhibits a style reflective of the history and luxury feel behind the brand.

Providing Grade A+ Experiences…..And Much More!