Self-Care

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga

Do you long to be calmer and more centered? Do you carry the strain of the world in your neck, shoulders, and back?  Would you welcome the opportunity to let go of what you no longer need, breathing in compassion for yourself, your family, and your community? Consider checking out our featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga! Let them know that you’re a Co-op member-owner and your first class is free!

For over 20 years, Otter Creek Yoga has offered our community an oasis of calm and healing – a place to come home to one’s true self. In fact, they were Addison County’s first yoga studio! Their beautiful, peaceful, sunny studio is located in Middlebury’s historic Marbleworks and offers daytime, evening, and weekend classes for all ages and levels of experience. No previous yoga experience is necessary. The Otter Creek Yoga faculty includes a total of seven experienced, certified, skilled instructors practicing a variety of yoga disciplines, led by director and founder Joanna Colwell. Click here for the schedule and descriptions of the classes offered. If you are unsure about which class to take, please don’t hesitate to call or write and they can guide you to your perfect yoga home. 

Otter Creek Yoga is a welcoming space, committed to making yoga and healing available to the whole community. If you are a person of the global majority (BIPOC) you can attend free yoga classes, or even get paid to attend classes through Otter Creek Yoga’s Yoga Equity Project. The Yoga Equity Project presents an eight-week Gentle Yoga Series taught by Sasha Finnell. This series is designed to provide an inclusive, nurturing community space for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. The goal is to provide a weekly time and space for comfort and healing. Please contact Joanna to learn more and/or register.

 

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

We’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From May 5th – 11th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness was founded by Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for the mamas in your life. Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:

 

 

Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Wellness Wonders: Adaptogens

There is no doubt that this past year has paid a stressful toll. We’ve been put through the wringer of school and childcare closings, furloughs, lost jobs, worries about our own health and safety, worries about the health and safety of our loved ones, and a disconnection from our normal social supports. These stressful life events cause physiological stress responses in our bodies, making it an especially crucial time to double down on self-care. This is why we’re choosing to shine a Wellness Wonders spotlight on adaptogens! 

What is an adaptogen?

According to our friends at Moutain Rose Herbs, Adaptogens are invaluable allies for coping with the normal day-to-day aggravations of life: work pressures, family responsibilities, financial worries, seasonal mood slumps, over-reliance on caffeine, and so on. When our nervous system is in overdrive, our bodies may experience aches and pains, melancholy, heightened anxiety, sleeplessness, difficulty with focus, suppressed immune response, and other similar stress responses. Adaptogens are a category of herbs and mushrooms that can help us find relaxation and calm to enjoy normal and healthful cycles of activity and rest.

Rhodiola

Although this classification is a bit loosely defined, there are a few generally recognized qualities that characterize specific herbs and mushrooms as adaptogens. They can help restore overall balance and strengthen the functioning of the body as a whole without impacting the balance of any individual organ or bodily system. Adaptogens facilitate these changes through a wide range of actions and plant energetics, rather than through one specific action. Adaptogens may help improve focus, support normal immune system functioning, or exercise some other broad-spectrum normalizing influence on unbalanced physiological processes.

Dried astragalus root

By definition, the active properties of an adaptogen must be safe, non-toxic, and non-habit-forming, even when taken over a long period of time. When taken daily as a tea or extract, these herbs can help improve mental functioning and allow our bodies to adapt more easily to stressful situations by curtailing an overactive adrenal response. However, adaptogens should not be used to push us beyond our limits and cannot replace the benefits of good, restful sleep and proper nutrition. These plant allies better support our wellness when taken to address a specific need or when used as gentle long-term tonics.

Eleuthero

What kinds of adaptogens are available in our Wellness Department?

Your Co-op carries a wide variety of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms reputably sourced from Vermont and beyond. Here is some information on four of the most popular adaptogens available at the Co-op:

