New York Times Opinion Piece: Zaha Hadid: More Than a "Female Architect"

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New York Times Opinion Piece: Zaha Hadid: More Than a "Female Architect"

VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES by Tegan Bukowski

London — WHEN I was still an architecture student at Yale, I got stuck in New York City traffic with one of my professors, Zaha Hadid, and her chauffeur. I asked her whether she had any advice for me, a young female architecture student graduating into a depressed market dominated by men. She simply said, “Come work for me.”

I told her, “O.K., but only if I get to design shoes.”

She replied, “If you work for me, you can design anything.”

Ms. Hadid died yesterday of a heart attack while in the hospital with bronchitis. I lost a mentor and professional hero, and the world lost one of its leading form makers. Much of the ensuing praise, though, has so far focused on her gender — which is unfortunate, because it obscures what was truly significant about her career as an architect.

Don’t get me wrong: Her gender was important to me as a woman in an industry with very few people to look up to, and she inspired other young women to follow her lead. But Zaha would be disappointed in the American Institute of Architects, which reported her death by calling her a “ground-breaking female architect.” She would have said that her gender was merely incidental, as was her ethnicity. A stumbling block at times, but nothing to get excited about.

The focus on her gender obscures her real achievements. The way she drew on Russian constructivist design to create an entirely new language of drawing, painting, building and fashion. Long after the novelty of her gender fades from the public’s mind, she will be remembered for the swooping, sumptuous monumentality of her buildings, like the MAXXI art museum in Rome or her opera house in Guangzhou, China.

Zaha did not want to be defined by her gender, and she didn’t define anyone else that way, either. In her studio, she offered my female colleagues and me a chance to prove ourselves equal to our male counterparts. She quietly created an environment where I could look around and see women in positions of power next to men, not in spite of them. She showed us how gender could fade into the background if it was systematically taken out of the equation in favor of an appreciation of sheer talent. There are no token women at Zaha Hadid Architects.

Which is not to say that she wasn’t nurturing. With no husband and no children, she had a private life that may have seemed empty of many of the joys that normal people consider default. But Ms. Hadid had many close friends, and fostered a warm, close-knit relationship with her employees. She called us, her group of designers, her “kids” and treated us as such in a lot of ways.

Of course, many people seemed to insist on applying gender stereotypes to her, anyway. Many great architects, like any great artists, are often difficult to relate to, and Ms. Hadid, so intensely focused on her unique vision, was no exception. For male architects, such traits are often taken positively, as proof of genius. But the news media insisted on portraying Ms. Hadid as harsh, exacting, difficult — “diva” was the usual term of reference.

None of this seemed to bother her; she just kept on working, showing what you could achieve if you didn’t let prejudice get in your way. The night before Ms. Hadid died, she was commenting on designs from her hospital bed.

Arriving at the office on Friday, the day after her death, was like returning to a campaign office the day after the candidate has suddenly withdrawn from a race. All the excitement of the day before, the joy you feel when you’re united behind a single leader with a single purpose, was replaced by shocked silence.

What happens next? Her work will continue for years, in the form of buildings that are under construction or just starting construction, products that are designed and ready to begin and plans that have been mapped out but not executed. But her presence, that woman who turned to me in the middle of Manhattan rush hour and told me I could make it? It’s an irreplaceable loss, not just for those of us in her studio, but for an entire generation of architects — men and women alike.

Tegan Bukowski is an architecture and product designer at Zaha Hadid Architects.

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The New Subscription Service thats like Classpass for the Soul (Feature in Vogue)

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The New Subscription Service thats like Classpass for the Soul (Feature in Vogue)

We have ClassPass for workouts and Glamsquad for blowouts. So—with self-care being one of the year’s biggest buzzwords—it was only a matter of time before a digital booking membership service for the ever-expanding world of wellness popped up in our browser. SereneBook—the new subscription-based online directory of alternative healers and holistic practitioners—is now accepting applications, and will start scheduling appointments come January.

The brainchild of wellness gurus Tegan Bukowski, Jordan Daly, and Millana Snow—Bukowski and Daly teach yoga and meditation, while Snow is a reiki healer—the platform will roll out initially in Los Angeles and New York City with treatments ranging from reiki, meditation, and doula services to organic dentistry, astrology, and professional cuddling (yes, that’s a thing) by a curated group of more than 1500 holistic practitioners. San Francisco, Boston, Houston, and Sydney are next in line.

