WESTCHASE — If the thought of yoga conjures images of headstands and all things super skinny, then you have never heard of Green Locus Yoga.
The new Westchase yoga studio opened in October and strives to make yoga more accessible to everyday people. Located at 9564 W Linebaugh Ave., in the Westchase Town Center, Green Locus offers yoga classes to all members of the family, including mom, babies and children. The studio tailors the classes to fit the participant's level of engagement.
For example, the kids yoga class is more playtime than structured yoga, taking young ones through a series of playful poses that promote wellness while encouraging kids to connect with themselves.
Before opening Green Locus, owner Melissa Irvine had a job in finance. "And it was hard to be healthy," she said.
Now, with more than seven yoga instructors at Green Locus, Irvine is poised to change that perception for others. All of her instructors are Yoga Alliance Certified, an industry standard.
Green Locus' location in the Westchase Town Center makes it a neighbor to some of the area's most popular destinations for a range of ages, including My Gym and World of Beer.
"When we opened at the time there were only one or two small studios here," Irvine said. "We really liked the location."
Green Locus yoga classes are offered seven days a week and usually include between 10 and 12 people. A drop-in class is about $15 or you can pay $50 for five classes.
"We have an environment of appreciating people where they're at," Irvine said. "We're trying to create a community so people get the benefit of it without feeling intimidated."
In addition to the yoga classes, Green Locus strives to improve its clients' diets by offering an organic food delivery service, Tampa Bay Organics. Customers can order organic items and pick them up from the yoga studio or have them delivered to their home. A portion of their payment for the goods goes to charity.
"It goes with taking care of your body," Irvine said. "The whole picture of what we do with our bodies is just as important as what we put into our bodies."
On Veterans Day, Green Locus will offer free classes to veterans.
Green Locus Yoga and Organics is open seven days a week. Visit www.greenlocusyoga.com for class times or call (813) 444-8394.
Spa has a way with beauty
When Patricia L. Zamora-Asencio and her husband, Julio, opened their Carrollwood spa in late 2012, they wanted it to become a one-stop place for all things beauty. Now, a little more than a year later, the couple is seeing their vision come to reality.
Located at 14358-B N Dale Mabry Highway, Azul Nails Waxing and Beauty specializes in eco-friendly spa services, including no-fume nail services, massages, facials and waxing. True to its name (azul means blue in Spanish), the salon features cool blue walls and hardwood floors, and customers are greeted with the scent of fresh linen while relaxing jazz plays.
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Since opening the spa, the couple, who hail from New York, have expanded to provide high-tech services as well. For example, clients can enjoy a facial made of organic ingredients and then receive an infrared fat-burning wrap and sweat away 1,000 to 1,500 calories. Hydro facials and chemical peels are also available.
The combination provides for a holistic, but modern, approach to beauty.
"We've grown a lot," Patricia said. "And we're really proud and happy."
The couple is no stranger to the skin care business. They operated a spa in New York before relocating to Tampa. Bringing their business acumen and attention to customer service seems to be paying off in Carrollwood.
Social media followers of Azul's Facebook page leave comments praising the staff and frequently post photos of unique nail art done at the spa.
"We've really been focused on customer service," Patricia said. "It's been all about customer service and word of mouth."
Azul is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Visit azul-beauty.com.