Transformational travel can be a springboard to permanent lifestyle changes.
CHOOSE AN ALLURING DESTINATION,
add a wellness component and bring lasting benefits home. No setbacks for you. Any and all health achievements while on vacation will be a springboard to permanent change. Enthusiasts call it transformational travel.
If long-term stress relief sounds heavenly, did you know that the Rejuvé Wellness Center & Spa in San Francisco is equipped with a neurologist-designed chair to induce meditation? And, if you like this recliner called Soltec Lounge, you can purchase it for your home.
Banishing stress is also achieved by practising routine yoga every day before you set off to explore. If, for instance, you sign up with tour company Yoga & Adventures Worldwide (yogaadventuresworldwide.com), a bevy of mind-and-body benefits await you in places like Mexico, Cuba, Morocco, Greece and Iceland—along with new locations in the plans.
Full revitalization can also be yours closer to home. It’s a safe bet to expect most of the ski and wilderness resorts in Canada offer targeted body treatments or a complete spa. As well, numerous retreats have developed a specialty in health-and-fitness improvements. Likewise, a grand selection of day spas in Canada is at your fingertips at fivestaralliance.com.
When making plans, consult the practitioners about the scope of your ailment and don’t be shy. They’ve heard it all before from men and women alike, including varying degrees of anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, trauma, broken hearts, tired skin, grief, bad habits, eating disorders, accidents, foot pain, muscle tension and disease-recovery. Transformational travel starts by acting on an inspiring idea, such as these.
Ailments: Emotional difficulties, depression, anxiety, relationships
Try: Meditation immersion
To declutter and bring peace of mind, did you know deep meditation techniques are taught by Buddhists in a 10-day process at six locations across Canada?
Look up Vipassana Meditation Centres where the goal is “to see things as they really are.” As well, the multi-day technique, described as “the total eradication of mental impurities to reach the highest happiness,” is a skill you’ll be able to bring home. The process is intense, however, as most of it is conducted in silence—and take note: it’s a gift. Donations are accepted but, if you qualify for the program, the total package, including meals, accommodation and teachings, is free. Canadian locations, among others around the world, are found in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. dhamma.org
Ailments: Bad habits, medication side effects, emotional instability
Try: A 7- to 21-day escape to relax, cleanse, rest, recover
On Vancouver Island, the oceanfront Fresh Start health retreat is known as a transformation sanctuary for most things that ail us. Its core treatment is called the Whole Body Detox and Cellular Re-nourishment system. Over a seven-day period, guests experience a substantial detox (to de-stress, energize, hydrate cells and meditate). Or, during the 14- and 21- day periods, the healing is intensified to deal with issues like high cholesterol, immune-lymph disorders, drug side effects, insomnia, food disorders and the re-patterning of bad habits. Fresh Start runs nine programs yearly addressing “the restoration of physical and emotional health” and free consultations are offered online, which could be a critical first step to feeling much better. healthretreat.ca
THE UNITED STATES
Ailments: Insomnia, jet lag, stress, low energy Try: Sleep-inducing body treatments In the Southern California city of Rancho Palos Verdes, spend a few days at the Terranea Resort where the ocean breeze alone soothes the soul and the indoor/outdoor spa is known for its blissful Sound Sleep service. This treatment includes a light massage with essential oils to encourage deep relaxation and promote sleep. Learn how to benefit from your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and once home, investigate the guidelines posted by the National Sleep Foundation regarding adjustments to your bedroom, diet and lifestyle behaviour. terranea.com
Ailments: Grief, loneliness, emotional pain Try: Dedicated healing in the sunshine In Fort Myers, join others for a few days at the Florida Grief and Loss Retreat where, like you, other participants are also stuck in painful, uncomfortable feelings. Your pain might be the result of sorrow from a death or loss, an inability to transition, or feeling trapped in anger, sadness, fear or guilt. Programs and calendars are posted online. Participants receive one-on-one consultations with the practitioners, however the encouragement of group support is at the core of recovery. So, in addition to the healing effects of the Florida sunshine, there’s a good chance you’ll come home with new-found friends for life. awakenment-wellness.com
LEFT: Yoga at Terranea Spa. Terranea Resort OPPOSITE: Exercise and meditation are all part of the adventure packages offered by Yoga & Adventures Worldwide. Anna Fishkin BOTTOM: Cycling excursions are a great way to keep fit and stay healthy. TDA Global Cycling