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At Rest with Randi Ragan

by Sandra Ramani

“It all starts with the question, ‘How am I going to treat myself?’” says Randi Ragan, founder of the LA-based GreenBliss EcoSpa, when asked about living a green life. “Once we recognize that everything—from beauty to relaxation—flows from our inner health, it makes sense to live in the cleanest way possible and pay attention to what we’re putting in and on our bodies. But,” she continues, “it’s also about intention. The goal should be to transform into somebody with a purpose, and when that happens, there’s a wonderful ripple effect. Practicing ‘enlightened self-care’ ultimately becomes about something bigger, and affects how you live, work, and interact with your community.”

For Ragan, a seasoned yoga and meditation instructor (and former documentary filmmaker), the transformation took place several years ago when, already “heading down a green path,” she noticed that there weren’t many places in Los Angeles at the time that put an eco-slant on wellness and spa services. After looking into the idea of opening a spa, she decided to forgo a traditional brick-and-mortar location in favor of bringing the lifestyle directly to her clients. Catering to individuals, groups and even corporations, the 100-percent mobile (and celebrity favorite) GreenBliss EcoSpa offers single services like massage, facials, yoga, and alternative therapies, and also organizes green spa parties and business events using all-natural products.

As her business took off, Ragan (who’s married to a massage therapist) slowly made green-minded changes in her own life, replacing the flooring in her house, switching to natural fibers and non-toxic cleaning products, driving a converted-diesel car, and creating a pesticide-free kitchen garden. With her clients, though, Ragan encourages making what changes you can “in the simplest way possible, because in simplicity is beauty.”

What are some tips you give clients on relaxation and stress-relief?

Most stress has us spinning out of ourselves—stress happens when we’ve let someone or a situation take over—so circle back to you. To help work through an immediate situation, understand how to manage your breathing, and incorporate some quick acupressure and self-massage techniques, like tapping on the indentation between the throat and the chest, that help promote calm and relaxation.

Any lifestyle suggestions?

The one that most clients fight me on is to be truly alone for some part of each day—no phone, no email, no music. You have to be alone with yourself, because it’s in those moments that transformation takes place, but when you are avoiding that relationship with yourself and filling life with noise, the message can get lost. For me, the best place to be alone is in nature. Nature is our last refuge, and to be in it is restorative. Get out and connect with it in some small way—a hike, a walk, whatever. If you never live in nature, why should you care about saving it?

Along the same lines, if you have sleep issues, unplug before bed—don’t watch TV, read emails, or check in on the mayhem of the world. Instead, read poetry, look at the stars or city lights, and really prepare your mind for sleep. www.greenblissecospa.com

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