Tag Archive for: wellness

Take a Barre Yoga Fusion Class For an Optimal Mind Body Experience

It’s April, and we’re willing to bet more than a few of you have gotten behind on those well-meaning New Year’s resolutions. Well, why not get a fresh start with a new class? Maybe you’re familiar with our yoga classes, but did you know that we also offer strength training classes as well? Today we’ll be talking to one of our instructors, Jessica Gutstein, about her specialty – our Barre Yoga Fusion class! But first let’s tackle a couple of common questions regarding barre.

What is a Barre Yoga Fusion class?

If you’ve never heard of barre, don’t get confused – it’s not just for ballet dancers! Our 45-minute Barre Yoga Fusion class combines the essential elements of barre and yoga for an optimal mind-body experience. The low-impact, high energy Barre workout is designed to improve flexibility, tone, and strengthen the body through the use of small isometric movements, weights, and resistance exercises. The yoga elements of the class focus on breathing, lengthening the muscles, and quieting the mind. By combining these modalities, you will feel relaxed, recharged and ready to make the most of your day. This unique sequence is designed for all fitness levels.

Is a ballet background necessary to do a Barre Class?

No! You don’t need any ballet or dance experience at all to fully interact in and enjoy our Barre Yoga Fusion class. Barre was originally designed by a dancer, Lotte Berk, who started teaching in the 1970s and continued until she was well into her 80s. Some of her more famous clients included Joan Collins and Barbra Streisand. Because Lotte wanted both dancers and non-dancers to be able to reap Barre’s benefits, she designed the exercise to use basic dance positions that aid in developing muscle tone and core strength. Many Barre classes utilize a barre like ballet dancers do, however, it can also be done on mats on the floor or with no equipment at all. Barre can have therapeutic benefits as well and many have used it to ease back into exercising after an injury.

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Meet Our Barre Yoga Fusion instructor, Jessica Gutstein

Jessica has been practicing yoga since 2002, teaching yoga since 2007 and teaching barre since 2017. To the Seacoast community and Bryony Body, she brings years of experience as well as a love for the mind-body connection each exercise provides.

“Leading this class is the greatest joy for me. Each student arrives with whatever body and mind they were blessed with on that particular day.

My goal is to help quiet the noise that life is constantly throwing at us through movement, breath work and a grounded approach to full body wellness. I want students to leave feeling a sense of strength and space in their bodies and minds, ready to tackle their day.”

Why might someone enjoy a Barre Yoga Fusion class as opposed to just doing Barre or just doing yoga?

Our instructor, Jessica says, “A barre yoga fusion experience combines the core tenants of both a high energy barre workout with the meditative and healing aspects of yoga.”

The beauty and healing lies in the strength and stillness, grit and grace that this synergistic practice offers.

Jessica continues, “The practice can be modified for all fitness levels and emphasizes basics of breath, stretching/lengthening, body awareness and concentrated muscle and core development.”

What times and days of the week do you offer the class?

Our Barre Yoga Fusion class is offered at Bryony Body in Exeter, NH on Wednesdays from 9:30 – 10:15am. To try it out, you can sign up on MindBody and if you’re a first timer, take advantage of our introductory 1-month trial membership.

Photo Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Join us at Bryony Body

Now that you have a better handle on Barre (excuse the pun), we hope you will come check out a class! We look forward to welcoming new students no matter your age, body type, or experience level. Barre not your thing? We have several other types of classes to choose from, including strength training and basic yoga which you can find on our Bryony Body Yoga and Wellness Classes page. We are committed to meeting you where you’re at, so contact us today so that we can help you get started on the next step in your wellness journey!

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Meet Your Yoga Instructor: Jessalynn Hudgins

We had the pleasure of sitting down last week with Jessalynn Hudgins – yoga instructor, holistic wellness consultant and the studio manager at Bryony Body, our yoga studio in Exeter, NH. She taught us all about her journey with wellness, yoga and everything in between. Keep reading to learn more about how she’s actively changing the stigma around mental health in the workplace all while helping people find their zen.

Jessalynn sees yoga as her lifeline.

Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Her peaceful escape from her high-functioning lifestyle. Fifteen years ago, she was in the heart of her career working in finance. She had a self-described “work hard, play hard” mindset and pushed herself to extremes mentally and physically. Yoga was a way for her to counteract any unhealthy choices she was making at the time.

After leveraging a few different roles in the business world, she found herself at the peak of her finance career working in operations for a distinguished private equity firm. This was high-producing, yet quickly became toxic and shut their doors, leaving her jobless. Jessalynn decided this was the perfect opportunity to chase one of her longtime dreams: visiting Bali and receiving her yoga certifications.

