Lifestyle & Parenting

Retreat to Wellness

May 24, 2018

Typically, January is the month when we awake from our holiday fog and swear to make healthier choices for the New Year: you know, exercise more and take our glazed eyes off our laptops once in awhile to find balance in our lives. For some us, that fog doesn’t lift until April—making it the perfect time to take part in a three-day spring cleanse weekend called Mind Body Gorgeous. With snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks, an implausibly stunning turquoise lake and sweeping vistas in sight, the wellness retreat was hosted by the world-class Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and led by New York Times-bestselling author, Sophie Uliano, who has worked with the likes of A-listers Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts (all the more reason to block off one’s calendar and pack one’s bags).

lake louise retreat

After settling into our deluxe suite on a Sunday, it was time to meet our fellow attendees at a welcome reception. While we noshed on some tantalizing appetizers, Sophie gave us a glimpse into how the retreat was to unfold. Essentially, each morning (bright and early) began with a healthy smoothie (our go-to was the "rejuvenation" drink, with carrot, pineapple and ginger), followed by a short meditation and a low-intensity restorative class to benefit both body and mind. Structured workshops during the day had us, for example, open up about changes or shifts we wished to make in our lives. Some of the stories we heard were emotional and poignant, and we were glad for the safe space to talk about our own personal challenges (no judgement, just positive feedback).

lake louise retreat

During our last seminar Sophie offered simple ways we could take integrate her lessons into our daily lives: “When someone is just starting their wellness journey, I suggest keeping it VERY simple," she said. "Think of adding just three little actions—I call them deposits into your wellness account—on a daily basis. This could be as simple as two minutes of controlling deep breathing when you feel anxious or stressed, a morning smoothie, and committing to three strength-training sessions a week.”

lake louise retreat

Beyond the yoga and meditation, the retreat included daily free time that let us indulge in nature walks, afternoon mindful lake shore strolls and well-deserved spa time (try the purifying detox facial at the hotel spa—it’s like a juice cleanse for your skin). In a blissed-out locale, we put health and mental healing at the forefront of our holiday, discovering ways to stop our mind from churning, take on a few healthier daily habits and allow ourselves to put life momentarily on pause. Since the proof is always in the pudding, we continue, at home, to make a daily smoothie, keep a gratitude journal by our bedsides and give ourselves permission for a little extra "me-time" where possible. Mission wellness accomplished. —Michelle Hopkins


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