The trio already have a firm handle on the space thanks to their stylish wellness networking community Serene Social—with events like their summer rooftop yoga sessions at the James hotel, a favorite with industry insiders—and have big plans to make holistic health more accessible to everyone. “We have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing practitioners,” Daly says. “We wanted to bring that same curation to a wider audience in an affordable way.”

For a monthly fee of $150, members will be able to book three appointments with a host of established wellness gurus including sought-after yoga instructor Heather Lilleston, Brooklyn-based sound healer Sara Auster and acupuncturist Sandra Lanshin Chiu. Appointments can take place in a clinic, a practitioner’s home, your home, or even on Skype.

As a way of helping wellness newbies navigate the space and discover some of its more unusual offerings, members must choose from a menu of “intentions” at the outset of each month, prompting suggestions for a variety of practitioners and sessions. Those struggling with some of the more esoteric options for this, such as The Gut-Mind Connection or Vision Quest, can always look to the site’s “ambassadors” for ideas—like Mickey Sumner, whose Reflective Healing is based around her struggle with Lyme disease; Athena Calderone, whose Coming Home focuses on designing a residence as a place of grounding; or Chelsea Leyland, whose Finding Creativity & Balance is all about nurturing the internal artistic process.

“For many people, this world can be super-intimidating, so these intentions are a way to discover and approach it in a way that makes sense,” Bukowski explains. “Someone might not know if they need acupressure or craniosacral therapy or what they even are, but they can say ‘I’m dealing with trauma’ or ‘this month I really need to feel grounded, so what can I try that will help me?’ ”

“We want to push the conversation and open this industry to a larger group of people so that this becomes as normal as signing up for a health-insurance policy,” Snow adds. “Holism is such a necessary way to approach your health.”

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Hatch and Learn: SereneBook (Interview on HATCH)

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Hatch and Learn: SereneBook (Interview on HATCH)

MOTHERHOOD CAN BE A LITTLE… LESS THAN RELAXING SOMETIMES (IF WE’RE PUTTING IT MILDLY); SERENITY CERTAINLY ISN’T A WORD THAT OFTEN COMES TO MIND, AND WELLNESS (FOR MIND AND BODY) CAN FEEL UNACHIEVABLE. ENTER OUR FRIENDS AT SERENEBOOK.

These lovely ladies are changing the wellness game by making it easier and more accessible when you’re on-the-go which, let’s face it, is most of the time. This subscription-based wellness site gives mamas a chance to take the hassle out of booking and focus on what we really need to — ourselves! (how does it go, “an empty cup doesn’t pour?”)

HATCH/HOW DID SERENEBOOK COME ABOUT?
Jordan and Millana and I(Tegan) created SereneBook because we want to make holistic health more accessible to everyone. It is so ridiculous to us that before SereneBook you would have to go to Yelp to find an acupuncturist or ask friends on Facebook. We have been curating wellness events for years with SereneSocial and have had the opportunity to work with, meet and experience so many amazing practitioners, people, and products… we wanted to bring that same curation to a wider audience in an affordable way.

HATCH/WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO DISRUPT THIS PARTICULAR INDUSTRY?
We want everyone to feel comfortable taking control of their own wellbeing. SereneBook is educational as well as fun and beautiful. Everyone is asked to choose an Intention when they come onto the site.  Our SereneBook Intentions help users find three sessions per month that address their own personal wellbeing in a way that speaks directly to their current needs. Our SereneBook Intentions have titles like Womb Wellness, Inner Glow, Your Mystic Month, Energetic Creativity…there are hundreds of them and you can change every month depending on how you feel.

 

HATCH/IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR SERVICES IN ONE SENTENCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
SereneBook is a subscription to one-on-one sessions with wellness practitioners in 100+ modalities ranging from Doulas to Acupuncturists, Craniosacral therapists to Naturopathic Doctors, Astrologers to Energy Healers.

HATCH/WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO WITH SERENEBOOK?
We love meeting all of the amazing healers out there doing the work. We are so excited that we get to create a platform to help them continue sharing their amazing skills.

