3 Wellness Lessons I Learned at Canyon Ranch + A Travel Diary

We can't wait to go back!

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts for the first time. My best friend, Adrienne, and I found the experience exceeded our expectations and we came back to NYC energized, restored and inspired.  If you follow me or Canyon Ranch on Instagram (I took over their account), then you saw that I had the recent opportunity to go back for round two.  With work out clothes and notebooks, Adrienne and I eagerly hopped in the car.

The ranch has so much to offer!  Here's my blog post about our first experience there explaining the ins and outs.  With over 40 indoor and outdoor fitness activities per day, three healthy gourmet meals, a full service spa and countless lectures, we had a full schedule.  This time, we noticed the dining room was renovated and they added luxury, New England style condos (starting at $1.3 million).  Dreams!  

Here are the top three lessons we learned during our stay as well as peek inside life there.  Being surrounded by like-minded people is in itself, the most uplifting feeling of all.  

Day 1 – Pause to Feel.

How often during the day do you take a pause just to feel, see, smell and taste?  Really live in the moment for all it has to offer?  Pause to feel was a theme throughout our yoga class that I really appreciated.

Adrienne and I arrived in time for lunch and enjoyed gazpacho before heading to an intermediate yoga class, which was the perfect way to kick off our retreat.  Last time, we took a variety of fitness classes from cycling and cardio kickboxing to barre, but this time, we agreed to focus mainly on yoga.  

Afterwards, we took a much needed foam rolling class followed by a 30 minute meditation.  There was a constant theme throughout the classes of "pause to feel," which immediately made me slow down and focus on the moment.  

That night, we attended a lecture titled, "The Art & Science of Keeping Your Cool" by Jerry Posner, who we saw speak last time we were here (see post on his four steps to achieving your goals).  He is one of our favorite motivational speakers (and we see a lot), because not only is he inspirational, but his tips are practical and energy is magnetic.  I'll be writing a blog post about the lecture as well so keep your eyes out.  After the lecture, we ate in the main dining room and played Bingo. Yes, Bingo, but why not?  Adrienne even won!

Day 2 – Listen to Your Body.

In NYC especially, go hard is a mantra.  The more intense the workout class, the better, right? Not always.  When it comes to movement and eating, it's important to be in tune with your body and do what's right for you in that very moment.  Always remember to move and eat with intention.

We woke up so excited to have a full day of wellness activities planned.  Starting at 8am, we took a Wake-Up Warm Up Stretch class, then I saw a nutritionist (more on that to come), met back up with Adrienne for Yoga for Athletes and then attended a lecture on naturopathic medicine, which I found to be incredibly intriguing (more to come on this, too).  

After lunch, we took a hike in the Berkshires and met an incredible group of women who made it a lot of fun. Views were spectacular and it was so nice to spend time in nature.  Being outdoors, away from the city, might have been my favorite part of the whole experience this time.

When we got back, we jumped into a restorative yoga class, which was exactly what my mind and body was craving.   We were so lucky to have Ethan Kerr, the dining room chef, create special off-menu dinners just for us!  He made me a vegan and gluten free meal of zucchini and squash noodles topped with cheese-less pesto.  It was delish!  We spent the rest of the night at the spa enjoying massages and the hot tubs.

Day 3 – With Belief, Transformation Can Happen.

Your belief system is the most powerful tool you have and no one can take it away from you.  Believing is the first step towards success.

Our last day!  We woke up early to take Zenga Flow, which focused on choreography, something Adrienne and I miss from our dancing days.  Then, enjoyed a meditative walk around the labryinth, took a Rock Your Flow class, which was an upbeat cardio workout inspired by yoga.  

To close our trip,  we listened to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Liponis, speak on the subject of science and spirituality.  As a wellness journalist, I wish there was more proof on this topic, but he made a great argument for life after death.  After lunch, we began heading home, but not before we took time to reflect on our learnings and new found goals.