Shop Local

Give the gift of services

SHOP LOCAL — This is the third in a three-part series on shopping local in Yellow Springs for the holidays. Villagers who wish to make a pledge to shop local may sign up in downtown stores or by e-mail to ysnews {at} ysnews(.)com. Yellow Springers may pledge to do all, most or as much shopping as possible in the village.

The pearly downtown lights may beckon shoppers to charming storefronts, but shopping locally for the holidays doesn’t have to mean objects wrapped in big packages. Especially for the person who already has everything, think envelopes with gift certificates for a yoga class, old book restoration, a gardening workshop or a night out on the village with dinner and a movie. Beyond the borders of the downtown, the whole village is teeming with local specialists who are willing and waiting to share their services and knowledge, which perhaps can be packaged after all.

As a village known for its healing arts, the services that support wellness of mind and body are limited only by the imagination. The notion of treating the body with reverence is suited especially for this time of year known for high stress and over stimulation. Craniosacral therapy is applied to restore natural body rhythms and to help release psychosomatic blocks, and reflexology promotes health by applying pressure to the nervous system of the hands and feet. Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, reiki and lymph purification all focus on a particular part of the body to remove obstructions to good health, and the local specialists in these fields number in the dozens, too many to list by name but all with their local fans.

Related to promoting health in a more active way, there are several physical trainers in the village who specialize in teaching others how to get their bodies in shape. Vicki Walters runs Body Awareness Studio, where she teaches yoga and pilates and offers goal-oriented physical training sessions for individuals and small groups. She is trained in Thai yoga massage that uses reflexology and assisted stretching to help clients release tension and improve sleep. Walters also has studio space with pilates equipment (the reformer and the trapeze) that can be rented by the hour.

For further health and beauty services, gift certificates can also be purchased for yoga classes at Yoga Springs Studio, fitness classes at Curves or at 360° Private Training Studio, and hair and spa treatments from Wavelengths, The Shop, and Hasser’s.

Neatly coupled with the body is the mind, which also needs a good deal of attention to wield its power well. Meg Carver, of Onani Mentoring, has spent the last six years helping others, especially professionals, to transition from a life of anxiety and disconnection toward a sense of purpose, joy, mindfulness and compassion. The chaos of the holidays and the current economic turmoil intensifies that anxiety and depression, which Carver trains people to use to reorient their lives toward a more positive center.

If one were to stretch the mind, one might think of giving an astrology reading by Eileen Jones, or an intuitive reading with Leah Gompf at House of Ravenwood.

Regarding the more conscious mind, insatiable intellectuals and soulful seekers are sure to find interest in one of the many Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute courses being taught in the village this winter and spring. Jill Becker’s dance course for delicate bodies focuses on keeping joints flexible, improving balance and enjoying the pleasure of moving to beautiful music. Students can study sustainable food systems with Andrew Manieri and Dennie Eagleson, who will also offer a mentorship with local organic farmers in preparation for the growing season. The foundations of capitalism, from Plato to modern America, is one of Scott Warren’s philosophy courses. Or students can practice conversational French with native speaker Kab Butamina. Continuing learners can also study painting, music, theater, Buddhism, history, literature, and even practical chemistry. For the course catalogue, go to http://nonstopinstitute.org/spring-2009/.

To keep up with academic discussions, residents may reach for their old classic books and find they have disintegrated and need to be rebound. Don’t hesitate to give that sad soul the gift of rebinding from Ballantine Bookcrafts. In the bindery behind his house, Hardy Ballantine repairs everything from antique King James Bibles to dissertations and personally collected family histories with a range of leather and bookcloth hard covers to marbled paper and Mexican bark soft covers. He also makes new journals from the materials at the bindery.

Beside old books there often lies an old instrument, which The Violin Doctor is likely capable of fixing, or an old painting that needs to be reframed by Ken Simon or “would you, could you” In a Frame. There is also finished art to be commissioned from stained glass at Bonadies Glass Studio to portraits by Jason Morgan. And those who like to participate in their own arts and crafts might like a scrapbooking class with Creative Memories, pottery class at the Bryan Center, or music lessons from local virtuoso James Johnson.

For parents who could stand to get out and see an artistic or musical performance, or even skip town for a day or two, Rent-a-Grandma may be the perfect answer. Long-time childcare specialist Laurie Dreamspinner, who runs a small daycare service from her home, has experience with babies to teenagers and is able to care for children in her home or theirs. She likes to promote creative play for children, and is firmly against the television and video drain, she said.

And even if there are no children, often there are pets. And where there’s a dog, there is need for dog training. Certified pet trainer Rebecca Fenton uses positive methods to train any size or breed of dog through her service Courteous Canine Companions. She encourages clients to think about consultation even before a pet arrives, to start off on the right paw, because “what’s cute now isn’t going to be cute at 50 pounds,” she said. She does problem solving and behavior modification for older pets as well.

The services to be enlisted in the village go on and on, but surely this holiday there exists in Yellow Springs a special something for everyone, and their pet too.

For a more complete listing of local specialists, refer to the index of the Yellow Springs “red” phone book.

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