Heather with her singing bowls, which are said to promote relaxation and offer powerful healing properties, and other healing elements.
Every month we'll highlight a reader in the Great Lakes Bay region and learn more about them, their work, and their reading life. We'll also discuss books and share a conversation about something close to their heart.
I love to kick off the new year with a focus on improving our wellbeing. Reaching out to Heather Emmons was a great choice. She works in various holistic healing modalities and has a wonderful, all-inclusive perspective.
Read on to learn more.
How did you get started in holistic health?
I had always known I wanted to help people feel better, on the inside as well as the outside. I just wasn’t quite sure what that looked like. From a young age my father introduced me to meditation and yogic philosophy that he had learned during his struggle with addiction.
I was bullied quite a bit as a child for my looks and my home life was difficult as well. I found solace in the beauty parlor with my grandmother and the breathing techniques I learned from my father.
As I grew up and started deciding on college choices I originally thought I wanted to pursue a career as a nurse, however my creative side longed for an outlet and I eventually chose to become a cosmetologist.
When I was living in San Diego back in 2014, I was working as a cosmetologist at an upscale spa. It was there that I noticed the technicians that were dual licensed (for cosmetology and massage therapy) stayed much busier. When I first got my cosmetology license in 2005, I had always planned to go back and get my massage therapy license. I decided it was time!
I moved back to Michigan and enrolled in a Massage Therapy training program. It was in this program where I was exposed to energy healing/Reiki, and my interest in holistic health, yoga and wellness spiraled outward from there.
Would you describe the types of services you provide?
I lead group and private yoga classes, meditation, sound journeys, cacao ceremonies, and healing circles. I offer Spiritual Life Coaching and Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition Counseling.
I also provide Reiki, relaxation massage, tandem reiki/massage, and something I’m calling Transmutation Therapy, which is an intuitive blend of massage, reiki/crystal healing, yogic breath-work, and sound healing.
My practice is open to all people and especially focuses on those suffering from trauma, grief, PTSD, C-PTSD, and those in recovery from addiction.
What's your favorite healing modality?
It’s so hard to choose, because at the core of all of them is the same thing. Love!
What do you love most about teaching/sharing healing techniques?
I love breaking the stereotype that yoga is for a certain type of person. This stigma that yoga represents yet another unattainable beauty standard. Yoga is for everyone, and it can provide so much relief from suffering. I love the look of joy and serenity on my student’s faces after a session.
My favorite people to work with are people that have never done yoga before because they didn’t think they could or should. Helping people that are hurting to truly feel better is what I’m here on this planet to do!
What books have made the biggest impact on your health and wellbeing?
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
What teacher/leader would you like to spend the day with? Why?
I would love to spend the day with Tao Porchon-Lynch! (Unfortunately, she is no longer with us.) She’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest yoga teacher in the world. She was born in India and became a yogi at 8 years old. Her story is truly inspiring.
What classes will you be offering in the near future?
My current class schedule is:
2 p.m. – Yin at The Jennison Building
6 p.m. – Gentle at The Sunshine Shoppe
7:30 p.m. – Slow Flow & Shakes at Water Street
6 p.m. – Yoga for All at Ditchflowers Healing
10 a.m. – Gentle at Soul Sister Pottery Studio
10 a.m. – Yoga Temple (yogic philosophy) at
Ditchflowers Healing Sanctuary
The schedule is subject to change and new offerings are always being added!
In the summer, I offer yoga on the beach and on the lawn facing the river at The DoubleTree Hotel. Every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. I offer a free healing circle where students come to learn about yogic philosophy and how to carry yoga off the mat and into everyday living.
Where can people find out more about your offerings?
People can find out more by visiting my website or following me on social media for the latest updates on Facebook at fb.me/HeatherEmmonsWellness or @SunflowerHealingStudiosLLC
What recommendations do you have for people wanting to start the year in a healthier way?
I would recommend beginning where you’re at. Start with one little thing at a time and build on that. If you try to change or begin many things at once it can be overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. Slow and steady wins the race! Set yourself up for success by preparing what you can ahead of time. Sometimes the hardest part is just showing up! For instance, if your goal is to attend a yoga class, make sure that you set out your mat and clothes the night before or place them in your car for after work. Set an alarm for about a half hour or so before you have to leave so you don’t forget or run late.
Habit stacking can be a helpful tool as well. Pick something you already do and make that the time you do your new habit. For instance, if you want to meditate, and you already have a habit of scrolling your phone in the early morning or late evening you could say “this is the time I also meditate” and look for a guided meditation before you do your scrolling.
What's your favorite book/genre to read for fun? Why?
I love to read fiction. The way worlds, characters and stories are built out of pure imagination is so beautiful and fascinating to me! You can get lost for hours in a book, which can be a welcome reprieve from the outside world.
What is your hope for the new year?
My hope for the new year is that more people decide to make a meditation and yoga practice a part of their lives! As we heal ourselves, it radiates outward. As we make ourselves more peaceful, the entire world becomes more peaceful!