Acupuncture, yoga and deep tissue massages are just some of the traditional wellness activities and treatments that come to mind when dreaming of a relaxing holiday, and practices becoming ever more important in the fast paced, tech-filled lives we lead. Not a destination to stick to the norm however, Arizona, the birthplace of hot stone massages and home to the strongest healing energy on the planet, has a number of cutting edge and unusual wellness therapies to satisfy even the most serious shaman. From yoga with goats, exercises for the brain and a retreat dedicated totally to rejuvenation, Arizona is a haven for holiday health. Here are Arizona’s most unique and unusual wellness experiences to rejuvenate the body and the soul…
For animal lovers…Goat Yoga
Yoga, an ancient practice aimed to improve flexibility, energy levels and muscle strength has been taken to whole new caprine heights with the introduction of Goat Yoga, which sees yogis and goats pose together to relax and de-stress. During the guided yoga classes, run by Mesa-based Sarah Williams, the gentle animals roam around as participants get into downward dog (or perhaps downward goat) with the goats then carefully placed on the guests whilst holding poses, to ease stress and reap the benefits of being around calming animals. Participants have reported that the unique yoga class clears the mind and offers a chance to release endorphins from exercise, whilst increasing oxytocin from pet therapy. In the summer months goat yoga raves and pyjama parties are also on offer.
Arizona Goat Yoga offer classes from $12 (approx. £9) for an hour long class (with additional time afterwards to mingle with the goats). http://goatyoga.com
For good vibrations…Sedona’s Vortexes
Travellers come from all across the globe to experience the vortex energy centers of Sedona, an area which has become a spiritual mecca and haven for healers and spiritual guides owing to this powerful energy emitted by the famous red rocks. The vortex energy is said to connect with the inner self of any person within half a mile of each vortex, and depending on their sensitivity to the energy can heal past emotional wounds, bring positivity to the self and help people embrace a loving and open way of life. There are four main spiritual vortexes in Sedona, at Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, Airport Mesa and Cathedral Rock.
Pink Jeep Tours Sedona offer a ‘Touch the Earth Vortex Tour’, a 2.5 open-air jeep tour which takes in Mystic Vista, Vultee Arch Road and Airport Mesa, and views of Cathedral Rock and Boynton Canyon, whilst guests learn about the history, science and metaphysical beliefs around the famous vortex sites, with the chance to experience the healing energy for themselves. The tour costs $105 (£81) per adult, and $95 (£73) per child (ages 1.5 to 12 years).
For golfers…Golf Ball Massage
Designed especially for those who need to limber up before or unwind after 18 holes, the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale offers the golfers massage, a therapeutic treatment which involves stretching techniques to knead tight muscles and ease golf related stiffness, and warm golf balls rolled along the neck muscles and either side of the spine to relieve tension and soothe the key muscles used in a golf swing.
The massage costs from $165 (£127) for 50 minutes and $230 (£177) for 80 minutes. www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale
Set within the four Sacred Mountains that define Dinetah, the traditional Navajo Native American homeland, Restival Arizona works closely with the community leaders of the Navajo tribe, to put on a festival retreat, which aims to combine the ancient cultures and traditions of the region connecting people to the land, with health and wellness practices for both the mind and the body. From drumming, dancing, resting, creating art, mask making, astronomy, full moon and harvest ceremonies, practicing yoga and meditation, sweat lodges, gong baths and body treatments, the festival is designed to help people switch off from the digital madness of our modern era. Festival-goers camp in beautiful eco-luxury bell tents under the vast desert skies, and can feast on delicious organic local produce and elixirs over the five days
Prices start from £1,200 per person to take part in the festival retreat and includes five nights’ accommodation on an all-inclusive basis, shared experiences, all organic meals, water, elixirs, tea and bullet coffee, airport pickups and experiences (excludes flights, some additional bespoke experiences and alcoholic drinks). For more information and enquiries, visit www.restival.global
For jet lag…Zero-Gravity Nap Pods
Jet lag can be a real nuisance when travelling abroad and frustrating when you want to hit the ground running on arriving in a far flung destination. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess have found a solution to this annoyance with zero-gravity nap pods for stress relieving ‘adult naps’, that are said to reduce jet-lag in just a half hour session. Nappers can select from an offering of aromatic essential oils, which are placed on key pulse points to enhance the slumber.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers Therapeutic Adult “Naps” from $49 at their Health Spa Retreat.
