In the Press

Serving Total Health

Health Spa Napa Valley and star chef Cindy Pawlcyn cook up a program to reduce stress and shed pounds.

Full article below as printed in American Fitness, March/April 2005

With a star chef reputation, a hot new Napa Valley restaurant and a recent James Beard Award, Cindy Pawlcyn had everything – including an extra 20 pounds and a stress level you could cut with a knife. In 2003, this chef and owner of Napa’s beloved Mustards Grill and the new Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, found her greatest aspiration was finding a better recipe for managing her own personal wellness. And the key ingredient in her success was Health Spa Napa Valley.

Both physically demanding and mentally taxing, the rise to the top of the culinary field is grueling, requiring a certain selfless dedication. “I reached a certain point where I needed a change, where I recognized I really needed to focus on me, ” says Pawlcyn. That’s when she turned to Health Spa Napa Valley for help. Combining both the sanctuary of a day spa with a modern state-of-the-art fitness facility, Health Spa Napa Valley is able to extend benefits often only achieved at destination spas – including pioneering “executive” programs that trade pampering for personal goals. For Pawlcyn, this translated into a unique Eastern-inspired one-on-one training program designed to help counter stress and slim down – permanently.

A Personalized Program

Arjuna, a certified yoga and meditation instructor and one of the spa’s principal fitness professionals, began the quest for personal balance with Pawlcyn “working from the inside out.” Arjuna points out, “You need to work from the heart space. Once people begin experiencing a new energy – of their own making – they want to dig deep and do more because this is a much more mindful approach, clients find it surprisingly more sustainable…more actionable.”

Mindful Training

With 16-hour days de regueur for Pawlcyn, Arjuna designed a “Soul Workout” program making the most of her limited time. Critical to Pawlcyn’s life changes, Arjuna included the soulful elements of centering and quieting, breathing techniques and yoga postures in every workout.

Another vital component to Pawlcyn’s success included a weekly therapeutic massage to help quicken her muscle recovery and enhance the soulful experience. At the final phase, Arjuna helped Pawlcyn learn to eat for health and energy, which included eating more “live” foods (fruits and vegetables) and “light” food (simple proteins, clear soups.)

“People come to a spa wanting to get in shape – to look good,” explains Arjuna. “Our goal is to look beyond that…to look out for their best and highest interest. We replace ego-based goals with true awakenings including knowing they need to train – and respect – their true selves. From this ‘soul workout’ approach, people gain total health – emotionally, mentally and spiritually – which is much more profound and life-altering.”

The Result

Pawlcyn says working with Arjuna and Health Spa Napa Valley has influenced every area of her life. “Much like a general in a military, the chef is the leader o the pack,” remarks Pawlcyn. “If the top is not right, everything else fails as well – there simply is no room for slack. That’s why having my mind and body in the right place is key.” With a noticeable bounce in her step, and a newfound vitality in all she endeavors to do, Pawlcyn has truly created her greatest recipe ever – the one for personal wellness.

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