Imagine a space where people of color can come together to heal their mind, body and soul. Sounds serene, doesn't it? In the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, a new wellness studio and cafe sublimely exists for Black people to congregate and practice their desired lifestyle of self-care. HealHaus, created by Elisa Shankle and Darian Hall, offers daily classes of yoga, meditation and contemporary workshops in exploring all aspects of healing and expression.
In addition to their eclectic classes, HealHaus curates an in-house wellness cafe serving "teas, smoothies, elixirs, and a variety of tasty vegan & gluten-free baked goods for sale daily." Beginning today, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with HealHaus to bring you Queens a 7 Day Smoothie Challenge equipped with delicious smoothie recipes courtesy of HealHaus — join us on this exciting journey of stackin' nutrients and improving energy!
To quote the ever-reigning ethos of HealHaus, healing is a lifestyle. For more information on how to fulfill your holistic pursuit of superior health and wellness, visit HealHaus' website.
Check out our exclusive interview with HealHaus co-founder, Elisa Shankle, below.
21Ninety: What inspired you and Darian Hall to create HealHaus?
Elisa Shankle: After seeing a lack of inclusivity from race to gender in the wellness sphere, both Darian and I knew we needed to create a space where everyone is welcome. At HealHaus, we’ve combined diverse healing modalities and practitioners under one roof to provide people with an inclusive space focused on holistic health and wellness. We are committed to building a community that is dedicated to changing the stigma attached to healing.
21N: For those interested in enrolling in classes or becoming a member, what can they expect to gain from committing to Heal Haus?
ES: A sense of awareness and healing through community. Our mantra is: come as you are and find what is healing to you. We don't try to push a certain agenda, wellness is individualized, and we hold space for you to seek that within yourself through our daily yoga and meditation classes, private sessions, and workshops. There are many different healing modalities to explore, and our hope is that something resonates with each person.
21N: In your opinion, why is it important to dedicate time towards healing the mind, body and soul?
ES: It's important because without balancing all parts of our being, something will always feel disconnected. A lot of people are conscious that they have a body and a mind, but often during the day to day forget to make sure they are aligned. Synching all aspects of our mental, physical, and spiritual health contributes to our overall health and well-being.
21N: Can you please briefly describe your wellness journey and how you aligned yourself with who you are today?
ES: It all started in my early 20s when I did not know how to express what I was feeling, and through my own self-realization (with help of course) I was able to pinpoint I have depression and anxiety. Working a corporate job and having panic attacks in the bathroom wasn’t going to cut it, so I set out to heal myself naturally. I stress naturally, because the pharmaceutical route was never an option, though it’s absolutely fine to be that for others. I ended up seeing a naturopathic doctor to understand how through food and medicinal herbs I could heal myself. I learned a lot from that experience and started diving more in to my own personal knowledge of plant medicine, and started sharing remedies with my friends and family to heal themselves. For example, I got my grandma on hibiscus tea to manage her high blood pressure and something so small does wonders. I started to ask myself, why is this knowledge not available to my community? Why is my community dying slowly relying on pharmaceuticals and sticking to the narrative that we just don’t talk about our mental and physical health. We just suck it up and figure it out. From that point forward, I have always engaged in holistic and alternative healing and knew some way I was going to facilitate community healing.
21N: Of the assortment of smoothies you shared with 21Ninety, which is your favorite to indulge in?
ES: Mint Chip
21N: What prompted you to pick the ingredients, that you did, for each smoothie?
ES: We actually worked with a chef on all of the smoothies. We wanted to include recipes that felt relatable yet healthy, hence names like The Cobbler.
Video: Donovan Johnson / 21Ninety
21N: As an entrepreneur, what is the most rewarding aspect you’ve experienced since opening Heal Haus?
ES: Seeing people experience their own healing in real time and being a part of it.
21N: Do you aspire to launch Heal Haus in different cities across the country?
ES: Absolutely! We have big plans of opening multiple spots nationwide in LA, DC, Atlanta, and perhaps even globally.
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