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A healthy living website manifests its mission with a wellness center


(Photo: Sonima Wellness Center)
(Photo: Caitlin Steuben)

More and more people are trying to make ancient yoga wisdom (and its benefits) applicable to a modern audience who can’t be untethered from phones and laptops. And the just-opened Sonima Wellness Center, appropriately located in the laid-back beach town of Encinitas, California, is one of them.

Started by yogi-philanthropist Sonia Jones (the wife of hedgefund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones) and entrepreneur Salima Ruffin—who also created the healthy living website Sonima.com—the center brings it all to life with group fitness and meditation classes and personalized coaching services of the kind you’d expect at a destination spa. “What’s important to us is a sense of community around wellness,” says Ruffin, who sees the center as an extension of their mindfulness mission offline and in the world.

To that end, there are fitness classes (mostly yoga with a few dance classes and boot camps), meditation sessions (Deepak Chopra led one at the grand opening), and even a class focused solely on aligning the body—good news if you spend most of your day starting at a computer screen reminding yourself to sit up straight. And this isn’t Jones’ first time at the wellness center rodeo—she helped create the now-shuttered Jois Yoga studios in the United States.

Life-change programming gets a lot of attention here, with workshops and cooking demos, but a draw might be the one-on-one wellness consultations, during which health coaches create a plan for you to make improvements, overcome challenges, and more.

If you’re serious about implementing their advice (and why would you be here if you weren’t?), you can work with the coach in a four-, six-, or eight-month program, meeting them in person as well as touching base weekly over the phone or on email. Read: failure is not an option.

And since it wouldn’t be a complete wellness experience if there weren’t cold-pressed juices to be found somewhere, the Sonima Wellness Center also has a cafe, and the menu includes organic juices, superfood smoothies, and food sourced from local growers. “We want people to hang out at our cafe and not only eat well but also share ideas about optimal health. We support the journey,” says community-minded Ruffin.

She also supports reality and its demands—the cafe has Wifi, so you can get out a few work emails and really clear your mind before hitting the meditation pillow. —Sari Anne Tuschman

For more information, visit www.sonimawellnesscenter.com