She headed straight to Bali in 2019 and began an intensive month-long yoga certification process. Six days a week beginning at 6am each day, Jessalynn learned the power and challenge of stillness in addition to understanding where anatomy and philosophy meet.

A fresh perspective on wellness

Credit: Kate Donovan Photography

Fast forward to the Spring of 2020, just as the pandemic began, she moved to Newburyport with a fresh perspective on wellness. Soon after she met Katie and was introduced to the Bryony and Birch family in, what felt like, divine timing. She began teaching through the Bryony Body studio while simultaneously creating her own wellness consulting business, Whole Health Wellness.

Jessalynn’s consulting business merges her business expertise with her passion for health. It’s been a labor of love, but extremely rewarding to work with local businesses. Her biggest challenge is getting the decision maker of each company to understand the power of providing health and wellness services for their employees. From there she works with her clients to supply services ranging from physical and emotional counseling to nutritional guides from registered dietitians, to financial security coaching. All her services are assisted by providers certified in their fields.

Jessalynn’s lifestyle has changed quite a lot since moving out of the finance realm. She finds that her yoga practice keeps her zen and centered and she keeps her hands (and heart) full by managing the Bryony Body studio.

When asked what the #1 misconception about yoga is, she tells us it’s the idea that you need to be flexible. She finds that being flexible in the mind actually trains your body to follow and you come to realize it isn’t just about the body, but the 8 limbs that yoga is built on, which becomes very spiritual.

Finding her support system

When she isn’t teaching yoga or consulting, Jessalynn enjoys having strong self-care practices. She has a green thumb with a house full of plants. She also has a white fluff-ball cat named Elle that she adores. When asked what it means to be an empowered woman, she says it all starts with having an awesome support system, which Bryony and Birch is for her. Not only as business partners but also as friends. Her favorite quote and mantra is “A rising tide lifts all boats.” To her this means staying positive and uplifting all those around her.

You can stay in touch with Jessalynn by following @wholehealthwellnessusa and learn more about Bryony Body here.

Have the Winter Blues? 5 Ways We’re Investing in Wellness This Winter

Winter is hard. Our skin is dry and itchy, we’re vitamin D deficient and even going for a little mental health walk can seem daunting. Thanks a lot, February windchill.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the headspace that winter is never ending and our self-care isn’t as important. Thoughts can play over again in our minds, “Well if I gain these extra five pounds, no one will really notice because of all the layers I’m wearing.” “If I don’t get this pedicure it doesn’t matter because I’m in socks and boots for the next two more months.” But listen, you deserve to feel great even if the weather doesn’t. Here are some surefire ways to get back into the rhythm of your life so that the winter blues don’t keep you down.

Invest in loungewear

Sitting at home in the same old sweats can really affect our self-esteem. One of our favorite ways to spice things up is by investing in cozy loungewear sets or a new waffle knit sweater from a woman-run small business like VETTA or Darity (if you’re nursing or pumping.) Not only do they make you feel cute and comfortable, but you’re making your dollar count by supporting a small sustainable business. Get comfy!

Use a humidifier

Purchasing one of these handy little guys for the bedroom has been saving our sinuses this winter, and our plants too! You can find these for a decent price at a local big box store. As a moisturizer enthusiast, my lotions and body oils still just don’t cut it this time of year. Save your skin and your sinuses this season and find a humidifier ASAP.

Try heat light therapy

There are so many benefits to trying relaxation, muscle tension relief or detoxification in the winter months. One way us New Englanders love to relax in the dark winter months is with heat light therapy. Not only does it have positive effects on our mood, but it also provides many benefits for blood flow and cardiovascular health. You won’t have to look far for local heat light therapy, but if you have trouble finding somewhere, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.

Relax in a healing bath

You deserve a mystical escape from your everyday routine once and a while. Treat yourself to some holistic soap and organic wellness products from our local favorite, Rooted Body Co. and set up a healing bath with crystals, candles, bath salts, a glass of wine and some soothing music. Anything that will make you feel like you’re at a spa, right from the comfort of your own home. If you don’t have a bath, hang a Eucalyptus sprig from your shower head. Calming scents, especially while bathing, nourish our minds and bodies.

Nourish with soups & stews

Are you on a rabbit hole of soup TikToks lately? No? Just us? Soup tok is all the rage right now. Invest in a Crockpot or slow cook a soup on your stove midday while you finish your work into the evening. The scent of a warm stew brewing throughout the home is no match for winter dread. And if you prefer sweet over savory, treat yourself to a relaxing CBD baked good from our local favorite, Fairy Good Organics. We’ll take their triple chocolate brownies any night of the week!

Hopefully these tips and tricks inspire you to embrace this winter with a fresh attitude. The cold months are hard, but they make the spring and summer feel that much better. Get in touch with your body and don’t forget to indulge – you’ve got this.

