When asked if you could define the ideal wellness retreat, what might your list include? Would your idea of a wellness retreat mean going off the grid without Wi-Fi and television, focusing on connecting with nature, and taking a deep dive introspectively into current and past matters of the soul? Might your ideal wellness retreat include some kind of healing intervention like a massage, a sound bath, or a soak in effervescent healing mineral waters?
Luckily for those whose destination is New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, your ideal wellness retreat can encompass all of those. My journey to discover the variety of wellness experiences available throughout New Mexico was fascinating. What surprised me most was the growing number of opportunities available for rejuvenation, recalibration, and transformation both inside and out. The choices include everything from glamping to salt mine experiences, and from creative yoga classes to sound healing and cacao ceremonies.
Just as intriguing are the people behind the beautiful locations — those creative visionaries and their innovative teams who are seeking to provide incredible, life-changing wellness experiences for each person who seeks a place of deep restoration.
Hot Springs Glamp Camp
In case the term “glamping” is new to you, Andrea and Robert Ahava, owners of the Hot Springs Glamp Camp in Truth or Consequences, offer the following definition: “The combination of the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’ with a happy balance of creature comforts and nature.”
The multi-talented couple has done their best to ensure that their selection of newly remodeled and unique accommodations, such as a dome and a yurt, provide experiences not only for the adventurous but also for those who seek a connection to nature and themselves. Although one of the key attractions to Hot Springs Glamp Camp is 24/7 access to the soothing, mineral-filled hot springs, their goal is to offer a multitude of wellness retreats which include a variety of healing experiences, taught by a host of talented facilitators from around the country, and locally sourced, organically grown meals.
In March, the owners hosted a Yoga & Wellness Weekend, entitled Evolve, complete with yoga, meditation, breathwork, massage, and community, designed to allow participants to “check in with yourself, and honor how you have grown,” according to Andrea, who added, “When people drive through the gate, I want them to be able to exhale in the serene vibe of Glamp Camp, and become immersed in healing.” At press time, events were scheduled for May and September, with more being planned.
Leaping Deer Ranch
When a visionary’s dreams combine with the next generation’s expansive ideals, the result can be an evolving paradise that continues to inspire and offer healing experiences for its visitors. That is the story of Leaping Deer Ranch in Sapello, northeast of Santa Fe.
The ranch started with four buildings, originally opened by award-winning fiber artist Marianne Williamson in 2008 as a place to raise alpacas, with the intent of providing instructional classes on fiber art, using alpaca wool.
Colin Masterson, Marianne’s son and the current owner, took charge of the ranch in 2015 and has updated this fascinating property in multiple ways. It now serves as a destination for yoga retreats and a variety of fabulous healing and wellness experiences. Colin, a 32-year military veteran, has poured himself into the re-purposing of this divinely inspirational location. He has applied his multiple talents and tapped into his lifelong experiences to create a complex of structures that include a beautifully restored ranch home that can accommodate 28 overnight guests, plus an exquisitely-appointed events center able to host parties of up to 120 guests.
The new structures have expanded the possibilities at Leaping Deer Ranch, which is now a multi-faceted utopia that includes New Mexico’s largest labyrinth, the walking of which is an ancient healing practice, designed to quiet the mind, reduce stress, and enhance creativity. The ranch’s newest staff additions
are Wellness Center Co-Directors and Wellness Guides Lauren Moore and Shamane Morejon, who collaborated to host a Full Moon Experience and a Spring Equinox celebration in March. The equinox celebration allowed its participants to experience a mind and body healing experience that included a cacao ceremony, individual and group meditation sessions, and a Stretch and Flow guided movement class.
A cacao ceremony might be for you if chocolate, meditation, and/or guided movement, along with a time for insightful introspection sound intriguing. Cacao ceremonies have been used for centuries to lead participants to spiritual and inner healing using a hot cacao beverage, known for its heart-opening medicinal properties.
Lauren and Shamane, both healing practitioners, plan to introduce a multitude of healing experiences to the ranch. Lauren is a meditation guide and a cacao practitioner, while Shamane is a licensed massage therapist, experienced in energy therapy and body work, and holds a BFA in interior architecture.
The ranch is meant to be a full-service, transformational experience. Colin is also a self-trained chef, and the food he prepares on the property is known for its healing benefits. Lauren added that “there is always a pot of medicinal tea or soup brewing for guests to enjoy” in the expansive kitchen.
Leaping Deer Ranch is just a 20-minute drive from the Montezuma Hot Springs, located outside of Las Vegas, which serves to enhance the wellness experiences offered at or near the ranch.
Santa Fe Salt Cave
The Salt Cave, unique in its dome-like shape, is a wellness experience in Santa Fe. The cave allows visitors to immerse themselves in a room saturated with pink Himalayan salt crystals and it is complete with zero-gravity chairs and soothing music. Salt therapy, known as halotherapy, is known to have healing effects on the body in many ways. Research points to benefits for a variety of lung conditions, sinus congestion, and skin ailments, in part due to the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects of salt. Additionally, the salt’s negative ions are believed to improve both mind and spirit, helping to lift a person’s mood.
Founder and owner Kim Rash is a licensed massage therapist, as well as a certified aromatherapist and Reiki practitioner. She established the Salt Cave in Santa Fe in 2018, fulfilling a lifelong dream of integrating her love of holistic healing and the benefits of halotherapy.
The Salt Cave hosts a variety of special events in addition to the sessions available in the mine, including individual Reiki Healing Energy sessions, and Full Moon Rituals.
With all there is to discover across New Mexico on your journey to an ideal wellness experience, what are you waiting for? Find out what special events are on the horizon by checking the locations’ websites.
Story by Sandra M. Elliott Courtesy photos
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.
Posted by Ruidoso.com