  • AshwagandhaWithania somnifera is a perennial shrub in the nightshade family. It has been used for thousands of years throughout Asia and still holds an important place in herbal formulations today. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha root is highly valued as an adaptogenic tonic to help cope with stress and support overall cognitive health. Ayurveda practitioners believe that it is a helpful sleep aid and is often used to balance various conditions that arise from ‘vata dosha’ imbalances. It is believed to encourage youth and vitality. It is considered a grounding and nourishing herb and supportive to female well-being. Bitter, sweet, astringent in flavor and energetically warming (mildly, this well-loved root can be decocted, integrated into herbal tea blends, and tinctured.
  • AstragalusAstragalus membranaceus is a sun-loving perennial in the Fabaceae family native to China, Mongolia, and North Korea. Astragalus root was historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Qi tonic and was often found in classical herbal formulas dating all the way back to the first century AD. Astragalus is reported to support immune health and is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help increase energy and resistance to stress. The dried root can be tinctured, decocted as astragalus tea, and simmered into soups, stews, and broths.
  • EleutheroEleutherococcus senticosus, also known as Siberian Ginseng, has been part of the herbal repertoire in Chinese medicine for thousands of years due to its purported ability to support mental clarity and emotional stamina during stressful situations, boost physical endurance, help with sleeplessness, and (according to Ayurvedic medicine) support healthy immune system functioning. Eleuthero root is often prepared as a tea or extract.
  • Rhodiola– Known for its ability to support healthy stress response and optimal adrenal functioning, Rhodiola rosea is one of 90 rhodiola species utilized for thousands of years throughout Europe and Asia. In fact, rhodiola’s medicinal use dates back to the time of the Greek physician, Dioscorides, who documented its use in 77 C.E. Rhodiola was employed in Russia to boost the stamina of Olympic athletes and was even taken by cosmonauts to support physical and mental performance. The floral-scented, purple-hued root is typically steeped into a tea, blended into herbal infusions, and tinctured.
Sampling of adaptogens available at the Co-op

 

Which adaptogens are right for you?

Choosing the adaptogen that works best for you in the right form and dose requires a bit of trial and error, as the needs of our bodies and the way that stress manifests itself within each of us are as unique as our fingerprints. It’s best to first consult with your physician about incorporating adaptogens into your routine and our Wellness team is always on hand to help you along the way! 

 

Wellness Wonders: Adaptogens

There is no doubt that this past year has paid a stressful toll. We’ve been put through the wringer of school and childcare closings, furloughs, lost jobs, worries about our own health and safety, worries about the health and safety of our loved ones, and a disconnection from our normal social supports. These stressful life events cause physiological stress responses in our bodies, making it an especially crucial time to double down on self-care. This is why we’re choosing to shine a Wellness Wonders spotlight on adaptogens! 

What is an adaptogen?

According to our friends at Moutain Rose Herbs, Adaptogens are invaluable allies for coping with the normal day-to-day aggravations of life: work pressures, family responsibilities, financial worries, seasonal mood slumps, over-reliance on caffeine, and so on. When our nervous system is in overdrive, our bodies may experience aches and pains, melancholy, heightened anxiety, sleeplessness, difficulty with focus, suppressed immune response, and other similar stress responses. Adaptogens are a category of herbs and mushrooms that can help us find relaxation and calm to enjoy normal and healthful cycles of activity and rest.

Rhodiola

Although this classification is a bit loosely defined, there are a few generally recognized qualities that characterize specific herbs and mushrooms as adaptogens. They can help restore overall balance and strengthen the functioning of the body as a whole without impacting the balance of any individual organ or bodily system. Adaptogens facilitate these changes through a wide range of actions and plant energetics, rather than through one specific action. Adaptogens may help improve focus, support normal immune system functioning, or exercise some other broad-spectrum normalizing influence on unbalanced physiological processes.

Dried astragalus root

By definition, the active properties of an adaptogen must be safe, non-toxic, and non-habit-forming, even when taken over a long period of time. When taken daily as a tea or extract, these herbs can help improve mental functioning and allow our bodies to adapt more easily to stressful situations by curtailing an overactive adrenal response. However, adaptogens should not be used to push us beyond our limits and cannot replace the benefits of good, restful sleep and proper nutrition. These plant allies better support our wellness when taken to address a specific need or when used as gentle long-term tonics.

Eleuthero

What kinds of adaptogens are available in our Wellness Department?

Your Co-op carries a wide variety of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms reputably sourced from Vermont and beyond. Here is some information on four of the most popular adaptogens available at the Co-op:

  • AshwagandhaWithania somnifera is a perennial shrub in the nightshade family. It has been used for thousands of years throughout Asia and still holds an important place in herbal formulations today. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha root is highly valued as an adaptogenic tonic to help cope with stress and support overall cognitive health. Ayurveda practitioners believe that it is a helpful sleep aid and is often used to balance various conditions that arise from ‘vata dosha’ imbalances. It is believed to encourage youth and vitality. It is considered a grounding and nourishing herb and supportive to female well-being. Bitter, sweet, astringent in flavor and energetically warming (mildly, this well-loved root can be decocted, integrated into herbal tea blends, and tinctured.
  • AstragalusAstragalus membranaceus is a sun-loving perennial in the Fabaceae family native to China, Mongolia, and North Korea. Astragalus root was historically used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a Qi tonic and was often found in classical herbal formulas dating all the way back to the first century AD. Astragalus is reported to support immune health and is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help increase energy and resistance to stress. The dried root can be tinctured, decocted as astragalus tea, and simmered into soups, stews, and broths.
  • EleutheroEleutherococcus senticosus, also known as Siberian Ginseng, has been part of the herbal repertoire in Chinese medicine for thousands of years due to its purported ability to support mental clarity and emotional stamina during stressful situations, boost physical endurance, help with sleeplessness, and (according to Ayurvedic medicine) support healthy immune system functioning. Eleuthero root is often prepared as a tea or extract.
  • Rhodiola– Known for its ability to support healthy stress response and optimal adrenal functioning, Rhodiola rosea is one of 90 rhodiola species utilized for thousands of years throughout Europe and Asia. In fact, rhodiola’s medicinal use dates back to the time of the Greek physician, Dioscorides, who documented its use in 77 C.E. Rhodiola was employed in Russia to boost the stamina of Olympic athletes and was even taken by cosmonauts to support physical and mental performance. The floral-scented, purple-hued root is typically steeped into a tea, blended into herbal infusions, and tinctured.
Sampling of adaptogens available at the Co-op

