Monday May 20, 2013
I have been having one of the best spa experiences of my life at Stoweflake Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont. Most of the women at this five-day "Balanced Life Retreat" are here because they have studied with Dr. Claudia Welch, an Ayurveda teacher. They came even though they didn't really know what the retreat was going to be about. They just trusted it would be wonderful because they trust Claudia (or they trust their friends who trust Claudia).
Funny, brilliant, passionate, and honest, Claudia decided that we would working with prana, or energy. But she couldn't promise us exactly how we would do it. To stay true to the energy of the event, she didn't want to create a rigid agenda. She said working with our breath might even be boring at times. "Are you okay with that?" she asked. We were.
So we happily agreed to follow where she leads, and it has been a even as the path takes unexpected turns, like a family crisis she is dealing with when she is not teaching. "Without a plan, it's been better than I ever imagined," one person said.
Claudia invited two people she had "spent about 17 minutes with", but felt instant trust in, Sama Fabian, a genius yoga teacher from Wales, and Caroluna, an ethereal singer from California who invites us to explore energy through voice. The quality of the teachers is everything I expected. The warmth and intelligence of my felllow retreatants is a wonderful surprise. But the real gift is the realization that together we are creating prana, and exchanging it with each other, and that this will only happen this one time, in this exact way. And it is exquisitely beautiful just as it is.
Wednesday May 15, 2013
Today I'm busy packing, getting ready to go to a Balanced Life Retreat led by Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. Claudia Welch, at Stoweflake Mountain Resort in Vermont. It's a five-day retreat with yoga every morning led by Sama Fabian from Wales, lectures by Dr. Welch, and voice workshops with Caroluna. It's sounds like an all-star cast to me, and I have high expectations.
To get ready I've been reading Dr. Welch's book "Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life" (buy now), and I have found it to be a true revelation. She integrates a Western view of hormones with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda in a relatively simple way. Given the complexity of all three systems, it's a remarkable accomplishment.
She does it by categorizing sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) as yin; they nourish, lubricate and build us. Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are yang, and trigger our "fight or flight" response. We need both to live. When they are in balance, we feel healthy. We have plenty of energy, sleep well, and Read More...
Sunday May 12, 2013
I live on a mountain a couple of hours from New York City. When it's sunny and warm, I have a beautiful walk right outside my door. But many days (sometimes many in a row), it rains. And I don't like to go outside when it's cold. Put those two together, and that's a lot of days when I'm stuck inside.
Now I have a secret weapon. I pull out my Doonya Bollywood Dance Workout DVDs, with dance routines created by the beautiful and energetic Priya Pandya and Kajal Desai. I LOVE Bollywood music and moves, but I don't live near a studio that offers Bollywood classes.
Priya and Kajal teach you the moves in Beginner Breakdown, get your heart rate up in Cardio Dance and Conditioning, and give you express workouts in Abs, Glutes & Cardio. They're $12.99 each or you can all three for around $25 -- a truly great deal and what I recommend. Buy now.
I love how Priya and Kajal emphasize proper form and give you the regional background of the different styles of dance. The dance routines themselves are beautiful and energizing, and the better you get at them, the more fun they are. Read More...
Monday May 6, 2013
Spas and moms go together. I wrote about a few things you can do for Mother's Day and here are some more interesting Mommy-friendly offers going on around the country:
- Every Wednesday during May, Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California offers mothers, grandmothers and moms-to-be too, a two-for-one Taking the Waters admission with the purchase of two 50-minute spa services. Access to Glen Ivy's gardens, lounge areas, and the healing waters of 19 pools usually costs $39 per person with the purchase of a spa treatment.
- Glen Ivy will also hold a free skincare event Saturday, May 11th, 2013, from 11:00am-4:00pm. Learn about effective skincare and enjoy a personal skin analysis, exfoliation and hydration.
- During May, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is offering "Mommy and Me Pedicures" at Spa Django. Sit side by side with Mom while enjoying strawberry floats and Read More...