Galentine’s Day: 5 Ways to Spoil Your Girlfriends This Month

You’re probably already aware of an immense pressure around the second week of February each year: Valentine’s Day. A stigma surrounds this holiday saying that we have to be in love, have the perfect relationship and shower our lovers with gifts. But why should extravagant love only be shared in romantic relationships, why can’t we spoil our platonic relationships as well? These are just as valuable relationships full of love. Continue reading for ideas on how to spoil your girlfriends this Valentine’s Day, they deserve it!

Food

There’s no better way to a person’s heart than through their stomach. Some say this only works for men, but we beg to differ. Whether it’s knowing your bestie’s favorite meal and cooking for her or taking her out to a hot new restaurant in town, share the gift of food this Galentine’s Day. Get dressed up, light some candles and have fun with it. Candle lit dinners are not strictly for romance, set the vibe right and indulge, it will bring you closer together and create the space for deeper conversations. See where The Bryony girls are keeping warm and well-fed on the North Shore this winter.

Crystals

Find a crystal that protects your friend based on her birth month or treat her to a reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony & Birch Different stones have different properties for protection and abundance that resonate with each zodiac sign in different ways. This way you can always be there in spirit, even when you physically aren’t. Not to mention… crystals and gems are beautiful decor to have in your home, so it’s a win-win.

Pamper Them

What better way to relax than knowing someone is gifting you the opportunity? There can never be enough self-care and a gift card for a manicure and pedicure appointment is a great place to start. If you have the budget to splurge a little more, a spa day including a massage or facial will really show your appreciation for their well-being. In our most recent holiday gift guide we cover all of our favorite ways to pamper our friends with gifts from local North Shore small businesses.

Cocktail Night

What’s more exciting than a cocktail night with the girls? Everyone comes prepared for the evening with a signature cocktail. You each take turns prepping your drink and presenting the cocktails with a grand entrance. Get creative with the themes of the drinks that are unique to your friendships. This is fun too because you can spread them out through the evening and everyone gets to be the star for an hour or so. February cabin fever setting in? Get out of the house to enjoy food and drinks at these Bryony & Birch favorites on the North Shore.

Flowers & Plants

Gardens and flowers raise the vibration of anyone’s home. If your girlfriend is already a green thumb, give her a new flower to plant and bring her joy. Getting in touch with our feminine energy is also getting in touch with our ability to nourish. If your friend is a little more glamorous or doesn’t enjoy gardening, a beautiful bouquet can also do the trick.

Ultimately you know your friends better than anyone else, so whatever feels sentimental to you and your crew will be special. There are so many ways to cherish love other than romance, so take a moment to celebrate all of the relationships in your life this Valentine’s Day.

 

Gratitude + Mental Health: Why They Go Together Like Turkey & Gravy

Have you ever sat around a table on Thanksgiving and been asked to share one thing you’re grateful for?For some, this is an easy request. “My job!” “My dog!” “My health!”

For others, this can literally be the reason they nearly faked a headache an hour before they were supposed to arrive. While it could simply be a fear of speaking in front of others, sometimes it’s that we’re subconsciously afraid to say what we’re grateful for. In a way, it’s like we’ll jinx it.

While we can’t do a whole lot for your stage fright, we can make quite a good case for expressing your gratitude (all year round.)

In this post, we’re chatting about the benefits of expressing gratitude as well as the gratitude practices we love.

Scroll down to learn more!

Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

#grateful is a thing for a reason. Just ask Robert Emmons Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.

His decades of research shows that actively expressing your gratitude:

  • Improves your outlook on life and makes you more optimistic
  • Increases your confidence and self-efficacy
  • Improves your relationship with a romantic partner, friend or family member
  • Helps you make new friends and connections
  • Promotes better physical health (stronger immune system, less pain, lower blood pressure)
  • Promotes better mental health (Can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • Decreases feelings such as envy, resentment and aggression
  • Increases empathy, generosity and compassion
  • Fosters resilience

As we continue to live in the chaos that is the 2020s, it’s never been more important to take care of our mental health. Keep reading to find out the gratitude practices we love.

Gratitude Practices We Love

Now that we know how powerful gratitude is when it comes to our mental and physical health, let’s talk about all of the ways you can cultivate it!

1.) Create a Gratitude Wall or Board

Seeing what you’re grateful for every day is a powerful thing. Try creating a collage on your wall or make a board (similar to a vision board) that allows you to stick photos, words or drawings of the things you’re grateful for.

2.) Keep a Gratitude Journal

One of the most fascinating studies Dr Emmons did was on journaling gratitude.

“In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.” (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

3.) Meditate

Meditation is a great way to consciously show love for the things you’re grateful for. While you can simply sit and do this silently, there are some fantastic guided meditation tracks on gratitude on apps like Calm and Insight Timer.

