B Present Studio’s mission has always been to serve the whole you: mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes that means taking a respite from our day-to-day responsibilities and routines to reflect and recharge. It was with that in mind that the studio organized our very first wellness retreat to Costa Rica in January of 2016…
…and just a few weeks ago, our second wellness retreat of 2016 took us to the beautiful Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah. This award-winning resort property offered the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation: guided hiking and biking excursions, a huge variety of fitness classes, a full-service spa, swimming pools, gorgeous scenery, and three healthy (and seriously delicious) meals per day.
Rise and Shine
“My day usually started around 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. with a light breakfast and a 2-3 hour hike,” says Katy, who attended the Utah retreat (and happens to be our newest B Present Wellness Coach!) Morning hikes were a popular way to greet the day and take advantage of the breathtaking views from the resort, which is a stone’s throw from the hiking trails of Snow Canyon State Park. The resort offered daily guided group hiking for all levels of experience, with options ranging from even terrain for beginners to rocky wilderness for those “this-chick-is-half-mountain-goat” old pros. Some women from our group even chose to forego the resort-led hikes and venture out on their own or in smaller groups. Maggie, who also went on the Utah retreat, says one of her favorite memories from the trip was a hike that she took by herself one morning. “It was a very safe area and I walked on some trails for around two hours, listening to Pandora and just being with nature.”
In addition to all of the outdoor activities, the resort offered a plethora of fun fitness classes and workshops. “Stretching, TRX suspension training, cardio drumming, barre, Pilates, yoga, water aerobics, strength training, specialty workshops–we tried them all!” says Tammy, B Present Studio’s founder and the brains behind this whole operation. Katy checked out a MELT class, which deploys foam rollers for deep stretching to relieve pain and tension, and we know of a few others who enjoyed laughing at themselves while shimmying away at a Zumba class.
“I was actually a little anxious about the availability of all of these classes,” says Maggie with a laugh. Her initial expectation for the trip was to mostly spend her time relaxing with just a few workouts here and there, and she was a little overwhelmed by how many options there were. Happily, she found that those worries were unnecessary–there was no pressure to cram in every offering on the schedule, and still more than enough time for relaxing. “In the end, all of the workout options were great!” she says. “I really enjoyed trying out fitness classes I wouldn’t normally take.”
Of course, any wellness retreat worth its sea salt wouldn’t be complete without plenty of rest and relaxation options as well. “I loved that we were only about a half mile from a state park and great hiking, but the fact that there was a full service spa 100 feet from my room didn’t hurt!” says Katy. Most of the women on the trip took advantage of massages, facials, pedicures, and other treatments offered on an extensive menu of luxurious spa services. Maggie says, “I had an amazing Himalayan sea salt massage–HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!”
Perhaps some of the most rejuvenating moments of the trip were spent just truly doing nothing: with daily schedules normally filled to the brim with work, family, and social obligations, it’s a revelation to have so much glorious unscheduled free time. “I spent some time laying by the pool or in a hammock and reading every day,” says Katy. Maggie had also thought she would spend lots of her down time reading, but instead found the most joy in totally disconnecting and just being. “I roomed by myself, so I could stay up as late as I wanted, nap whenever I wanted, watch whatever I wanted on TV. It was so great!” Sometimes it really is the little things.
Choose Your Own Adventure
With so many options and only five days to fit it all in, it could have been tempting to over-schedule every minute of every day. Instead, we wanted to give all of our retreat-goers the ultimate freedom to get exactly what they needed out of their time away from home. “I felt no pressure to do what other members of the group were doing or planning,” says Katy, despite having been nervous that she might feel obligated to participate in activities she wasn’t really interested in. She loved having buddies to hike and eat meals with, but was grateful for the opportunity to unwind in solitude also. “One day I got a massage after brunch, another day I got a facial, and another day I just went back to my room and took a nap,” she says. (As the mother of a toddler, Katy spends enough of her time coaxing someone else to take a nap, so we’re glad she got one in for herself!)
Beyond the spa services, fitness classes, and relaxing atmosphere, a healthy dose of adventure could be found in the resort’s countless excursions and other offerings. “I chose to visit a nearby ranch where they train wild mustangs,” says Katy. “I got to pet and spend time with the horses and learn about their history.” With horseback riding, canyoneering, kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, acupuncture, reiki, energy reading, chakra balancing, cooking lessons, photography lessons, and pottery workshops on the menu, there was truly no limit to crafting the perfect just-for-me total wellness experience.
Best Vacation Souvenir Ever: New Friends!
One of the most common reasons our clients have cited for being a little anxious about signing themselves up for a studio wellness retreat? “But I don’t know anyone else!” Rest assured, it’s not just you who might be feeling that way. Maggie recognized plenty of familiar faces from the studio, but no one she knew very well or had spent much time with. They weren’t strangers for long: “After that first day of travel, everyone seemed to be fast friends!” she says.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”C.S. Lewis
Mary, who signed up for the trip with her daughter but without knowing anyone else, agrees. “I was a little afraid because I didn’t know any of the other women, but quickly felt as if I had known them a lifetime.” Sharing meals together and spending time talking and playing games in the evening proved to be among our retreat-goers most cherished memories of the trip. In fact, even after gushing about the rest of the experience–the fitness classes, the hiking, the spa–Mary says her favorite part of the trip was getting to know a wonderful group of women.
Investing in You
You can’t pour from an empty cup, as we like to say around here. Many of the women who have gone on our retreats have spoken of the guilt and uncertainty they wrestled with before deciding to take the plunge: with children, spouses, parents, and coworkers relying on them for so much everyday, how could they justify the expense and the time away? Is this selfish? they worried.
If this sounds familiar, we’ll let Maggie speak directly to you…
“I would anticipate that folks are maybe anxious about the investment for a wellness retreat. Maybe they feel guilty spending money for a trip just for YOU. I felt this. I almost didn’t attend because I felt I should go somewhere with my husband for the same amount! However, now that I have attended the Utah retreat, I am truly so glad I invested in myself. This is not something I have ever done in the past and I am so glad I had that time to recharge and relax. I was able to take time to consider issues I’ve had in my life and see them from another side, thanks both to reflecting on my own and gaining perspective through sharing with the group. There were many women on the trip that had never been on a solo or ‘girls trip’ before, and I hope that other women know how powerful it is to get away and take time for you.”
We are already gearing up for our next wellness retreat in Cabo San Lucas* in January, and it’s sure to be only the first of more retreat opportunities to come in the year ahead. We hope you will consider joining us to relax and recharge so that you can be the best version of you in 2017.