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Striking a Balance and Creating a Wellness Sanctuary at Ferndale's Little Lotus

By Marina Jokic

Yoga is not only a popular exercise routine, but more importantly, it teaches you to strike a balance in your life. Little Lotus Wellness Studio in Ferndale, Michigan, run by Heather Cutlip, aspires to do just that -- cultivate a sense of awareness and presence while attaining a balanced existence. A yoga instructor, meditation and mindfulness coach, Cutlip talks about the unique approach she takes with her students.

Cutlip is the proud owner and operator of LLWS, and a licensed massage therapist, Reiki energy healer, yoga instructor and meditation guru. Yoga is well known for its many health benefits, both physical and mental, and Cutlip makes sure to integrate meditation in her lessons as well. She believes that yoga and meditation together can aid in decreasing stress, improving sleep, and most of all, can bring a permeating sense of peace and balance.

Yoga literally means 'yoke' or 'union', and the goal of the discipline is to unite mind and body and to cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness. That union is both symbolic and tangible in different ways?it both contributes to building physical strength, flexibility, coordination while empowering your mind and letting go of your ego. If yoga is done correctly and not forced upon the body so that it exceeds its physical limits, the list of physical benefits is quite long. In addition to the ones named above, the discipline can also improve blood flow, joint and bone health and boost your immune system.

In the simplest terms, meditation is a practice that helps in coming home to yourself, Cutlip says. "In a world where we are so busy and scattered most days, it's a true gift to allow ourselves to be present with only ourselves," she adds. It's a mental discipline that can help let go of your instinctive reactions and thoughts while bringing about a sense of calm and self-reflection.

"Learning to navigate and redirect your thoughts, you find you can slow down the stirrings of the mind and reside within that peace, calm center of yourself," Cutlip remarks. Learning to unburden yourself from your mental baggage including letting go of social constructions and labels are some of the most important principles that meditation teaches.

"Without having to be or do anything, we can be more able to listen and acknowledge what is happening in the body as well as the mind," Cutlip mentions. This liberation of sorts can lead to a more evenhanded approach in your everyday life.

The Little Lotus Studio is smaller than your usual yoga space, but the advantage is that its central location makes it easy to get to. A little yoga haven in the center of the city, Little Lotus has visitors from different parts of the city. It offers an intimate setting for practice, with relatively small classes of no more than eight students, candlelight, and soothing melodies washing over you.

Cutlip recommends that people take advantage of her one-on-one guidance and assistance during each sesion, be it yoga or meditation. She also offers massage and Reiki energy healing in her private office as an add-on service to self-care.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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