7 Getaways for National Yoga Month

rancho valenciarancho valenciarancho valencia

September is National Yoga Month, so here are some of my top picks for the best places to get your namaste on:

1. Rancho Valencia Resort & SpaSan Diego, California

Spanning 45 lush acres of gardens, nature trails, meticulous olive groves, and casitas, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa is ideal for the premier active lifestyle and healthy retreats for even the most discerning travelers. Seeking to inspire resort guests, wellness was a major initiative during Rancho Valencia’s recent $30 million renovation. In addition to resurfacing all 18 on-property tennis courts, The Spa at Rancho Valencia and fitness center were expanded with a new line-up of fitness classes, spa treatments and wellness programs. The resort’s fitness center was further expanded with the addition of a 1,000-square-foot Serenity Yoga Pavilion that now hosts numerous Yoga sessions, fitness classes, exercise programs and retreats hosted by top-tier fitness and wellness professionals. Rancho Valencia’s fitness offerings include Spin, Pilates, Tennis, TRX and Yoga in the new Serenity Yoga Pavilion. Fitness classes are complimentary for spa and resort guests and are all concluded with a fresh cold-pressed juice or protein shake.

In addition, Rancho Valencia offers monthly yoga workshops focusing on different topics each month. Throughout each workshop, Yoga Director Anna Spalding, will offer various tips on yoga, mind and body. The workshop is open to all levels and is complimentary to spa members and $40 for non-members.

Twin Farms

2. Twin FarmsBarnard, VT

Twin Farms is an all-inclusive Relais & Chateaux property and the only five-star resort in Vermont situated on lush meadowlands in Barnard, VT. Each accommodation is unique and the culinary program is incomparable to anywhere else in the Northeast. Set amidst 300 acres of meadows and woodlands, Twin Farms just unveiled a new yoga deck and programming that is perfect to visit this fall to witness stunning New England fall foliage. The new programming includes a variety of yoga practices including Sunrise yoga, Gentle Flow Yoga, Restorative Yoga and yoga hikes. In addition to yoga, TRX Suspension Training, SMR Foam Rolling, Core-Balance-Stretch and Strength Training are now offered on property. The TRX Suspension Training uses a suspension apparatus as well as calisthenics to induce a complete body workout and incorporates light to moderate strength training couples with various core and balance exercises.

In addition to the new yoga deck, Twin Farms offers an incredible wellness program with its Spa Facility, which is for the exclusive use of Twin Farms’ male and female guests. Custom designed treatments include hydrotherapy, luxuriant facials, rejuvenating manicures, pedicures and exquisite multi-layered body treatments. The signature line of Out of the Woods spa products are handcrafted in Bath, England. These botanical preparations are made with plant-based extracts, organic herbal infusions and pure essential oils.

Washington School House

3. Washington School House, Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah is the ideal destination for the adventurous traveler looking for activities other than skiing. Washington School House, the hip town’s newest luxury boutique hotel, offers guests one of the most unusual winter activities with Park City Yoga Adventures with yoga deep inside the 10,000-year-old crater at The Homestead Resort. The instructor demonstrates yoga poses from the dock while guests move and bend on paddleboards that float in the 90-plus-degree natural therapeutic pool.

Washington School House is an exclusive Park City boutique hotel where you can expect… well, the unexpected. As one of the last surviving schoolhouses built in 1889, the hotel graduated to a new level of luxury in December 2011 with the completion of a stunning renovation.

 mayflower grace

4. Mayflower Grace, Washington, CT

Known for its award winning 20,000 sq. ft. spa, Mayflower Grace offers a variety of yoga classes for guests including Power Yoga Basics, Mayflower Yoga Flow and Gentle Yoga Flow. The Mayflower Spa offers highly personalized destination wellness programs, a la carte spa services, classes and activities for guests in the spa building as well as throughout the 58 acre estate. Located in the idyllic town of Washington, CT, Mayflower Grace is an exquisite country retreat nestled on beautifully landscaped gardens and woodland, just 2 hours from New York City. The  30-room luxury hotel is surrounded by 3,000 acres of nature preserve, boasts an award winning 20,000 sq. ft. spa and two restaurants.

mulia
5. The Mulia & Mulia VillasBali, Indonesia 

Find your center of balance and peace this National Yoga Month, at the beautiful Mulia & Villas in Bali. The award winning resort provides guests with Hatha yoga, Sun Salutation yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Savasana yoga complimentary with their stay. Guests can experience classes each day throughout their stay at the Mulia. For the more experienced guest, private classes are available at the Mulia for a fee. The stunning coastline of Nusa Dua provides the perfect setting for your yoga experience.

