The Fine Line Between Beauty, Fitness, and Wellness
The facialist and fitness-instructor Sora Connor knows what's up
Some look to beauty products strictly in terms of functionality, with a mindset that focuses strictly on results. While this is completely ok, it’s important to remember that there is another camp of individuals that look to beauty rituals in terms of self-care — mindfully massaging products into the skin with an emphasis on the “journey” more so than the destination.
Similarly, an entire movement of people head to the gym, outdoors, or wherever it is that they like to move their bodies, as much for the emotional and mental benefits of exercise as the physical toning and muscular activation. This holistic mindset is one of the components of wellness that we at rē•spin embrace wholeheartedly, looking to the wellness experience to nurture multiple facets of existence as spiritual beings in human form.
This is one of the reasons that a facial from facialist and fitness instructor Sora Connor is so sublime. Whether you choose to doze off while she massages your face and uses the detoxifying and lifting microcurrent, or you engage in deep conversations, there is a reason that she has a waitlist and following of devoted clientele. Beautiful inside and out, she is the type of practitioner and friend that truly understands that beauty can absolutely be a part of wellness — and this mentality extends to her offerings as a fitness instructor, as well. “It’s been truly amazing to work with clients for both skin and fitness,” Connor says. “Our conversations encompass the entire range of wellness, and we grow and learn and explore the world together.”
“Movement is imperative in my wellness journey and my mental health,” says Connor, who was previously a backup dancer on tour prior to starting her career as an esthetician. “A typical day includes at minimum 30-45 minutes of zone 2 cardio, and some stretching or yoga.” First enrolling in dance classes at the age of two, she later moved to the United States on her own — at the age of 17 — in order to pursue her professional dance career. She let fear be her teacher, driving her to succeed and reach her dreams. While dancing for top recording artists on awards stages, videos, and tours, she learned to tune-into her multidimensional wellness and adapt accordingly.
This meant listening to her body and responding to its needs. She adds that it is important to give your body what it’s asking for, which can mean a different workout from day to day — and even taking a temporary pause if need be. “If you’re feeling a little run down and your body is screaming for a break, do that! Take a bath, get a facial, get a massage, sit outside in the grass, or on the beach and read a book. Write in a journal. It’s all a part of wellness.” Don’t be surprised if you see Connor spending quality time with her pup, Cosmo — as she knows, wellness is absolutely in the details like spending ample time with your pets.
Skincare Is Self-Care
A facial with Connor leaves you feeling rē-juvenated. Not only will you be supremely cleansed and relaxed, but the microcurrent wand — which is a specialty of hers — tones the facial musculature, giving you an instant lift that lasts weeks. The soothing microcurrent wand uses electric currents that stimulate the facial muscles, which also gets the lymph fluid moving and imparting detoxification benefits.
“I do believe skincare is self-care,” Connor says. “We’re all so busy, and most of the time we fly through our skincare routines just to get it done… But whenever we can slow down for even the little things, and show ourselves some love, the better we can feel.” This is one of the beautiful things about making a monthly facial a part of your wellness practice, even if you do not make your nightly skincare regimen a mindfulness exercise. After lying down for a facial, engaging the relaxation response, and undergoing nourishing rituals for the body’s largest organ, your skin and your mind will both thank you.
Whenever you have time, you can also make sure to infuse your morning and nightly regimens with some added self-care, too. “The few minutes we take for ourselves when washing our faces and putting on our skincare could feel amazing and be super healing,” Connor points out. “I like to do a deep breathing face massage on myself and my clients. This entails a deep inhale with one move, and exhale on the next.” She explains that this helps to bring you into the present moment, to truly lavish in the love and care you are indulging in.
The Face-And-Body Approach
“The whole face and body approach to my specific brand of wellness happened very organically,” she says. “Everything I do rolled up into one big ball when my clients started wanting to incorporate everything into their wellness practices: skincare, body care, spiritual care…” Connor adds that she is thrilled to be able to take part in their journeys and to offer such diverse offerings.
“I think because I was a professional dancer for so many years, health and wellness and fitness became second nature. We had to be diligent about taking care of our bodies because we were expected to rehearse for hours and perform for hours.” Connor points out that this high-intensity lifestyle helped engrain a schedule that made wellness habitual for her, and that is her goal for all of her clients, as well. “It’s all in the small things we do every day,” she says. “If my client leaves our facial or training session thinking, ‘Wow, I feel amazing,’ then we’re on the right track.”
Wellness is a Process
Part of what Connor reminds us of? The fact that there are so many access points for wellness, and that each is a process and an opportunity. Wellness is not about perfection or fitting an activities-packed list of wellness modalities into your schedule. Rather, making wellness work for you and your lifestyle is about listening to your inner-knowing, and acting accordingly — whether that means slowing down, or revving up.
Image Credit: @sportyandrich