Our Canyon Ranch Vacation, Day 2

Pardon the interruption as I was taking a little Thanksgiving break, but I’ll return to our detailed account of a Canyon Ranch vacay! Day 2 was our first full day of taking advantage of everything the resort had to offer.

6:15am My mom’s alarm goes off and I reconsider my level of interest in the morning walk. It’s cold! And I didn’t sleep well the night before. But I decide to urge myself out of bed so I can see more of the scenery around the ranch.

7:00am We meet in one of the gyms with a group of other walkers to split up into three groups. There are 30, 40, and 50-minute guided walks and the leaders are very peppy for my 7am self. We decide to stick to the middle and head out for a nice walk. I decide to decorate my future home in the color scheme of a Saguaro cactus desert.

8:00am The air warms up on the walk and I see some of my favorite cacti. We’ve worked up an appetite so we head to one of the breakfast options for pretty much anything we could possibly want to eat for breakfast including a fruit/yogurt/oatmeal bar, omelette station, pancakes, waffles, eggs, and other special menu items.

9:00am We take another yoga class, foregoing my promise to try new and different things.

10:00am We stumble upon some kind of cardio class that uses exercise balls and Bosu trainers. I like it and it gives me some new ideas for my own workouts. Then I head back to the room to work on a writing project for a little bit while my mom goes off to join another class.

12:00pm We visit one of the lunch and learn sessions in the demo kitchen where a chef shows you how to make yummy healthy meals while you watch him work and then get to eat whatever he’s making. We learn about brown butter shrimp and winter squash gnocchi, and I’m happy to devour it. I learn that you can make gnocchi much, much more easily by putting the dough into a pastry bag, and then squeezing out a bit and slicing it straight into boiling water. I’ll have to try this at home.

2:00pm Water aerobics! I am not usually a fan of swimming in outdoor pools when it’s below 80 degrees, but the water is heated and I’m trying new things so I join the pool full of eager classmates. It’s not bad, but too cold for me and run-swim-leaping from side to side across the pool is not enough to warm my spirits. I want to quit early but I like the teacher and don’t want her to think it’s because of her. Probably won’t do water aerobics in November again.

3:30pm We stick to our afternoon spa date and enjoy the hot tub(s). I try to master my mind and body by dipping into the cold tub. I turn my back to the clock and try to last a minute, which ends up being the longest 60 seconds of my life. I’m not sure how long you’re supposed to stay in the cold dip so I retreat back to the scalding waters of the hot tub. I think the cold helps my muscles though since I don’t feel sore at all the next day.

5:00pm We return to the room to get ready for dinner, and my mom spots a group of these babies just outside our door:

 [ via ]

[via]

6:30pm We eat in the same restaurant as the night before. There’s no need to branch out when the entire menu looks and is so good!

8:00pm My mom booked us massage appointments, which is one of the best ways ever to round out the day. My masseuse is a little heavy on the foot massaging, but I’m thankful for the overall pampering. I fall asleep easily again.

Hands-on Healing

One thing I love about teaching is that it cannot be separated from the other meditative practices that I'm working on in life. As I teach and work to improve my teaching, I am continuously reminded to step myself, the ego, out of the way. It's distracting to wonder throughout class, "Am I doing this right? Are my words getting through to everyone? Do they like me?" Sometimes it feels impossible not to have those thoughts, but the more I focus my attention on what I'm doing, the more it seems like the teaching is coming from a deeper source, and I'm just another student along for the ride. 

And I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the yoga world has led me to other forms of spiritual practice and healing. It seems like every yoga teacher these days eventually becomes enveloped in a circle of tarot cards, a force field of crystals, and the mist of essential oils. My journey led me last week to become initiated in a more ancient form of energy healing, called Reiki.

Guides.jpg

I visited my teacher, Mer's, house for the initiation ceremony where she worked with me to explain the details and benefits of the practice:

"Reiki is a Japanese word that means Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy or Universal Life Force Energy. It’s an ancient form of energy healing that has a Higher Intelligence that knows exactly how to heal the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of
our bodies."

Reiki is a hands-on healing technique that balances the spirit, promotes joy, and supports a health body. It has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, lower respiration rate, raise red blood cell count, fight insomnia, and, anecdotally, produce some healing miracles.

As Mer and I discussed the format of a healing session, many of the Reiki principles rang true to me, because doesn't this sound like what we should be doing for each other all the time?

  • Focus on the person's highest good
  • Stay in the present moment
  • Provide a safe space that is comforting
  • Stay away from ego
  • Always work with integrity and authenticity

Even if you're not a believer in a thing called Universal Life Force Energy, there is something special about the healing power of touch and a conscious connection between two human beings. 

I'll be spending the next month or so practicing Reiki on myself, so that I may soon be able to offer it to others. Stay tuned!
 

 Reiki Level One Certification