4.) Get a Gratitude Buddy

Sometimes you need an accountability partner! Try finding a friend or family member that you either call, text or email every day and mutually share 3-5 things you’re grateful for.

5.) Say it Out Loud

One of the best ways to consistently express gratitude is to make it part of your morning and/or evening routine. The minute your head hits the pillow or your feet hit the floor, express your gratitude audibly! You could also do this when you get in the car or get home from work!

6.) Write a Letter

If you’re particularly grateful for someone – tell them! Writing a letter of gratitude won’t just make your day – it will make the recipient’s too! Even if you don’t send it, the act of expressing your gratitude will still work wonders.

7.) Call a Friend

Nothing brings us more joy than someone calling to say they are grateful that we’re in their life. Honestly, it’s soul-soothing to feel that love. Try calling a friend (or family member) and letting them know that you’re so grateful that they’re in your life.

8.) Look in a Mirror

Self-love isn’t selfish. Take a moment to look at yourself and thank YOU for showing up everyday. Thank your smile, your eyes, your ears, your hands… thank everything about you.

9.) Make It (Another) Love Language

If you’re in a romantic relationship, let your partner know that you’re grateful for them and why. This can be emotional or physical aspects. It will deepen your bond and connection as well as your appreciation and respect for each other.

10.) Prayer

Perhaps the OG of gratitude expression, prayer is a beautiful way to consciously give thanks for the people, food, opportunities and experiences in your life.

Meet Bryony Body Yoga + Meditation Instructor: Veronica Woodlief

In 2017, Veronica was diagnosed with Panic Attack Disorder and PTSD. Searching for a way to soothe the anxiety, she committed to a 40-day Kundalini meditation practice and her life has never been the same. Veronica knew instantly that she wanted to become a teacher and share the benefits of this practice with others, which is why she chose to complete the Kundalini Research Institute’s 200 hour YTT.

Veronica’s goal is to empower students with practices that promote a sense of inner peace, balance in body, mind & spirit, and a strong sense of self. She strives to bring a grounded approach to esoteric spiritual concepts and yogic philosophy so they’re relatable and easy-to-understand. Off the mat, Veronica loves cooking vegan food, reading, and spending time on the beach with her husband and two dogs.

Click here to book a Bryony Body class with Veronica!

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Boo: The Scary Side of Wedding Makeup

While you may be thinking we’re about to show you a photographic essay of smudged lipstick, mascara-stained cheeks, and a face so bronzed you’d assume the bride was heading to a side gig as a Living Statue after her reception, we actually want to talk about the scary side of wedding makeup that you can’t see.

Did you know that in the US, the FDA has only banned or restricted the use of eleven chemicals in cosmetic products? When you compare this to the over 1,300 chemicals regulated by the EU, it kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

While the state of California recently signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act that banned an additional 24 ingredients in products sold there, at this point in time, it’s pretty much up to us as consumers to make sure what we’re putting on our skin is as safe as possible.

Why the concern? A lot of the EU’s 1,300 banned or restricted chemicals are linked to skin and respiratory allergies, and many of them are known endocrine disruptors and/or carcinogenic. (This means they’re going to mess with your hormones and potentially cause cancer.)

To help you find the safest cosmetics for your wedding day (and always), we’ll go over:

  • What chemicals you should avoid in makeup and why
  • How to know if your wedding makeup is safe
  • Where to find clean wedding makeup on the North Shore

Scroll down to learn more!

What Chemicals Should I Avoid In Makeup And Why?

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, you should avoid the following ingredients because they’ve been linked to endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and/or skin, eye and respiratory irritation. There are also concerns for bioaccumulation and ecotoxicity.

Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup

  • BHA & BHT
  • Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA AND OTHERS)
  • Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (such as Quaternium-15)
  • Lead
  • Parabens
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Talc
  • Triclosan

Click here to learn more about all the known chemicals and contaminants to avoid.

How Do I Know If My Wedding Makeup Is Safe?

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not as easy as reading an ingredient list because toxic chemicals are really good at lurking under confusing names. Furthermore, sometimes the chemical you’re trying to avoid is actually a contaminate from another chemical, so it won’t be listed… Sneaky, we know.

Don’t fret though! Since 1994, the amazingly wonderful Environmental Working Group (EWG) has been working diligently to shine a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment. While their work certainly covers the use of pesticides in food, the presence of forever chemicals in water and toxins in cleaning products, they also have a huge sector dedicated to finding safe cosmetics and personal care products.

In 2004, they actually launched EWG’s Skin Deep® cosmetic database which not only goes into detail on which chemicals you should be avoiding and why, but they also have a super easy to understand danger-rating system for nearly 70,000 products and 9,000 ingredients on the market.

