Ever fancied trying out yoga? How about sound therapy, guided Reiki sessions or meditation?
Aberdeen’s newest city centre wellness studio in Chapel Street, Calm & Cool, offers all of this and more in its tranquil surroundings.
Designed by local architects Tinto Architecture, Calm & Cool’s mother-daughter owners, Donna Nicol and Sarah Nicol, believe that there’s nothing like their business in the Granite City at the moment.
Herbal teas, crystals and an eco store with various wellness products makes Calm & Cool a relaxing hub for its visitors.
Within a month of opening, it’s already been described as “a little piece of heaven in Aberdeen” by clients.
For Donna, she’s delighted to be realising her ambitions.
“I grew up in Aberdeen and had previously worked in finance throughout my career,” says Donna.
“We had a family oil business, which we sold four years ago.
“From then, I really got into wellness and holistic therapy in a big way.”
Travelling for inspiration
Looking for time out from the oil industry, Donna spent time travelling in various places around the world including Florida and London.
Wellness practices had never been a part of her life before, but with more time to reflect on her travels, her curiosity grew.
“I think it was just my instincts telling me that I’d love to give it a go,” says Donna.
“I got involved in a big way in training and learning about meditation, Yin yoga and sound therapy.
“My daughter did athletics school in Florida and when we came back from there, she also became very interested in doing some of the training as well.”
During the next few years, the pair spent more time training in Yin Yoga and other holistic practices in Edinburgh and other parts of the UK.
“What it has done internally is that it’s made me think about my life and who I am as a person,” Donna explains.
Without even knowing it, you just become a much calmer, less stressed person.
However, it was during lockdown when Donna and Sarah’s brainwave to run their own wellness studio happened.
Inspired to rise above the pandemic’s constrictions with Calm & Cool, the pair offered gift boxes during the festive period while architectural plans for its Chapel Street studio were drawn up.
It wasn’t until September this year when its doors officially opened, but Donna feels it’s been worth the wait.
“It’s been challenging because it’s a small studio space and we have to be clever with how we use it,” she says.
“But it’s also been really rewarding. The feedback that we’ve had from people, especially coming out of lockdown, has been great.
“After some of the classes, people do stay back and have herbal tea – it’s an open time to share, if they wish.
“I just think it’s a nice, safe environment for people to be themselves in.”
Calm & Cool’s classes are tailored to people from all walks of life.
From yoga classes on motherhood to sound journey meditation experiences, it’s this variety brought in by various experienced teachers that Donna feels has set the business off on the right foot.
“It’s been heartwarming to have such a mixed, varied audience,” says Donna.
“We like to join in on some of the sessions as well. Allan who does our sound journey classes take you into a blissful state of relaxation.
“He uses a gong, Tibetan bowls and takes you through a quiet, laid down meditation at the beginning. Then, you just tune into yourself with the vibrations of the sound.
“I came out of it feeling like a completely different person.”
Calm & Cool life
Calm & Cool’s experiences aim to extend beyond the studio.
Whether you’re new or experienced at wellness practices, its offerings are intended to make positive aspects throughout day-to-day life.
“We want people to learn new life skills in order for them to feel calm, without them even knowing that they’re doing it,” says Donna.
“Picking up how to breathe properly and quieten the mind via breathwork, meditation and movement is a big thing.
If you come across any challenging times in life, you can take some of the practices learned here into your life.
Its eco shop within the studio has a range of products designed to further extend the Calm & Cool experience.
Yoga mats, organically made t-shirts and self-development books are just a selection of what’s on offer.
Looking ahead, there’s set to be much more to come.
“We’d like to maybe hold friend gatherings for special occasions, which could offer people something different in a calm and cool experience,” says Donna.
“We’d like to branch out to corporate and GPs too, but just a slow, organic growth is the main thing at the moment.
“I feel really proud of ourselves… we’ve managed to put out what I’d always envisaged: a wholly mixed audience that have enjoyed our variation of holistic therapies.”
For more information on Calm & Cool, visit them online.