For those of us running around New York City for Fashion Week these past few days, I am sure most of you are probably feeling the wear-and-tear of dashing from location to location, rushing to catch shows and presentations, all the while trying to meet deadlines and stay in touch with your fellow co-workers back at the office. Thankfully the lovely folks at Urban Zen joined forces with American Express to host a 1.5-hour retreat yesterday exclusively for members of the press at the American Express Skybox located at the tents in Lincoln Center. Urban Zen is a creative collaborative community started by designer Donna Karan that was founded to raise awareness and create optimal healing experiences by combining both Eastern and Western practices.
During the retreat, I got to have a “therapy session” that included getting a body scan (sans an MRI machine), some essential oil therapy (I chose a calming oil as my life is hectic with a capital “H”), and something known as “Reiki” – an Eastern calming technique to help reduce stress and anxiety.
For my session, registered nurse Moe put a drop of calming oil in my palm which I then had to rub around my hands 3 times. Next, I had to cup my hands near my face to breathe in the essential oil. Moe then told me to relax and focus on my breathing which lead me soon to retreat into a zen-like mindframe, with my eyes closed, trying to ignore distractions like the muffled, blasting bass from the show next door or my iPhone going off with incoming text messages. I noticed as the more relaxed I became, my breaths got smaller and quieter as I felt more calm and peaceful each second that both the tension and stress from my body were being wiped out.
When my session was over, I opened my eyes and immediately felt lighter, calmer, and lightheaded. The latter was probably due to the fact that I ran over there without having anything to eat all day. Thankfully Moe was kind enough to get me some fruit and water from the amazing (almost fully) stocked bar inside the American Express Skybox. The bar was quite impressive being stocked with all sorts of refreshments including Kim Crawford wines, assorted liquors and beers, water, coffee and tea.
For the rest of the day, I was in a very calm and content state of mind which was such a nice change of pace – especially when the madness known as New York Fashion Week comes in to town.