Luna Y Mar

6. Luna y Mar Spa’s Brand New Yoga Getaway at The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, MX

Release your mind and connect your body and spirit with the moon and sea energies on this unique yoga retreat. Luna y Mar Spa’s Yoga Getaway includes the following: Two private yoga classes at the beach palapa – 60 minutes each and One moon meditation and night yoga at the beach palapa – 90 minutes

Moon mediation is a healing and regenerative process, and utilizes a specific breathing pattern that clears the mind, revitalizes the physical body, and balances emotions with the lunar and sea energies. Maximum physical and emotional benefits, along with expanded states of awareness, are the natural products of increased oxygenation that Moon Meditation breathing and yoga on the beach brings.

rancho la puerta

7. Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, MX

Yoga first soared in popularity at Rancho La Puerta and throughout North America almost simultaneously. Although there were many sources of new yoga programs in the United States in the mid-20th century, leader Indra Devi (whom many credit as being the most influential yoga teacher of the time) was at the Ranch as well as their sister spa, the Golden Door. She even opened her own yoga retreat center next door to Rancho La Puerta. Rancho La Puerta offers a variety of yoga classes including Restorative Yoga, Yoga/Fundamentals Level One and Two, and Yoga Sculpt. The Ranch also offers unique fitness retreats covering a wide range of exercise specialties led by fitness enthusiasts from all over the world. Examples include:

Gentle Yoga in November 2015 – The teachings and time tested practices of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda and Vipassana Meditation to create a dynamic and integrated practice, that help us lead healthy, happy and effective lives. Each class is unique, based on a theme related to body, mind and spirit.

Bar Method in November 2015 – The Bar Method™ integrates the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy to create a revolutionary new workout that quickly and safely reshapes your entire body.

NEW Yoga DVD Giveaway: Fitness Friday

I have a great Giveaway today for Fitness Friday! I am a HUGE yoga fan, and I am excited about this giveaway of the new yoga DVD Shiva Rea: Yoga in Greece. One of the top female yoga teachers in the country, SHIVA REA, has released several award-winning, best-selling DVDs, including her Creative Core Abs series, Fluid Power, Daily Energy ant her November release, Yoga in Greece. She is the foremost expert on vinyasa flow yoga and yoga trance dance worldwide. Shiva has taught yoga to a diverse range of creative movers and shakers, including actors, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Pierce Brosnan and John Cusack.

To enter, leaving a comment telling me if you plan to do or try yoga in 2014. For more chances to win, do the following and leave a comment telling me you did. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, January 12th at 8 A.M. Good Luck! :)

1. Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest

Acacia DVDs are available from select retailers, catalog companies Amazon and  AcaciaLifestyle.com

Wanderlust Oahu: Travel Tuesday

I know it’s not winter yet, but….. Are you looking for the perfect getaway to escape winter’s freezing temps? How does four full days of yoga, music, and mindful relaxation in one of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world sound? Good huh? After a successful debut in Oahu last year, Wanderlust Festival, the world’s fastest growing yoga and music celebration, will bring back its extended weekend wellness affair at the Turtle Bay Resort February 27 to March 2, 2014. This wellness affair is set to welcome local and international yogis for an unforgettable Hawaiian experience filled with yoga, meditation, music, food, surfing, and much more. Not only do guests get to soak up the North Shore sun, they can practice with the top yoga instructors Seane Corne, Ana Forest, and Baron Baptiste and jam with musical guests MC Yogi, DJ Drez and DJ Hy-Fi. For more information see Wanderlust Oahu. I want to go! How about you?

