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January 22, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-22

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, January 22, 2004

Beating the Blizzard

Blues in A2

By Lia Izenberg
Daily Arts Writer

Everything can seem duller in the
winter. Even your breakfast cereal,
which pleased you so much during
the summer months, can look like
gruel. If you're like me, you long for
a boost when it seems like your spir-
it is anchored to the ground. If slip-
ping around in four-inch heels on the
icy sidewalk while waiting in line at
Studio 4 is a once-a-week type of
deal, here are some other ideas you
might consider to spice things up.
Aching muscles can really put a
damper on your mood, making con-
centration even harder than it has to
be. Guys and girls can benefit from
what Current Magazine voted "Ann
Arbor's Best Massage" at the
RelaxStation on the corner of West
Huron Avenue and First Street. Don't
have the time or energy to call and
make an appointment? Not to worry.
Most of the massages are available
as walk-ins, making RelaxStation
the busy student's dream. At only a
dollar a minute, massages fit a stu-
dents budget as well. The calming
atmosphere and aromatherapy can
make the snow and slush outside
melt into a desert spa experience.
If it's a new atmosphere you seek,
but you can't get the money or the
time together to hop a plane to
Tahiti, there are other options in
store for you. They may seem a little
less than expansive, but Ann Arbor's
Mattheai Botanical Gardens are as
authentic as they come. Grabbing a
friend or a date and taking a stroll
through the Tropical House could
certainly illuminate your senses and
remind you of happier times when
the area fauna weren't just pine trees.
Smells and sights from the rain-
forests and deserts of the Arid House
can make a dull afternoon into an
instant vacation.
If a walk through the desert does-
n't invigorate your winterized sens-

es, perhaps a breath of fresh air is in
order. No, not the kind you can get
by propping open a frosty window.
I'm talking about the aromatherapy
pure oxygen bar at Bellanina Day
Spa on North Fourth Street. With a
selection of oxygen to choose from
that is nearly as varied as the tooth-
paste aisle, you are sure to leave the
spa feeling either energized or
relaxed, depending on which aroma
you pick. It is as simple as slowly
inhaling filtered air that has passed
through an "aroma station," which
Bellanina claims can have effects
lasting up to several hours, and you
will have no problem admitting you
Spa owner Nina Howard explained
to me the benefits of breathing pure
oxygen, a trend that started growing
a few years ago and has since spread
all over the country. I hooked up to
the bar and chose "De-Toxifying
Grapefruit" as my flavor of choice,
then leaned back and enjoyed the
relaxation. As an added bonus for
bar-hoppers, the pure oxygen bar is
said to be effective in making a
hangover vanish into thin air.
Bellanina also offers the
Hydrotherapy Color Bath, a big
bathtub that houses a bright light,
exposing you to the whole spectrum
of the rainbow and lifting your spir-
its at the same time.
Okay, so maybe you think that
pure oxygen is some kind of myth.
Well, here is something nice and tan-
gible that is sure to perk you up dur-
ing a blizzard: heat! That's not all, it
gets better. Yoga is said to have
extremely relaxing and energizing
effects on the body and mind, mak-
ing you just a little less weary when
you need it most. When you add heat
to yoga, as they do in the Ann Arbor
Bikram Yoga Studio on Main Street,
you can take away a little something

Bellanina's Oxygen Bar offers a myriad of relaxing aromas to soothe the troubled soul.

extra while sweating out all the bad
stuff. Here is how Bikram works:
Sometimes called "hot yoga,"
Bikram yoga (named after founder
Bikram Choudury) is practiced in a
room that can be heated up to 115
degrees, with the average being 95 to
105 degrees. The heat is supposed to
increase the body's flexibility and
movement abilities without increas-
ing the risk of injury.
Sound a little too intense? If
you're not in the mood for something
different, why not head out to Huron
Hills Golf Course and sled the
slopes? Whatever is getting you
down, Ann Arbor is a diverse com-
munity with lots of things to offer. It
may take a little coordination, but it's
not impossible to beat the winter
blues this year. You just have to know
where to look.


Aromatherapy is one way to ease rising tension in one's life.

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