Yoga offers a great variety of benefits, here are just a few to encourage you to head down to your local studio and take part

1. Clear Your Mind & Enhance Your Mood
Starting your day with yoga practice allows you the chance to really quiet your mind and focus. Often the yoga instructor will encourage you to focus on your breath, or to set an intention for your practice that can carry through to your day. My favorite is ‘gratitude’. With that in mind, challenges of the day seem far less…well, challenging!


2. Deepen Your Breathing
Breathing is at the core of all yoga practice. Yoga will help you learn to take long, slow breaths using the full capacity of your lungs, a practice that can benefit all other sport or fitness activities you may enjoy. Taking regular yoga classes can also increase lung capacity over time.


3. Strengthen Muscles
Yoga poses can sometimes be held for minutes at a time, challenging both your balance and strength. Frequent practice can lead to a profound increase in strength and agility and while it’s not a cardio activity per se, yoga can certainly get your heart pumping. With increased muscle tone and regular practice, you may also notice the added benefit of losing excess weight


4. Improved Flexibility and Posture
The benefits of yoga on the flexibility of often-tight muscles are tremendous. Yoga poses stretch and tone the muscles at the same time and help align the body, which improves posture and prevents imbalances. Don’t get caught up with what others in the class are doing, it doesn’t matter if you can’t get your head to your shin, only that you perform the movement safely and to the best of your ability. Yoga will train your body to hold your core strong, open your chest and slide your shoulder blades back and down. Counteract those hours of driving or sitting at a desk!


5. Prevent Injuries
Improving balance, co-ordination, flexibility and strength are all key to preventing injuries that can leave you out of action. Increased range of motion in the joints and stronger tendons, ligaments and connective tissues mean less risk of strains and sprains.


Yoga is suitable for all fitness levels. Talk to your instructor about the best style of class for you and any concerns or injuries you may have.


Sara Jones
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Spa & Wellness Mexico magazine

What are the key accomplishments in wellness of the last decade?


Susie Ellis:  The fact that the term “wellness” has been embraced globally is a huge accomplishment and one that happened over the last decade. Ten years ago many different terms were being used and vying for attention, but each fell short of inspiring a movement.  Some examples include “spa,” “prevention,” “health,” “healthy travel,” “eco building,” “integrative medicine,” etc. Now that all of these separate sectors have found a place under the term wellness (“wellness centers,” “wellness retreats,” “wellness tourism,” “workplace wellness,” “wellness architecture,” “medical wellness,” “wellness communities,” “wellness technology,” etc.). The combined efforts have garnered significant attention and the entire industry is now valued at $3.4 trillion. That’s a huge accomplishment!


Franz Linser: We have gone from talking about “spa” to talking about “wellness” and have evolved from a small market segment to a mainstream industry that now covers all spheres of modern life – from home, work to tourism – and has become truly the “center of society”. We’ve gone from focusing on pampering (momentary feel-good treatments) to treatment concepts that sustain wellness and wellbeing and actively prevent illness and promote health. In place of the concentration on physical treatments (massage & beauty), you’re seeing a rise of mental and psychological offerings and a new focus on social health (wellness communities), as well as spirituality on wellness menus. 


Sue Harmsworth: The word ‘Wellness’ has been around for years. In the last 5 years or so, it’s really become fashionable, however people don’t really know what it means. Spas have opened the eyes of a much larger volume of consumers and the global lifestyle issues have become more apparent. Before technology we lived a different life, many issues now are technology and stress driven and people are more aware. A recent statistic predicts that by 2020 there will be more obese people than malnourished people.


What would you forecast in the wellness industry for the coming decade?


Susie Ellis:  As more people understand that 75% of illness is preventable and that rising health care costs around the world make it unsustainable to continue to pay for treating the effects of lifestyle choices that result in those illness, there is no other option but to work together to make prevention the goal.  Governments, corporations, small businesses, insurance companies, schools, medical professionals, individuals, etc. will begin working together to make this happen. I feel that within the next 10 years (hopefully much sooner) the statistics of increasing obesity and diabetes will begin to reverse, and that healthy living and real sustainable lifestyle change is going to have to happen.


Franz Linser: First, traditional beauty concepts will become more radical, more invasive and more medical (eternal youth, plastic beauty). Second, a wellness inspired redefinition of beauty will occur. An evolution from external beauty paradigms to individual beauty concepts is expected. Standardized, one-size-fits-all beauty concepts will be replaced by personalized beauty concepts with authentic differentiators. The new beauty will be the beauty of authenticity, character and charisma; the beauty of happy individuals, well groomed and cultured with clearly distinguishable personal characteristics. 


There is yet another area within the wellness industry in which we will probably be observing the biggest changes in the near future: life direction, sense and spirituality. Customers searching for answers, advice and solutions in these fields, will ask for completely different wellness concepts, different locations, different spa programs and social settings.


