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October 22, 2008 > Get a Taste of the Spa Life and Learn How to Recreate the Feeling

Get a Taste of the Spa Life and Learn How to Recreate the Feeling

Washington Hospital Seminar Focuses on Relaxation Tips; Includes Light 'Spa' Lunch Recipes

Do you need a break from your hectic life? Imagine enjoying a half-day spa experience, complete with yoga, relaxing activities, and a light, healthy lunch, all close to home. Washington Hospital's upcoming "Lighten Up and Enlighten" seminar offers a relaxing spa experience while providing tips for recreating that "spa feeling" at home.

"The idea is to give women the opportunity to come to a workshop that is more like going to the spa without having to travel far or spend a lot of money," said Kathy Hesser, coordinator of the Washington Hospital Women's Center. "We also want to enlighten women on ways to create a small space in their own environment for that spa feeling, whether that means eating lighter or doing yoga. It's about taking time out of your busy schedule to focus on yourself."

"Lighten Up and Enlighten" is scheduled for Saturday, October 25, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Washington Women's Center, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. The class is limited to 15 participants and registration is required. The fee is $25 and a credit card number must be provided at the time of registration. Call (510) 608-1301 to register.

It's easy to get caught up in the stress of everyday life. With work and/or family demands, sometimes it can seem hard to relax. Left unchecked, stress can lead to a variety of health problem, including headache, insomnia, back pain, burnout, weight gain, anger and substance abuse. That's why it is so important to learn how to relax, even if you can't get to the spa.
Yoga Helps Reduce Stress

The day will start with gentle yoga exercises. Yoga teaches the art of breathing and meditation and is a useful tool for stress management and relaxation. Yoga, with its quiet, precise movements, can draw your focus away from your hectic life for a while as your mind shifts to the calming poses, which require balance and concentration. Even beginners who can only do basic poses can realize health benefits.

Yoga is suitable for people of all abilities. The yoga instructor will work with each individual so the movements are right for you.

"You can do the poses at your own pace in a very supportive environment," Hesser said. "We will talk about the benefits of yoga and provide information about other relaxation techniques. Yoga is great for reducing stress and increasing flexibility and balance. You can just feel the tightness go out of your body."

Eating light, healthy lunches can also help you feel better. While we all know how important it is to eat nutritious foods, eating right can be difficult, especially if you are always on the run. Anna Mazzei, a register dietitian at Washington Hospital, will prepare some fresh, healthy lunch options that participants will be able to sample.

"This seminar offers the opportunity to spend the morning with a small group of women and enjoy a little slice of a spa day," Hesser said. "It will help you learn how to take time out of your busy day, even your days off, so you can relax."

For a complete listing of programs and services offered by the Washington Women's Center, visit

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