City Living: Life’s a beach! Ganbanyoku (Rock Bathing)

You’re on the beach. The heat from the hot sand wraps your
body in a warm embrace. We all deserve a little escape from the daily grind, but you don’t have to travel to the Caribbean to get it. 
Ganbanyoku (rock bathing) is one of the hottest Japanese spa trends. With over 4,000 rock bathing spas in Japan alone, we thought it was time to investigate this wellness trend. 

We visited Iyashi Bedrock Spa, located in uptown Toronto, which is the first of its kind in North America and the only place you can experience rock bathing in our fair city. 

Inside the The Traditional Suite at Iyashi Bedrock Spa. There are 17 glorious beds. You can also book the Deluxe Suite which offers a more intimate experience with just 4 beds (couples retreat?). 

The secret to the hot hot heat is in the black silica stones. They provide two main activities Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and Negative Ions. Basically, the rays from the stones detox your body and provide benefits that include anti-aging, pain relief from conditions such as arthritis and of course, you will sweat out tons of calories. 

If you’re not a fan of saunas and hot yoga, you may want to consider rock bathing. We tried the hot yin yoga. A slow yoga practice, all of the moves are done in a sitting or laying down position. You’ll experience a deep stretch that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. The warmth of the hot stones is especially nice on the sitting bones in your back. The room itself is not heated,  the heat is emitted through the floor, so you won’t experience that choking feeling. 

You can do your own yoga stretch or just enjoy a detoxifying nap. 
You will sweat buckets! Yet, it’s recommend that you
don’t shower for two hours after leaving the spa. If you’re
thinking that you may not be able to tolerate your smell, think again. The
sweat that your body produces from this kind of heat is different, believe it or not, you will not smell. The odour-free sweat is a great treatment for your skin and hair.

With a group of 10 guests you can rent out the Traditional Suite. A great idea for a day with the girls, or even an activity for a bachelorette party. Go all the way there with some green juice from Belmonte Raw.
Ingredients like ginger, kiwi, cucumber and carrot will give you an energy boost and keep your insides clean. 

There’s nothing like a good sweat with some good friends. 

If you’re interested in trying it out and getting a little stress-relief (Toronto Life ranked it 10/10 for reducing stress) check out the site below. Give them a call or just wander on in. You’ll love it! Namaste.

2662 Yonge St. (between Eglinton and Lawrence)
416.488.ROCK (7625)

City Living: Body Blitz East Launches with a Splash!

What’s better than *one* place where women can go to relax, enjoy a therapeutic water circuit, jump in a sauna and socialize, all the while enjoying a delicious fruity concoction of antioxidants? Two! Toronto’s women’s only, health-by-water spa, Body Blitz is a favourite social destination for women across the city and has become such a popular a haven of relaxation they are celebrating opening the doors of a second location at  497 King St. E. 

The spa’s first location at 471 Adelaide St. W. opened in 2005 and invites hundreds of women through its doors each week. Body Blitz is thrilled to offer another unique space where ladies can escape a little bit from the daily chaos known as life. 

Body Blitz (West).

Smack dab in the middle of Toronto’s beautiful Corktown neighbourhood, Body Blitz East is uniquely designed within 22,000 sq. feet of industrial space made into a buzz-worthy sanctuary. The five part water circuit relay includes a Dead Sea salt pool, hot Epsom salt pool, a cold plunge pool, an aromatherapy steam room and an infrared sauna; all with individual benefits that contribute to a better, more serene sense of well being. 

Body Blitz East Dead Sea salt pool 
Photo credit: Carlos Avalos

And what better way to celebrate the launch of something *so* cool than by hosting one kick-ass party? The highlights: a team of world-class synchronized swimmers from the Durham Synchro Swim Club performing two 10 minute routines, a gorgeous real-life mermaid, and the spiked detox drink. [Full disclosure: one of the spa’s juices got an adult twist. When in doubt, add vodka]. 

Snacking on food provided by Jamie Kennedy, women scoped out their future hot spot, while men relished being allowed into such a forbidden space…October 10 was a guy’s one and only time to see the women’s spa. Their jealousy was apparent. 