 

Which adaptogens are right for you?

Choosing the adaptogen that works best for you in the right form and dose requires a bit of trial and error, as the needs of our bodies and the way that stress manifests itself within each of us are as unique as our fingerprints. It’s best to first consult with your physician about incorporating adaptogens into your routine and our Wellness team is always on hand to help you along the way! 

 

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

In honor of this month of love, we’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From February 11th – 17th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness is the lovechild of Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for your Valentine. In fact, their Quiet Mind CBD Bath Soak might be just the thing for both of you to enjoy together… Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:

 

 

Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Waterfalls Day Spa

Can you remember the last time you pressed pause on the frenzied pace of everyday life and allowed yourself to relax and unwind? If you are struggling to recall the last occasion of such a rare, yet necessary event, we invite you to check out our featured Co-op Connection business for February – Waterfalls Day Spa! They offer a very generous 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners! Read on to learn more about the extensive list of services offered by their skilled team of practitioners:

 

Waterfalls sets the standard for excellence in the salon and spa community with exceptional customer service and the technical skills of their therapists. Clients can expect to receive a treatment customized specifically to their needs. 

Whether you’re looking for a massage, hair treatments, skin therapy, nail treatments, hair color services, or lash extensions and tinting, Waterfalls has got you covered! Brand new to their lineup of offerings are HydraFacials and hair extensions! For facials, they’re proud to use the award-winning Dr. Dennis Gross skincare line. Massage techniques range from a relaxing Swedish massage to a soothing CBD massage to deep sports massage to a soothing warm stone massage, and even prenatal massage!

Hair services at Waterfalls begin with a thorough consultation followed by a hair bath and mask before receiving a style or color treatment tailored to their individual needs. Clients will leave with the knowledge of how to recreate their style at home and recommendations for products to help them achieve their look. At Waterfalls, they understand the importance of holistic hair care and use only non-toxic products free of unnecessary chemicals when coloring hair. They are proud to exclusively use Simply Organics’ Original&Mineral and Oway hair color. Their goal is to provide customers with a professional service using much healthier options than what is available at a regular salon.

They also offer an impressive menu of hair, nail, waxing, and skin treatments uniquely suited to men, women, and teens. To view the menu and daydream about your next visit, click HERE!

Planning a wedding or bridal party? Waterfalls offers a lovely list of services to make every bride’s dreams come true. Click HERE to check them out!

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, pick up a Waterfalls gift card!

In short, if you’re looking to escape, relax, and restore – Waterfalls Day Spa is your destination. Just don’t forget to mention that you’re a Co-op member-owner!

 

 

 

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga

Do you long to be calmer and more centered? Do you carry the strain of the world in your neck, shoulders, and back?  Could you use a generous helping of self-care? Consider checking out our featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga! Let them know that you’re a Co-op member-owner and your first class is free!

For over 10 years, Otter Creek Yoga has offered our community an oasis of calm and healing – a place to come home to your true self. Their beautiful, peaceful, sunny studio is located in Middlebury’s historic Marbleworks and offers daytime, evening, and weekend classes for all ages and all levels of experience. Click here for the schedule and click here for detailed descriptions of the classes offered.

The Otter Creek Yoga faculty includes a total of nine experienced, certified, skilled instructors practicing a variety of yoga disciplines, including two certified Iyengar teachers. Click here to read more about the instructors and the various types of yoga they offer. Director Joanna Colwell founded Otter Creek Yoga in 2006 and it was Addison County’s first yoga studio! Joanna loves being a full-time yoga teacher and sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. She’s especially interested in exploring the ways in which yoga practice can be a method of self-care and believes that our ability to care for ourselves positively influences how we care for our families, our community, and the world around us. She invites us all to “come take a deep, cleansing breath, and then another. Let go of what you no longer need. Breathe in compassion – for yourself, your family, and your world. Breathe out peace and calm.”

