Hi! How’s the week been going for you, friends? There’s nothing major taking place over here — it’s just been business as usual. I don’t know about you, but I love a little excitement in the week, and that just didn’t happen during this one. Oh, I lie, it did: we finished up watching the latest season of “Orange is the New Black” and then started watching “Bloodline.” I had heard from a few people that “Bloodline” is good, and it has two major selling points: filmed in the Florida Keys, where I vacationed every single summer growing up, and features one of my favorites, Coach Taylor (i.e. Kyle Chandler from “Friday Night Lights”). The first few episodes are pretty interesting and it’s a true thriller. After watching the first one I was actually a little spooked when taking Rudy out for his night-time walk. Ha!
This upcoming weekend is full of my regular activities like teaching BODYPUMP, hanging out with Dave, going out to eat and maybe doing some shopping for my upcoming trip to Vegas. But before we head off into the weekend, let’s talk about things I’ve been loving …
This week’s “Favorite things”
Special treatment at Burke Williams Spa
Sometimes you get the opportunity to try something, which makes you want to research all about what you tried and then you get even more interested in it. Last weekend, I had the awesome chance to go to the Burke Williams Spa in the Westfield Center of San Francisco for an incredible treatment. I received the Shirodhara massage, which is a method from the ancient Indian system of natural medicine, Ayurveda.
In addition to getting top-notch service at the fancy Burke Williams location, which included access to the lovely spa, waiting room, a fresh fruit plate, and a comfy robe, I also spent 80 minutes in a massage room getting the works.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what I was in for when I arrived that day. I was expecting a fairly run-of-the-mill massage, and it was anything but. First of all, when I met with Theresa, my friendly massage therapist, she talked me through what was about to take place for my treatment, and the description took about five minutes. She also had me smell three oils and choose the one that I liked the best – she said that was what my body needed the most of. The choices were energy, soothe and calm, and I went with soothe. It smelled great, and it soothed me. (By the way, I couldn’t take any pictures of the room or actual service, so you’re just getting a taste of the setting and spa, and yes, it’s at the very top of the huge Westfield mall in downtown San Francisco.)
For the treatment itself, the room was kept hot, which is not something I’ve experienced before. Also, I was laying on my stomach for the first part and back for the second part. My body was totally doused in the oils, and I got a light massage from head to toe. She focused a lot of my head and feet, which I enjoyed. Then, the last 10 minutes or so featured the Shirodhara part, which is where Theresa poured a long stream of hot oil into the middle of my forehead or third eye. This constant stream ran down my head and soaked my hair entirely. And let me tell you, it was such a cool sensation. I didn’t want it to end.
Ayurvedic medicine focuses on the third-eye part of the forehead, because there are many nerve endings there, and pouring the hot oil over this part can calm the nervous system, induce rest and meditation, reduce fatigue and rejuvenate the body with a rush of serotonin. (It also addresses dosha, which is another Ayurvedic term associated with the three energies that circulate in the body and make up your physiological state.) While I definitely struggle to meditate on my own, I did my best to get lost in no thoughts during this portion of the service, and I truly zoned in and out of consciousness.
When Theresa was done, she left the room so that I could sit in silence and slowly come back to awareness. When I came to, I was totally oiled up and relaxed, and boy it felt good. I can honestly say that I felt more soothed than I have after any other massage. Although my body didn’t get the deep tissue or pressure that I typically like during a massage, my mind got worked on. It sure did.
I’d love to go back to Burke Williams one day and do this same treatment again or try one of the traditional massages. And for my friends out there who are adventurous or need a major escape from reality — check out the Shirodhara service. The 80-minute sessions run a pricey $215, so it’s a luxury for a rainy day.
Fun fact: You can’t directly wet your hair with the oil on it after your service. You actually have to put shampoo on first. After my treatment was over, I took my time showering up and blow-drying my clean hair in the Burke Williams ladies locker room. But total gross factor — I had to put on my same clothes from yoga earlier that day because I didn’t have anything else with me. Oh well! At least my hair was clean. (Some of you may have seen on Snapchat at aladygoeswest, when posted a no make-up post-massage selfie as I was walking out. So fresh!)
*Burke Williams invited me to try the service for free. While they did not ask me for a review, I felt compelled to write about this. All opinions are my own. Thanks for the hospitality, Burke Williams. There are 10 locations across California, including the one I visited in San Francisco. Find the others here.
Nike Zoom Winflo shoes
On to a favorite that’s a little less meaty, these sneaks were a new addition to my closet right before I left for IDEA BlogFest and IDEA World Fitness Convention in L.A. last month. The pink is so bright, it almost hurts to look at them. I wore these shoes every day of my trip in L.A., and they barely got a mark. There is plenty of cushioning, making them great for cardio workouts, and they look good!
The style is the Zoom Winflo, and they come in many bright and understated colors. While I wouldn’t wear these for a ton of side-to-side work or weightlifting, they are great for basic cardio and running, jogging or walking, or just as activewear. When I first put them on, because I had been wearing a super light shoe the day before, it felt like I was walking on a cloud with all of that padding. Good stuff!
I’ve found my new favorite bangle and it came to me in my latest LE TOTE delivery. (Not sure about LE TOTE, it’s a clothing subscription service, in which you get five items delivered, can wear them and send them back or buy them at a reduced rate.) I’ve worn this embossed cuff-bangle with nearly every outfit for the past week and a half.
By the way, LE TOTE has an awesome offer running through the weekend, in which you can get your first tote for free with this sign-up code: 7ALTFT16. Once you order, you can cancel within 14 days with no fees at all, or continue along and pay for your second month when it’s time. (Here is the dress shown above.)
Let me just say, it’s fun to get clothes in the mail that you can wear and send back –- because they don’t fill up your closet. Give it a try! (Affiliate link – thank you for using it!) *And thanks to LE TOTE for the complimentary membership.
My favorite links of the week
Did you miss the latest on A Lady Goes West?
- What the news about lifting heavy vs. light weights means for you
- Friends, yoga in the sun, dining al fresco in the Creek and my weekly workouts
And more from around the web worth perusing …
- BLOGGING: I like this one from Katy Widrick. I remember when I attended my first BlogFest in 2015 and she said that we would soon not call each other bloggers, but influencers. So true: “7 Things All Influencers Do.”
- HUMOR: This is so funny, because I ALWAYS make fun of cargo shorts. Luckily, Dave has not owned any since we have been together, but I know plenty of friendly and normal guys who wear them. They just don’t understand. Check out “Nice Cargo Shorts: You’re Sleeping on the Sofa.”
- FITNESS: If you sit for a majority of your day, you need to also spend at least 30 minutes to an hour moving. And your movement can be broken up throughout the day, POPSUGAR reports “Here’s Exactly How Much You Should be Exercising If You Sit at a Desk All Day, Says Science.”
- FOOD: I know, there are so many new foods out there, it’s hard to keep track. Here is a description of all of the fad ones, thanks to POPSUGAR “18 of the Most Popular Superfoods Explained.” But really, can you pronounce Turmeric, because I struggle.
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Questions of the day
What’s something good from your week?
Please tell me — what are some words you have trouble pronouncing in your everyday life?