As a new year unravels, it’s perhaps useful to watch the recent Saturday Night Live sketch about a fictional TV game show named “Does it Even Matter Anymore?” In it, the host, played by actress Jessica Chastain, quickly despairs in the shocking news pouring in daily from the White House, realizing that indeed, nothing matters anymore. The sketch ends with Chastain chugging a bottle of wine, and then requesting a hug from her “contestants.” One could argue that a deep breath could possibly do the trick.
“I think everyone would agree that 2017 was a pretty tumultuous, unpredictable and stressful year, between the political climate, the fires, you name it,” says Kayse Gehret, owner of Soulstice Mind + Body Spa. “We’re grateful to be able to bring relaxing and uplifting healing services to our community, now more than ever.”
Indeed, the vibe of the spa, which opened in Sausalito in 2016 and recently added a yoga and meditation room, is relaxing with a capital ‘R.’ Minimal, muted and no-frills, decor-wise, the space offers a variety of meditation and flow classes, from sunrise meditation to BodyMind Alchemy, a class targeting anxieties and sickness and aiming to increase self-confidence, resilience, wholeness and creative freedom. Yoga classes range from iRest Yoga Nidra, during which attendees float between sleep and wakefulness, to restorative Yin yoga, offered as a treat at the end of a stressful workday.
Located on a quiet street in Sausalito, the spa enjoys a steady flow (no pun intended) of San Francisco dwellers and tourists, but builds its trusted client base on the local community.
“Marin County has long been identified with progressive health care and alternative wellness practices,” Gehret says. “We’re fortunate to be based in such a supportive community who have embraced our take on incorporating mindfulness into their daily lives.”
The focal point of Soulstice is, of course, mindfulness. Gehret welcomes its calming, clarifying quality first and foremost. “While yoga will certainly tone and strengthen the body, our classes are not designed to be a workout or fitness class,” she says. “Our mindful yoga classes often combine breathwork, accessible spiritual teachings, seated meditation and a true connection for your mind, body and spirit.”
Anyone, according to Gehret, could use some quality time with his or her inner being. “We welcome teens and adults of all ages and experience levels, especially beginners,” she stresses. “Our clients are diverse and initially come to us for a variety of reasons, but all of them are seeking better health, resiliency and vibrant well-being.”
In addition to weekly classes, Soulstice, which began its life as a massage therapy spot, still offers massages, which complement the spiritual practices. With Gehret’s personal roots being in massage and bodywork, she sees the massage as part of a holistic package. The spa’s bodyworkers take some of the classes alongside their clients. “Unlike a traditional spa where customers might select a service off of a spa menu, our reception team does our best to listen and match each and every client to the best massage practitioner according to their unique needs. Massage therapy, meditation and movement are a powerful, synergistic combination for expansive health and well-being.”
Those who denounce commitment can try a drop-in class or, to get a feel for the place, a workshop. According to Gehret, Minna Sivola’s Sound Baths workshops “are very popular, incredibly relaxing and such a unique experience.” Held once every month on a Sunday evening, the Sound Rejuvenation Journeys utilize melodies created by the teacher, mixing chimes, singing bowls, flutes and more. “The combination of breathwork, sound and vibration is deeply calming to the nervous system, perfect for active Type As who find it hard to relax, people who struggle with anxiety, migraines or have trouble sleeping. Minna’s work is simply magical.”
Another upcoming workshop will be led by Amanda Gilbert, one of Los Angeles’ leading meditation and mindfulness teachers. The first offering, happening on February 25, is Foundations in Daily Practice, ready to diminish any doubt regarding yoga practice among beginners. Many more workshops are to come, including an ancient cacao ceremony. Could 2018 be better than its predecessor? Does it even matter anymore? With a premise of a healing, welcoming space to breathe and get pampered at, these questions might take a back seat, if only for an hour.
Soulstice Mind + Body Spa, 501 Caledonia St., Sausalito; soulsticemindbodyspa.com.