SIGHT

Yasuragi Spa Hotel

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The Japanese word Yasuragi translates to exhale, which embodies the whole experience of this Japanese spa hotel located outside of Stockholm in the archipelago.

This prominent spa puts an emphasis Eastern traditions, noticeable in anything from entering the gates of the facility, to its hot springs in the shade of pine trees to the rituals and authentic yukata robes.

It’s like stepping into a completely different world when entering the gates of Yasuragi. A world characterized by Japanese philosophy. After eight months of renovation and rebuilding, Yasuragi now presents a brand new Japanese bathhouse with sustainability at heart.

In Japan washing your body and bathing are two separate rituals. In the ablution room there is a wooden stool for you to sit on and wash yourself. This is where you start to unwind to find harmony and inner peace.

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 After the washing ritual, you enter a space inspired by Japanese courtyards. The inner courtyards is surrounded by a warm bath, with five different buildings with a cold bath, carbon dioxide bath, a steam sauna and a additional sauna with a view of the pine forest. There’s also a Japanese-style foot bath as well as a sleeping aroma sauna room with hot stone hills where you can rest in privacy. Further relaxation can be found in the mountain room where you lay in shallow springs and look up to the softly lighted mountain wall, or

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They offer special Japanese baths and activities like Japanese yoga, as well as Do In and Qi Gong. They have meditation with Tibetan singing bowls. Upon arriving, you are given the traditional Yukata robe to make the experience as authentic as possible, and to make the experience a journey within rather than getting distracted by other guests, and potentially what they’re wearing. The Japanese symbols on the robe mean “ good-luck and happiness” and “true joy”, which is the intention of Yasuragi for their guests.

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The interior breaths minimal, blending cement and wood mixed with beautiful Japanese kimonos by the Swedish designer Alice Fine, who creates organic and botanically hand dyed silk kimonos.

Yasuragi is right by the sea in Saltsjö Boo which can be easily reached from central Stockholm by bus.

 

10 Lessons Learned from a Digital Detox

It might sound scary; your digital FOMO may even be rising at this very moment just by thinking about it. ATC thinks you need a digital detox whether you know it or not. The internet isn’t going no where, so give it an honest try.

Have you pondered over how many hours you spend on social media? Endless scrolling? Sure, what got founder ATC Sara Che to push the digital breaks was she started reflecting on how she’s spending time watching others live their lives instead of making the most of her.

 

FIRST LESSON: CLARITY

When I cleared my digital space and opened up, something new happened. I was open to new information that was coming through.

 

SECOND LESSON: WITHDRAWALS

Withdrawal? Don’t judge yourself- its fully normal. Let’s be honest, these platforms are constructed with the mind-frame to hold ones’ attention for as long as possible. It’s not you, it’s actually designed to keep you scrolling endlessly. Remember those days when Facebook didn’t update its feed automatically?

THIRD LESSON: EXTENDED MORNING RITUAL

Not peeking at the phone before morning ritual have never been easier. What a difference it does for the mind to stay away from the phone in the morning. By not looking at the phone until after the morning ritual, the post-yoga and meditation alignment stuck around much longer throughout the day in comparison to the mornings where peaked at the phone before crawling out of bed.

 

FOURTH LESSON: BEING PLUGGED-IN IS DRAINING

Electrical pollution is a fact. Let’s acknowledge that we have never in humans’ history lived with so many devices, Wi-Fi-connections and electricity around us. Modern technology has altered the landscape of our lives. A growing number of scientists worldwide are trying to alert us to the fact that the devices to which we are all so attached emit electro magnetic frequencies [EMFs], which could have serious consequences for our health.

So what are EMFs? Electromagnetic fields are areas of energy that surround electronic devices. symptoms include nervous system symptoms such as fatigue, stress, mood swings and sleep disturbances, low energy levels, depression or ‘foggy’ thinking, and burning sensations, rashes and prickly feeling on the skin.

 

FIFTH LESSON: FOCUS HOCUS POCUS! 

Social media can be a challenge to manage when you’re easily distracted. For example, if you’re a HSP you may be prone to being easily distracted. What do we do the first thing we do? Pick up the phone. Any new likes, comments, or maybe DM’s? Doing a digital detox is great to get some perspective, how you use social media or you’re phone in general. Are you procrastinating other things by keeping yourself pre-occupied with what’s going down in the ‘gram?

