What you need to know about the Healing Arts Lounge in Plaza Midwood

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It’s not obvious when you walk in that Haylo Healing Arts Lounge is a tattoo parlor. The first impression: This is an art hideaway.

To find it, you walk down a stairwell sloping below Central Avenue to the space formerly inhabited by Yoga One, so you feel like you’re half underground. Then you step through the door and into a corridor with a couch and walls covered in art.

Through August, the main wall leading to the service counter will be draped in works from lounge owner Hayley Moran’s exhibition “Horizons: Artistic Reflections on Connection.”

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Hayley Moran
Hayley Moran

Also in this corridor, you’ll note a stand with clothing and accessories by MoonFox Vintage, and farther along, and a stand with clutches, totes and yoga-mat bags made by refugee women with a project called Journey Home.  Yet another stand holds bracelets by Creative Beads by Candy and meditative coloring books by tattoo apprentice Catherine Courtlandt, among other items.

MoonFox Vintage
MoonFox Vintage

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Creative Beads by Candy
Creative Beads by Candy

Move past all of this into the main space — then you’ll see you’re in a tattoo parlor. Except it doesn’t feel like one.

Tattoo tables and work desks are scattered around the room. The centerpiece is actually a lounge-y, living-room-style setup with a coffee table, chairs, more couches and more than a dozen hanging lamps crafted by friends and community members to light Moran’s business venture. There are more items for sale in here too, like Journey There Wands. (Yes, wands, for energetic purposes.)

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Moran, who has been a tattoo artist for about 16 years, opened this studio with an all-female staff about a year and a half ago to establish a creative, community-geared and homey hub that was free from tensions she saw in other tattoo parlors. She envisions tattoo art as an expression of deep discovery and self-sharing.

“It’s born of a more communal spirit rather than a rebellious thing,” she said. “We’re creating symbols of the soul.”

But if you’re not trying to turn your soul inside out into body art with tattoos by Moran or tattoo artist Dani Blalock, you’re still welcome here. Studio manager and health coach Hillary Heath said this is a space where creative people can come and write, or read, or think without having to buy something, unlike cafes or coffee shops. She said a woman even came in the other day just to sit down and meditate.

Hillary Heath
Hillary Heath

Other people come to see tattoo artist Cyrilla Lakeman, who specializes in areola renewal (which she said is a popular service for transgender clients or breast cancer survivors), permanent makeup and scar camouflage.

Regardless of what people come for, Heath said, “We give them lots of different opportunities to just be themselves.”

There’s at least one event opportunity each month as well. There’s an “underground studio” next door in which Heath teaches a Fundamental Yoga class at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and where, starting in September, she will also facilitate a class as part of an elemental yoga series that will take place at each equinox. Heath’s goal — whether she is teaching or working with Haylo clients on breath work or Reiki, is to help people relax and release.

Every Wednesday through Aug. 10 (tonight included), women can learn to cultivate fuller lives by taking part in Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Were Meant to Be.

Heath said, “We want people to feel connected and feel the love.”

Haylo Healing Arts Lounge: 1111 Central Ave., Suite 100

Photos: Katie Toussaint

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