Loving Heart Holistic Wellness cultivates connection in Rosslyn
From the Midwest to the DC Metro, owner Kara Simon provides Rosslyn residents and beyond with sustainable, inclusive care for the mind and body.
For many, the past two years have piled additional stress and anxiety onto everyday life. Health and wellness services have become even more crucial in supporting overall physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. This spring, Rosslyn welcomes Loving Heart Holistic Wellness to our neighborhood as the community’s newest wellness studio offering yoga, mindfulness practices, and more.
When Kara Simon took her first yoga class in 2014, she immediately fell in love with it.
“I was living in Indiana, working at a local coffee shop and I had the opportunity to go to a yoga and music festival as a vendor,” Simon said. “Then, I took a restorative yoga class, and everything changed for me. It was the first time in my life my mind went quiet.”
For her entire life, Simon has dealt with generalized anxiety, often leaving her with ruminating thoughts and unable to ‘shut her brain off.’
“I was like, ‘What is this? I have to chase this feeling,’ because it wasn’t something I had ever experienced before,” Simon said.
Following her first class at that festival, Simon began practicing independently by watching YouTube videos at home. As she developed her own practice, her desire to help others through yoga developed, too. She discovered a yoga teacher training and decided to sign up. After completing a 200-hour program over the course of a year, she became a certified yoga instructor and eventually established Loving Heart Holistic Wellness (named Loving Heart Studios at the time) in Bedford, Indiana, in 2016.
Six years later, Simon is bringing her successful practice to Rosslyn and looks forward to diving into all the neighborhood has to offer, and what she can offer as well.
“While I’ve had my business for years, it really feels good to have a physical location here, plant roots in a new community, and get the opportunity to meet other people. Rosslyn is an active neighborhood with many small businesses and a variety of events, so it felt like a good central place to be,” Simon said. “Arlington is a big city, and I come from a small town. What I love most about living here is not only the amenities and accessibility, but that it still feels like a small town in some ways.”
Thoughtful, personalized services
Located at 1600 Wilson Boulevard, Simon’s studio primarily hosts one-on-one and small group sessions, with a focus on personalizing
the practice to fit each client’s unique needs and goals. She offers free consultations to determine what practice(s) may be the best fit for someone based on what they’re seeking.
“Everything I offer is trauma-informed, which also means that it is accessible to everyone. The way that I facilitate classes or one-on-one sessions is to really make sure that people are being met where they are. That looks like offering modifications for specific postures and movements or providing different variations of skill and physical ability levels. It’s important to create an all-inclusive environment, and that’s something I really strive to do in my business and classes.”
In addition to being accessible, Simon emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and building an environment that is safe and welcoming for all.
“When I think about being a small business owner, that is one aspect I can control and change to ensure people – of all races, all genders, all sexualities, whatever it looks like for that person – know they are working with a practitioner in a space that is nonjudgmental and supportive for everyone,” Simon said.
Additional wellness practices
Aside from yoga, Simon offers a variety of other wellness modalities, all of which she first discovered as practices that she personally benefited from. These can be great supplements to yoga or treat other health issues on their own. Reiki, a Japanese relaxation technique, was the first Simon added to her toolkit after beginning yoga.
“When I found Reiki, I was going through a really hard time in my life with my mental health. While yoga was supportive, I needed something more. I needed something different,” Simon said.
After receiving her first Reiki session and upon further practice, Simon decided to get her Reiki II certification, allowing her to provide the service to others as well.
“I describe Reiki as that feeling you get when you’re lying on a beach and the sun is on your face. It’s warm and soothing, and there’s a breeze. It’s the perfect feeling. It is just great for anyone who is really struggling emotionally or mentally that maybe needs a reset.”
In addition to Reiki, Simon also offers EFT (emotional freedom technique), commonly known as ‘tapping.’
“Tapping was a really cool concept to me that meshed the energy side of things, like Reiki, with the neurological and scientific aspect of how the brain actually works – why we ruminate, why we get stuck in thought patterns, and why we have a hard time moving through certain emotions like grief, for example,” Simon said. “With tapping, along with affirmations and scripts that are cited with it, you’re acknowledging the thought and the emotion. Then, you’re choosing a different thought and wavelength in the brain to move forward. It’s been a powerful tool in my own life to shift from that spiral and be able to move forward with the rest of my day.”
Built on understanding
Overall, Simon prides herself and her business on being able to hone in on one thing we can all practice, no matter our skill or experience level: compassion for others.
“I have the ability to really see people for who they are, no matter what walk of life they’re on. And to hold that space around what someone is going through in a nonjudgmental way…I think we just need more of that. I’m trying to do more of that in my small way as a business owner, by providing these holistic wellness services.”