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Enjoy a Day of Wellness in Little Rock


The transition from winter to spring can be difficult on our bodies. We’ve been used to a slower pace, focused on coziness, which often means wrapped up in blankets on our couch or in our bed.

Practice Yoga

A day of wellness as a form of self-care might be just what you need to awaken from this hibernation. Some movement in the form of a yoga practice is a great way to begin.

In Little Rock, you have lots of great options. Barefoot Studio, Sixth House Studio, Arkansas Yoga Collective and Blue Yoga Nyla, among others, offer yoga classes for all experience levels and schedules. Though it’s not a traditional yoga studio, Nooma is one of my favorites. Their infrared heated classes are a mix of yoga, Pilates, barre, weight training, cardio and dance.

If you prefer a more traditional yoga practice, you can still get the benefits of infrared lighting. Winc Beauty offers infrared sauna sessions in their “Sweat Lodge” to help purify your skin, ease joint and muscle pain, combat signs of aging, improve circulation, and burn calories. Long-term benefits include increasing collagen and elastin levels. The setting is very spa-like, with plenty of water, cool cloths, and a robe and slippers. I find the sauna itself very relaxing, and you can adjust the heat to your personal preference, building up to greater heat and time. Sessions are available in 30 or 60-minute increments.

Winc also very recently began offering a “sound lounge” experience, offering deep relaxation, clarity, calmness and extra focus that vibroacoustic sound therapy can bring to your body, mind and spirit. In a sound bath, you hear and feel the same frequencies at the same time. You feel like you’re in the music as the tones flow throughout your body. Offered in 15-, 30-, 60- and 90-minute sessions, Winc recommends pairing one with the sauna.

Of course, a facial is also relaxing and rejuvenating, so while you’re on your day of wellness, you might as well go for a hydrafacial that Winc is also known for!

Take a Hike

With the warmer weather, you might also rather be outside. Plenty of hiking options abound within the city. The Arkansas River Trail is a 15.6-mile loop of trails on both sides of the river that you can hop on and off that includes the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, Big Dam Bridge and Burns Park. The Emerald Park Trail follows a bluff line along the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River and offers stunning scenic overlook views of the Arkansas River, the Little Rock skyline and an old quarry. It also connects to the Arkansas River Trail. If you want something less urban, Pinnacle Mountain State Park offers a wide range of trails ranging from easy to moderate to hard.

Replenish Your Fluids

By now, you’ve probably worked up an appetite. If you’re on the west side of town, head to City Silo in the Promenade on Chenal. You’ll need to replenish the fluids you lost during exercise (especially if you were at Nooma and or Winc), and the cold-pressed juices at City Silo are just the way to do that. The Tangy Fresh – featuring pineapple, carrot, apple, lemon and ginger — is my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with any of the choices.

If you care to stay for an early lunch or want a mid-morning snack to tide you over, equally healthy and tasty options abound. Small plates include the Cado Toast — a serrano avocado spread with lemon and pink salt; the Greece Lightning — house-made lemon garlic hummus topped with cucumber, diced tomatoes, kalamata olives and cilantro; or Red Rooster Roast — roasted and grilled seasoned sweet potatoes with black sesame seeds, pink salt and cracked black pepper with a side or sriracha aioli and cashew ranch. The Kale Caesar is another personal favorite — chopped kale in vegan Caesar dressing, topped with pine nuts, fresh baked in-house croutons, hemp seeds and parmesan. They offer a large menu of salads, acai bowls, quinoa and brown rice or grilled zucchini noodles bowls, tacos, burgers, and sandwiches. Their options for add-ons and substitutions are sure to satisfy almost all dietary requirements and preferences.

If you’re closer to downtown, you still have great options for food and drink. Flora Jean’s was on the forefront of showing central Arkansas how to eat well and enjoy it. Their menu changes seasonally, but I recently enjoyed an elderberry spritz, which is a black elderberry elixir with cranberry, lime, rosemary simple syrup and sparkling water. The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They are also credited with helping tame inflammation, lessen stress and protect your heart. Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.

The owners of Flora Jean’s also own Sixth House Wellness Studio, and they offer many specials through the partnership, which they call the Whole Body Wellness Program. For every class or workshop taken, you receive 10% off your meal.

I personally prefer whole foods to smoothies and supplements, so I love options like Flora Jean’s and City Silo. And after this day of wellness, you’re ready to take on the spring sunshine!

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April Fatula is student publications adviser and instructor in Harding University's Department of Communication. She lives in Searcy with her husband and three children and dreams alternately of being a travel writer and drinking her coffee while it's still hot.

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