 

SIXTH LESSON: PUT IT INTO PRACTICE

After a week of discovering one advantage after the other it’s safe to say that digital detoxes are as essential as giving you internal system a flush after consuming foods that doesn’t boost your body.

Disconnecting and being off the grid for a half-day or a whole day a week can do wonders. Incorporate it in your self-care technique, or set a time at evenings where no-screen time is needed.

SEVENTH LESSON: OVERSHARING VS. PRIVACY

Remember those days when tagging yourself at a spot on Facebook felt as you really put yourself out there? Today people know what you’re doing and whom you’re doing it with in real time.

And sometimes when you’re sharing an experience, you might get interrupted with a “yeah I saw you did that on Instagram“. There is something soothing with privacy, especially when you haven’t been fully private for a long time.

With a digital culture that reaps on over-sharing, how much is too much? Have you reflected upon why you share things you do-and why they matter to you?

EIGHT LESSON: INTENTION

Its easy to get caught up and lost in endless scrolling when we enter the digital ether without an intention. By adopting an intention before going online, we can create more clarity and use our time more intentionally–to actually get stuff done.

NINTH LESSON: COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING

We can spend our lives looking at what everybody else is up to, or we can actualise what we have been dreaming for. Do you want to look back on your life to see that you was held back your usage of a device or app? Or do you want to start putting one brick down, and let it become the foundation you stand upon tomorrow?

TENTH LESSON: NOT AS DEPENDENT AS I THOUGHT

The biggest surprise was how little electronics was missed, in fact it became an eye opener to set aside more time off-line.

By being our own best friend and making sure we’re exposed to stimuli that is a benefit to us, we can take back out power from these addiction constructed platforms. If you don’t want to jump on a digital detox, start by skipping social media for a few days and observe how that feels.

All in all, this digital detox definitely put technology in perspective. It was liberating to not think about it, and so much fun to have longer, uninterrupted conversations with the people around.

Hotspot: Sthlm Brunch Club

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; we at ATC loves breakfast! Brunch is an extension of breakfast and also something we could eat all day–every day.

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There are many aspects to Sthlm Brunch Club that makes a foodie blissful just by entering this spot. To begin with, they serve brunch all day. Secondly, you find a variety of options to indulge in, whether you’re into sweets or savoury. They’re also good with introducing new meals to the menu without removing the ones you love to revisit.

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The French Toast is one of those to revisit, it’s magical. And comes in a vegan option. This time, we went big by adding a shake named Death by Chocolate. Chocolate ice cream, brownie, fudge souse topped with whipped cream, salted popcorn and roasted marshmallow. Sound like a lot of chocolate at first but is actually very well-balanced.  

 The decor is homely and simple; the staff speak English which deserved an acknowledgement because they hire people who do not have Swedish as their mother tongue. I love that more companies and restaurants provide job opportunities to international people.

For ATC, Sthlm Brunch Club is a bit of a getaway because it feels so untidy. Could as well be a brunch place in the United States, which I love. On weekends it's usually a queue, you can not book a table, so be sure to stay there on time or take care during weekdays, as the pressure is significantly milder.

Hotspot: Rawbata

Rörstrandsgatan at St. Eriksplan has become a stroke for foodies to explore various flavours from different parts of the world. Rawbata is one of the newer addition to the neighbourhood, a Japanese restaurant using robataya grill.

Rawbata is a grillbar with their own take on the Japanese grill technique robatayaki, a technique built on using coal that lasts for long and develops tastes while cooking. You can find everything from vegetarian options to meat and seafood. We went for a mixed plate, containing lax, Hamachi, mussels and scampi on pokchoy. It didn’t take long before we noticed that the fresh produce was in focus at this resultant, amazing flavours and grilled to their perfection.

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What we weren’t prepared for was the dessert. Passionfruit cheesecake, a recommendation from the staff; they said we wouldn’t regret it. Our respond? My friend wanted to marry the cheesecake and I would easily say yes to at least five more. We were highly impress by the quality of the fluffy cheesecake combined with its passionfruit tastes, it took the experience to a new level. It was noticeable that an award winning pastry cook is behind this gem.

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It didn’t stop there, the staff deserve a beautiful acknowledgment, congrats to Rawbata for hiring a great crowd of service minded staff members. We were treated with so much energy throughout the evening. It made a deep impression on us, and we we’re already highly impress by the food. The restaurant is run by Nino Armoni, owner of Persian restaurant chain Tehran Grill and Levinsky’s Burger, together with pastry chef Gustaf Mabrouk.

