Individually weak; together, strong.
That is the mentality Justine Sanderson and Jay Robinson now live their life by, a lesson they humblingly learned after setting up a 19-foot yurt in their backyard on Maple Street.
“It’s one of the most beautiful things about a yurt,” said Sanderson. “Separately, every piece is weak or insignificant, but when it’s all put together and works together, that’s when you see its strength.”
The beautiful yurt was handcrafted by a family in Mongolia and shipped to the couple last fall. Every aspect of its structure is designed with significance and intention. As women painted the colourful details on every beam, they sang ancient songs, embedding it with a spiritual connection.
In Collingwood, Robinson and Sanderson spent a day piecing the yurt together, and YURt Wellness was born.
YURt Wellness is the next piece of Sanderson’s original business, Sound Healing with Justine. Sanderson and Robinson currently host sound baths and private sound healing sessions in the yurt, but “the sky's the limit,” and they have plans to utilize the space for yoga, meditation, and even a multi-week wellness retreat for children.
“It wasn’t my intention, it just sort of organically happened,” said Sanderson.
Sound — specifically music — has always been a big part of both Sanderson and Robinson’s lives. Over the years they have gone to numerous concerts and live music events together. Robinson plays several instruments, and has been playing music for over 30 years. Sanderson has always loved to dance, feeling the different ways the rhythm can vibrate through her.
“Music can change your mood so much, it feels so good,” Sanderson said.
When her mother passed away, Sanderson found herself at a crossroads, desperately searching for her purpose in life. When she stumbled upon sound healing, she was really just hoping to heal herself, but it had such a profound effect on her she knew she had to share the sacred practice with as many people as she could.
Sanderson began practicing vibrational healing through playing Ancient Sacred Instruments, such as the Didgeridoo, Singing Bowls and the human voice. She completed her Sound Healing and Therapy Certificate program and created her business with the intention of holding private healing sessions in Collingwood.
“Sound healing is a way for people to take a journey inward and look inside themselves,” said Sanderson. “Sound compliments everything because it’s not invasive. So it can pair well — and even enhance — so many other practices, such as psychotherapy and acupuncture.”
Robinson also understands how powerful music is as a medicine. After playing just about every instrument under the sun, he began practising the sitar six years ago, and has since purchased two of the traditional Indian instruments.
Together, they began playing in and hosting sound baths at Sanctuari Transformative Arts Centre in Collingwood. Through these instruments, along with songs and sacred chants, Sanderson has learned how powerful vibrations can heal the body, mind and spirit. They now travel all over Southern Ontario, bringing the musical meditation practice to those who need it.
“Music is so powerful,” said Robinson. “We listen to music that we like because it vibes with us, we listen to sad music when we’re sad. There is so much power in music to help us through these times in our lives, and the baths are just a concentrated version of that.”
“The world is so busy, crazy and loud around us. It’s an opportunity to block that all our and reconnect with yourself for a minute,” Robinson continued.
As their passion continued to grow, Sanderson expanded her education, becoming a certified Reiki master, a certified life coach, and a certified kids' yoga Instructor.
“Once you start learning about energy, you can’t stop,” said Sanderson. “I just wanted to keep learning more and more.”
She was running private sessions at Sanctuari, but because the space was shared and availability was limited, she started having to turn people away.
“When people reach out, asking for something like this, they are looking for healing. So to turn them away felt wrong,” said Sanderson. That’s when she and Robinson started toying with different ideas for other locations she could operate out of.
In her private sessions, Sanderson uses the instruments to play with the energies and vibrations in your body. She can hear how they interact with each other, listening to how the sounds of each instrument react with your personal vibrations that day.
“Everyone has their own unique vibration. We say you are a walking song, and your body is basically just the framework that holds your song,” she said.
Sanderson notes that although you have your own unique song, the sound of anger is the same for everyone — or guilt, pain, frustration, and even love. Sanderson has learned to lean into these different vibrations and work with them.
But even if you don’t feel the need to embrace the music’s medicinal purposes, Sanderson is confident her sound healing has something for everyone.
“Even if you just come here to relax, it’s still beneficial. We’re going to clear out any of that negative or stuck energy. Hopefully, you’ll find some sort of clarity.”