 

We actually have a set of 12 intentions that are perfect for HATCH We have worked with the wonderful doulas from Our Brilliant Bodies to create an incredible 12 month intention set specifically to guide mothers during their pregnancy. Each month’s intention is related to what parts of the mother’s body are changing and which parts of the baby’s body is growing. For instance, the month that the baby’s ears are developing, we have a whole list of sound therapies and meditations that the mother and father (and baby!) can experience. It’s so fun because mothers and fathers can really feel like they are taking control of their wellbeing during pregnancy.

HATCH/WHAT DO YOU SEE ON THE HORIZON FOR SERENEBOOK?
We will be launching a marketplace within SereneBook next year. Our practitioners and partners have incredible offerings – products, retreats, seminars and teacher trainings as well as full priced appointment packages will all be available for purchase from practitioner’s SereneBook profile pages and the SereneBook Market.

HATCH/WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD OFFER OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO START COMPANIES WHERE THEY SEE A NEED?
Our advice to any woman (or man) wanting to start a company is to get to know your users/consumers before you even start thinking about creating a product. Ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to fail, nothing done with a good intention and big heart is a failure. You just can’t always see the butterfly affect of all of your little actions.

Subscribe to SereneBook.com for our pregnancy Intentions and practitioners curated for you, wherever you are in your journey. Pre Order Now, and the first 100 will receive a free session with SereneBook practitioners, the founders of Brilliant Bodies, who are here to coach you from Fertility to Postpartum. To learn about other kick-a** entrepreneurs, click here and here for the inspo you need.

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Is This New Service the ClassPass for Healers? (Feature on MindBodyGreen)

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Is This New Service the ClassPass for Healers? (Feature on MindBodyGreen)

"A New Way of Being," Swapping Sweat for Sage

Launching next week, SereneBook is a subscription-based service similar to ClassPass. But instead of boutique fitness classes that focus on breaking a sweat, it offers users one-on-one sessions with seasoned experts in holistic health and well-being. With more than 100 modalities of healing represented in its network, SereneBook will be the first digital booking platform that serves the holistic community.

The ClassPass subscription model has seen major growth and evolution over the last year and continues to show potential for even more with a $400 million valuation as of April 2016. Companies like BeautyPass by Beauty Booked and Vive have seen success in offering similar subscription-based booking services for blowouts and makeup application. 

"We wanted to bring the esoteric side of wellness into the mainstream with SereneBook," said Tegan Bukowski, one of three co-founders. "Health is wellness, and wellness is holistic. It's addressing the emotional, energetic, and physical bodies in a way that Western medicine doesn't."

She takes care to emphasize that the point isn't to replace your doctor but rather to address prevention and healing in a different but complementary way. And SereneBook aims to make healing accessible —$150 gets you three full-length one-on-one sessions with healers like acupuncturists, craniosacral therapists, and reiki guides who have been vetted by the SereneBook team.

Co-founders Bukowski, Millana Snow, and Jordan Daly are wellness warriors, each in her own right. Both Daly and Bukowski teach yoga and meditation classes for sister company Serene Social. You might remember Snow as the winning model from Season 8 of Project Runway (alongside winning designer Gretchen Jones); she continues to model but has also become a reiki healer.

After hosting several successful events through Serene Social, the trio identified a need that wasn't being met. The community wanted to continue their healing journeys outside of Serene's classes and workshops, but there was no way to find the right healer without spending hours deep-diving on Yelp, and shelling out $150 a session wasn't sustainable.

Here's How It Works

Bukowski, Snow and Daly have hand-picked holistic practitioners in New York City and Los Angeles who are certified, rated, and preapproved — if you're not currently in NYC or LA, don't fret. The trio already has plans to expand to other major U.S. cities like Denver, Houston, Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco as well as abroad, starting with London.

In perhaps the most thoughtful gesture we've seen from a booking service, SereneBook asks you to set an intention each month. Sample intentions include "Womb Wellness," "Mindfulness in Injury," "Dream Manifestation," and "Healing Addiction." The intentions will help users navigate SereneBook's wide-reaching network of practitioners and healers based on individual obstacles, issues, and desires.

"Everyone knows yoga, but they don't necessarily know about craniosacral therapy," said Bukowski. "With SereneBook the 'fringe' elements of healing and wellness will be more accessible financially and digitally, so practitioners are easier to discover and engage."

