Red Mountain Spa . . . Learning What I Can Do to Love Myself More Today and Everyday
For me the gift of giving to myself, and to others, is what prompts me to share my recent and most enlightening visit to Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. It is here I experienced a surge of energy and feelings of peace, balance and harmony with nature from the moment the shuttle from the Las Vegas airport pulled up to the small hospitality building.
Red Mountain Spa rises from the desert against a backdrop of 1.1 million year old lava flow deposits that have sculpted exotic red clay rock formations. Eight volcanoes lie dormant in the surrounding desert. The red roofs of the buildings harmonize and blend into the tranquil environment. Designed as a cluster of buildings to house guests and accommodate different activities . . . the dining room and second floor spa are in one, the indoor pool in another. Then there is the fitness center where a team of highly qualified professionals evaluated my sleep patterns, stress levels, nutritional and physical needs; and I participated in a wide cross of creative, and challenging, exercise and dance classes.
My villa had a gas fireplace in the bedroom and living room. It was pure joy to start my days breathing in the fresh air on a terrace that faced the majestic Red Mountains. One of the largest mountain ranges in the country, I soon learn they hold many mystical secrets.
The cozy dining room, warmed by a roaring fire, offered a menu ( packages include three meals and snacks) of scrumptious entrees, like lamb chops and fresh broiled fish or shrimp, a wide variety of veggies and fruits on the fix- it- yourself salad bar, homemade desserts, and some pretty good wines by the glass.
The Labyrinth at Red Mountain
The Lava Loop Trail behind the hospitality building leads to 180 million year old Jurassic sandstone and mudstone. I discover two kinds of sage; one with leaves is edible; one with branches that the Indians burn is not. In the mornings, I hike through the petrified sand and lava Red Mountain Canyons. Back on resort property, I circle the Red Mountain labyrinth, a perfect representation of cleansing and flowing energy along a long journey. I am told the motion I will feel refers to a journey of ascension or dissention, depending on the intentions in one's heart. When I reach the nine foot center, I stand quietly, stretch to the skies, then sit on the ground feeling the influence of the number nine . . . the most auspicious of all numbers. It represents the completion of a cycle and the initiation of a new cycle.
Labyrinths have been used as a tool for celebration, dance, meditation and prayer for over five thousand years. They have one entrance and one exit, and the more you walk the Labyrinth, the more empowered you become to find and do the work your soul has been reaching for. The spiral shape of the labyrinth is a powerful symbol of Native American culture. The influence of numerology in the labyrinth represents organic energy patterns. Even numbers represent yin; odd numbers represent yang. The number 3 is expanding; it pushes against boundaries and opens up possibilities, encouraging one to find humor in every situation. The counterclockwise spiral of the labyrinth is associated with earth, introspection and returning home.
I have the option of biking, walking or taking the spa shuttle to Kayenta, a small community of sun washed houses that are five and a half miles from Red Mountain. I wander into an eclectic art gallery, a landscaping flower shop, and then the local coffee café/general store. The home made muffins and creamy thick espresso are a welcome treat.
That night, after dinner, we are driven to John Kolb’s home for an evening of stargazing through his powerful telescope. John, a retired executive, has moved to the desert and is living his passion for astronomy. He shares many insights into the formation of the planets, stars and comets as the high powered lens brings them into clear focus. I see another spiral in the top view of the Milky Way. I realize the spiral is everywhere in nature, from our DNA to a pine cone or a seashell. I am humbled by this startling connection to the universe and beyond.
The next day, I book an Iridology session with Dr. Brad Crump. It is fascinating to delve into the art and science of looking at the iris of my eyes. The different markings, shapes, colors and positions reveal different emotional, mental, spiritual and physical conditions of the body and mind. Evaluating the eyes can provide insights into our current condition, past experiences and future tendencies. It helps determine which tissues, organs and systems are weaker structurally or storing toxins.
Another night I go into town for a pottery class and am dismayed at how badly I throw the clay. My creation doesn’t look like any of the others drying on the shelf.
The Spa at Red Mountain offers some unique treatments and indigenous rituals. Some of my favorites: a hydrating honey and clay Raw Earth Pedicure, an exfoliating skin rejuvenating Adobe Lavender Wrap, a Fire and Ice Facial with the pulp of apples and grapes . . . and a Four Directions Treatment.
Sacred Smudge of Native American Ceremony
I embark on the Four Seasons Spiritual Journey, an ancient American purification of body, mind and spirit, which takes me on a path through four cardinal directions: east, south, west and north. Smudging plays a central role in traditional healing ceremonies because it is believed once negative energies are cleared out, a sense of peace and relaxation take over, putting spiritual difficulties to rest. My smudging begins with the mixing of sage, tobacco, cedar and sweet grass in an abalone shell, followed by the burning of these ingredients. An eagle feather is then used to fan the smoke over my body, cleaning the energy around me to renew my being inside and out. Native Americans believe the prayers and thoughts contained in the smoke are carried to the Creator on the wings of the eagles, which fly the highest and are in direct communication with the Creator. The next day, I treat my face to an Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation, a natural 5,000 year old approach to anti-aging; I must admit my skin looks years younger.
In addition to the many physical, leisure and pampering daytime activities, guest speakers present fun and informative seminars in the evenings.
My four night visit has come to a close, and the shuttle is waiting to drive me back to the Las Vegas Airport. Soon I will soon board a Jet Blue nonstop back to Kennedy, but my spirit will linger . . . lost in the magic of the past and the healing powers of the Utah desert.
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