By Mark Captain, Travel & Lifestyle Editor.
The words wellness and experience are so important and mean so much especially in our everyday hecticity. The below ideas have been hand picked and include whisky, monks, Netflix and…goats! Wellness can be really fun.
The locations have been chosen so you can experience these all year round so pack a bag and rediscover your wellness.
Find your zen in Santa Barbara’s Salt Caves
The Salt Caves in Santa Barbara are the largest human-made underground crystal salt cave in North America. Covered from floor to ceiling in Himalayan Salt, the air in the cave is infused with micro-particles of salt and minerals, absorbed naturally through the skin and said to help open up the lungs. Choose from a range of treatments and activities inside the caves, including Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga Nidra. santabarbaraca.com
Netflix & Sweat at Shape House, West Hollywood
Yes. Netflix. Visitors to West Hollywood can enjoy an alternative workout class called the Shape House, where you are wrapped in a big heated blanket whilst watching your favourite Netflix shows for an hour. During the sweat session the heart receives a workout similar to that of a 10 mile run burning between 800-1,600 calories. Following the cleanse, you can also purchase vitamin injections to rehydrate and infuse your body post workout with pure vitamins. visitwesthollywood.com
Scotch & stretch your way to inner peace in Greater Palm Springs
I guess this is the reason why the word whisky translates into the meaning water of life…The Agua Serena Spa in the Indian Wells Hyatt Regency Resort offers a private stretch and breathing class to stimulate blood flow and flexibility while exploring complex tastes and smells of whisky! The two hour class is held in small groups where you will share four single malt and blended Scotch whiskies with taste notes to enhance all senses. visitgreaterpalmsprings.com
Experience an ionic foot soak in Yosemite’s Tuolumne County
The Amala Detox Lounge in downtown Sonora is taking wellness treatments to a whole new level. Their popular ionic foot detox works in the same way as a magnet, by pulling toxins out of your body through your feet. The ions emitted in the water hold a small charge that enables them to bind to any heavy metals and toxins. The lounge also provides an assortment of tea for ailments and an infrared sauna. visittuolumne.com
Discover the healing vortex in Ojai, California
80 miles north of Los Angeles lies the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. This historic luxury resort sits in a valley said to be an energetic hotspot vortex, holding mystical powers. The pink glow on the surrounding mountains at sunset certainly aids belief in the Ojai vortex, with a charming sense of peacefulness. A selection of yoga classes spans the style spectrum. To start, head to Meditation Mount with sweeping views of Ojai Valley, for sunrise and full-moon yoga. Rare mind-body wellness experiences like Kuyam can be tried too, a treatment that combines therapeutic effects of intense dry heat, self-applied desert clays and inhalation therapy. ojaivalleyinn.com
Live like a monk at Shasta Abbey on Mount Shasta
Achieve a more profound sense of self through a stay at Shasta Abbey. This Buddhist monastery welcomes outsiders into its beautiful, sacred space, located on a 16-acre forest near the base of Mount Shasta. You can choose from several styles of retreat from three-day introductory retreat to extended stays. The three-day introductory retreat encourages visitors to try Soto Zen through guided meditation, Dharma talks and mindfulness, with the opportunity for private spiritual counselling. visitcalifornia.com
Join the Portland goat craze
Located 90 minutes southwest of Portland, Goat Yoga has become a global phenomenon. During this hour-long vinyasa class, very friendly goats hop on your back, nuzzle your legs or even try to throw off your balance. Be sure to hang around after class for a meet-and-greet with affectionate twins Preston and Quincy and other pygmy and full-sized goats. travelportland.com
Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture
Ibusuki is a hot spring town in Japan located in the southeast of Kagoshima Prefecture, with its own beach that stretches one kilometre and is naturally heated by a healing hot spring. Start with a Sand Bath by burying yourself in sand which is naturally heated to 50°C–55°C and has a sauna-type affect. This has been medically proven to have health benefits and can aid detoxification as well as improve blood circulation. seejapan.co.uk
Naruko Hot Springs Village, Miyagi Prefecture
The Naruko-onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village, located in the Tohoku Region of Japan, is a scenic hot spring village surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains. Unwind in the geothermal pools which are said to have a number of natural health benefits like reducing stress and relieving aches and pains. You can also experience the nearby Naruko-kyo Gorge, one of Tohoku Region’s most scenic gorges. visitmiyagi.com
Free your spirit at Chanslor Ranch, Bodega Bay, Sonoma County
Chanslor Ranch is a 400 acre Nature Preserve that has everything. The hillsides and redwood forests in Sonoma County bring gorgeous Pacific Ocean views, made even finer on horseback. Combine these majestic animals with stunning open range vistas, cliffs and beaches, and you’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience. There are ocean view, trail, and dazzling sunset rides, all as relaxing or exhilarating as your experience level allows. sonomacounty.com