 

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Yoga DVD Giveaway: Fitness Friday

For today’s “Fitness Friday”, I have a great yoga DVD Giveaway! This is the first workout from the female co-host of the Emmy® Award-winning series The Doctors, Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast features three total-body yoga workouts with blasts of strength and cardio. As a busy doctor, TV host, and author, Dr. Lisa Masterson knows a thing or two about staying healthy and fitting exercise into a busy schedule; that’s why she designed these efficient 20-minute workouts alongside nationally certified instructor Elise Joan, with lively dance moves, empowering strength exercises, and invigorating stretches to suit any lifestyle. Following a doctor’s orders has never been so much fun! Enjoy this fun, yoga DVD just in time for the holidays! To enter, leave a comment telling me if you do yoga and what type of yoga you enjoy. Winner will be drawn on January 2nd at 8 a.m CST.

For more entries do the following below:

1. Like Alison Lewis on Facebook

2. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest

7 Best Things To Do on Your Lunch Break

I have had own company, Ingredients, Inc. for 11 years, and it has taken me this long to figure out the things I should be doing on my lunch break. I used to spend my lunch break eating and working at my desk or else just skip it all together and keep working. Then, I started a trend of spending my lunch breaks on the computer looking at blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc.  Finally I realized that taking time in the middle of the day for “me”  is essential to reenergize for the rest of the day.

Here are 7 best things to do on your lunch break. Whether you work at home or not, I think all of these should apply. Leave me a comment telling me what is your favorite thing to do on your lunch break.

1. Detach and unplug-Try not to check email and stay off social media. Give yourself an hour off and away from the internet.

2. Exercise-Go workout, head the the gym, or go lift weights. You’ll have more energy and refresh your mind at the same time.

3. Get outside-Go for a run, walk, place tennis with a friend or even eat outdoors. It will give you a great a fresh break, and you’ll be even more creative or productive later.

4. Have lunch with a friend-When I go to lunch with friends it gives me adult time and a mental break from my work.

5. Eat with your kids-It’s always fun to surprise your kids at school. They love when I bring them lunch (although it is not often enough), and it’s always fun to sit with them and their friends.

6. Read a book or magazine-A friend of mine always says she reads a fiction book during lunch. This sounds so relaxing. Lunch time is also a great time to catch up on your favorite magazines.

7. Have a picnic-Pick up your favorite lunch item (salad or sushi) or make your own sandwiches and head to the nearest park. It turns an ordinary day into something fabulous!

8. Take a yoga Class-One of my favorite things to do during lunch is yoga. Find a class near you. You will fall in love with it, I promise.

Saint Lucia “Health and Wellness Retreat”: Travel Tuesday

How awesome does this look? I want to go to “Elevate Yourself” the 2nd Annual Health & Wellness Retreat” in Saint Lucia on October 4th-7th, 2012.  Leading experts will offer tips and advice during wellness seminars, beachside fitness clinics, healthy cooking demonstrations and even sunrise mediations.

Priced at US $750 per person, daily spa treatments, classes, receptions and transportation from select hotels are included. Several area resorts are also offering specially priced packages starting at US $75 per night.  For a complete schedule and more information visit www.stlucianow.com/hw

The diverse program will be led by renowned experts in the wellness field. Here’s the lineup:

·         Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for The Today Show, will present her top ten tips for “Losing weight and keeping it off’” and share information on how to find the fountain of youth in your grocery cart.

·         Lindsay Wagner, actress and best-selling co-author of The High Road to Health, will lead a sunrise group meditation and teach how to “Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart” by releasing thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs of negative emotions.

·         John Schumacher, founder and director of Unity Woods Yoga Center and one of only 13 certified advanced lyengar yoga teachers in the U.S., will lead daily yoga sessions on the basic postures and breathing exercises that energize and center the body.

·         Dr. Stephen Brewer, medical director at Canyon Ranch Health Resorts in Tucson, AZ, will speak about the “Optimal Wellness” -achieving health through exercise, nutrition, behavioral modification and mental awareness.

·         Dani Devaux, creator of Blood, Sweat and Tears fitness program, will lead multiple sunset beach boot camps based on her high intensity interval training program, designed for all fitness levels.