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga

Do you long to be calmer and more centered? Do you carry the strain of the world in your neck, shoulders, and back?  Could you use a generous helping of self-care? Consider checking out our February Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Otter Creek Yoga! Let them know that you’re a Co-op member-owner and your first class is free! Wouldn’t that be a lovely Valentine gift to give yourself? 

For 10 years, Otter Creek Yoga has offered our community an oasis of calm and healing – a place to come home to your true self. Their beautiful, peaceful, sunny studio is located in Middlebury’s historic Marbleworks and offers daytime, evening, and weekend classes for all ages and all levels of experience. Click here for the schedule and click here for detailed descriptions of the classes offered.

The Otter Creek Yoga faculty includes a total of nine experienced, certified, skilled instructors practicing a variety of yoga disciplines, including two certified Iyengar teachers. Click here to read more about the instructors and the various types of yoga they offer. Director Joanna Colwell founded Otter Creek Yoga in 2006 and it was Addison County’s first yoga studio! Joanna loves being a full-time yoga teacher and sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. She’s especially interested in exploring the ways in which yoga practice can be a method of self-care and believes that our ability to care for ourselves positively influences how we care for our families, our community, and the world around us. She invites us all to “come take a deep, cleansing breath, and then another. Let go of what you no longer need. Breathe in compassion – for yourself, your family, and your world. Breathe out peace and calm.”

Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Waterfalls Day Spa

Can you remember the last time you pressed pause on the frenzied pace of everyday life and allowed yourself to relax and unwind? If you are struggling to recall the last occasion of such a rare, yet necessary event, we invite you to check out the newest addition to our Co-op Connection lineup – Waterfalls Day Spa! They offer a very generous 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners! Read on to learn more about the extensive list of services offered by their skilled team of practitioners:

 

Located at the historic Middlebury Inn, Waterfalls Day Spa has been part of our community for over 10 years.  You may have heard friends rave about their fabulous massages but what you may not know is that they now offer salon services, too! They set the standard for excellence in the salon and spa community with exceptional customer service and highly skilled technicians.  Clients can expect to receive a treatment customized specifically to their needs.

Whether you’re looking for a massage, hair treatments, skin therapy, nail treatments, hair color services, or lash extensions and tinting, Waterfalls has got you covered! Massage techniques range from a relaxing Swedish massage to deep sports massage to a soothing warm stone massage, and even prenatal massage!

We love supporting local producers here at the Co-op, so we were particularly thrilled to learn that Waterfalls offers two unique spa packages that feature two of our favorite local beverage producers:  The Lincoln Peak Spa and Wine Escape and the Shacksbury Spritz Hard Cider Smooth & Spicy Rub. Don’t those sound delicious? We certainly think so.

They also offer an impressive menu of hair, nail, waxing, and skin treatments uniquely suited to men, women, and teens. To view the menu and daydream about your next visit, click HERE!

Planning a wedding or bridal party? Waterfalls offers a lovely list of services to make every bride’s dreams come true. Click HERE to check them out!

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, pick up a Waterfalls gift card!

In short, if you’re looking to escape, relax, and restore – Waterfalls Day Spa is your destination. Just don’t forget to mention that you’re a Co-op member-owner!

 

 

 

Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Otter Creek Yoga

Do you long to be calmer and more centered? Do you carry the strain of the world in your neck, shoulders, and back?  Could you use a generous helping of self-care? Consider checking out our February Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Otter Creek Yoga! Let them know that you’re a Co-op member-owner and your first class is free! Wouldn’t that be a lovely Valentine gift to give yourself? 

For 10 years, Otter Creek Yoga has offered our community an oasis of calm and healing – a place to come home to your true self. Their beautiful, peaceful, sunny studio is located in Middlebury’s historic Marbleworks and offers daytime, evening, and weekend classes for all ages and all levels of experience. Click here for detailed descriptions of the classes offered.

The Otter Creek Yoga faculty includes a total of nine experienced, certified, skilled instructors practicing a variety of yoga disciplines, including two certified Iyengar teachers. Click here to read more about the instructors and the various types of yoga they offer. Director Joanna Colwell founded Otter Creek Yoga in 2006 and it was Addison County’s first yoga studio! Joanna loves being a full-time yoga teacher and sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. She’s especially interested in exploring the ways in which yoga practice can be a method of self-care and believes that our ability to care for ourselves positively influences how we care for our families, our community, and the world around us. She invites us all to “come take a deep, cleansing breath, and then another. Let go of what you no longer need. Breathe in compassion – for yourself, your family, and your world. Breathe out peace and calm.”