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HealHaus’ Co-Founder Elisa Shankle speaks to healing at home

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Living in a bustling city like New York City can lead to feeling disconnected and burnt out. That’s where HealHaus, a modern wellness space in Clinton Hill comes in. This neighborhood treasure has everything you need to feel at peace and start healing your mind and spirit: yoga classes, meditation sessions, stress reduction workshops, and even a lavender matcha elixir. HealHaus offers a calming, judgment-free space for those looking to reconnect, take a moment of silence, or just enjoy a smoothie with a friend.

We came across HealHaus when opening our nearby homes, Common Classon and Common Grand. In order to help our members feel less overwhelmed with living in the city, Common provides free yoga classes, baking workshops, and other community events. So, when we found out about Heelhaus, we were immediately drawn to its mission. 

We spoke to HealHaus‘ Co-Founder Elisa Shanke and spoke to her about “Healing 101.” Here are her best tips on how anyone can create a safe space at home, even while living with suitemates. 

About Elisa

Hi! My name is Elisa Shanke, and I am the Co-Founder of HealHaus. I moved from North Carolina to Brooklyn, New York to pursue my dream of studying Interior Design and Architecture at Pratt Institute. Upon graduating and working at design firms for over two years, I knew my path was going to be starting my own thing. I have been an entrepreneur now for 8 years working as the principal designer for my firm — Simplexity Designs — doing commercial and residential interior design and architecture. Even though my love for design runs deep, I recently leaped again by taking a break from design and focusing solely on the expansion of my mission and purpose: HealHaus.

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About the healing process

What are people’s biggest misconceptions about meditation, yoga, and other practices at HealHaus?

Often times people like to say things like, “I can’t meditate, I have too many thoughts running through my mind” or “I am a beginner in yoga, what will I be able to do?” The biggest misconception with meditation is that there is a formula on how to meditate.

Meditation is simply being and allowing yourself to wander if you need to, surrendering to your thoughts, and letting go of this projected idea of  “perfect” meditation practice. We have many different styles and levels of yoga and meditation, there is something for everyone at HealHaus. We focus on the newcomer, and it is crucial they don’t feel intimidated and judged. It’s a completely judgment-free zone.

 

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What are your best tips for beginners in starting their healing process?

I like to always say that the first step to healing is self-awareness. There is a lot of pressure in mainstream wellness to try all of the things when really, we should be tuning in to ourselves to explore what is healing for us as individuals. I cannot tell someone what is going to work for them directly, but I can say to come to HealHaus and explore what it may be for you.

Some tips I use for myself are daily rituals including meditation and oracle card readings in the morning. I try to journal when I can to get things on paper, reach out to my therapist when I need additional mental health support, and lastly, lots of sleep. ☺ 

About healing at home

How do you create a “safe space” at home that is conducive to healing?

A lot of people put off ‘designing’ their homes, or at the very least making it feel like home for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because of the temporary feeling of apartments in NYC and possibly moving out, or out of the need for perfectionism: “I don’t want to start until I can do it the way I want to.” Doing the little things to make sure you feel at peace when you come home is important.

Personalize your room at the very least to some extent. Remove clutter, make sure the energy is clear, and add notes that bring love and light into your space. Often clutter can contribute to stress, so try to keep your room as organized as you see fit. Additionally, cleansing your space with plant material that detoxes your room is a go-to. I love peppermint essential oil in a diffuser to detox a room, or palo santo, sage, and varying herbs to clear my space. When I clear my space I always say a prayer and affirm what I want to remove from my space, as well as welcome in all that is light and love.  

 

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How do you do so when you live with roommates (or suitemates, in Common’s case)?

Co-collaborating with existing roommates or your community is important to make sure everyone is mindfully choosing who to live with. Setting intention around roommates is always helpful, as well as setting boundaries for yourself and communicating that in a loving way with the people you live with.

Treating your individual room as a safe, private space and nurturing it to reflect that is crucial when living with others. You always want to have space in your living quarters where you can unwind and come back to yourself.

What roles do an inclusive community and the people you surround yourself with (roommates, partner, family, friends) play in the healing process?

When seeking a safe space to heal within the community, it’s important for me to see my face reflected on the practitioner end, as well as the client end. I want to feel like I am represented, in order to trust that my needs are seen as well as a POC individual; that is what inclusivity really is. Being able to lean on someone is supportive and affirming because it means I am not alone. Additionally, hearing the testament of others only further allows us to be vulnerable and have the courage to say “me too.” Vulnerability is where I have found freedom.

About HealHaus

How did you choose to open HealHaus in Clinton Hill? 

Both my business partner and I live in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene and have done so for over 10 years now. It only seemed fitting for us to provide safe space within a community that is close to us and that reflects our lived experience. The Haus is our second home, and we want it to feel the same way for others.

 

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What type of programs and events can Common members expect at HealHaus?

At HealHaus, you’ll find a unique escape in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn that is a joint wellness space and cafe. Our space was specifically designed to inspire community while providing an accessible and fresh approach to the wellness aesthetic.  We offer a variety of healing services that include daily yoga and meditation classes, specialized workshops, as well as private practitioner rooms for individual services such as psychotherapy, acupuncture, and naturopathic consultations.

The HealHaus cafe has storefront seating as well as additional cafe seating outside. We serve our own in-house-made organic medicinal teas and elixirs, in addition to smoothies and vegan/gluten-free baked goods.

 

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If you’re interested in learning more about HealHaus or visiting their space in Clinton Hill, visit their website

 

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