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Last but not least, Rawbata has succeeded in decor and ambiance. The room is bright, fresh and well thought out with a couple of different areas in the form of a restaurant section, chef's table and a chambre separée. The boards can be separated orput together into a single long table depending on how many people are in the company. Because the weather was so nice we were sitting outdoors, the atmosphere at Rörstrandsgatan is super cozy this time of the year.

Stop Exercising. Start Training

I can’t help to contemplate on how everything can connect, actually it started from a place of wanting more for myself. Meditation was the first practice I devoted myself too. Shortly, one morning I skipped it, which resulted in having a day where I just wished I could zap myself home and pull the cover over my head.

I soon realized how with simple practices I could actually improve my wellbeing, mental as well as physical. Just as in the beginning of my morning meditation I started small and easy, but to actually devote myself to what I was doing in that moment. I’ve been practicing yoga every morning for two weeks now, the last time I worked out was six months ago. Looking back, I’ve been always either on or off working out.

 

But ever since wanting more for my wellbeing, I’ve noticed the difference between exercising and training. There’s two different intensions. When I’m training, its about improving myself. There’s no competition. There’s no end in the results one can archive but instead taking pleasure of the progress.

 

Over the past years, I’ve learned that I enjoy training outdoors. I like to be out in the fresh air and being around others who are being active, helps my motivation and makes the experience more enjoyable for me. I learn so much from seeing what other training techniques they use. Another great source of inspiration is Nike’s Training Club App (link). What I liked about this app is that I can set what level I am at and work myself from there. There’s a large variety of different training programs that you can easily use inside as well as outside. 

At the end of the day, its about listening to our bodies and their needs. It’s about making practical changes that not only is good for you, but also enjoyable while your doing it. That’s why it’s important for me to have clothes that reflect upon my personality. Colorful, practical, that allows the body to breath while working out. But also assisting it to improve its performance. And why do you want to perform better? For me its about wanting to live a good life, and I want to give myself all the right conditions to thrive. So now that I know better, I do better.

 

A good friend on mine reminded me recently of Maya Angelou’s words “when we know better, we do better” and for some reason, these words have stuck with me on a larger scale. Now that I understand that daily morning yoga, easy as 10-15 minutes of yoga followed by 15 minutes of meditation can set a higher tone on my day – both mentally, physically and emotionally. How I choose to not do it? Especially, now I know I should train instead of exercise to reach my goals.

NoMo Soho New York

As my blogging adventures continues overseas, I couldn’t foresee how much choosing the right hotel would mean. A year ago, choosing the right hotel wouldn’t be as important as it is today because I knew that I would basically only storage my luggage and sleep there. Now, a hotel is important because after a long day whether its been filled with meetings or sightseeing – coming back to a room that feels like home helps you forget that you’re far away from home as well as help one recharge.

Since I was staying the city for a week my criteria were the perfect location, wifi (bloggers priority), view overlooking the city (its New York after all and great food. NoMo is a gem in the heart of Soho, the location couldn’t be more perfect and I walked to most of the locations from the hotel. Aesthetically, the hotel is beautiful from the vine-laced archway leading into the entrance of the hotel, to the inside/outside restaurant/bar area that great food. I especially loved the decor and high sealing in the restaurant.  A highlight,

the view overlooking Manhattan and Brooklyn bridge, walking up to the sun rising over the city was magical.

It was so great to come back to an inviting space after a full day on heels and start editing photos and arranging meetings – work really did feel like pleasure.

 

Hotspot: Mamawolf

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Mamawolf may be famous for being the first okonaomiyaki spot in Sweden, but at ATC’s we’d like to emphasise another course of meal that is worth our attention each time we revisit.

Mamawolf is a whole in the wall, located at Söder in Stockholm with estimated 10 people. During summer time, you can also sit outside as the restaurant adds the number of available chairs. The inspiration behind this place comes from the Japanese pop rock band GuitarWold, and they play Japanese rock music most of the time.

What’s the big deal with this little bowl? It’s the most amazing soup, and extremely good. The name of this bowl of abundant flavors is Dashi-curry, a curry soup filled with explosive flavours, tofu, vegetables and tasty udon noodles. Whats stiking about this bowl is how well balanced the flavours play with each other and how filling it actually is.

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