Forget all those resolutions that diminish you.
Resolve to be happier, healthier, and more open than ever before.
Sounds good, right? Well, I’ve got just the thing you should resolve to do to achieve those ends. Resolve to book yourself an appointment for Thai Yoga Massage at the Toro Holistic Health Center. I was completely unfamiliar with a thai yoga massage, but the team at Toro made me feel completely comfortable and at ease. Tatiana Toro, my masseuse and founder of the Toro Holistic Health Centre, was superb. When I left, I felt expansive and relaxed, almost as if I were levitating from my own positivity. Extraordinary! It’s my new mantra to everyone: go try this out. It will change your life.
Toro spa is a tiny oasis of luxury in one of the stately stone buildings near Rue McGill. I entered through the ground floor, where there was a quick intake with a form about my current health. I was given a quick walk through of the facility. Bright jewel-tone, floral colours, positive words, and an air of serenity that used wood, stone, and water, made me feel like I was in a tropical paradise, instead of a basement. I removed my shoes and took a seat on a plush cushion and admired the lightly eastern-touched decor. Everywhere I looked were warm, positive messages. “Take what you need,” a poster invited me, with tear off slips with words like “energy” and “balance” and “peace.” Books on the chakras and similar topics were around the space as was a beautiful glass water cooler and tea set.
Tatiana then met me. She’s a slip of a yogi with a healthy glow and a big smile. I could tell immediately that serving others in a way to improve their health and well being was her thing. It put me at ease. Later, I asked about her background — owning a Health Centre/Spa isn’t the same thing as being a practitioner. She’s a positive force you can trust; Tatiana has a Masters from the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy and is a Reiki master. It’s clear from just being around her that she lives her practice and has found her true calling in the Toro Holistic Health Centre.
Tatiana brought me to a “wall of words,” where I was invited to select one the plaques. I had choices like “joy” and “I believe in ___________.” Then she showed me to the massage space, where we did another intake and she explained more of how the massage worked. She asked me questions about any particular injuries or sore spots I had. She asked me about my general mood and my intention. Based on my responses, she created a profile for me of the kind of massage that would serve me best. For me, it was a grounding massage to keep me focused on the many creative projects that have me on the go. Music and scented oil added to the ambiance, but mostly I noticed the wall mural of the chakras.
I lay down on a yoga mat and Tatiana proceeded to put me into different passive yoga poses. Passive for me, that is. Tatiana did all the work, using her own body and weight to move me. For those familiar with yoga, the postures were things like balasana (child’s pose) and backbends. Only, unlike normal yoga, Tatiana could put me deeper into the poses than I could on my own. Once or twice, I wondered, “Can I actually do that? Do I really bend that much?” Apparently so. It seemed as if she could feel the precise point to take each stretch, compression, twist, and bend. The more I trusted her, the more my mind felt free to drift wherever it wanted, and images and colours filled my mind. By the end, I lay down in stillness as she performed a short Reiki session over me.
Afterwards, Tatiana served me tea and overviewed the experience with me. She reminded me to drink lots of water and take care of myself, something that never hurts to hear. I then had to slip into reporter mode and find out what makes this place radiate such positivity.
I asked Tatiana about some of the other services at the Toro Health Centre. There is a lengthy, diverse list of holistic services available. Massage therapy, Tui na massage, bach flower consultations, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, Reiki, yoga, osteopathy, meditation and spiritual counseling and cartomancy are all available. For the past few months, Tatiana and other members of the staff have offered a tip, a thought, or a bit of advice via youtube.
My experience was wonderful from start to finish. I recommend it for everyone with the complete conviction of a convert. If you don’t get a lot of time to slow down and focus on yourself, this is the way to do it. How can one properly care for others without caring for oneself first? After all, just like the safety information segment given on airplanes says, put the mask on yourself before assisting someone else.
If you want to make a resolution you will keep in 2016, book yourself an appointment at the Toro Health Holistic Centre. You’ll resolve to go back.
Toro Holistic Health Centre is located at 438 Rue Sainte Hélène. Services range from $15 (15 minute thai yoga massage by the water) to $90 for an hour of osteopathy. Where appropriate, insurance certificates are available. The centre is open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturdays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Call 514-940-0240 for an appointment. You can also book online HERE.