Sue Harmsworth: Clarification. The conversation of what constitutes wellness and what properties should offer has shown that developers don’t necessarily have an understanding of what wellness is. Projects need clarification to move forward. Most of what we need has yet to be built; it’s difficult for existing spas and hotels to switch over to wellness. Adding a few wellness aspects doesn’t make a spa or hotel a wellness destination. There will likely be confusion for the consumer and the industry over the coming years before clarification is achieved. Division is also required of what is medical and what is prevention. So facilities are aware of what’s appropriate in the luxury resort environment.


What areas of wellness do you feel are most important for the global population as a whole?


Susie Ellis: I think what happen as we get more serious about wellness and prevention of illness is a change in attitude – there needs to be collaboration and openness because there really is no “one” solution. Different solutions are important in different circumstances, different countries, and for different people – so lots of things need to happen to truly make a difference. 


Diet, exercise, stress-reduction, sleep, medical appointments, genomics, education, technology, social networks, people discovering their purpose in life, family relationships, financial wellness, nature, spiritual health, healthy buildings and communities, improvement in income disparity, mental health, decrease in geopolitical conflict, and likely things that aren’t even in the conversation yet, are all going to be part of the solution. So perhaps one of the most important factors to improve global health will be a spirit of collaboration.


Franz Linser: The global population as whole needs to begin to live a more conscious and active life; focusing on health versus sickness and pain. There needs to be recognition of mother earth and everything nature offers and living in accordance with the gifts and rules of nature. This means eating less processed food and taking in more natural herbs, fresh air, fresh water while living in the healthy rhythm of life which will result in sharpened senses (people will feel, smell, see and hear better) with longer life expectancy.


Sue Harmsworth: We, as an industry, need to focus on education. Educating consumers on wellness, fitness, health, and how to live longer and better is important. Millennials will see things in a different light however there’s no point living longer if we are not healthy. Education will help the prevention of disease and mindfulness can provide people with a positive outlook. Being in the right place both mentally and physically will help people positively affect their lives.

Until recently men’s skin has been treated as a one-size-fits-all proposition, when in fact men have skin types and unique conditions too. So why have so few product lines and spas taken men seriously? The answer is simple. Prime retail shelf space is allocated to top sellers. Could there be a flaw in this equation when it comes to men?


According to the International Spa Association in 2014, the proportion of male spa-goers has shot up from 31% to 47% in less than 10 years. In 2014, total U.S. sales of men’s personal care hit $4.1 billion, up 6.7% from 2012, and 19% from 2009. Men’s skin care is one of the fastest-growing segments in beauty. Mintel predicts sales will grow to $4.6 billion by 2019.


There are four distinct ways marketers, sales associates and treatment providers can tap into the next largest revenue opportunity in spa.


Step 1: Retail Strategies
Create a discrete section of men’s items to draw in the male spa-goer. Once you capture his attention, he will be less concerned about price and open to finding lifestyle compatible retail items. Choose wisely by getting intimate with your male customers. Understand your location’s unique male demographic and look closely at his lifestyle. The merchandising must be substantive and the navigation simple - locker room introductions to product are statistically very effective.


Today, men’s products are lost in a sea of beauty lotions and potions, all aimed at the female market. Create a men’s store within the store, Maybe even one day having separate men’s and women’s spa boutiques.


Step 2: Spa Treatment Strategies
A major roadblock to increasing male aesthetic services in spa is the all-encompassing “Gentleman’s Facial.” Usually hidden at the bottom of the menu, men simply die before they get there. Revamp your men’s menus and male treatment descriptions.


Step 3: Stock The Right Quantity And Variety Of Men’s Skincare Products
Stock sufficient skin type and condition-specific men’s products to ensure your guest will have an amazing experience. Men’s skin is different. Men have different product preferences, and the most prevalent male skin types and conditions vary from women. For a quick overview of treatment considerations.


The reason we get away with using generic products is because most men don’t know the difference. Almost anything is an improvement for a first-timer. Men are becoming more savvy and will soon demand products and treatments aimed exclusively at their unique skin challenges.


Step 4: Get More Men Into Treatments
The concierge/ desk team is key to increasing bookings. Create a script for everyone to learn. Highlight the massage and hot towel aspects of the treatment. Work with men’s product vendors to design incentives for bookings. Therapists must feel at ease working with male facial hair and discussing product and wellness recommendations for continuing the treatment experience at home.


When we change the way we do things, we equip our teams with essential tools for helping the male guest choose products and services which enhance his health and wellbeing, while contributing to bottom line results.




Mike Bruggeman
CEO, Organic Male OM4

With the recent surge of interest in wellness travel, and impressive statistics to back up this fast-growing market sector, savvy and on-trend hotels and resorts create offerings for those looking to enhance their travel experience.


Wellness Rooms and Spa Suites offer something more than the traditional hotel stay. The focus on lifestyle and health provides guests with easy access to facilities and amenities that enhance wellbeing during their stay. Studies have shown that this is not just something that guests prefer, it’s something guests are willing to pay a premium for.


