By Chandley G. Jackson

Golden Lotus Studio in Kapa‘a, a place for people from all walks of life to gather.

Rod and Isabelle Fisher are seen here doing a demonstration during a massage course. Photo 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.

Golden Lotus. Photo by Chandley G. Jackson

Golden Lotus Studio in Kapa‘a, a place for people from all walks of life to gather. Photo by Chandley G. Jackson

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.