Further to using their website tto learn more about what could be lurking in your makeup and wreaking havoc on your body, EWG also has a EWG VERIFIED™ certification that a product can hold.

What does the EWG VERIFIED™ mark mean?

“The EWG VERIFIED™ mark on a product indicates that the product meets EWG’s strictest standards for transparency and health.

EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain any ingredients on EWG’s “Unacceptable” list, which includes ingredients with health, ecotoxicity and/or contamination concerns.

EWG VERIFIED products must meet EWG’s standards for ingredient disclosure on the label; products with the VERIFIED mark are made by manufacturers that have been fully transparent with EWG about that product’s ingredients, including fragrance ingredients.

EWG VERIFIED product manufacturers must develop and follow current good manufacturing practices to further ensure the safety of their products.”

Click here to learn more about EWG and Skin Deep ratings here.

Where Can I Find Clean Wedding Makeup in the North Shore?

If you’re getting married on the North Shore and want clean hair and makeup services, you’ve come to the right place. At Bryony & Birch, we’re passionate about only using products that are kind to our bodies both outside and in.

When you book your wedding hair and/or wedding makeup with Bryony & Birch, you’ll get to choose from brands like RPM, Sachajuan, Mr. Smith, Color.Me by Kevin Murphy, and Cezanne.

Click here to learn more about the brands Bryony & Birch carries.

How Does a Year of Pre-wedding Bliss Sound?

Pretty good, right?

Planning a wedding is stressful! From trying to pick a venue to having to select a menu that caters to allergies, intolerances and religious practices, it takes up more headspace than you think!
As a collective of hairstylists, makeup artists, photographers and videographers who’ve been in the North Shore wedding game a long time, we’ve actually put our brains together to create the type of wedding prep package we know we’d want and need before our big day.
The Bryony Bridal Experience includes tailored packages with services like:

  • Health and fitness: yoga, personal training, reiki and crystal healing
  • Hair prep: color correction
  • Wedding party hair: bride, bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Makeup services: upon request
  • Customizable photo & video packages: engagement, ceremony and reception

It doesn’t matter if you live in Amesbury, Newburyport, or Boston, you can easily tailor a Bryony Bridal Experience to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about how we can give you a year of pre-wedding bliss!

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Introducing Bryony Body: The Exeter, NH Yoga Studio You Want To Know About

Bryony & Birch has expanded and we have a lot of feelings.

For starters, we’re feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the Amesbury community. For our collective to have experienced the growth that it has in the age of a global pandemic is a testament to just how many incredible humans call the North Shore home. You’ve shown up on our mats for yoga, in our chairs for hair, in our studio for photos and on our porch to celebrate and support local makers and shakers. Thank you.

While we feel like we still have so many more exciting things to come in Amesbury, our next step in evolving happens to do with one of our other favorite places in the world – Exeter, NH. As lovers of this quintessential New Hampshire town that’s just a quick 15 minute drive from the flagship Bryony & Birch studio, we’re thrilled to announce that we have taken over Yogasmith Yoga Studio and are introducing our first brick and mortar space solely dedicated to yoga, fitness and wellness.

Scroll down to learn more!

What is Bryony Body?

Bryony Body is where yoga, fitness and wellness intersect. Located at 175 Water Street in Exeter, New Hampshire, our light and airy yoga studio space offers yoga and fitness classes for all levels.

When Bryony & Birch Founder, Katie Cavic, first started conceptualizing Bryony Body, she knew she wanted it to be accessible, restorative, invigorating, and something that helps soothe and strengthen people holistically.

Katie and her fellow Bryony Body yoga and fitness instructors know that the mind, the body and the soul are all interconnected, which is why Bryony Body also offers treatments such as reiki and crystal healing, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. It doesn’t matter if you’re going there to center or sculpt, you’ll leave feeling guided, grounded and grateful.

Meet the Bryony Body Instructors + Therapists

Katie Kavic
Owner & Instructor

 

Jessalyn Hudgins
Studio Manager & Instructor

 

Tayla David
Studio Manager

 

Kiana Morano
Personal Trainer & Instructor

 

Jessica Benedetto
Instructor

 

Jessica Gutstein
Instructor

 

Carolyn Rubin
Instructor

 

Gail Picillo
Instructor

 

Sharon Gordon
Instructor

 

Jennifer Freeman
Instructor

 

Wilhelmina Bradley
Instructor

 

Allison Dugas
Instructor

 

Ankati Day
Instructor

 

Becky Kollmorgen
Instructor

 

Hannah Reed
Instructor

 

Veronica Woodlief
Instructor

 

Stacey Sargent
Instructor

Click here to learn more about Bryony Body’s yoga instructors here.

Where’s the Class Calendar for Bryony Body?

