I had one illuminating experience after another at Miraval Berkshires this week and would be so happy to recommend it and talk to you more about it. If you're still deciding on your new year's holiday travels, consider what a customized wellness getaway could do for you, how it could feel to start 2024 with clearer intentions for the year ahead. Creating balance in your life is so powerful and necessary, instead of just waiting for it to somehow show up and happen on its own. Miraval is GREAT at helping guide you to moving forward with more mindfulness. I want to visit all their resorts now!
Excerpt below from 12/1/2021 article produced by Virtuoso and Miraval Resorts & Spas can be found here.
The new year offers a ready-made reset button. The calendar’s flip makes for a natural demarcation point, but there’s even more reason to celebrate the potential of the year ahead as the pandemic eases. For many, January brings health and fitness resolutions, and there’s no better way to get off on the right foot than a health resort wellness retreat. That doesn’t have to mean boot camps and sweating off recent indulgences or vices to high-bpm soundtracks. Miraval Resorts & Spas, for example, focuses on achieving results through helping guests reconnect with themselves and the world around them. That could be through core classes and aqua cardio, sure, but it’s also about relaxation, outdoor adventure, culinary nutrition, or a personalized combination of more than 200 spa treatments and 600 wellness seminars at Miraval’s Arizona, Texas, and Massachusetts retreats.
“We offer hundreds of life-enriching experiences, ranging from exercise physiology, wellness counseling, and outdoor adventures to sound bathing, chakra balancing, and meditation,” says Simon Marxer, the brand’s associate vice president of spa and wellbeing. Resort staff tailor each stay to the individual guest – whether it’s a first-time novice or a fitness guru returning for an annual retreat. Miraval’s philosophy boils down to motivating guests to move from languishing to flourishing, Marxer explains. “A central tenet of mindfulness is the capacity to see through a beginner’s eye,” he says. Here’s how to recharge for the year ahead.
Set on 400 acres in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Miraval Arizona is the birthplace of the wellness brand and just celebrated its 25th anniversary. “It’s influenced by an intimate connection with the surrounding Sonoran Desert,” says Marxer. Guests discover that signature spirit and soul in casita-style accommodations – each guestroom has a Tibetan singing bowl and a meditation cushion – and experiences that range from spiritual drumming to savoring southern Arizona’s flavors in a cocktail class. Don a beekeeper suit and join the resident apiarist for an up-close encounter with pollinators. Or walk horses through obstacles that represent life’s challenges and triumphs.
“The equine experience is quite unique in interacting with a horse,” says Fran Fishman, a Virtuoso advisor who tried equine-therapy sessions at the resort’s Purple Sage Ranch. “Well-being at Miraval is about trying new activities and challenging oneself.”
Hill Country Hit
Overlooking Lake Travis amid bluebonnet fields that bloom each spring in Texas Hill Country, the 280-acre Miraval Austin – like its home state – does things a bit differently. A typical day here may start with yin yoga with reiki in the Yoga Barn,” followed by a visit to a biodynamic farm, a hike in the local Balcones Canyonland Preserve, and hatchet throwing. Virtuoso travel agency co-owner Amanda Klimak came here with the intention to relax and unplug (public areas at all three Miraval resorts are digital-device-free environments) and participated in harmonic meditations, took afternoon strolls in the labyrinth, and found a new love for its delicious vegan and vegetarian options.
“I slowly unwrapped the layers of stress and anxiety that had built up over the past 20 months,” says Klimak. “The difference in my stress level and feeling of well-being from the time I arrived to the time I left was nothing but miraculous.”
Back to Basics in the Berkshires
The bucolic Berkshires have served as East Coasters’ restorative playground since the days of Norman Rockwell. Today, 380 acres of this landscape form the backyard of Miraval Berkshires and include the original Tudor-style Wyndhurst Mansion designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, legendary landscape architect of New York’s Central Park. Outdoor adventure here takes many forms, from snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to hiking and a challenge course consisting of 20 honeycomb-like platforms suspended in the trees.
Channel your inner warrior year-round in programs such as the upcoming Cold Immersion for Building Resilience, a science-based physiological experience that encourages leaning into discomfort to unlock dormant potential. Or give the shivers a cold shoulder and embrace weightlessness instead, as Fishman did. She reports, “My husband and I tried the Floating Meditation and felt renewed!” Another favorite activity: the resort’s two-hour hike to Pikes Pond, which educated her about beavers and their lives in the forest. “Never gave beavers much thought before,” she says. That fresh perspective is part of the experience.
Miraval designs its activities to reflect each resort’s individual setting and the passions of its team, whether apiculture or kintsugi (the Japanese art of patching broken pottery with gold). And because well-being is personal, the mix is non-prescriptive, whether you prefer communing with horses in Tucson, trailing beavers in the Berkshires, or finding your way in a labyrinth outside Austin. You may want to explore nature, travel closer to home, recuperate, learn to meditate, or finally try yoga.
Fishman says she focused on herself with new activities, took a yoga class, and set an intention to start practicing yoga again. Klimak wanted a digital detox and relaxation through activities and programs that allowed her to recharge her personal batteries. That’s one intention that Miraval Resorts & Spas inspires in all guests during their retreats: Give yourself permission to unplug. And then reconnect in a new and more powerful way.
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