While it's typical to see pricing for one-on-one sessions of $150 and up in urban areas especially, the subscription service is $150 per month. That will get you three individual, intention-based healing sessions every four weeks, making healing more affordable than ever before.

And of course, you'll be able to explore healing outside of your chosen intention with the custom wellness content SereneBook has created alongside its ambassadors, which include Carolyn Murphy, DJ Chelsea Leyland, and a handful of celeb-status practitioners like Ally Bogard, Biet Simkin, and more, whose partnerships are being revealed over the next couple of weeks. For the ever-evolving beings among us, intentions can change monthly, and you can cancel anytime without a fee, absolving any concerns about commitment.

Starting next week, the platform is open to presales; until then you can sign up early to be at the top of the waitlist.

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Happy Imbalance (Blog Post)

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Happy Imbalance (Blog Post)

Everyone lately is always talking about how balance is the wellness holy grail. I totally agree and it is part of what SereneBook is all about. Drink green juice, sure. But also drink a glass of wine with your friends. Do yoga and workout regularly in fabulous workout attire, but find some time to watch Netflix on the couch, preferably in your most ragged sweatpants. Preferably with a carton of non GMO, almond milk, fair trade ice cream. (The best thing about Vegan ice cream is that you can eat more of it. See? That’s balance.)

However, lately, I have been relishing moments of imbalance. I have been enjoying the times when I don’t know exactly which way the scale is going to tip, whether or not the shit is going to hit the fan, whether the path is going to disappear, whether the net will be there when I fall, whether a project will exit my brain and become real. I have been enjoying it because in that tipping point moment between the now and the appearance of the what-if…that is where the magic lies. That is where creation actual happens.

As an architect I am constantly staring at an empty computer screen or blank page not having any idea what is going to appear in front of me – appear out of me – in the next moments. The true genesis is somewhere in that place of discomfort when the blank page is still blank and the resolution is uncertain. And that moment is delicious.

We get scared of these moments of uncertain imbalance, but shouldn’t be. Just imagine the incredible amount of potential energy contained in the uncomfortable moment right before the big bang. Planets, species, the entire periodic table of elements, your parents and their parents, your kids and their kids, your dog, the Galapagos Giant Lizards – in that unbalanced moment buzzed the potential of infinite universes. Every one of us has the possibility to create a million universes, but if we shy away from shifting the status quo because of a fear of uncertainty and imbalance our only imprint on the world will come from the results of complacency.

We are all a little bit in between right now. It is technically spring, but the trees are still bare and it is still cold in the shade. The equinox was a few days ago. We can’t wait for it to be warm, for a president to be chosen, for new jobs to begin, for children to be born. But lets try to just be patient, to appreciate this moment where we are gathering momentum.

Earlier this week I ran across an article over at Mystic Mamma that quoted this incredible passage by Gregg Braden’s book Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer: The Hidden Power of Beauty, Blessings, Wisdom, and Hurt in honor of the equinox and it so perfectly summed up my feelings about this moment in my life, this moment in the seasons, that I had to bring it to you here. He says:

“There’s a power that lives in the space ‘between,’ that subtle instant when something ends, and what follows next hasn’t yet begun.

“From the birth and death of galaxies, to the beginning and ending of careers and relationships, and even the simplicity of breathing in and out, creation is the story of beginnings and endings: cycles that start and stop, expand and contract, live and die.

“Regardless of scale, between the ‘beginning’ and the ‘end’, there is a moment in time when neither one has fully happened. That moment is where magic and miracles come from!

“In the instant of between, all possibilities exist, and none have been chosen. From this place, we’re given the power to heal our bodies, change our lives, and bring peace to the world. All events originate from this powerful, magical moment.

“The mystery and possibilities of the space that connects two events has long been honored in the wisdom of traditions of our past. Native traditions of North America, for example, state that two times each day the earth enters into precisely such mystical realms.

“We find one realm immediately after the sun disappears below the horizon, just before the darkness of night arrives. The second realm occurs justbefore the sun reappears from the edge of the sky, after the darkest part of the night.

“Both are twilight moments — neither completely day nor completely night. It is during this time, the traditions suggest, that an opening occurs in which profound truths may be realized, deep healings may occur, and prayers have their greatest power.

