February 12, 2018

Well, I finally did it! I had my first experience with a wellness resort and man oh man can I not RAVE about it enough! I think it should be required by law that everyone has to go on a wellness retreat once a year to take their mind on a vacation away from the chaos. Take a weekend, or a day out of your busy life to fully disconnect and nurture your mind, body, and soul. We forget the simple things we can do daily for our mental health, and Miraval reminded me just how much mindful, wellness practices help me. I am going to enforce that law upon myself, from now on once a year, my mom & I are vowing to take a weekend off and go experience one new wellness retreat a year, and then I will come back here to tell you all about them! =D

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa is situated in the mountains of Tucson, Arizona. Their mission is to promote and restore wellness, balance, & tranquility back into your daily life. They encourage people to disconnect and fully embrace the meditative grounds they have created for their guests! Creative workshops, lectures, and classes run daily by the hour every hour. Unique spa treatment choices are abundant, all of which are designed to leave you feeling renewed and refreshed! The grounds are peaceful, promoting a feeling of relaxation at any turn you take. Tranquil streams of water flow through stacks of rocks and overtake the main grounds.  Villas cozily line the desert gardens, with bold jagged mountains as a backdrop, painting a perfect sunset spot on the daily.

My two favorite areas of the ground were the Labyrinth Journey and the Prayer Tree. The Prayer Tree is a lovely little corner of its own, with a tree whose branches bend in the most perfect of ways. And then what’s even more perfect, are the love-filled letters, photographs, and trinkets dedicated to loved ones lost. You can sit on the bench, look out at the mountains, and find a way to honor the people you have lost in life, as well as sit and connect with the loss in your life.

My second favorite area was the Labyrinth Journey! The Labyrinth is a walking meditation practice that requires you to start at the beginning of the stones and walk the circular maze of rocks all while meditating in sync with your steps. Not only is it a fascinatingly beautiful formation, but it leaves you feeling good and at peace with yourself. Oh, and the views aren’t so bad either!

The rooms are spacious with hands down the COMFIEST beds I have ever slept in (that is not my own of course!). They really emphasize sleep as part of your wellness routine. Without good sleep, everything is thrown off. The bed is probably the closest I will ever come to feeling like I am sleeping on a fluffy cloud! Guests have raved about loving the resorts bedding so much, that they actually link where you can create a comfy bed similar for yourself. In need of some fresh bedding? Check the link here to get a taste of the coziness that is Miraval.

Every day classes are held on a variety of subjects ranging from Meditation to intuition, to finding your life’s purpose. They also have adrenaline packed, adventure courses like zip lining, tightrope walking way up in the air, and courses based on getting over your fears! I went to several of these classes, however, one of my favorites was Mandalas for Meditation, where we created our own Mandalas as a meditative practice. I also went to a lecture on developing your intuition, and how to be more mindful. The teachers were fascinating people with a lot of wisdom and great advice.

My favorite thing I did was meeting with an Astrologer who took the exact time I was born and studied where the planets were right at that moment in time. From there, she mapped out an astrology chart for me for the year ahead of me. It was one hour, in-depth conversation that left me feeling optimistic, positive, and excited for the year ahead. She told me many interesting things about myself, most of which were pretty spot on. My favorite news she revealed to me, was that my life destiny lies in a foreign country. This was without saying one word about myself to the woman, besides my birth date. Well…for those of you who know me, I dream of living in a foreign country daily, and though I know many people think tarot readings, physics, and astrology is silly, I believe in it to an extent and there is something extremely reassuring and fascinating about a complete stranger confirming your life desires and thoughts that you have always felt.

Moving on to the spa, their spa menu is overwhelming. EVERY SINGLE TREATMENT SOUNDS LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH! It was so hard to choose, but I chose to do something called Craniosacral Therapy. Basically, its acupuncture mixed with an intense head, neck, and ear massage. But let me be very clear, it is not relaxing, nor does it feel very good. It is pretty intense pressure where they work to get the build-up of fluids around your brain moving. I have no clue what she did to me, but about halfway through I felt a light, airy, happiness wash over my whole body and flood my brain. I can not quite explain it, but when I stood up, I felt lighter, renewed, and more balanced in my body and mind. It was the first time ever in my 24 years of life, where my mind was just silent and living in the moment. My mind felt clear and present, it was not worrying or thinking about what I was going to do later that day or the fact that I ordered every dessert on their menu the night before. My brain was just still, silent, and peaceful. It was like I was in a trance, and my mind pushed away any negative thought or feeling naturally. I am now on a mission to find a good Craniosacral therapist here in Chicago because the high I felt from that treatment is unlike anything I have ever experienced! The spa itself is beautiful, set with big relaxation rooms, a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, and crystal wall all of which you can buy some healing crystals!

One of the major highlights of the trip is, the cuisine!!! It is crafted to nourish your body and give you all the nutrients you need! All the dishes are mindfully handcrafted to be balanced, portioned, healthy meals your body will love you for! Healthy buffets are served for breakfast and lunch with the option of ordering a plate on a small menu. The buffets are scattered with all the colors of the rainbow of veggies, fresh fruit, healthy fats, and lean meat. The dinners though are the real star of the show! All plates are small and easy to share and then the resort is all inclusive so you can order every single dish on the menu if you please! ( I did, and it was kinda the greatest!)

Outside of the dining area, they also have one small smoothie and juice bar that serves up fresh concoctions of juiced nutrients to reboot and energize you for your day! These are easy grab and go drinks! Daily, they also serve a great snack buffet and another favorite part for me was the baskets of coloring utensils and mandalas they have throughout the rooms so that you can cozy up on their couch by the fireplace, coloring a mandala, all while having your snacks and prickly pear tea! Talk about relaxation!

PS. I forgot to mention The best part of everything, you can go eat and walk around the resort in your slippers and bathrobe without any weird looks!!!

Overall, Miraval gave me a great impression on my first wellness retreat. I left feeling relaxed, refreshed, and re-inspired about life and wellness. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, so take time to invest in it, and nurture it. There are so many simple things we can do daily that can help us unwind from daily life. I left with a few new wellness goals for myself going into the year, and with the urging desire to keep trying out more wellness retreats around the world.

Have you ever been to a wellness retreat? Where was it and how did you like it?

Do you have any wellness tips or tricks you live by? Drop them in a comment below I would love to hear them!