Beautifit brings unique fitness offerings to Storm Lake

Friday, June 8, 2018
Lindsay Westfall, owner of the downtown studio, Beautifit. / Photo by Elijah Decious

There are a few health and fitness places in Storm Lake, but none bring to the table what Beautifit offers: reiki and yoga.

"I didn't want to bring exactly what everybody else was doing," said Lindsay Westfall, owner of the downtown studio. "I didn't want to feel like I'm in competition with other gyms."

Westfall is putting a friendly face to the ancient Japanese practice of reiki (pronounced RAY-kee) to give back to the community what reiki and yoga have given to her. A bodybuilder, Westfall never considered herself a candidate for the two theraputic practices until she experienced them for herself. "I don't want it to be a scary thing," she said. "I want people to be comfortable experiencing it."

Westfall discovered the benefits of reiki after she was diagnosed with lupus. A year after that diagnosis, she was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The two conditions made it difficult for her to body build, requiring several days of recovery in between workouts that make progress difficult.

She explains it as a matter of intuition. "You know how when you walk into a room and see your friend, you can immediately tell what mood they're in? That's reiki," she explained. "You're feeling the energy that's coming off of them. We call it 'vibes', but that's really just energy."

Individual sessions of reiki happen over an hour on a massage table, after which participants say they feel relaxed, light on their feet and as if they just has a massage. Westfall says that a lot of her clients like the idea of a massage, but don't like to be touched. With reiki, she doesn't have to touch them to impart the benefits.

Starting with the head, Westfall scans over the body, hovering her hand over all the seven chakras that correspond to the different parts of the body.

"In reiki, we believe that anything you're feeling is coming from the person [the reiki practitioner] is with," Westfall explained. She gave an example of how feeling thirst while hovering her hand over the throat might indicate your throat chakra is blocked, which could correlate with all the things under that chakra such as the thyroid or lymphatic system. It can also correspond to more mental and emotional health, such as communication and guidance problems.

To resolve the issues with that chakra, she "unblocks" them. This can be done by visualizing a displacement of the negative energy with positive energy to help eliminate the problems one is experiencing. The therapy of the chakras has intuition and purpose behind it, she said.

It may seem crazy, but she came to be a believer after her first skeptical experience.

"When I first did it, I was like 'there isn't going to be anything wrong with me'," she recounted, laughing. The practitioner asked her if she had migraines. "I had been suffering from a massive migraine all day at that point," Westfall said, without showing visible signs of distress. After that, the migraine that would have taken Westfall days to eliminate was gone within a few minutes through the reiki practitioner's help.

This form of therapy is what gets her through body building. "Bodybuilding is my yang, and yoga and reiki are my yin," she said. Thanks to reiki, she is able to do what she loves, travelling all over the country judging body building competitions. On August 18, she will be hosting and promoting Storm Lake's very first body building competition, at Storm Lake High School's auditorium.

In addition to her passion as a body builder, she runs Beautifit to bring to Storm Lake what these practices brought to her. Her studio offers the only yoga in town, for a reasonable price. Additionally, it offers personal training, massage therapy and spray tanning.

Westfall keeps yoga and reiki prices low so that the community can experience it and find the value of it. "I'm just so passionate about yoga and reiki and just want people to feel what I've felt from it over the years," she said with a beaming smile. As a pioneer in town, she just wants Beautifit to be a welcoming, comfortable and relaxing space for everyone to enjoy.

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