For more than a massage…Naga
At Miraval Resort & Spa near Tucson, guests can play an active role in their massage, with Naga. A Naga Thai massage sees the therapist support themselves from hanging silks, entwining and suspending themselves to support the guest through stretches and various Eastern and Western healing techniques to increase blood flow, energy, body awareness and postural alignments.
A Naga experiences at Miraval Resort & Spa costs $215 (approx. £165) for 50 minutes and $275 (approx. £211) for an 80 minute treatment. www.miravalresorts.com/spa/energy-oriental/
Due to enhanced demand, Sedona Arizona’s premier center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening has just added new fall dates for Courses in Empowerment, Awakening, Energy Fundamentals, Healing Tools and Shamanic Teachings October 17th – 28th, 2014. Anahata Ananda of Shamangelic Healing designed these training programs to provide mainstream audiences with simple concepts to live an empowered and awakened life. Anyone can benefit from the essentials. Advanced courses are also available for more experienced practitioners and facilitators. Sedona’s breathtaking beauty, energy vortexes combined with the influence of Native American culture, provides the perfect setting for this training.
Many people are overwhelmed by life’s challenges and frustrated with the traditional approaches to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Consequently, alternative methods that integrate mind, body and spirit are in greater demand. More individuals are seeking meditation practices, Shamanic healing, Spiritual Retreats and sacred vortex land experiences. Sedona is the mecca for these offerings. Shamangelic Healing with Anahata offers a full complement of these services in addition to the training courses for those who are ready to go to the next level.
For those interested in learning more about the mind, body and spirit connection, the “Essential Courses for Empowerment and Awakening” program is perfect. This three and a half day experience includes 10 courses which provide fundamental tools and perspectives to live a thrived balanced vibrant life. These foundational courses are designed for individuals interested in exploring how to balance their energy, keep clear boundaries, meditate for stress relief, connect to Spirit, maintain healthy relationships and enjoy vibrant health. Courses on the Chakra system, sacred altars, conscious relationships, working with guides, divine feminine and masculine, meditation techniques, light and dark energies and others are included.
The interest in Shamanic Teachings and healing modalities is on the rise. Shamanic wisdom holds many answers to today’s life challenges. This 3-day course on “Shamanic Wisdom Teachings” explores the in-depth soulful world of Shamanism, land energies and sacred ceremonies. An overview of various Shamanic Traditions, Ceremonies, Animal Spirit Guides, Nature Teachers and Elemental Wisdom Teachings are covered. The Shamangelic Healing Sanctuary is nestled beneath Sedona’s famous Thunder Mountain and just a quick walk to a nearby ancient Medicine Wheel. This setting provides a perfect learning environment for exploring nature wisdom and Shamanic teachings.
The advanced courses are designed for those interested in the healing arts and for current practitioners looking to expand their service offerings, and strengthen their abilities to address sensitive emotional client issues. The “Healing Tools and Modalities” explores deep emotional release techniques, guided visualization practices, and a wide range of healing tools and modalities. The “Shamangelic Breathwork” program incorporates deep Shamanic breathing techniques, guided visualization, vibrational sound and energy healing to facilitate profound emotional releases and open new channels of awareness.
The program instructor Anahata has trained extensively with gifted shamans, energy healers and spiritual teachers from Peru, India, Asia and North America in order to artfully integrate the fields of energy healing, self-empowerment, shamanic teachings, emotional release, spiritual studies and visualization techniques. Blending the compassion and tenderness of an Angel and the wisdom and strength of a Shaman, Anahata guides journeys of profound healing and awakening. Her extensive client base spans the globe and includes business professionals, parents, couples, healers and individuals of all ages, who seek to heal and awaken their fullest potential. Anahata is the founder of Shamangelic Healing based in Sedona, Arizona, where she offers Shamangelic Healing sessions, energy healing & Shamanic training courses, Personalized Retreats, Soulful Sedona Vortex Land Journeys and sacred ceremonies.
For detailed descriptions and calendar of the training courses, transformational healing and spiritual awakening services offered by Anahata visit http://www.ShamangelicHealing.com