By Chandley G. Jackson
Tucked in the heart of Kapa‘a is a meeting place for all people with vast arrays of interests. A place to gather, relax, inspire, move, heal, teach and learn. The Golden Lotus Studio has been in business since 2011, offering a broad range of mind and body bending classes.
Various healers, dancers and artists come from all around the world for retreats, workshops, concerts and more. What originated as a place to teach the art of massage flourished into a multi-faceted space to come together as a community.
Isabelle and Rod Fisher have been practicing massage on Kaua‘i for more than 25 years, and they pass along that knowledge to massage students each year in their training courses for Hawai‘i Massage Therapy state licensing.
In nine months, a pupil is gifted with the art of healing. This apprenticeship is unique in that the schedule allows those who work a day job to attend. The evening and weekend set-up has granted the opportunity of licensure to many who otherwise may not have the chance. As Isabelle says, the courses offer different modalities, so students are ready to be hired at a spa right after earning their certificate.
Reflexology, lomi lomi, Thai, hot stone, cranial-sacral, myofascial — these are all covered in the Golden Lotus massage groundwork. Upon completing the full course, students receive quality wisdom in the ways of massage.
Isabelle also teaches a Nia class during the week. A smooth and graceful way to get a workout, it combines dance, martial arts and healing movement to generate an energizing flow. The heart gets beating in this cardio cardio dance workout, as the mind joyously connects with the body. This dance can be done at whatever pace suits the individual. Different levels throughout the session are gently demonstrated by the instructor as she teaches the moves. Enchanting world beat music promotes elegance in this fun practice.
Another offering at the studio that has been there since its beginning is the bliss that is Ecstatic Dance. Total freedom of bodily motion opens up all possibilities during this electric proliferation. Mind is cleared as spirit soars with fellow movers and groovers in this safe space to be completely oneself.
As regular attendee Ken puts it, “Young kids want to play and let it all out; Ecstatic Dance takes you back to a time when you can do these things, be free, not worry about what anybody thinks, because they’re doing it too.” Upbeat music keeps the energy soaring for the entire two hours of pure dance.
“Complete freedom,” says Ken, “That’s the amazing thing. Complete freedom to do anything you feel like doing in the moment.”
Daniel Nelson provides Classical Ballet lessons at the studio. Having danced with the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, he shares this delicate expertise here on Kaua‘i.
“It is an artform passed on for hundreds of years from teacher to student. It feels rich to me to pass on such an ancient lineage,” Daniel said.
Some classes are private and some are open; people are free to drop into open classes. His students will be performing The Nutcracker in December. Visit balletkauai.net for more information.
Other such opportunities at the Golden Lotus include Sudeeka Belly Dance, Vinyasa Yoga with JoElla, Wing Chun with Michael, Aerial Yoga with Wendi, and the list goes on.
Golden Lotus Studio is at 4-941A Kuhio Hwy in Kapa‘a, off a driveway just north of Kaua‘i Pasta.
Visit goldenlotuskauai.org or call 823-9810 for a full schedule or more information.
- Chandley G. Jackson is inspired by the beauty of this planet and the human connection. She is a writer who has traveled to many parts of the world, and now calls the Garden Isle her home. She can be reached at email@example.com.