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Samsara Wellness Center Helps You Heal

By Michael Abelson

Back in 2016 Stephen and Katherine Winters saw a need that needed to be filled in their community. In April of that year the couple opened Samsara Wellenss Center in Bakersfield as a place where the community could come to become more mobile, relax and heal. Stephen and Katherine took the time to answer some questions for Southern California Homes about their inspirations and what keeps them going.

What ​first inspired you to open Samsara Wellness Center? How long have you been open?

We have been open since April of 2016. We decided to open up a wellness center in Bakersfield because there is a great need for it. There were a few yoga studios open, but no one presenting yoga the way we feel it should be offered. We wanted to give people a place to go that was more about mobility, injury-prevention, self-healing and the scientific explanations behind that healing. We focus on cultivating a community experience through these healing practices, because we see the healing potential in simply being a part of the community. We get out in the community and offer free yoga in other places of cultural integrity such as the BMOA (Bakersfield Museum of Art), Farmers Market, Via Arte' and at the 17th place Townhomes every second Saturday. We also have an extensive corporate wellness program bringing yoga and massage therapy to several local businesses. Providing these services on location cultivates focus, and helps prevent illness and fatigue.

Yoga is so much more than stretching, sweating and making shapes with your body. Yoga is a practice offering infinite potential for understanding our bodies, our minds, our social behaviors, as well as help us access our emotions and our reactions to them. Understanding provides a platform for self-care, essential for a healthy body and clear mind. The better the individuals within a community take care of themselves, the better they take care of each other, and we want to live in a community that does just that.

Both of us have traveled fairly extensively, and participated in some amazing yoga sessions, seen incredible studio spaces, and received a variety of yogic teachings. We wanted to bring some of that here to Bakersfield. We bring in lots of outside teachers and healers to provide things like sound therapy, plant medicine, shamanic practices, nutrition, partner-acrobatic/therapeutic styles of yoga and cutting edge joint mobilization techniques. In a big city you get all this stuff, in Bakersfield you couldn't, until now.

​How would you describe the atmosphere the center offers to your massage clients and yoga students?

Its very comfortable, cozy and "homey". People always say they feel at home right away at our space. We have a lot of original art we keep rotating through the studio, and are constantly making little improvements to the space the longer we are in it.

People also comment at how inviting and kind our staff and other clients are. If you are the type of person who wants to come and leave and never get to know the people around you, you can. But for the most part our clients do start talking to each other and laughing. Everyone gets along really well. Sometimes we have people show up 15 minutes early and some stay after the classes for 30 minutes to just to talk. Its really wonderful to see our community interact like that.

​I read that you also offer tattoo services at the center. Why did you decide to offer this service as well?

We believe that there is a pop culture and a permanent culture. A more temporary end of the cultural spectrum and a more permanent one. So much energy gets expended on the temporary end of culture, tattooing connects you to the more permanent aspect of being a self expressing human being. Tattooing dates back thousands of years. People get tattoos for all types of reasons. Tattoos can heal loss, inspire us to be stonger than we often think we are. Some people might get a spirit animal, totem, sacred geometry or religious imagery to serve as a daily reminder of their personal connection to mysterious or spiritual.

The tattoo will last a lifetime, but the experience happens only once. Artist and co-owner Stephen Winters often spends hours planning and drawing every detail of each composition so that when the appointment comes its all about the experience. Every new tattoo is custom drawn, and never re-tattooed on another client. No one else will ever get that image. That's pretty special.

His office has an essential oils diffuser in it, plants, natural lighting to keep things relaxed and illuminated. He mostly uses silent machines. He will teach people breathing practices or lead through a meditation before hand if they want to help calm them down. Its makes the experience a lot more sacred. People have been loving the whole vibe.

Why do you think someone should choose Samsara Wellness Center for their massage, yoga classes, tattoo, or other wellness needs?

We care about helping you. We want to spend time listening to your story. Then we want to take our expertise and create something that is going to change you for the better. No matter the service, we take great pride is creating something just for you. We honestly don't know of a place that does it like we do. We are unique but so is each person who comes through our door. That's why we approach all of our healing practices the way we do.

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