A local collective promotes well-being with a focus on holistic health, fitness and aesthetic services.
By Tanya A. Yacina
Boat Canyon Shopping Center, a frequented locale in north Laguna, isn’t just home to popular grocery store Pavilions and a few restaurants visible from the street. In fact, a collection of wellness practitioners is tucked away on the second floor of the property, offering a diverse array of services to help individuals both look and feel their best.
Here, a dozen businesses focused on mindfulness, fitness and holistic health—including one suite dubbed the Boat Canyon Wellness Collective with a variety of services—combine to create a one-stop shop on the path to well-being. They offer yoga, Pilates, personal training, massage, facials, vitamin drips and more.
When considering overall holistic health, fitness is usually top of mind and Boat Canyon’s wellness hot spot has this covered. For example, Kensho Fitness owners Bobby and Heather Lee offer strength and resistance training; postural stability and balance training; youth fitness; golf fitness and nutritional counseling for their clients’ fitness journey.
“We specialize in strength development achieved safely through personally monitored strength, resistance and functional training regardless of where you are at in terms of age or ability,” says Bobby Lee. “Strength, resistance and functional training, and the extra benefits associated with it, is what most people come to us for. We think you’d be hard-pressed to find any disagreement with the fact that strength training is one of the keys, if not the main key, to slowing the aging process and all the ailments associated with aging—including loss of muscle mass, loss of balance, postural distortions and even cognitive function.”
Providing “mindful movement experiences,” the nearby LiveMetta Pilates and Yoga offers group classes and private sessions for both yoga and reformer Pilates. Husband-and-wife duo Chris and Ythy Farnsworth foster the philosophy that wellness is equated to staying grounded in the present moment, and you must take care of your body and mind while connecting to the world around you.
Meanwhile, Inspiring Motion Laguna takes traditional workouts to the next level by blending Pilates and the Gyrotonic Method, a full-body exercise system that combines strength, flexibility and coordination with adaptability for all fitness levels. Focusing on muscles and joints, the Gyrotonic machines use a pulley system to work through a person’s entire range of motion. Owner Jennine Baillie says instructors are highly trained rehab specialists who work closely with medical practitioners for clients’ spinal and orthopedic issues, and specialize in the treatment of scoliosis and rebuilding skeletal muscle to slow osteoporosis, osteopenia and the aging process.
Skin Care Solutions
Also on the second floor, the Wellness Collective features several practitioners skilled in offering customized skin care treatments. Part of holistic health, skin care addresses the largest organ of the human body, the skin.
Serenity Skin Care operates under owner and licensed aesthetician Kimberly Ward who specializes in personalized, result-oriented skin care treatments to address concerns like aging, sun damage, acne, rosacea and other sensitivities. She works with clients to develop treatment plans, and offers professional treatment products and services including chemical peels, hydrodermabrasion and dermaplaning, as well as microchanneling, microcurrent, LED light and acne treatments.
SkinDrip Aesthetics owner and aesthetician Val Costes says she provides the “ultimate pampering and relaxation facial” in a unique experience focusing on each client’s top concerns. She also offers brow waxing, shaping, tinting and lamination; lash lifts and tints; and standard and luxury spray tans.
Aesthetician Tamara Wulff says the most popular treatment that her business, skincarelove.co, offers is microchanneling, which reduces hyperpigmentation and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pore size, acne scars, rosacea and stretch marks. It also stimulates the body’s natural ability to generate collagen and elastin. Wulff also offers kinetic dermabrasion, facials, peels and luxury spray tans.
Dr. Adrienne O’Connell, owner and medical director of Laguna Beach Aesthetics (in its own suite near the collective) explains that she offers medical-grade spa treatments including Botox, fillers, Sculptra, chemical peels, intense pulsed light therapy, laser hair removal, CO2 lasers, microneedling with radiofrequency, skin tightening treatments, weight loss treatments, IV hydration and vitamin shots as well as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide therapy.
“Our most popular services are Botox, Sculptra and Potenza,” O’Connell says. “Botox is injected into various facial muscles to relax the muscles and decrease wrinkles. It is quick, painless and has no downtime. … Sculptra is a biostimulator injectable that we inject mostly into the lower face to add volume, tighten the skin and improve overall complexion. It stimulates collagen and elastin. Potenza is our microneedling with radiofrequency treatment—it is a fave of our patients. It stimulates collagen and elastin production, thereby lifting the skin, tightening the skin and smoothing the overall surface of the skin.”
My Happy Place, operated by licensed cosmetologist Camilla Christensen, offers full-body waxing, brow shaping and laminations, and lash lifts—plus dermaplaning starting in February. Notably, she utilizes an award-winning wax known for its pure, natural ingredients in the center’s relaxing setting.
And the newest addition, Chanel Esthetics, which was launched by licensed esthetician Chanel Croswell in mid-January, brings custom experiences to town. Some of the most popular include her teen facials and microdermabrasion treatments that incorporate light therapy, lymphatic drainage, a stress relief massage and more. Croswell also puts a focus on educating her clients on proper skin care.
When constructing a holistic wellness routine, massage can also play a valuable role by complementing a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Krista Kopischke, a medical aesthetician and owner of KC Aesthetics, combines the art of massage with her skin care techniques. In addition to customized meditation facials, chemical peels and LED light therapy, she offers buccal massage, or intraoral massage, that targets facial areas from the inside out, as well as gua sha, a traditional Chinese massage technique that stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage by pressing or stroking the skin with a smooth-edged tool.
“We all deal with chronic and acute injuries or issues that cause discomfort and pain. Neuromuscular massage helps to release these areas, resulting in reduced pain and discomfort, as well as increased range of motion and performance,” says Tracey Thompson, a neuromuscular massage therapist and owner of Thompson Therapy. “It’s always best to address the area of concern as well as the full body to promote overall healing and recovery.”
Thompson provides both 60- and 90-minute neuromuscular, trigger point and sports massage therapy sessions to her clients at the collective.
Sheryl Brinson, owner and founder of EmbodiWorks and creator of the 3D Ashiatsu Massage, says many of her clients use massage as a primary source to stay physically and mentally healthy. She offers single appointments and a wellness program in which clients choose from a stress reliever massage, 3D Super Deep—Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage (a massage that combines the use of the therapist’s hands and feet), sports corrective massage and pregnancy massage.
Healing Arts owner Gabi Purrer practices both touch (massage) and nontouch therapy with her clients, which is dictated by each person’s specific healing needs, and assists in connecting communication between the body, mind, heart and soul.
“Through deep listening, intuition, talk therapy, touch, bodywork and/or art, I am a facilitator of personal transformation for my clients,” Purrer says. “I use my intuitive and sensory gifts to develop a sacred relationship with my clients, and by holding a space of unconditional love, guide them back to the truth of who they are in order for them to live an empowered, healthy and full life.”
Contact the Collective
Inspiring Motion Laguna:
Laguna Beach Aesthetics:
LiveMetta Pilates and Yoga:
My Happy Place:
may book through the Vagaro app
Serenity Skin Care: