“Feel more than you think,” says Jolie Michelle Ow, a practitioner at Como Shambhala Urban Escape.
An alternative healing expert who can teach you how to manage your thoughts, she is also the founder of Canvass, a studio that encourages physical, mental and emotional awareness from a young age through tailored learning activities.
At Como Shambhala Urban Escape, she leads the Mindfulness-based Movement and Art classes for all ages. These one-on-one 60-minute sessions combine yoga with mindfulness practices and creativity through art. They also offer mental and emotional benefits, and guide you on developing self-compassion. Ow is well-versed in this as she works with victims of trauma and their families.
She starts each session with a sage cleanse to clear the energy in the room, after which she drops an invigorating essential oil onto the clients’ palms for inhalation, and also drips it down their throats and chest to open and unblock their chakras. During a short meditation, Ow tells the class a story about the duality of wolves inside every one of us: The good wolf represents joy, serenity and kindness, while the bad wolf signifies anger, sorrow and pride. In the battle between the two, the wolf that wins is the one that you feed. The class is then given markers to draw symbols or write words that resonate with them the most in relation to the wolves.
Another meditation exercise follows, with visualisation techniques to focus on breath work. The key to mindfulness, says Ow, to be gentle with one’s thoughts. Instead of wrestling with them, observe without reacting – this is where the importance of breathing lies. Significantly more relaxed, the students then move on to chair yoga. For those who sit for longs hours in an office chair, twisting helps to stretch the muscles around the spine. Forward bends release the tension in the lower black, hips and glutes.
Assisted matwork is then combined with deep breathing exercises. As the class holds certain poses, Ow gently hits and circles the sound bowls to enhance relaxation. The session continues with a candle meditation called Trataka, during which one stares at the flame without blinking to focus the mind. The final segment returns the students to art, when they’re then asked to draw how they feel post-treatment.
Como Shambala Urban Escape, #06-01/02 Delfi Orchard