StretchLab Santa Fe
Laura Talley Lustgarten, who moved to Santa Fe a little more than two years ago with her husband, Todd Lustgarten, had previously worked for a vitamin company. She hoped to continue in the health and wellness field but wasn’t sure what form that work would take.
After living here for about a year, the Lustgartens recognized that “people here really cared about . . . being able to hike and bike and ski and snowshoe . . . and not wanting to age in pain.” They envisioned a stretching studio.
When Todd discovered that the Santa Monica, California, StretchLab, where they been members for close to a decade, was part of a national franchise, it was a natural fit. They were familiar with the environment, concepts, and technology, and they had personally experienced StretchLab’s benefits.
The summer before the studio opened in October 2022, the couple offered free 15-minute demo stretches at places like the Railyard Artisans Market, Restore Hyper Wellness, and the Santa Fe Tennis and Swim Club. “We were just all around town trying to educate the public about what we are and what we do,” Laura said. “We had over 100 members by the time we opened.”
The studio offers proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). It’s “a more advanced form of flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contracting of the muscle group being targeted,” Laura says. “Originally developed as a form of rehabilitation, it is also excellent for targeting specific muscle groups, increasing flexibility, and improving muscular strength.”
Almost anyone can benefit from regular stretching, Laura says. “We have people who have osteoporosis and Parkinson’s. We have 16-year-olds who come in with their parents because they are basketball players and they want to improve their game, all the way up to 90-year-olds who just want to move their bodies.”
Laura suggests visiting the studio for a free intro stretch to learn more before opting into one of the studio’s membership plans.
A former features editor for “The Santa Fe New Mexican,” Patricia West-Barker developed employee wellness programs for a number of Fortune 500 companies in another life.
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Santa Fe New Mexican