Every Mother’s Day, we are gifted the opportunity to show our mama’s just how much we appreciate them. From their strength, kindness, and loving nature to all of the wisdom they’ve so graciously shared with us, we are all incredibly lucky to have women as sweet as our moms in our lives. This year, ditch the candles and feel-good cards she’ll burn through and forget about in a month, and give mama meaningful self-care, and healing gifts where she can form deeper connections with you and herself. We all love gifts that keep on giving: Give mama the gift of shared experiences with you. In need of inspiration? Check it out:



Give mom a place to record her innermost thoughts, feelings, and memories. Include a few pens in her favorite colors for added inspiration.
Wanting to add a more personal touch? Fill in the first few pages with artwork, inspiring quotes, images, and your favorite things about her.  


Photo Album

If you’re able to, pull together some of your family’s old photos of fun memories with your sweet mama—remember that vacation you took in third grade that you never forgot? What about that time mom surprised your on your birthday with the present you really wanted, but were certain you wouldn’t receive? These special moments define not only your life, but her life as well. Put them all together in a keepsake book that mom will treasure for years.


Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz, the stone of the heart chakra. Rose Quartz is associated with feelings of unconditional love, like that between a mother and a child. Rose Quartz aligns with the heart chakra, providing feelings of comfort and love while dispelling feelings of fear and anxiety. This sacred gemstone contains feminine energy which balances and aligns the heart chakra with the third eye and crown chakras, bringing about the spirit of Mother Earth—the most sacred mother of all. Keeping this crystal within her home, mom will feel more aligned, more surrounded by love, and more balanced and connected in her day-to-day life.



Gaia Flow: Watsu with Mom

Watsu is a form of shiatsu that takes place in near body temperature or warmer water which combines elements of massage, shiatsu, muscle stretching, and water dancing. The receiver is continuously supported by their therapist while allowing their body to be floated, stretched, and cradled. At SunWater Spa, our watsu treatments take place in a body temperature, saline floating pool which grants the body added ability to float, making Watsu a truly weightless experience. Without the added weight of the body, the spine, joints, and muscles of the receiver can be manipulated and freed in a way which is unique to water work. This Mother’s Day, share this healing and nurturing experience with mom and book a side-by-side watsu for two, or simply give her the gift of nurturing with a single-person watsu appointment.


Mountain Mother Massage

Let’s not forget about the wonderful mommy’s-to-be in our lives! SunWater Spa’s Mountain Mother Massage is a soothing experience for mama, allowing her and baby the opportunity to relax and find refuge from the symptoms of pregnancy. Making use of the nourishing (and pregnancy safe!) oils of sunflower, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, wheat germ, vitamin e, sweet orange, rosewood, tangerine, lemon peel, rose maroc, sandalwood and ylang ylang, she’s certain to leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and fully relaxed.


A Hike at Garden of the Gods and a Soak at SunWater Spa

Garden of the Gods has over 15 miles of space for you and your mom to explore. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and spend some quality time with one another. The Siamese Twins trail, in particular, holds desert beauty and stunning views of Pikes Peak.
After you’ve worn yourselves out at Garden of the Gods, swing on into Manitou for a healing soak at SunWater Spa. Allow the healing waters of the historic 7 Minute Spring to repair your tired, sore muscles while you relax and reconnect with your mom. Whether you choose a 2-hour soak or a full-day pass, you will both have access to our indoor saline pools, hot and cold plunge pools, and our infrared sauna. With all of these options, you and your mama will leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and closer to one another when the day is up.



Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found within various parts of plants which can be used to treat various ailments, lift spirits, and be used as an all-natural, aromatic perfume. To extract these oils, plants undergo a process of distillation by steam or water. After distillation, a highly concentrated essential oils is left behind, containing not only the aromatic essence of the plant, but also the plant’s healing properties. These oils aid in protecting plants against predators and disease, why not let them do the same for mom? Here are four examples of essential oils that are perfect for moms everywhere.


  • Lemon to enhance mom’s feelings of joy, provide immune support, and cleanse or purify the body.
  • Citrus oil to feel invigorated,provide an instant boost in energy, and similarly to lemon oil, boost her immune system.
  • Lavender to help mom relax, unwind, and to improve blood circulation.
  • Eucalyptus for stress relief, pain relief, and relief of cold symptoms!


Credit: Mariana Ziegler Photography

A Stay at SunMountain Center

Spring has sprung in Manitou Springs! Give mom the gift of experiencing a true (and beautiful!) Colorado spring with a stay at SunMountain Center. The days are longer and warmer, the flowers are blooming, and SunMountain Center is bursting with life and love. She’ll spend time perusing our gardens, exploring acres of property and winding meditation trails, and deepen her connection with herself and those around her.

Summer is full swing, and the temperatures are on the rise. With 90+ degree days already here, and more on the horizon, many of us are searching for ways to simply keep cool and survive the summer. Beat the heat this summer with SunWater Spa— here’s how!

What to Wear

It can be tough to decide what to wear, especially in Colorado in the summer, where cool morning temperatures clash with the intense sunlight and heat of the afternoon. Generally speaking, the clothing that will keep you as cool as possible will be made of 100% cotton, fit loosely, and incorporate lighter colors. Clothing which is made of 100% cotton and fits loosely allows for airflow near the body, aiding in regulating one’s body temperature. Lighter colored clothing, by nature, tends to absorb less light, and therefore, less heat, keeping you cool during the hot summer months.

Essential Oils


Peppermint essential oil contains a significant amount of menthol. Menthol is known to aid in easing tension headaches and various other aches and pains, as well as providing a cooling, tingling sensation when applied to the skin.  However, please be aware that peppermint oil is quite stimulating and could potentially interfere with your sleepings habit if used too close to bedtime.


