Dark Shadows, Cleansing Sweat Sessions, and More from Vancouver’s In Goop Health Summit

Vancouver-based writer Chloe Berge gets the goop scoop.

Photo Credit: Ernesto Distefano / Getty images for goop 

This past weekend, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand goop landed in Vancouver’s Stanley Park Pavilion for the first Canadian edition of In Goop Health. The summit brought together goop-approved therapists, doctors, and beauty experts for a two-day wellness immersion. Whether you tune into the goop podcast religiously, or abhor the very thought of the infamous yoni egg, goop can always be counted on to spark dialogue in the wellness world.

After downing a fizzy elixir made from vitamin C and collagen—as you do—I kicked Sunday morning off with a sound mediation led by Vancouver-based Theda Phoenix. Tucking myself into a blanket on my yoga mat, I closed my eyes and let the good vibrations wash over me. A mix of crystal quartz, glass, and metal singing bowls were accompanied by Phoenix’s soft, ethereal voice. “Did anyone experience any visions?” Phoenix asked at the end of the meditation. I couldn’t join the surprising number of women who raised their hands (I blame the symphony of kombucha bottles clinking outside the doors behind me) but the hour did fly by and left me feeling calm and relaxed. (Here’s more on what to expect during a meditation class.)

Photo Credit: Ernesto Distefano / Getty images for goop 

After floating out of the meditation in a sleepy stupor, I ordered an oat milk rooibos-tea latte from East Van Roasters’ coffee bar and made my way to the goop shop. The beauty junkie in my drooled over rows of neatly stacked clean beauty brands like Kosas, Tata Harper, Ursa Major, and goop’s eponymous label. I thumbed through the rack of athleisure wear and the pop-up bookstore before filling my goop-status canvas tote with a lipstick and tinted face oil from Kosas (the stuff feels like silk on your skin) and a copy of the buzzy Clarity Cleanse.

A short jaunt over a wet, leaf-strewn path brought me to a clear plastic tent for a fitness class with MISFITSTUDIO. The studio has a cult following in Toronto, fusing elements of yoga, dance, and pilates to create a cleansing, cathartic experience. Founder Amber Joliat invited us to “open ourselves to the transformative power of movement and reconnect with our bodies” as rhythmic, heart-thumping music filled the space. Guided breathwork and fast-paced, fluid movements synchronized with uplifting sound left me energized and covered in sweat. I heard rumours that a Vancouver location is in the works.

Photo Credit: Ernesto Distefano / Getty images for goop 

To replenish, I hustled my sweaty self over to the Glory Juice Co. station for a Magic Switchel which is chalk-full of immune-boosting ingredients like lemon, ginger, maple syrup and Blue Majik, a blue-green algae. Between that, a B12 shot from Fig Facial, an innovative beauty boutique opening soon in Vancouver (more on them later), Tonica Kombucha, and an adaptogen-infused sparkling elixir, I’ve learned you can never have enough health tonics in a day, especially at a goop event.

tonica kombuchaPhoto Credit: Ernesto Distefano / Getty images for goop 

Then things got dark. In his afternoon workshop, psychotherapist and author Barry Michels introduced us to our shadow selves. According to Michels, your shadow is the part of yourself that you’ve disowned or repressed, but when uncovered can lead to true confidence, self-expression, and authentic relationships. Michels began by giving the audience a method for identifying our shadows through a visualization exercise. “What would I never want anyone to know about me?” Michels voiced to the room. Sprinkled with humour and tidbits about how insecure Hollywood’s elite actually are (they’re just like us, friends!), Michels outlined his formula for making peace with your shadow and using it as a resource instead of trying to deny it. Learn more about the shadow in my conversation with Michels here.

While I may not prescribe to some of the philosophies and health remedies the brand touts (ahem, vaginal steaming) I’ll continue to cherry pick my way through the goop wellness wisdom. I’m convinced it does more goop than harm.

Psst… goop is coming to Toronto next month and bringing a special guest with them. Stay tuned for more info!