“In his classic work A Separate Reality, anthropologist Carlos Casteneda called this opening a ‘crack between the worlds’ and described it as an access point into the unseen realms of spirits, demons, and power.

“Modern scientists acknowledge the power of just such a place. For them, however, the point is less about day, night, and time, and more about the matter that our world is made of. From the perspective of a scientist, what we see as the solid world around us is anything but solid!

“When the local movie theater projects a moving image on the screen in front of us, for example, we know that the story we’re seeing is an illusion. The romance and tragedy that tugs at our heartstrings is actually the result of many still pictures being flashed very quickly, one after another, to create the sense of a continuous story. While our eyes do see the single pictures, frame by frame, our brain merges them together into what we perceive as that uninterrupted film.

“Quantum physicists suggest that our world works in much the same way. For instance, what we see as the football touchdown or triple axel of a figure skater on a Sunday-afternoon sports program, in quantum terms, is actually a series of individual events that happen very fast and close together.

“Similar to the way in which many images strung together make a movie look so real, life actually occurs as brief, tiny bursts of light called quanta. The quanta of life happen so quickly that, unless our brain is trained to operate differently (as it would in some forms of meditation), it simply averages the pulses to create the continuous action we see as the Sunday sports.

“Within this simplified explanation of life, we also find the key to our healing. For one burst of light to end before the next begins, there must, by definition, be a moment in between.

“Within this space, for a brief instant, there exists a perfect balance where nothing is happening — the events that led to the burst are complete, and the new events haven’t started.

“In this place of ‘no thing,’ all scenarios of life/death/suffering/healing/war/ peace exist as possibilities and potential. This is the place where feelings and prayers become the blueprints of life.”

And with that, happy Equinox. Happy spring. Happy Easter. Go out and create things in the space between!

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A Primer In Giving (Blog Post)

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A Primer In Giving (Blog Post)

We all know that the holidays aren’t about presents, but it can be really difficult to opt out of the commercial extravaganza that defines the season. A great way to still participate in the “giving” aspect of these next few weeks without getting caught up in the excess is to give to a charity in lieu of giving gifts. But giving can get really complicated when you start to consider the economics of all of it. Is your dollar going as far as it can? Is the money going to those who need help or is it tied up in advertising costs? How can you really know whether organizations are doing what they say that are doing? All of the information about how to most effectively give is scattered and opaque. We are all educated and bright people who want to make the most educated and effective decisions so that we can have the greatest impact with our actions, but we are paralyzed by choice.

Here I try to bring together some general facts and information to help you make the best decision. I have also compiled a list of some great organizations recommended and/or run by our SereneBook community.

Some Big Questions:
1. Is it better to give local or send my money abroad to where it is “worth more?

This is a hard question to answer because, yes, in many places abroad your dollar can go further. Relatively robust welfare systems in the USA and other first world countries provide a base level of care to residents that third world country inhabitants can only dream of, so it might seem like sending money abroad to those in acute need is always the right answer. However, many systemic changes begin at home and in first world countries. For instance, a dollar given to find a cure for HIV or Cancer or to develop a new type of malaria prevention may have a smaller immediate impact but an enormous eventual outcome. It might be better to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your gift in the first place as it can be like comparing apples and oranges to think about supporting long term systemic changes vs the immediate needs of those suffering.

 

2. How do I know whether the charity is doing what they say they will?
If you are looking at a reputable organization registered as a local or international NGO and they are saying “$100 dollars will buy a goat for a family” or “$1 will feed a child for a week” or something similar you can generally rest assured that they are being honest about that statement. Make sure that they are a registered entity (as a 501(c)3 or equivalent) and read the fine print.

There are a number of websites that provide a basic due diligence about charity organizations. The good news is that these watchdogs are globally focused and use the same criteria to judge organizations abroad and at home. They rate charities on Financial Wellbeing and Transparency and Accountability. Here are a few good ones:

Charity Navigator
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Charity Watch

3. How do I pick a charity or organization? There are so many to choose from.
The best way to pick an organization to support is to find a cause that truly resonates with you. If you believe in the cause that you are supporting, you are much more likely to stick with donating or volunteering and will be an advocate in more ways than just sending money.