As people who love planning our days, weeks and months well in advance – we’ve got you covered!

Click here to view the Fall/ Winter Bryony Body class calendar.

Your First Bryony Body Class is FREE!

We’d love for you to come say hello and see what we do, which is why we are offering everyone their first class free of charge! Get in touch via yoga@bryonyandbirchstudio.com to book your free spot!

How do I Book Classes at Bryony Body?

The best way to book your Bryony Body class or wellness session is to head to Mindbody. There you’ll find our class calendar as well as payment and membership options for everything from Yoga Sculpt to 101 Personal Training Sessions.

With Bryony Body memberships starting from just $20 a month, we have options to suit those who want to do just in-person classes, just virtual classes or a mixture of both! We also adhere to the ‘try before you buy’ and ‘I’ve changed my mind for a moment’ ways of life, so you’ll find introductory trial memberships too.

3 Tips for Starting a Yoga Practice

We get it. Yoga can be intimidating.

For some people, it’s the quest of trying to reach their toes. For others, it’s the confronting thoughts they fear they’ll hear if they stop to be still throughout their day.

Here are our tips for starting a yoga practice.

#1 START SMALL
You don’t need to dive into a 90 minute power yoga session on Day 1. You don’t need to hold a pose for as long as your instructor said. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it’s your practice, your journey and your choice.

#2 EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS
Like pretty much everything in life, one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga. Just because you didn’t resonate with breathwork, doesn’t mean a more physical flow won’t accomplish your same wellness goals. Try out different classes and instructors.

#3 CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Gratitude exercises are a great way to stay positive when it comes to finances, your career and even your relationships. Don’t forget to count your yoga blessings too! For example: give thanks that you simply showed up, even if you didn’t want to.

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Getting Married on the North Shore in 2022? Here’s Inspo For Your New England Wedding

With so many historical homes, rustic woodland hideaways and sun-drenched shorelines, it doesn’t matter if your style is beach, barn or bohemian, the North Shore is the perfect backdrop for your dream wedding.

As an Amesbury, MA-based collective of wedding hairstylists, make-up artists, photographers, videographers, and yoga/fitness instructors, we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of couples looking for their most meaningful way to say I do.

From photographing intimate North Shore elopements to doing bridal hair and makeup for magazine-worthy destination weddings to helping local lovers celebrate their union with all the elements they’re looking for, we’ve witnessed countless ways to achieve authentic, emotive and unforgettable weddings.

We’ve also witnessed that a bride needs more than just some strong-hold hairspray on their big day, which is why we’ve created The Bryony Bridal Experience. Designed to give you a year of pre-wedding bliss, this customizable package covers everything from your health and fitness to your wedding hair to your wedding photography and videography.

If you’re planning a wedding in New England in 2022, you’ve come to the right place. While we’re based in Amesbury, MA (and highly recommend our little village for your wedding), we travel up and down the North Shore all year round to make wedding dreams come true.

Scroll down to learn more about:

  • Our Favorite North Shore Wedding Venues & Destinations
  • North Shore Wedding Hair & Makeup Looks We Love
  • North Shore Wedding Photography & Videography
  • The Bryony Bridal Experience

Our Favorite North Shore Wedding Venues & Destinations

Below are just a few of the New England wedding venues and destinations we are obsessed with.

The Mansion at the Hellenic Center
Wedding venue in Ipswich, MA
Photo Credit: helleniccenter.com

 

Hammond Castle Museum
Wedding venue in Gloucester, MA
Photo Creator and Credit: Scarlet Roots

 

The Oceanview of Nahant
Wedding venue in Nahant, MA
Photo Credit: oceanviewofnahant.com

 

Garrison Inn Boutique Hotel
Wedding venue in Newburyport, MA
Photo Credit: garrisoninn.com

 

Emerson Inn
Wedding venue in Rockport, MA
Photo Credit: emersoninnbythesea.com

 

Briar Barn Inn
Wedding venue in Rowley, MA
Photo Credit: Alicia Ann Photographie

 

White Cliffs Country Club
Wedding venue in Plymouth, MA
Photo Credit: Allegro Photography Inc.

 

Red Lion Inn
Wedding venue in Cohasset, MA
Photo Credit: redlioninn1704.com

North Shore Wedding Hair & Makeup Looks We Love

While it’s important to think about how you want your hair on your wedding day, don’t forget that getting the color you want and healthy hair can be a journey if you don’t have a good baseline! As part of the Bryony & Birch Bridal Experience, our hairdressers can provide color correction, take you on a gradual color change and provide the right treatments to have you looking your absolute best on your wedding day.

Scroll down to see our Bryony Brides!

