If you stop and think about it, things went a little bit fast and furious in the last ten years. The 2010s was the decade for extreme and accelerated changes, including the rise of fasting and keto diets, 8 new iPhones, self-learning almost anything -thanks to Youtube tutorials-, easy access to the life of the famous and privileged and the complete elimination of privacy. Now, the 2020s are ahead of us and promising a list of trends that will contrast with those of the past decade, forcing us to slow down and ACTUALLY enjoy the ride. We will be seeing more of self-care rituals, meditation, therapy, CBD, mental health awareness, personalized beauty and healthy routines, and hopefully more environmental consciousness.
With this mindset, I cannot think of a better person to talk with for my first article of the year in collaboration with Beauties. Today’s Beauties Talks Beauty With features Natalie Kakon. It’s not only regarding beauty but also wellness. She is the co-founder of ELMNT Studio and described as “a magical woman” by friend Marie-Philippe Jean. I’ve personally decided to call her “the wellness guide”.
Natalie graduated in Psychology (B.A.) and has completed her 500 hours Yoga Teacher Training, a 300 hours Yoga therapeutics program as well as a certificate in Massage Therapy completing all 6 levels of Thai Yoga Massage. That’s not all, she has a certificate in Mat Pilates, Schwinn and Stages Cycling and she has created her own signature style of movement. She loves the balance between Eastern and Western medicine, so she has studied Reflexology, Meditation, Chakras, Voice workshops, Biochemistry, and many Neuroscience classes. Her most recent project ELMNT Studio is opening up soon at a special location and later this month they will be opening a third studio in Griffintown. Along with the co-founder, they have designed a set of special classes such as Science of Breathing, Psychology, and Alignment, Asana deconstructed Restorative and Mindful Strength and Core Intelligence which was designed exclusively by her. In addition to the opening of the second and third Studios, Natalie started an initiative called The Safe Circle, where women can openly discuss many themes with honesty and authenticity.
If you are wondering how she does it all, keep on reading as we get inside her thoughts on beauty, wellness, exercise, slowing down, and being more inclusive.
Which beauty and wellness trends did you love the most in 2019 and what are some trends that you expect to get more popular in 2020?
Seeing more diverse body shapes as fitness role models infiltrating the industry. Stepping away from societal standards and addressing that pressure to look a certain way in order to prove that you’re fit and healthy. Getting fit for aesthetics is gone- I think it’s a new world of getting fit for mental and physical health and well being. That wave is tidal! Releasing expectations of aesthetics, promoting healthy bodies and loving our body for all that it does for us! Walking into clothing stores and seeing plus sizes! It’s inclusivity in every way. Inviting each person's unique expression to come alive! For this new project, I’ve created so many signature classes simply by allowing my mind and body space to explore new movements. I’m so excited to see where that goes!
How does your usual day look like, and what is something you’d like to change/improve this year? Do you start with a self-care and beauty routine?
My usual day starts with walking and cuddling with my pup. Make a delicious cup of coffee. Grab my journal and put down some thoughts/feelings/sensations. Create playlists and to-do lists for the day from high priority to low priority. Pack up some food for the day and head out to work. Teaching, managing, writing emails, and going to meetings. In the evenings, my beauty self-care cravings are indulged - BATH TIME is my favorite time - it means unwinding from my hectic day of wearing all my different hats. A time to self soothe - I use ELMNT bath salts, and light some candles. Depending on what kind of mood I’m in, it’s a book or some really good soul music to relax too. After my bath time ritual, I usually have a self-movement practice that ends with rolling on the floor, using Yoga Tune Up® Balls to get my body ready for bed.
What are your best tips to get in synch with the new ways: wellness, meditation. slowing down?
We can slow down by simply taking a deep breath. Paying attention to your breath goes a long way. Also, find a community that accepts, uplifts and inspires you. Because, non-judgment and the freedom to really be who you are, I believe that’s the purest form of well-being.
How does ELMNT Studio implement these new wellness and self-care trends into the classes?
At ELMNT we believe in diversity and innovation. We have designed our Signature Classes and Spin Classes to offer a range of styles of movement that welcome people from any background, level of experience, and or body-type to feel safe to explore themselves through movement. We have an incredibly diverse team of teachers which holds space and embody the ELMNT Philosophy of authenticity, empowerment, and freedom of expression. Through our teacher training program, we share our unique tools for holding space, ensuring classes are led with body neutrality, ungendered forms of instruction creating a more inclusive space for our community.
We have intentionally designed all our studios to uphold our values and educate around gender neutrality, body positivity, self-care, and respect for others. We have a wall of “rules of conduct” in our space. For example, no phones allowed. Putting away your phone and disengaging from social media means you are showing up for yourself and discover what’s inside.
The design of our schedule aims to be as accessible as possible, with ClassPass, our own implementation of sliding scale access at Griffintown.
We have designed specific classes to serve marginalized communities to have a safe space to connect and engage with movement practices. I come from a Jewish multi-cultural background and even when I felt like an outsider or that I didn’t belong…I knew that they were always behind me supporting me. We grow stronger when we have people that support us. And, that’s what I want to give back at ELMNT Studio: that strong sense of community. A community that shows up. It’s our social duty.
Giving closure to the past decade, what do you expect in the next 10 years?
More sacred spaces of healing. To change the vocabulary around fitness and create a movement to FEEL. To understand and invite people to get to know their own unique expression, what makes them who they are. Invitations for people to unlock what keeps them hidden, so they can find FREEDOM IN EXPRESSION! Stepping away from a beauty standard, seeing more variety, shapes, and sizes. Moving away from gender profiles and welcoming androgyny. Less segregation of locker rooms/ bathrooms/ saunas. More welcoming spaces. More sex-positive publicity. And the welcoming of fusion practices!
We want to thank Natalie for this fresh wave of inspiration. She has inspired me to be the best version of myself, to move and move others, but also to slow down and enjoy the view. We encourage you to do the same at ELMNT Studio and take advantage of their pre-sale promos!