I like to follow the same guidelines as the Effective Altruism movement to figure out where my money will be most useful. Effective Altruism is essentially a utilitarian way of deciding how to give.…How can one effect the most change for the most people by doing the least harm?

 

4. What if I want to give more than just money?
It can seem surprisingly difficult to find a volunteer job, especially if you can only devote a few hours a week or month to a cause. But there are so many simple things that we can all do to help our neighbors and local communities, all you have to do is ask what needs to be done most of the time! My mom and I volunteer at a local soup kitchen whenever I am at home. All you do is walk in the door, tell them you are there to volunteer and they hand you a rag, mop, pan of food and ladle, hairnet or whatever else you need to do the job they need done, and away you go. Showing up is the most important step.

If you have a professional job that provides a basic service that could help those in need, consider donating a few hours a week to a pro bono project. Even better, approach your boss or colleagues about taking on a pro bono project as a group. Pro bono work is a great opportunity for you to stretch your creative muscles, focus on team building, and feel good about what you do with yourself the other 95% of your time.

If you are still deciding what to do with your life, or are considering a career change to find more meaning, I recommend checking out the organization 80,000 Hours. They help people understand how they can best use the 80,000 hours that we work in a lifetime to achieve the most and affect the most change in the world. https://80000hours.org/

 

5. Great organizations to support organized by issue:
Every organization on this list has 3 or 4 starts (out of 4) on Charity Navigator, and has been vetted by our team. Many of the organizations are operated by members of the SERENE community or were started by our friends (shown with asterisks)! We love being part of such an incredible community of movers and shakers who want to change the world…and are succeeding in doing so!

Water
Water.Org*
Charity: Water

Poverty/Hunger
Heifer International
Oxfam
Action Against Hunger
Aga Khan Foundation

Micro Loans/Direct Giving/Empowerment
Kiva
Acumen*
GiveDirectly.Org
One Acre Fund

Shelter/Infrastructure
Habitat for Humanity
Bridges to Prosperity*
Shelter

Children
Boys and Girls Clubs (local)
Clowns Without Borders
Outward Bound Peacebuilding
Save the Children

Arts
The Smithsonian
Audre Lorde Project
Academy of American Poets
Artspace Projects
Public Radio International
National Public Radio

Medicine
American Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Planned Parenthood
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

World Peace
Ashoka
Amnesty International

Human Rights
Planned Parenthood
White Helmets
Human Rights Watch

Education
Scholarships America
Stand4Education.org*
Khan Academy

Animals Rights/ Welfare
ASPCA
Humane Society
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Farms Not Factories*

Environment
Wildlife Conservation Society
GreenPeace
Conservation International
The Nature Conservancy
WWF
Wild Aid

Other
Your Local Church

I challenge you to bring in the New Year by making a small contribution to at least one organization that you really believe in.  I challenge you to give in one way or another by January 1st – extra points if you set up recurring donations or sign up to volunteer. 

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The New Booking Platform That’s Like ClassPass For Self Love (Feature on Sporteluxe)

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The New Booking Platform That’s Like ClassPass For Self Love (Feature on Sporteluxe)

Just like you use ClassPass for booking your weekly workouts, now there’s SereneBook, a brand-new subscription-based directory dedicated to self-care. Instead of Barry’s Bootcamp and other high-intensity workouts, on SereneBook you will find more than 1500 alternative healers and holistic practitioners offering reiki, astrology, doula services, meditation, organic dentistry, and even professional cuddling (yep, really).

Founded by three holistic health gurus, including yoga and meditation teachers Tegan Bukowski and Jordan Daly, and reiki healer Millana Snow, the service is all about curating the best practitioners in the alternative wellness space. “We are bringing together the best practitioners in 130 different modalities ranging from craniosacral therapists and life coaches to acupuncturists and midwives,” Bukowski explained to Sporteluxe.

SereneBook isn’t just for natural health nuts either—features have been developed to help introduce newbies to the alternative scene. For example, when you sign up, the platform asks each user to set a monthly intention from over 200 options that then helps SereneBook recommend sessions. Intentions include “gut reboot” and “creativity boost” or “womb wellness” and are curated by the platform’s ambassadors like Chelsea Leyland.

Initially, the platform’s rolling out in Los Angeles and New York City, with and next they’ll move into San Francisco, Boston, Houston, and Sydney next. Right now you can apply for a membership, and will begin setting appointments in January 2017. Membership will set you back $150 per month, and this gives members access to three in-person appointments.

