There is something truly self-nurturing and sensual about being rubbed with warm oilâ€”chosen specifically for oneâ€™s unique combination of energiesâ€”and then soothed with hot towels. Or perhaps hot stones and shells placed on the body to facilitate relaxation, or a massage accompanied by therapeutic and aromatic essential oils. Follow with a yoga class, tonifying elixir, or stimulating browse through a boutique bursting with mindfully chosen treats to nurture body and soul.
Where and what is this paradise of nurturance? LONGEVITY in Manzanita . . . your friendly neighborhood yummy place!
Longevity, â€œa place to relax and rejuvenate,â€ is the lovingly crafted business of long-time North coaster Jamie Ehrke. Located in a beautifully remodeled historic building in downtown Manzanita, Longevity offers massage, yoga, unique shopping, and an elixir bar. Like many coastal business folk, Ehrke found her way to her livelihood via a circuitous route.
She studied sustainable agriculture and political economy at Evergreen College in Washington. She then moved to Nehalem with former partner Hank Tallman, a coastal native and co-founded Lunasea Gardens. Departure from that endeavor brought her to the usual round of coastal work. Restaurant jobs, landscaping, all good jobs at the time that allowed her to take care of her young son and stay in the communities she loved. And, there came a time when Ehrke knew that she wanted a different life.
â€œI had always wanted to do something in healing arts field. I just had an â€˜ahaâ€™ moment after seeing a flyer in Portland for East/West Massage School and said, thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ll do. And I just went and did it. I knew that I would like it but it turns out that I love it and am passionate about it! Iâ€™ve found my niche.â€
Although Ehrke wasnâ€™t necessarily intending to start a business like Longevity, events flowed in that direction and here she finds herself. She took over an existing business, Parinamah, but changed the services significantly and put her own brand on the opportunities offered. Like many coastal businesses, Longevity caters to the tourist trade as well as to year round residents. And while the three-village area doesnâ€™t lack yoga, massage, and spa opportunities, Longevity has its own special vibe. â€œItâ€™s casual, comfortable, and nurturing. People feel that,â€ Ehrke says.
Yoga and massage are the emphasis. The beautiful studio can accommodate up to 12 students per class, so yogis are assured of an intimate setting with a great teacher to student ratio. For summer the studio will offer 2-3 yoga classes every day. A variety of styles and levels give plenty of options. The massage menu is truly inspiring, with everything from the standard Swedish or deep tissue massage to Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage (of aforementioned warmed oils and towels!), Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Chakra Balancing or pregnancy massage. Longevity massage therapist Christina Pyktel has developed a line of chakra specific products, including oils that can be used in massage. Both she and Ehrke have a robust list of local massage clients and found themselves completely booked throughout the tourist season last year.
Longevity boasts two lovely massage roomsâ€”one that accommodates couples or friends wanting to enjoy individual massages in the same roomâ€”and a cozy spot for hanging out and enjoying an herbal elixir. The artisan boutique showcases wares by seven local artists, including jewelry, pottery, found and visual art. Also shop for regional fair trade beauty products and fabulous socks, as well as yoga wear and accessories. The experience is delicious all the way round. Skip the ice cream and give yourself a real summer treat: a few hours of self-nurturance. Your body will thank you!