I Got Gooped and I Think I Liked It
Saje Managing Editor and Podcast Host shares her inspiring experience at goop’s first-ever Vancouver instalment of the In goop Health wellness summit.
On October 27-28, Gwyneth Paltrow’s team at goop brought their flavour of wellness to Vancouver with the first-ever international instalment of In goop Health wellness summit. The two-day event was filled with leading voices in the wellness space, beauty treatments, spiritual health workshops, fitness sessions and a beautiful pop-up shop.
There was a stunning, curated and sensory experience in store for everyone who attended, including our managing editor and podcast host, Meghann Shantz. Read on for what she’ll be adding to her own wellness rituals.
It’s not every day that the goop team transforms one of your favourite places (Vancouver’s Stanley Park) into a mecca of curated, luxury wellness. Not one to miss out on the chance to try something new, I signed up for a full Sunday of resting, recharging and wellness learning. I braved the fall rains and journeyed into the forest to find myself closer to optimized wellness.
Theda Phoenix surrounded by her singing bowls, about to fill the room with beautiful sound.
Sound Meditation with Theda Phoenix
First up was something I had heard about, but never experienced: sound meditation. As much as I’ve tried to make meditation a regular part of my wellness routines, it just hadn’t stuck. But, after speaking with sound artist Sara Auster on Well Now, I knew that there were benefits to sound that go way beyond just listening to beautiful sound. (Check out this episode to hear how she overcame a traumatic injury with the healing power of sound.)
I’m a fidgety person by nature and was worried I’d be disrupting everyone else’s peace and tranquility, but I was willing to give it a shot. I connected with Andrea from our Robson store for a Saje Breath as we got settled. We rolled on some Fortify from my Pocket Farmacy, then breathed deep before swaddling ourselves in blankets and getting ready for the experience.
Andrea (front) from our Robson Street location and me preparing for our sound bath with an Fortify Saje Breath.
Theda Phoenix took meditation to a whole new, sonic level with her sound bowls and haunting vocal stylings. As we were lying in savasana, Theda created waves of sound that shimmered off the walls and resonated in our minds, creating a sense of inner calm I had only really heard about. My mind was going off with images and memories, colours and sounds that passed through and away like a lucid dream. This half-awake, calm state lingered well after the lights came up and we all quietly flowed out of the room.
Would I do it again? Definitely, and I’d get an extra bolster to support my knees and make my body as comfortable as my mind.
Fig Facial Vitamin B12 shots
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed the waiver for my first-ever B12 shot—honestly, I thought it was like a wheatgrass shot, not a needle in the top of my glute. But I was here to take in the entire In goop Health experience, so I pulled down the waistband of my lululemon tights to find out what I had been missing out on. Normally, I can’t even stand the sight of needles, but the red liquid in the syringe was injected before I could question my decision.
Maybe it was all in my head or maybe it was the lingering effects of the sound bath I had just come from, but I felt like I had downed an extra espresso about an hour afterwards. Now a few days later, I’m happy to report that my energy and focus have been sharp despite the November rain, and I’ve had none of the side effects that were listed in the fine print.
Would I do it again? Possibly. I’d give it a shot next time I feel like I need a super-charged boost.
Amber from MISFITSTUDIO giving us the rundown of what we are about to experience in her class.
A dance party in the middle of the afternoon, under a transparent tent in the middle of the forest? Yes, please! Toronto’s MISFITSTUDIO brought the energy way up as the raindrops fell above us. Twisting and turning our bodies in ways that seemed familiar, like the yoga, Pilates and dance I’ve been going to for years, but felt brand-new. With Amber leading us through the heavy beats and undulating movements, she turned us into deep-breathing, wild things with a new appreciation for how our bodies can move if we let them.
Being in a transparent tent with leaves and raindrops falling right above our heads definitely took this experience to a whole new transformative level. We were literally immersed in nature as we stretched and folded our way through a full-body workout that I was still feeling (especially in my abs) for long afterwards.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. If I could hit this class every day, I would. If you’re in Toronto, check them out – you’ll be feeling like a dancing warrior for days.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s therapist Barry Michels giving us insight into his theory of how to live our most inspired lives.
The headlining event of Sunday’s lineup was none other than Barry Michels, Gwyneth Paltrow’s own psychotherapist and author of Coming Alive: 4 Tools to Defeat your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression & Unleash Your Soul’s Potential. His book and his approach are well-loved by creative professionals, including writers—my curiosity was certainly piqued. Would I be completely transformed in the three-hour group session, as promised by Barry himself? When the session started, I was still buzzing from the morning’s full wellness immersion and felt like anything was possible.
His core idea is that to come alive, you need to connect with something he calls your ‘shadow self’. Inside each one of us, he says, is another version of us who has been created from the parts of ourselves we’ve repressed. The key to living your best life is to reconnect with our shadow, to honour it and show it the love we want to feel in our lives.
It took me a bit of effort to imagine a shadow version of myself as separate from the identity I present to the outside world, but others in the room had no trouble at all and described their shadows in intricate detail. What I did connect with was the idea that, in order to ignite our inner fire and become our fullest self, we need to honour all parts of ourselves, not just the parts that we and the people around us like the most.
Would I do it again? Possibly, but I’d read the book first and try to get a better sense of his idea of the ‘shadow self’.
All in all, In goop Health’s Sunday programming was a refreshing change of pace from my regular weekend wellness routines. For me, there’s always value in trying something new, and the goop team served up heaps of opportunities to find a new way to optimize your health. I’ll be adding sound to my meditation right away and checking out MISFITSTUDIO the next time I’m in Toronto.
Congrats to the team for a successful first international installment of the summit—thank you for the beautiful, enlightening and inspiring day!
Photo credit: Ernesto Distefano / Getty images for goop
Managing Editor at Saje Natural Wellness, Meghann Shantz brings her personal story of healing and a love of storytelling to Well Now – a podcast born out of a desire to help us all discover the hidden side of health and how to achieve wellness. She draws from her experiences navigating western and alternative medicine to heal her anxiety and physical injury to connect with guests about their own stories of overcoming physical and emotional challenges.
Naturally curious and on a quest for meaning, Meghann holds space for the raw expression and authentic stories of her podcast guests, believing that our world would be better if we chose to honour other people’s journeys and processes without judgement – and believing in the power of telling your story.