Each day guests will find a choice of seminars, activities such as guided Rain Forest hikes, beachside Tai Chi and Yoga, and healthy cooking demonstrations.  Also included are daily spa treatments at participating resorts, including the newly relaunched Body Holiday – Le Sport among others, as well as the opportunity to indulge in the natural therapeutic benefits of Soufriere’s mineral and mud baths.

Special hotel packages include breakfast and are available at the following participating properties:

·         Bay Gardens Resorts rates start at US $150 per night for a deluxe pool view room

·         BodyHoliday-LeSport all-inclusive, per person rates start at US $275 per night

·         Cap Maison rates start at US $230 per night for a one-bedroom studio

·         Coco Palm rates start at US $75 per night at the Coco Palm Kreole Village

·         Sandals Grande Beach Resort & Spa start at US $350 per night

·         The Landings St. Lucia rates start at US $269 per night for a one-bedroom Harbor Suite

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800-456-3984, or visit www.saintlucianow.com or become a fan at www.facebook.com/SaintLuciaTouristBoard

 

5 Best Things about Bikram Yoga: Fitness Friday

Summer is in full swing, and while you have undoubtedly already made a few trips to the beach or the pool, it’s not too late to get into gear and get the body and tone you want.  Fitness expert, Bikram yoga instructor and owner of Bikram Yoga Andersonville in Chicago., Jessica Rask, says that Bikram yoga can put you on the fast-track to bikini body bliss. “Because Bikram is done in a 105-degree room with approximately 40% humidity, you sweat a great deal more than you would with other exercises, allowing the body to detoxify on a cellular level, ensuring all of your organs are working in optimal condition” she says. “Over time Bikram yoga can really help take inches off your waist, hips and thighs, while building muscle tone all over. Photo (above) via Pure Bikram Hot Yoga
Here are the 5 best things about Bikram Yoga via Jessica:
  1. All you need for yoga is a spine!  Bikram Yoga is an all levels class. Everyone can practice and feel comfortable doing so.  No matter what is happening with your body, you can come to class.  Bikram says you are never too old, too sick, or too injured to start from scratch again.  And it’s true!  The saddest moment for me, as a teacher, is hearing someone say they cannot come to class because of a broken toe, wrist, leg, etc.  Yoga is therapy!  It is so wonderful to watch our students practice ESPECIALLY when they are working through a physical ailment.  I have taught class to a young woman in a half leg cast, a first time student who had torn her ACL two weeks prior, broken wrists, herniated discs, MS, RA, you name it!  This specific style of yoga can be pivotal in the healing process for bodily injuries.
  2. In Bikram Yoga, it is not the teacher’s decision what to teach.  We perform the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises every class.  There is beauty in repetition.  Due to this stipulation in the Bikram Yoga class, you are assured your entire body is worked from top to bottom (i.e., the teacher cannot focus on forward bends or arm balancing, just because it is what they like)!  Over time, this repetition becomes your constant in an ever changing life.  You always know you can come to class and meditate in this beautiful dance that is the 26 and 2.
  3. Although we practice the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises, the body is always different so no class is ever the same!  Many times, I will hear students walk in and say they expect to have a hard time in class, only to have the best class ever on the mat!
  4. Over time, as one becomes more in tune with his or her body, it is easier to identify if something is off.  Because we do not provide hands on adjustments or demonstrate the postures, the student becomes very in tune with what is happening inside.  This is so important to a person’s well-being!  I have had students come to me and say they credit this yoga to knowing something was wrong inside and gone on to identify cancer in its very early stages….life saving!
  5. SWEATING…no need to extrapolate.

picture (above) is Jessica and thank you Jessica for contribution on this post.

Fitness Friday: New “Strong & Sculpted” Canyon Ranch DVD & Giveaway

When I heard about the new “Canyon Ranch: Strong & Sculpted” DVD releasing this week, I was excited to check it out. This is a great concept of bringing the Canyon Ranch experience home with you. These three 20-minute workouts take healthy living to a new level for total-body transformation designed to work together to firm, tone, and invigorate your entire body. The workouts include a dynamic strength-training segment to build strong bones and long, lean muscle; a fluid, easy-to-follow yoga flow for more body sculpting and to improve balance and flexibility; and a powerful core segment to work the muscles of the abs and hips that are key to a powerful, smoothly functioning physique. With this program, you’ll chisel your muscles, focus your mind, and transform your body. For more information to purchase, see Acacia Lifestyles.

