Years ago, I had my first spa experience. I was lecturing at Canyon Ranch in Arizona. During my week-long stay, I lost five pounds while nurturing my body. It was a very positive experience and I learned some alternative therapies in the healing process as well.
Back home on the East Coast I discovered Gurney's Inn, a seaside spa resort in Montauk, Long Island—which I’ve frequented with my family each year ever since. What I like about spas is that they’re a heart-healthy getaway. Unlike other vacations that can expand your waistline, they afford an opportunity to eat properly, exercise, and relax while learning progressive methods of healing both the mind and body.
Last year was my first outing to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health to facilitate a weekend workshop. This summer I’ll be returning to Kripalu (June 8-10, 2012), a pristine yoga retreat location nestled in the breathtaking Berkshires of western Massachusetts to help lead a weekend devoted to yoga, healthful eating, discussions about new heart-healthy breakthroughs, and more.
But whether you join me at Kripalu, or not, with a little creativity you can enjoy the heart-healthy benefits of a “spa” right at home:
* Treat yourself as you would a guest, making fresh, heart-healthy meals even when you’re eating alone. Dine outside when you can, soaking in the relaxing rejuvenation of nature—and put a vase of fresh flowers on your table to awaken your senses.
* Take a yoga, pilates, tai chi, or other exercise class, right in your community—and schedule it on your calendar, just like they would at a spa.
* Enjoy a relaxing bath with an infusion of aromatic oils. Turn down the lights, light a candle or two, play relaxing music, and lay back with your head on a bath pillow—allowing yourself to decompress.
* Keep a pitcher of water in your fridge filled with fresh slices of lemon, which is a perk that spas often use to encourage you to stay well-hydrated.
* Splurge on an afternoon at a local day spa, to enjoy a massage, facial, or other spa treatments.
When you engage in a total spa experience, you nurture your body from physical, biochemical and psychological points of view—keeping your entire being healthy.
Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been to a spa?