Surf’s Up! The New Wave of Wellness

“Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on a safari with me.” - The Beach Boys, 1962 It’s hardly breaking news that surf culture has been established as the apex of cool. The worship of surfing “style” took off in the ‘60s when the Beach Boys harmonized about a world where “everybody’d be surfin’ like Californ-i-a, and Bruce Brown’s documentary The Endless Summer brought images of boy-tribes on their globe-trotting quest for perfect waves to the world.


One of the keys that the Spa and Wellness industry can use to meet its much documented challenge of developing and nurturing Spa Leaders are structured mentorship programs.


A year ago Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of the best-selling book “The World is Flat”, wrote a compelling article about the linkage between long-term success in the workplace and mentorship as evidenced in a large-scale Gallup survey of nearly 1 million college students.  The survey found that graduates who had caring and encouraging mentors were "twice as likely to be engaged with their work and thriving in their overall well-being" as those who lacked this opportunity.

Welcome to the first issue of Spa & Wellness Mexico! Spa Professional Mexico magazine and website is now rebranded as Spa & Wellness Mexico.


With this new brand name the magazine and information provided within it is now aimed at both industry professionals and spa enthusiasts. With articles in both Spanish and English it’s my hope that Spa & Wellness Mexico will become a valuable resource for spa consumers within Mexico and tourists considering Mexico for their wellness focused vacation or travel experience.


I will strive to continually provide the same quality industry information alongside topics of interest to the spa consumer. As always, Industry professionals are welcome to submit articles and topic suggestions.


Sara Jones


The highlight of our fully packed agenda was learning from Dr. Deepak Chopra, Pioneer of Alternative Medicine & Author; Founder, The Chopra Foundation, U.S who spoke about ‘The Future of Wellbeing’.


After watching a short video showing the miracle of conception, gestation and birth we heard once again of the important role of the gut microbiome (microorganisms and their collective genetic material). This microbiome communicates with the body by regulating which genes get turned on and off, “acting as both a thermostat and a switch” advises Dr. Chopra. “Who are we?” he questioned, “all DNA is make of atoms forged in the crucible of stars. We are essentially stardust beings. The body is like a river, constantly changing with every breath.”


In less than one year you replace 98% of the atoms in the body, the skeleton is replaces every 3 months and our DNA which holds the memory of our evolution, changes every 6 weeks. “The body I am in today is just my 2015 model” Dr. Chopra joked.

Day 2 started with a touching poem written and delivered by Giselle Fernandez for the victims of the Paris terror attack. We followed this with a moment of silence before continuing the day’s agenda with Amy McDonald’s interview of Martin Boudreau, President, Parks and Immersive Content, Cirque du Soleil, and Iván Chávez, Executive Vice President, Grupo Vidanta, Mexico. The partnership of these two innovative companies brought the magic of Cirque du Soleil to the spectacular, custom-built theatre in Riviera Maya. We also received the exciting news that Cirque du Soleil‘s new traveling show will be based on the rich, vibrant culture of Mexico – now that’s one I can’t wait to see!

Having just arrived the afternoon before, I’d had the chance to catch up with just a few of the many delegates and friends attending this year’s Global Wellness Summit (GWS). The first day got started with a beautiful presentation from Louie Schwartzberg, ‘Gratitude Revealed’. Through the visual medium of film Louie perfectly captures the beauty of nature and delivers the message of species under threat. The Monarch butterfly that migrates between Canada and Mexico is down to 20% of its population from just a few years ago, largely due to use of pesticides and Monsanto’s Roundup. The message: we must protect the beauty of nature before it’s too late.

SpaFinder Wellness has revealed its 12th annual Spa and Wellness Trends, which forecasts top trends that will impact the industry.


1. Forest Bathing

The term “forest bathing” has nothing to do with water, and is more than just a poetic way of describing a “walk in the woods,” something humans have, of course, been doing for five million years – although never less so than today. The Japanese government coined the term in 1982, a translation of “shinrin-yoku,” which literally means “taking in the forest atmosphere.”

Hotel spas, from urban hotel spas to resort spas, enjoy various perks that other spas do not. They have a client base of hotel guests right at their doorstep, the opportunity to tap into their hotel’s resources (Finance, Marketing, Housekeeping, Engineering to mention just a few), and the ability to reach out for support from the hotel general manager when needed. 

However, with these perks comes a different set of challenges such as: 

The third and final day of ISPA featured Jewel as the keynote speaker. Her story inspired all of us as she sang beautifully and expressed through music and words how she overcame so much, surviving homelessness from a young age.

Deborah Szekely presented Jewel with the Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award for her work as the founder of Project Clean Water (a non-profit charity foundation working to provide clean water on a global scale). Jewel was inspired to start this cause after struggling to find clean water while homeless in San Diego and suffering from a kidney condition.


Day 2 of ISPA started with the Professional Development sessions. I attended Fierce Loyalty with Sarah Robinson, who outlined the secrets to success of top brands. Customers who experience the overlap of  3 component areas: (Recognition, Belonging and Safety.  Connection, Support and Predictably. Pride, Trust and Passion). Engage your community and above all love your community.


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