Check Out These Workout Options:

  • Core (20 min. plus 5 min. cool down) with Canyon Ranch fitness instructor Darcy McCue

  • Strength Training (20 min. plus 9 min. cool down) with Canyon Ranch fitness instructor Heather Schmidt

  • Yoga (20 min. plus 5 min. savasana) with Heather Schmidt

    Bonus Features:

·Take healthy living to a new level with three bonus segments featuring Canyon Ranch integrative health experts.

·Cooking with Super Foods: How to select and prepare foods that reduce inflammation with Canyon Ranch’s nutrition director and corporate chef (7 min.)

·Building Lean Muscle: What you need to know about muscle and how to build muscle through exercise with an exercise physiologist (3 min.)

·Healthy Joints: How to protect and strengthen your joints during exercise and in everyday life with an integrative medicine expert (4 min.)

·Booklet with recipes from the renowned chefs of Canyon Ranch

For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me why you would like this DVD. Do the following for more chances to win and leave me a comment telling me you did. Winner will be drawn on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8 p.m CST.

Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook

Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

Follow me on Pinterest

Like Acacia Fitness on Facebook

Fitness Friday: What is Corporate Yoga?

What is “Corporate Yoga”? Have you heard about it? I am so thrilled to feature an interview with my friend, Jennifer Berman, Owner of Jennifer Berman Yoga. She is doing what she loves teaching yoga classes in major corporations. I find this trend and her entrepreneurial spirit so interesting, unique and inspiring. I couldn’t wait to share this story on my “Fitness Friday”.

 Why is Corporate Yoga So Important and beneficial?

Corporate Yoga brings not only a yoga class to the workplace, but also brings a healthy mindset and lifestyle. Yoga cultivates mindfulness, and when we are in a state of mindfulness, we become in tune with our bodies and our health. We also start to make healthier choices. Companies benefit when it’s not just an exercise class a few times a week, but when there is a shift in the corporate culture toward a healthier lifestyle. I strive to keep my classes engaging, challenging, and fun so the participants never know what to expect. I don’t think I’ve ever taught a class that is the same. This helps Corporate Yoga classes stay packed, and it keeps their employees coming back for more!

Why are more companies going this route?

Companies are beginning to see the benefits of providing Corporate Yoga. There are many benefits for both the employer and employees. From the employer standpoint, this could mean lower insurance premiums, less sick days, increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, more attractive to potential employees, increased job satisfaction and positive thinking. From the employee standpoint, the benefits are improved health and wellness, less stress, anxiety, and depression; improved memory, focus, weight loss, and increased mental alertness. Also, it’s a great way for employees to get to know each other and promote team building. The benefits just go on and on!

How did you get into the entrepreneurial business side of yoga?

About 4 years ago, I donated a few private yoga sessions for a school fundraiser. The person who bought the sessions referred a friend to me. The friend contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in coming to her office to teach a class. A few weeks later I was leading a packed class at her office in an empty board room. Soon after, one of the women in this class referred me to her friend at a law firm downtown.  Before I knew it,  I was traveling to the law firm and teaching a full class in an empty office. At this point, teaching yoga was my hobby and passion, not a career.  I was still working in sales  full-time but teaching a few corporate yoga classes on the side. A horrible work experience left me without a job unexpectedly.  I was forced to figure out something fast. During this very difficult time, a student referred me to her company to teach a yoga class.  Before I knew it, I was teaching all over town doing what I loved and what I am most passionate about. Sometimes it takes those really difficult situations to push us and motivate us in the path we were meant to follow. I feel so blessed to be in a career doing what I love, inspiring and helping others toward a healthier life!

How many corporate classes are you teaching on a weekly basis?

I travel all over Birmingham bringing yoga to large utility companies, financial companies, law firms, doctor offices, and dentist offices. All of the Corporate Yoga classes are paid for by the companies as a wellness benefit for their employees.  All you need to get started is a board room, empty office, or lobby. I offer morning, lunch-time, or afternoon Corporate Yoga classes, conference break yoga sessions, yoga parties, and private yoga.