More than 250 attendees celebrated the unveiling of the new space, including Jim CuddyKathleen Edwards, 2012 Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden, actress Meghan Heffern, and dancers from the National Ballet of Canada, and Body Blitz friends and family. 

Body Blitz co-owners Rena (L) and Laura (R) Polley with Jim Cuddy.

The official public opening for Body Blitz East is Monday November 12. For more images of Body Blitz and images from the launch party, check out our Flickr site. 

City Living: Bachelorette Party Ideas

If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, then you know that planning a bachelorette party is no small task. Not only is it one of the bride-to-be’s last nights out as a “single lady”, but by the time their bachelorette rolls around, they are most likely stressed out and exhausted by all the wedding planning they’ve been doing. This is the perfect chance to be pampered, eat, drink, dance and let loose. Maybe you’re not the spa type, and maybe you haven’t been to a nightclub since you had your fake ID stolen back in university, but for this night only, let yourself enjoy the ultimate girls’ day and night out.
Spas/Mani/Pedi Bars
Whether it’s a full day at the spa, or just a manicure and pedicure, getting pampered is definitely a key component of a bachelorette. For a full spa day we can’t think of anywhere better than Body Blitz. Located in a huge warehouse right in downtown Toronto, this women’s-only therapeutic spa features a variety of pools, saunas, steam rooms and 20 treatment rooms. Plus, all treatments allow access to therapeutic pools. Other great spas around the city include Elmwood Spa, Stillwater at the Park Hyatt and Shizen Spa at the Pantages.  
A spa oasis in the middle of the city.
Booking group mani/pedis is not the easiest thing to do, but we’ve found a couple places that welcome bachelorette parties. The Ten Spot beauty bar is a beautiful and large space, perfect for accommodating big groups. With excellent service, reasonable prices, flexible hours and a spa-like atmosphere, we guarantee it’ll make any bachelorette celebration memorable. Other great options for group mani/pedis include Fabulous Manicure Bar, a beautifully decorated uptown nail bar that specializes in bridal and private parties, as well as Urban Nails on the Danforth.
When it comes to special occasions, we think it’s fun to try something new, different and maybe a little quirky; this is a bachelorette party, not a date after all. It may not be the newest or trendiest place, but we think The Sultan’s Tent is a pretty perfect place to start off the night. With personal (large) tents, delicious food and a unique ambience, this is the perfect place for a big group of rowdy girls. Plus, there are belly dancing shows every few hours where guests are encouraged to participate. If it’s less kitch and more standard you’re after, Ciao Wine Bar in Yorkville and Mercatto downtown (they tend to throw in complimentary Prosecco when you are a big group celebrating) have plenty of space and are happy to accommodate large groups.
 The personal tents at Sultan’s Tent make any occasion special.
We think we need only mention one spot when it comes to bachelorette entertainment in Toronto, and that is El Covento Rico. Located on College, this night club features a drag show every Friday and Saturday night, which we think is the perfect way to get all the girls pumped for the night of dancing ahead. Reservations are suggested as it is a popular spot for bachelorettes and birthdays. Show up ready to dance, leave your reservations at home and just go with it – good times are guaranteed.
We’ll leave it up to you to find out what goes in inside.

Now on to the final, yet potentially most important part of the night. While any bar can be fun when you’re out dancing with your girlfriends, a big nightclub is sure to inspire a wild night. Because a big dance floor and great patio are key to any great club, places like Cube, Cheval, Cobra and Maison are the perfect bachelorette destinations. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Muzik, the ultimate Toronto nightclub (complete with a beauty bar), will make you feel like you’re at a circus, Vegas nightclub and in a tropical patio oasis all at the same time.
 Just one of the many huge rooms at Muzik.
Obviously your bride-to be’s personality will dictate how extravagant and wild their bachelorette will be. Whether it’s just the spa day, or a big night out that ends at 5 a.m., she will appreciate all the effort you put in to planning and will love being out with all her friends.