In an ongoing series, Keren Weinstein, our Guest Life-Balance Editor, took a much needed trip. More than the need to go on vacation to a new locale, she wanted to find her own sense of balance and thus Project Detox began. Last week, we arrived in Tuscon just in time to catch the rare site of the Organ Pipe Cactus which only blooms once a year at night! Today we continue with her thoughts and begin to understand ourselves!
The Journey into Myself in what I refer to as Project Detox, was designed to flow much like my Yoga routine.
Of course you can practice yoga just about anywhere, but it is much more efficient and effective to practice in an environment that is quiet, clean, peaceful & infused with nature.
The concept may be cliché but it seems pretty Obvi to me.
If your schedule is anything like mine then simply getting to class means you literally run in last minute still catching your breath from your rainy-commute-home-from-work followed by the parenting after school routine of playtime-dinner-clean up-bath time-brush teeth-read books-bed time. All eyes are on you, as you attempt to squeeze the yoga mat in between your classmates in an angle that keeps at least some sort of jagged edged view of your instructor. Once you finally do sit down and attempt to catch up to the class your intro breathing resembles something like this…
Inhale. (“Did I put the milk back in the fridge?”) Exhale.
Inhale (“Must remember to renew my yoga package ooh gotta stretch my legs”) Exhale.
OK. So clearly your mind and body take time (& effort) to relax but how great is getting a jumpstart (or more like quick fix) from your instructor as she is Staging Moments for you?
She turns down the lights. Puts on relaxing yoga music. Adjusts the temperature in the room. Gives you a visual throw back to nature by telling you to ‘be a tree’. Ground yourself at the root/core while allowing yourself to softly sway with your breath as the tree does in the wind. She then lights a sage’ish aromatherapy candle and we chant.
(Yum!) Release. Unwind. Become aware. Reconnect.
Begin to take my stance on the edge of the diving board to jump into myself.
Ironic (& challenging) how you actually use your internal and external senses to assist in bridging the gap between mind and body only to then work on disconnecting from your senses in order to get to the true inner you. This was my P.D. task.
For Project Detox the Sonoran Desert becomes my 'yoga mat'.
When I discovered that one of my favorite Hotel chains, the Loews built their Tucson property with a unique balance between keeping “[local] Nature in mind” and creating a luxury resort & spa (which for Loews means luxurious yet comfortable, kid & pet friendly yet perfect for couples or solo spa/golfing trips, fine dining & pampering, Me First!) I knew I found my bridge for that mind-body-spirit connection.
The Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is a unique resort that embodies the pure essence of Tucson. The hotel is organically situated at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and is practically camouflaged into the beautiful desert landscape.
This picture was taken from the balcony of my suite. Notice how the hotel has the same DNA as the desert cacti and mountains and how it’s embedded within the environment seamlessly.
All my senses are engaged.
The healing dry heat, the visual beauty of Nature at its purest form, the soothing sound of the cascading eighty foot waterfall and the unique taste of the Hummingbird Tea. This is a unique tea blend made exclusively for Loews Ventana and is a medley of orange peals and the plants that are indigenous to the area like the Ayurvedic Hibiscus flower, Calming Desert Lavender, etc. How incredible to actually be able to taste the Tucson flora as do the local Hummingbirds (hence the name)! Grab a complementary cup at the lobby, order a cup from one of their six restaurants and lounges or, like me, buy a box on-site to take the experience home with you.
Whenever I travel, it is key for me to learn as much about the destination as possible (especially the best kept secrets!).
What is cool about this hotel is that they’ve teamed up with the Arizona-Sanora Desert Museum, Tucson Botanical Gardens & Friends of Sabino Canyon to create an on-site nature trail (called the “Window Walk”) that educates the guests on the indigenous plant life, native birds, butterflies, reptiles, mammals, geology of Tucson, the life of a Saguaro, the history of the Loews Ventana and a stunning display of minerals.
The clearly labeled signage that seems to grow from the stones are enjoyable to read – especially when playing ‘Name That Aromatherapy’ as you attempt to distinguish between the fresh scents of the Jojoba Plant (familiar) & rare desert rain scent of the Creosote Bush (new) on the trail only to recognize them on the sign as ‘that key ingredient’ in a new fabulous product you just bought from Sephora on 5th Ave.
Wearing the recommended color red to attract the hummingbirds, I wander into this journey that begins at the Koi fish pond right outside the concierge desk and takes me through a desert oasis for the senses to drink.
This is a Desert Oasis and I am the thirsty camel.
Keren Weinstein is a seasoned professional in Fashion & Beauty with over 12 years in Integrated Marketing, Advertising and Celebrity Fashion Styling