A UNIQUE WELLBEING CENTRE IN THE HEART OF BRIGHTON’S HISTORIC LANES AND A STONE’S THROW FROM THE SEA. ALOKA MEANS ‘THE LIGHT’, PARTICULARLY THE LIGHT ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR INNER WISDOM. ALOKA OFFERS A COMPLETE WELLBEING EXPERIENCE DEDICATED TO GIVING YOU PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT, UNDERPINNED BY THE AURA-SOMA COLOUR SYSTEM.
WORDS BY SAMANTHA SAMPLE, BE NATURALLYOU
When the invitation was presented to visit Aloka I naturally jumped for joy and packed my bags. I had been dreaming about spending a day at this Quality of Life Center ever since hearing about it – the organic/bio-dynamic vegetarian/vegan cafe, the raw food restaurant, the yoga studio, the beauty and body treatments, the Aura-Soma consultation, the crystal shop – what’s not to fall head over heels in love with.
My travel buddy (brother) and I are greeted in London by the lovely Shaun Sargent from Aura-Soma who kindly picks us up for the short drive down to Brighton. Over the journey I am educated about Aloka and Aura-Soma and inspired by the attention to detail and utmost love and intention infused in to all aspects of the company. We meander our way through the charming lane ways of Brighton to finally reach our destination. Walking though the doors of Aloka we are greeted with a beautiful warm welcome from Heather Renshaw, Aura-Soma Colour Care Consultant, and visual delights as my eyes veer to an alluring rainbow of Equilibrium bottles.
We retreat to the cafe for a freshly squeezed juice and to relax before the day of pleasure begins. Simply sitting in the cafe is a calming experience, and one that I would do daily as a morning ritual if I lived nearby. My first session is with Heather for an Aura-Soma Consultation, that can be described as a non-intrusive, self-selective soul therapy. This unique “soul therapy” that works with your spiritual and emotional wellbeing and which essentially moves you toward a deeper understanding of yourself, utilizes the visual and non-visual energies of colour, and the energies of essential oils, herbal extracts, crystals and gems, contained within 108 beautiful “Equilibrium” bottles that assist in opening the doors to the transformation of consciousness. Through a process of selecting the four Equilibrium bottles to which you are most drawn, allows a glimpse into your personality, what drives you, what holds you back and the gifts and talents you have. Taking home a chosen bottle after the consultation can bring about change, resolution and restore balance and harmony. I had experienced an Aura-Soma Consultation once before and was astounded at how pertinent the session was. One of the things I discovered was that I had not fully mourned and had more tears to release regarding an experience a number of years prior. So, 6 months down the track, here I was again presented with the beautiful rainbow of Equilibrium bottles wondering what they might help me with this time. Once again, it was a deeply moving experience that has undoubtedly assisted in my emotional and spiritual growth.
Immediately after my session with Heather I am guided in to the adjacent room for “the Equilibrium Experience” full body massage with Angie. The room is filled with the positive energy of my chosen colour (from the previous session) using one the Aura-Soma Air Conditioners. This helps me to let-go and drift away into the treatment. In addition, Angie also uses my personal choice of Equilibrium bottle within the treatment. The active ingredients in the Equilibrium bottle (the colour, essential oils, herbal extracts and crystal energies) are added to the massage oil to support my treatment. All I can say is wow… what a massage! I am still drifting away with thoughts of bliss at the memory of my hour and a half of relaxation. I am officially in a little bubble of hedonistic delight.
Having a desire to remain in this state I make my way downstairs to the cafe to meet up with my brother and indulge in a plate of the most delicious vegetarian and vegan food that I have ever sunk my teeth in to. Being vegetarian for over 15 years, vegan for the past year, and a lover of cafes I have certainly eaten my way through a fair share of “health food” eateries all over the world. Aloka Cafe is up there with the best of them. All dishes are made with fresh, local, seasonal, organic and bio-dynamic ingredients, with a portion being supplied by their own Demeter certified bio-dynamic farm. The cafe is a beautiful supportive element to the Day Spa that further enhances the nurturing experience.
Was it just me? I’m very well aware that I’m very open to soul therapy and anything that is a little bit alternate, so I was particularly eager to hear my brother’s response to the consultation. All it took was one look at him and I knew it had struck a deep chord within. I couldn’t help but giggle. Here’s his description … imagine receiving a consultation with a spiritual healer, clairvoyant and psychologist delivered in the manner of a gentle, soft, nurturing cotton wool ball. I guess it’s just one of those things that you’re going to have to try for yourself to fully appreciate.
After we finish up lunch, chat about how amazing we feel and still not wanting to disrupt our state of bliss, we make my way downstairs to the crystal shop where two giant 220kg amethyst crystals are displayed. So fascinating, they keep us captivated as the minutes tick by! Another highlight, hanging on the walls of Aloka, is the beautiful artwork by Mike Booth, Chairman of Aura-Soma. Truly unique, Mike uses Aura-Soma paint additives in his works. As you can imagine, the colour combinations that Mike paints with are spectacular to say the very least.
Ready to be pampered again I make my way upstairs for a “Heaven on Earth” facial with Krystyna. I have been told that this is the ultimate 90 minute experience of pure heaven. A luxurious and nourishing treatment using AEOS – Active Energised Organic Skincare and Aloka’s gentle touch technique with my chosen Aura-Soma Equilibrium bottle. Relaxing, soothing and once again pure bliss. I personally think that the star feature of the facial was the gold AEOS Herbal Face Mask that gently rests on the face so that the blend of flowers and herbs including Roses, Witch Hazel and Rosemary infused with warm water are able to actively refresh and hydrate the skin. Do I feel pampered or what!
I head back down stairs to the cafe and lose myself in a book whilst sipping on a cup of herbal tea. The Aloka experience is not, however, complete without returning back upstairs to the vegan and raw food restaurant that won them the highly coveted Vegetarian Society UK’s Best Eating Out Award in 2010. The judges describe the restaurant as “A fresh experience in dining out. The menu is raw, vegan, inventive and delicious. This is a landmark eating establishment in Brighton.”
At a point when I thought my Aloka experience couldn’t get any better, I am mistaken. I start with flax crackers and a selection of dips that melt in my mouth. Next up is the Botanical Living Special – garden vegetable burger, raw onion flat bread, tomato, cucumber pickles, homemade sundried tomato ketchup, wild garlic aioli and kale chips. Let me point out .…this is no ordinary burger. It’s a party in your mouth! For the ending, I couldn’t resist treating myself to the Chocolate Layer Terrine. The perfect finish to the perfect day.
I will be back here, for certain!
Note: One Aloka experience that I didn’t get the chance to enjoy was the Yoga Studio. I hear it is a must. Check out their session times online here