Spearmint essential oil works very similarly to Peppermint oil, however, it contains a smaller amount of menthol, making the scent less overbearing and pungent. This oil also provides a cooling, tingling feeling when applied to the skin.


Eucalyptus acts as a nice alternative or complement to Peppermint and Spearmint oils in cooling blends. In addition to its ability to provide a cooling sensation, Eucalyptus essential oils have been known to act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant.


As outdoors temperature begin to rise, taking our body temperatures with them, our bodies begin to sweat in an effort to regulate our temperature can keep us (relatively) cool. As sweat exits the body and evaporates, heat is released, cooling our bodies. If at any point you notice that you’re no longer sweating, it is incredibly important that you drink water as soon as possible. Dehydration can come on quickly and without warning, lack of sweat is one of the first signs. Find the nearest water station (or mineral springs, if you’re in Manitou Springs) and fill up your water bottle ASAP!

Minerals for Cooling and Hydration


Though sweating helps to regulate your body temperature, you lose a TON of electrolytes through sweating. Electrolytes are minerals in your body which carry an electric charge. These molecules affect the amount of water within your body, the acidity of your blood, your muscle function, and so much more.

You can pick up electrolyte tabs for your water at nearly any natural health store, or enjoy bottled water which contains electrolytes to ensure that you are maintaining your electrolyte levels!


Looking to cool your house without turning on the AC? House plants can help by absorbing the hot air for their own life processes, and adding humidity to the room through transpiration, or the process by which water evaporates from the leaves of the plant. More specifically, Aloe Vera, Ficus trees, and ferns are particularly adept at improving air temperature within a room.


Having a healing mineral water soak can also help keep you cool in the summer, as crazy as it may sound. Similarly to the cooling phenomena created when one sweats, the evaporation of the warm waters as your rise from one of our seven cedar soaking tubs can help cool you as well. When the water evaporates from your skin, it releases humidity into the air, as well as the heat that is trapped within the skin.

Cooling Foods for Summer


Ever heard the phrase “cool as a cucumber?” Well, there might just be some truth behind it. Cucumbers are naturally super hydrating and delicious! These delicious vegetables will help keep you hydrated and provide a crisp, refreshing taste to keep you feeling your best!


No day at the beach is complete without a watermelon snack, but why only consume watermelon at the beach? Watermelon is a great seasonal fruit; like cucumber, it is extremely hydrating, and the cool, crispy flavor is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and revived.


Originally cultivated in China, peaches are another awesome seasonal pick. Peaches are particularly delectable this time of year (especially Colorado’s own Palisade peaches), and are rich in vitamin a and c, making them a delicious and nutritious way to keep cool!

Yoga Poses for Cooling Down

Spinal Twists

Twisting poses help cool the blood and release excess heat from the abdomen, particularly from the small intestine and liver. Seated twists, or twist performed while lying down down are particularly cooling. Try Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Spinal Twist) and Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Spinal Twist) to release some of your internal heat!

Gentle Backbends

While some backbends can be warming, gentle backbends apply beneficial pressure to release tension and dissipate excess heat from the mid-abdomen, much like spinal twists.  Bujangasana (Baby Cobra), Matsyasana (Fish) and Bandhasana (Bridge) are helpful to integrate into your cooling yoga practice.

Forward Bends

Forward bends physically cool the body, calm the spirit, and are essential to counteract internal heat. Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Bend) and Balasana (Child’s Pose) are perfect ways to relax and cool the body toward the end of a practice.


by SunWater Spa Team and Sharon W. House



Pure essential oils are on the radar these days, especially with political tempers boiling and anxiety levels rising. Yes, Xanax and other pharmaceuticals are trending; however, more and more people are turning to pure essentials to help destress and calm.

Distilled from plants without the fat or oils found in cooking oils, pure essential oils are highly concentrated compounds that can be used in their pure form, through a diffuser or added to a hot bath. Essential oils have long been hailed by folk wisdom, and recent scientific research has caught up. A new study from Dr. Hideki Kashiwadani at Kagoshima University in Japan has found that “… sniffing linalool, an alcohol component of lavender odor, was kind of like popping a Valium,” in the mice that this group studied.


Ancient pharmacists and medical practitioners from Egypt to Italy and Greece utilized lavender, Frankincense and ylang ylang to help relieve their patients’ pain and anxiety. With the scientific community beginning to validate our ancestors’ claims, according to a recent Organic Spa conference, the use of these oils will continue to rise.



One of the most recognized and sweetest-smelling essential oils, lavender can be found in perfumes, bath salts and lotions. It can also be used in its pure form on pulse points or in a hot bath. In addition to relaxing users, lavender has been shown to heal scars and relieve migraines.



Gaining in popularity and revered for its scent, ylang ylang is extracted by steam distillation of fresh flowers of the ylang ylang tree, which is found in rainforests in a number of Asian and South Pacific Islands. Research published in June 2006 documents noted ylang ylang’s efficacy in helping to relieve depression and anxiety. Therapists are beginning to use the oil in massages and steam treatments.


At SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs, Colo., massage therapist Rachel Luplow uses seven essential oil blends in her 90-minute massage, Chakra Journey. “The concept behind this treatment is to use these essential oil blends from head to toe as each one is designed to balance one of the seven main chakras in the body,” Luplow explains. One of SunWater Spa’s most popular deep tissue massages, the Mountain Healer, utilizes jojoba body butter, infused with sage, lavender, spearmint, arnica and other oils to alleviate sore, tense muscles.


Whether you choose to enjoy the gentle hands of a therapist such as Luplow, or luxuriate in a warm bath perfumed with lavender or ylang ylang, the destressing benefits of pure essential oils are a welcome trend that is destined to grow.