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Flying Pretty, Tips for Airplane Travel (Blog Post)

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Flying Pretty, Tips for Airplane Travel (Blog Post)

I can’t wait to fly to Moscow today to attend an opening. I hit my snooze button at 5:00 am and managed to leave myself just enough time to skip the shower and run to the airport—hair in braid, hot latte in hand. Air travel is always a rush and a strain on the system but Millana and I both know that it is important to arrive to business meetings, shoots and events looking and feeling our best.

TIP 1:  WEEK BEFORE TRAVELING: BE HEALTHY!

Eat well and drink a lot of water and try to do something active more days than you don’t.  Take vitamins.  This will set you up to feel better at the start of your trip, keep your immune system up for being in contact with so many people and generally make you feel more radiant. As a plus it will also help you to keep the side effects of flying at bay. 

TIP 2: WEEK BEFORE TRAVELING:  ALTER YOUR SLEEP SCHEDULE

If you are traveling to somewhere in a different time zone, it can be good to start to alter your sleep schedule slightly to be more like the place you are headed to.  Headed west?  Start to stay up a little later and wake up a little later if possible. Even a 1 or 2 hour difference several days before can make a difference when you reach your destination. And, it  will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.  Sleep makes you beautiful!

TIP 3:  DAY OF:  PRACTICE YOGA, STRETCH OR RUN

On the day of your trip, get up a little early (if it is an early flight, do it the night before) and spend 30 minutes either doing yoga, stretching, running or doing something else very active. The lower pressure in the cabin of the airplane combined with sitting for hours makes the blood pool in your legs. Being active before you get on the plane can help with this.

TIP 4:  MORNING OF: EAT BREAKFAST/LUNCH BEFORE THE AIRPORT, AND BRING SNACKS

Many of my friends starve themselves when they fly and when they vacation to eliminate feeling puffy..but don’t to this! First of all, it isn’t good for you to do this to your metabolism. But the more important thing is this:  if you are hungry you are going to eat all the terrible things the airport and airplane throw at you.  Airplane food is not the greatest in the first place but it also contains lots of salt.  Much better to bring a bag of carrots and cucumbers with pretzel chips and hummus or a hard boiled egg and a piece of cheese.  Or dried fruit. Or unsalted nuts!  You will feel really smug when you pull out your Trader Joe’s care package and the people next to you are eating salty peanuts.

TIP 5:  ON THE PLANE:  DRINK LOTS OF WATER ON THE AIRPLANE…NOT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS!

For my friends in first class:  they are secretly trying to ruin your trip with that free champagne! Some people drink on airplanes to cope, to make a good time out of something uncomfortable or even to fall asleep.  Just don’t do that.  Alcohol will make you dehydrate even faster in the dry recirculated air of the airplane.  You will feel more jet lagged, more drained.  Water is key. The nature of the air in planes literally sucks the water out of you.  It is the primary reason (in addition to the sustained lower air pressure) that you feel down after the plane lands.

TIP 6: ON THE PLANE: STRETCH AND WALK AROUND

I sleep on planes really easily, but in the times when I am awake I really try to get up and walk around, stretch my legs under the seat in front of me (not on top of, that is just obnoxious).  If you get up during a quiet time when the stewards are sitting down and people are sleeping you can use a spot in either the bulkhead or the attendant area to do some really simple yoga stretches. I recommend pulling your knees to your chest one at a time, forward bends, arm stretches and anything that makes you point your toes.

TIP 7: ON THE PLANE: MOISTURIZE, NO CONTACT LENSES

Again, the terrible dry air in the plane will make your skin freak out and turn to paper.  I recommend traveling sans makeup with a calming moisturizer.  I am currently using Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankinsense Intense or Pai Skincare's RoseHip Oil or Linne Botanicals REPAIR.  Re-apply half way through a long flight.   Also, don’t wear contact lenses on the plane! Your eyes will be red and feel dry by the end.

I hope these airplane travel tips help you to feel a little bit more at ease during your next flight and help you to arrive feeling your best.  It is amazing to see the world but can be exhausting if you don’t take care of yourself along the way. Now the trick will be to follow my own advice!

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