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

North Shore Wedding Photography & Videography

While your wedding day may only last 12 hours, the photos and videos you capture will last a lifetime. Hands down our go-to North Shore wedding photographer is Kate Donovan! Not only does she offer engagement and wedding photography, but she also does family portraits as well as lifestyle and event photography. Needless to say, she’s the girl you want to capture every special moment in your life and we’re very please that she offers exclusive packages as part of the Bryony Bridal Experience!

Scroll down to see some of our favorite Kate Donovan wedding work.

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

Photo by Kate Donovan Photography

 

The Bryony Bridal Experience

Unless you’re someone who is as cool as a cucumber under high-stress situations, it’s likely that you’re stressed about your upcoming wedding. This is completely normal.

From the fear of offending someone with table seating allocation to wet-weather woes, it’s easy for your head to start spinning, your heart to start racing and your ability to enjoy the actual point of your wedding to dissipate.

The Bryony Bridal Experience is a hodgepodge of all the tried and trusted self-care wedding services in the North Shore we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing and delivering over the years.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Amesbury, Newburyport, or Boston, you can easily tailor a Bryony Bridal Experience to suit your needs.

Click here to learn more about how we can give you a year of pre-wedding bliss!

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Reiki + Crystal Healing to Treat Anxiety

On a scale of ‘I want to cancel all of my social plans’ to ‘I could really book an urgent appointment with a therapist. right now’,  how anxious do you feel at this current moment?

Are you stressed about COVID and the douche, Delta, they brought to the party?

Do you feel like you’ve committed yourself to too many work clients?

Is there a particular relationship you’re currently struggling with?

As a collective of people who are quite open about our struggles with anxiety, we’ll go first.

Right now, we’re sitting at about ‘Maybe a 12-minute meditation will help me be able to make it to 5 pm.’

To be completely honest, we’re stressed about a lot of things, but if we had to choose just one, we’d say it’s feeling emotional fatigue.

We are tired.

We’re tired of the roller coaster of emotions we experience every time another horrifying statistic or sad news story pops onto our feed. We’re tired of not being able to freely travel to see loved ones. We’re tired of worrying about how vulnerable a business is in the midst of a global pandemic. (And, of course, we’re tired of debating the need for vaccinations.)

While we might feel a bit stagnate right from time to time, we also know that we have the power to ease our anxiety and ramp up our energy levels! In the past, we’ve shared these 10 things you can do to manage your anxiety, but today we want to focus on reiki and crystal healing.

In this article, we’re sharing:

  • What reiki and crystal healing are.
  • Where to find reiki and crystal healing treatments in Amesbury, MA.
  • Signs you’re experiencing anxiety.

Scroll down to learn more!

What are Reiki and Crystal Healing?

What is Reiki?

According to the International Center for Reiki Training, ‘Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.’

What is Crystal Healing?

According to the School of Health, ​​‘Crystal healing is a holistic, non-invasive, vibrational energy-based system of healing. The technique uses precisely placed crystals either on and/or around the physical body. Crystals may also be laid in precise geometric patterns (grids) within the environment. Crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift and diffuse energy as they interact with the electromagnetic forces and subtle vibrations within the subtle human or environmental energy field.’

Even though they’re very much their own therapies, reiki and crystal healing are often used together to help overcome both mental and physical pain. While we’d love to have a bouncer inside of us making sure nothing but ‘good vibes only’ are entering, it’s simply not realistic. We’re not immune to workplace confrontations, miscommunication on a group chat or strain on a romantic relationship. We’re also not immune to injuries, especially as we get older.

When we’re not in an optimal emotional and physical state, it’s hard to think rationally, remain resilient and perform at the level we strive to. Whether we’re aware or not, we absorb so much of the world around us – the good, the bad and the ugly. We like to look at reiki and crystal healing as a bit of a detox and reset. When everything starts to feel a bit too much or we feel stuck, it’s energy work that always helps us find our breath and our flow.

Where to Find Reiki and Crystal Healing in Amesbury, MA

You’re in luck because at Bryony and Birch, we have a wonderful reiki and crystal practitioner, Jaimee Cardella from Wild Tribe Wellness, who is able to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Jaimee is passionate about helping to relieve pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Her work is also intended to enhance your quality of life, boost your mood and may improve some symptoms and conditions such as headache, tension, insomnia and nausea.

7 Signs You’re Experiencing Anxiety

When you’re in the trenches of life, it’s not always easy to pause to reflect on how you’re actually feeling. Below are just seven signs you may be experiencing anxiety.

  • You wake up and feel worried.
  • Throughout the day, you’re nervous or worried about something going wrong.
  • You find it difficult to ‘wind down’ at night.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You worry about past, present and/or future social interactions.
  • You have difficulty breathing when overwhelmed.
  • You feel lightheaded and agitated in certain situations.

Ready to book your reiki and crystal healing session at Bryony and Birch?

