Downward dog, upward future | Shoptalk | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Downward dog, upward future

T.C. Demaresq browses for business news.

The Yoga Loft at 5663 Cornwallis celebrates its first year in business on January 15 with a week of free yoga for everyone, from January 16 to 22. “It’s our way of saying a big ‘thank you’ to the people of Halifax for their support and goodwill during our first year,” says owner and director Robert Webber . “It’s been the most wonderful year for all of us who are involved, as our dream of a diverse, convenient and student-focused yoga studio has become a reality.” Webber first moved to Halifax in 1993 to get a PhD in political science at Dalhousie—“I thought I’d have an academic career, I never imagined myself being a yoga teacher in a million years”—and started taking yoga classes as a way to improve as a runner. Yoga eventually replaced running entirely, and finally eclipsed political science as well, after Webber turned down at job offer at Concordia in order to stay in Halifax and teach yoga. “I think has that strange ability to give you what you need,” says Webber, “whatever it is, whether it’s to feel more flexible in your body or connected to your body, more in touch with who you are or to help your body heal in some way.”

Wholly health

Pure Holistic Health is now open at 1480A Bedford Highway, across the street from McDonald’s. “I don’t really like to use that as a landmark,” says owner Ginger Walji , laughing, but she allows that people could eat at McDonald’s, then cross the street to sweat it all out in her new Far Infra Red sauna. Unlike regular saunas, Far Infra Red saunas heat at much lower temperatures (35 to 55 degrees Celsius as opposed to 80 to 120), and they heat in a manner similar to the sun. “It’s a lot healthier than a regular sauna and it burns about 600 calories per half hour just sitting in it. It’s also amazing for healing and degenerative disorders like arthritis and fibromyalgia,” says Walji. “It’s the way that the rays affect the body. It actually heats the body from the inside out, so it heats internally and then pushes things like toxins, heavy metals, fat cells, it pushes them right out of the body through the skin.” Along with the sauna, Pure Holistic Heath also offers massage therapy and holistic nutritional counselling. Walji, who has been a massage therapist in Bedford for two and a half years, says Pure Holistic Health is more of an expansion—including a new name, new location and more services—than a new business for her.

Open house

Casa Roma Ristorante is now open at 5688 Spring Garden. The restaurant began its soft opening in late December, and “so far, so good,” says owner Ian Campbell . “The menu has been well received and the comments have been very encouraging to say the least.” Casa Roma specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, and the licensed restaurant also offers live entertainment on the weekends, including pianist JP Ellis on Fridays and Bill Stevenson on Saturdays.

Tea time

The Gathering Place Tea Traders will no longer sell their organic rooibos tea at the Halifax Farmers’ Market. Local distributor Renee Hartleib will no longer distribute the teas, but her British Columbia-based sister and owner of the company, Lovena Harvey, will sell the tea directly to local stores and restaurants including Great Ocean, The Grainery, Heartwood Cafe, One World Cafe, Satisfaction Feast, Venus Envy and Wooden Monkey, as well as Healthy Selection in Bedford and Village Market in Tantallon. Hartleib wants to thank Gathering Place’s market clients for “being willing to try something new and being such loyal customers.” Gathering Place Tea Traders imports its tea directly from a farmer in South Africa, the only place rooibos tea grows. Rooibos is a naturally decaffeinated, full-bodied tea and a higher source of antioxidants and minerals than green tea.

Custom move

Shirt Shack and Kidz by Hansel & Gretel is moving within Scotia Square Mall, from its former location near the Duke entrance, across the hall, to the corner space between Reitman’s and Econo Color. The new location is smaller, but the store will still offer the same merchandise and custom T-shirt creation. In anticipation of the move, Shirt Shack is temporarily located near the liquor store, but employees hope to be installed in the new location some time next week.

Sightlines and hairlines

The Seahorse Tavern is closed for renovations as the bar completes work on the revised tavern space. Major changes will include the removal of two large pillars from the middle of the room, dramatically improving sightlines to the stage. The Seahorse’s media rep Lynn Horne says renovations should be complete within the week, but “With renovations it’s always kind of iffy, we say a week, it might be 10 days, but the goal is to try and have it wrapped up in a week.”

Key Lime Pie Salon & Spa is opening a new location on Quinpool near King’s Palace. The current location at 1512 Dresden Row will remain open, and both salons will offer a full range of hair, esthetics, massage and piercing services. Manager Carrie MacLeod says the expansion is due to increased demand, and will also allow Key Lime Pie to “get a new fresh face.”

Face the facts. Email to: [email protected]

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