Click here to get in touch to book your reiki and crystal healing appointment.

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Bryony Bootcamp: Where Yoga & Strength Training Intersect in Amesbury

While some people may prefer a solo run or to pop in earbuds for a weights session, at Bryony & Birch, we’re all about group training.

For starters, we know how hard it is to find the motivation to even show up to a workout when you have a never-ending to-do list as well as the last season of that Netflix show you’ve been binging calling your name… When you commit to a class, you hold yourself accountable, which increases your likelihood of showing up and actually raising your heart rate, which increases your body’s production of happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin! Yew!

Second, group fitness is a great way to connect with people who are likely to value the same things you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Amesbury or simply looking for people who want to feel stronger and more centered, stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new group of individuals could be the exact energy exchange you’ve been looking for.

And third, there are loads of benefits of doing Bootcamp style classes:

Benefits of Bootcamp Workouts

  • More accountability (You’re more likely to show up AND work harder)
  • More variety in your workout (You’re less likely to get bored or plateau)
  • More bang for your buck (Designed to work your whole body while building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular fitness… basically: two birds, one Bootcamp)
  • More opportunities to socialize with people who encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle
  • More cost-efficient (They require less equipment to run the class.)
  • Can be done both indoors and outdoors (Keeps things exciting all year round!)

Scroll down to learn more about Amesbury’s Bryony Bootcamp and to book your first session!

What is Bryony Bootcamp?

At Bryony & Birch here in Amesbury MA, we’re lucky to have a lot of highly skilled personal trainers and yoga instructors. While we offer loads of yoga classes and personal training, one of our most popular offerings is the Bryony Bootcamp.

Bryony Bootcamp classes are designed for all levels of experience. Together, we focus on strengthening the core so we can more efficiently tone the rest of our bodies while protecting our spine.

As lovers of a full-body workout that mixes traditional calisthenics and bodyweight exercises with interval training and strength training, no class is ever the same and often brings in elements of yoga.

During the warmer months (and when weather permits, all classes are held at the Lower Mill Yard/Heritage Park.

Monday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Tuesday
6pm Power Yoga with Katie Cavic

Wednesday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
6pm Yoga Sculpt with Jessalynn Hudgins

Thursday
6pm Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Friday
7am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Saturday
8:30am Bryony Boot Camp with Kiana Morano
10am Vinyasa Flow with Jessalynn Hudgins

Sunday
10am Power Yoga with Jess Benedetto

Click here to book your spot!

Meet Bryony Bootcamp Trainer, Kiana Morano

As soon as Kiana Morano took her first steps, it was clear she was a natural-born athlete. Starting with gymnastics and then eventually gravitating towards lacrosse and volleyball, Kiana had an exciting athletic career right through college.

Today, she specializes in corrective exercises, strength training and most importantly- balance.

Kiana loves working with all people whether they are 8 or 80. By coaching them and showing them what confidence in the gym looks like and how it translates into confidence in life, she’s able not only to change a person’s physique, but also their mindset.

In fact, her favorite cue, which will be ingrained into each student’s head is, “Keep your chin up!”.

When Kiana isn’t in Tree Pose, she’s usually among the trees, hiking with her dogs Nala, Maverick and Ari.

Her goal for herself and others is to connect the mind and body so intimately that each person becomes a stronger, more grounded version of themselves.

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch Trainers

Bryony & Birch Studios Katie Cavic Teacher
Katie Cavic
Her Yoga M.O. – Smoothe, Sweaty & Challenging

Bryony & Birch Studio jessalynn Hudgins teacher
Jessalynn Hudgins
Her Yoga M.O. – Alignment & Posture

Bryony & Birch Jess Benedetto yoga instructor
Jessica Benedetto,
Her Yoga M.O. – Inclusive & Adaptable

Meet all of the Bryony & Birch yoga and wellness instructors here

Porch Fest 2021: Have Fun & Support Local

We officially kicked off our Porch Fest event series and are absolutely pinching ourselves!

Featuring live music, local food and beverages, small business pop-ups, a live art auction and raffle – we were able to raise money and awareness to sponsor local organizations and future artists initiatives!

When’s the next Porch Fest in Amesbury?

Aug. 20th, 2021 (rain date: Aug. 22nd)
Sept. 17th, 2021 (rain date: Sept. 19th)
Oct. 15th, 2021 (rain date: Oct. 17th)

Porch Fest is held right outside Bryony & Birch at 48 Main St. in downtown Amesbury. Click here for more information or to get involved!

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Looking for someone to shoot your brand photos, wedding or family portraits? Meet our Go-To Amesbury MA Photographer, Kate Donovan.

Heading to the North Shore for a mother-daughter trip? Here are Amesbury Activities to do with Mom.